July 4th with America

Well, I did it. I am now an adult! That’s right, I was approved for a credit card. So I guess it’s time I recognize my impulse to buy chicken wings and illegal zoo animals, and buy them anyway! Just kidding government, I don’t do that. I just sell them. Just kidding again.

Also kids, apparently it’s not good to buy whatever you want with credit cards. That’s your lesson for the day. The rest of this post will be pure nonsense.

I didn’t do much on Monday. I continued working on all of the pages of the website I am helping design for military training. Tuesday, I made the website look stunning. By the time I was done with it, you could switch between different pages of the website and interact with all buttons and icons that were on the display. I may not be programming, but I am getting the same result. I also made a survey on surveymonkey to send out to the project leads at my branch asking about what they were working on.

On Wednesday, I presented the progress I made on a website to a very scary person on the opposite side of my workplace. He is the type that is about 5’3”, but incredibly intimidating. Coming in to the branch where there are many computer scientists, it was very hard to prove to my co-workers that I was capable of creating something. And this computer scientist in particular was very anti-human factors. In other words, he didn’t quite understand what I could offer to the project, and was a skeptic to the importance of human factors input.

As one of my mentors and I walked down to give the presentation on what I had created since our last meeting, I was a little nervous. We walked through the giant, heavily locked doors in the basement of the building and I got my computer ready to present. He sat down, looked at the home page, and said, “You guys did this?” My mentor replied, “No, Carolyn did this.” He looked at me surprised, and said “This looks very nice, great work!” He went through the rest of the website I had created and picked a few things on each page that should be fixed. At the end, I had a list of little details that needed adjustment, but overall he was impressed with the quality and the number of pages within the website I had created in the previous week. The feeling you get when you prove someone wrong is comparable to that awesome feeling you get when you sneeze or when you punch a shark. It’s the best feeling in the world.

The weekend started early because of the fourth of July. My roommate, Sharelle, and I went to two malls that were really close to our apartment. We had to go shopping for some shoes and clothes since we will be spending next weekend in… VEGAS! That’s right! I had to spend Friday morning shopping for new shoes and a nice shirt, or two. What a bummer!

When we came home I dropped off my 57 shopping bags and ran over to the park across the street. It is a long, dog/human park that runs along the bay, and had tons of people flying kites, playing games, and talking with friends. Some of my co-workers were there along with all of their friends. They were having a barbeque, so I hung out for a while eating watermelon and throwing water balloons at people I don’t know. Then the other intern (Brittany), her fiancé, and I went to the San Diego fair. It was not that far away, but it took us an hour and 15 minutes to get there. There were so many people there that we were stuck in traffic on the exit for an hour. Yes we went 1 MILE AN HOUR! The line to get tickets was even longer, but when we finally got in to the fair we went crazy with food. I got a giant turkey leg and was the happiest kid in the world.

Co-intern/ERAU master Brittany Swigert with her dog, Shae.

Co-intern/ERAU master Brittany Swigert with her dog, Shae.

Fun at the park across the street

Fun at the park across the street

This cute little kiddo who wanted to pet Shae. Looking very American!

This cute little kiddo who wanted to pet Shae. Looking very American!

ME WITH MY TURKEY LEG! As big as my face

ME WITH MY TURKEY LEG! As big as my face

A goat standing on a table. Not sure what else to say about this...

A goat standing on a table. Not sure what else to say about this…

The real reason I went to the fair on the fourth of July was for the band that was playing that night. They are called AMERICA; can you think of a better band to play on independence day? On top of them perfectly fitting the celebration, I love the band itself. I have been watching videos of them for years and listening to their music for as long as I can remember. They are really old, were popular in the 70’s, but people still know the songs they wrote today. “Horse With No Name” and “Sister Golden Hair” are some of their bigger hits. Ohhh, now you know who I’m talking about, right? No? Alright, I have an old person’s taste in music. Anyways, they were PHENOMENAL! These guys have been singing for 40 years and can still sing higher than I can! It was an incredible show with incredible fireworks and an incredible turkey leg. When everyone was putting their hands up during the songs, I was putting my turkey leg up. So, I think it’s safe to say they definitely saw me in the crowd. Even if it was as the crazy girl dancing with a giant stick of meat.

The awesome band America at the Fab Fair in San Diego. Playing the awesome song, "Sister Golden Hair."

The awesome band America at the Fab Fair in San Diego. Playing the awesome song, “Sister Golden Hair.”

Me, with Brittany Swigert, and her famous fiance from UCF, Jeff Abrams with America behind us.

Me, with Brittany Swigert, and her famous fiance from UCF, Jeff Abrams with America behind us.

Representing turkey legs at the concert

Representing turkey legs at the concert

The next day, I stayed in to get ready for another big night my roommates and I have been planning for a few weeks now. We invited some of our friends and all got dressed up to go to this place called Café Seville. It was a dinner/show where a singer and guitar player performed older Spanish music as three people did Flamenco style dancing. I ate so much which usually makes me happy, but this particular day was not the best time to eat a lot. Towards the end of the show, the two female dancers walked around the tables and they each grabbed one person to pull up on stage. I was not paying attention, and instead thought that they were just dancing around the audience. I was wrong.

The flamenco dancers at Cafe Seville, incredibly talented and beautiful

The flamenco dancers at Cafe Seville, incredibly talented and beautiful

I turned around to smile at one of the dancers and then she told me to stand up and come with her. So, I  agreed not knowing I was being led up to the stage. Yup, I embarrassed myself. I danced on stage in front of a load of people I don’t know, and even worse, some people I do know. Well now they know me a whole lot more. I was given a flamenco dancing lesson for the entertainment on others, and boy was it entertaining. I should only be dancing in a small dark room with nobody but myself.

To finish the night we took a cab ride around town. This was not an ordinary taxi, though. In San Diego, they have pedicabs where 1 person pulls up to 5 or 6 people on a bike! And here I am complaining about riding up hills to work. The people who drive them decorate them in all kinds of lights, fabrics and sometimes put roofs on them. I got to pick the music as we drove along the “Gaslamp District.” When you play the right music, people walking along the sidewalks will sing along with you as you go by. We got a tour of the party district without having to walk (which is great when you’re wearing heels). Even though I was very lazy and paid some poor guy to pull me along on his bike, I still slept for a good 12 hours when I got home that night. I think that’s only necessary for what’s coming next week.

Pedicab ride around town with some fantastic ladies

Pedicab ride around town with some fantastic ladies

Taking selfies with the pedicab driver while driving... causing accidents and stuff

Taking selfies with the pedicab driver while driving… causing accidents and stuff

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About Carolyn

Hometown: Spring Hill, Florida
Why I Chose Embry-Riddle: It is the best aviation school in THE WORLD! Also, it allowed me the opportunity to work closely with professors, start research early, and get involved with a lot of campus activities. I had my first conference presentation when I was 19, so the research opportunities make you look good for college.
Internship: Office of Naval Research
Activities: President of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society student chapter, Vice-president Human Performance in Extreme Environments club, involved with First Generation Club and play with the Orlando Concert Band.

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