Week 5 Blog Post

Week 5 Blog Post

Last Friday began with a tour of the capitol building that was facilitated by NSF. The HACU and QEM interns were all wrangled together to participate in the tour and although it was very informational, it felt short and most of us me wanting more. I would have loved to see the House in session. Anyways I took more video than pictures on the tour because the rooms we visited were massive and too great to capture in a single image. But I did capture a shot of The Apotheosis of George Washington in the dome of the capitol building. It literally depicts how the American people have elevated Washington to a state of divinity.

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That Friday evening, fellow interns, Erika, Miranda, Justin, and I went out to Adams Morgan, a side of town that was littered with clubs and bars and pizza joints. I, not being a drinking man myself, tagged along for the jumbo slices of pizza, which definitely did not disappoint! The single slice I got was longer than my forearm, which made it difficult to capture on camera. We also stopped by a few bars, many of which I forgot the names. The only one I remember is Shenanigans, an “Irish pub”. I use quotation marks because the place was just like any other bar in style and music, but they had dollar-store-esque St. Patrick’s Day decorations up and green lights. I guess that’s what qualifies for Irish.

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On that Saturday, many of the interns and I went out for an overpriced, but delicious brunch buffet at The Front Page. I was too enthralled by the food to take any pictures, but let me assure you, it was good. We followed that up with a visit to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, which was my second time going but almost everything we saw was new to me. I took way too many pictures of the animals but I am only going to share the highlights of my selfies with statues and a panda.

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On our walk back to our apartment, we took a forest trail and witnessed the most amazing-looking bridge I have ever seen. It was covered in vines and moss on one side and was enormous and surrounded by forest. I don’t know the name of the bridge – though I can surely look it up – but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to share it with the world… through my blog.

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Then the work week began and it was business as usual.

For an after-work snack, on Monday, I visited the McDonald’s near the Rosslyn metro station and I was blown away. It was the most technologically updated McDonald’s that I have ever experienced. They had kiosks for customers to place their orders and a fully touch screen fountain drink dispenser. They also had a bar for customers to sit that was lined with outlets, so they could charge their devices. The only thing that place was missing was ethernet ports and fiber internet speeds. I am going to find myself there a lot throughout the summer.

On Tuesday I attended a meeting that was specifically about text analysis and clustering of data, which is exactly what my project is about. It was very insightful and a new tool for analysis called, Lingo4G, was essentially debuted to those who were interested. Though it is still in a developmental stage, I am sure I can make use of it during the course of this summer.

And on Wednesday, QEM took us interns to an MLB game, my very first and probably my last (baseball is a bore). I did have an enjoyable time because I was there with friends, and the food was good albeit overpriced. But that’s stadium food for you. Daniel and I split a chicken tender and fries bucket between the two of us. It came with about 3 pounds of fries and six chicken tenders. There were so many fires that we had to enlist the help of our fellow interns in order to finish them.

And throughout the end of the work week, I worked on fixing a problem that I had with the data I pulled from the server. Though I don’t know how into detail I am allowed to get, I essentially consolidated duplicate entries into the data without compromising the other information for the entries. It sounds boring, I know, but it was an interesting problem to overcome. I have grown to thoroughly enjoy data analysis, which I had always perceived to be very boring before this internship.

This upcoming weekend will be an eventful one, so be prepared for a flood of selfies and pictures of gustatory exploits.

Signing off.

Sergio A. Melendez