Pry it from my Cold, Gloved Hands

And so today, I start my last week at Aerospace. Man, I really don’t like typing that. Marianne unfortunately called in sick today. Feel better Dr. Harmon! Today, I reported DIRECTLY to Joe in the lab (By the way, I figured it out. His badge says interim worker, so I’m guessing that’s what he is.) Today, he’s testing at what load this little plug thing on the end of a cable detaches from the cord itself. The catch? We’re testing at a temperature of -130 degrees C! Do you know what that means? LIQUID NITROGEN!!! I got to put on the big blue gloves and help fill some canisters full of the stuff, so we could fill a cryogenic unit and keep this cord nice and frosty whilst we tear it apart (scientifically, of course.) Thing is, it takes about 15 minutes to cool down the cryo unit to the right temperature, or heat it up so it’s safe to open. That leaves about half an hour per trial of downtime, where I can’t leave the desk and walk away from the unit so we aren’t wasting liquid nitrogen by keeping this thing perfectly cooled whilst we wander the halls. However, there also isn’t much to do involving the experiment itself; so I find myself volunteering as a shop-boy and fetching tools for people working at benches around me.

Apparently the CEO is going to visit the lab come Thursday. THE CEO! That’s pretty awesome on one hand, but nerve-racking at the other. I hear Dr. Wanda Austin is a very nice lady from every source, but at the same time, AAH! Here I am, most likely the lowest on the pecking order, possibly going to be in the same room as the Chief Executive Officer of the company. If you need some context, the office space I get to use is comprised of 5 or 6 offices which are in turn connected to a “bay,” or large room, that is then connected to the hallway. Since the only space available for a desk for Tait, a grad student, was in the bay, he’s jokingly said to be the “secretary” for our office space. However, my temporary desk is in the corner of the bay space, near Tait’s desk. Thus, we joke that I’m not even a normal secretary, I’m the secretary’s secretary! In reality, I’m extremely happy to have a desk (and permission to be in the labs, a temporary badge, awesome bosses, etc.), but the point nonetheless stands.

So, here I am. Secretary squared, off to meet the head of the firm in 1 (2?) days. Someone remind me to shine my shoes…

Airport on the Way? (From Last Week)

Today I worked with Lic. Jorge again as he was focusing in on the project of bringing a airport to Quetzaltenango. He told me we were going to be meeting with a  few other people that were also interested in getting the project started. We all met at a hotel and I watched closely as they talked over the budget and time frame for what could be the second largest airport in Guatemala.

In the total the airport would cost around Q. 14,000,000, which is about two million dollars and the time frame looks to be about a year and a half to get the entire airport finished. It will be able to fly two thousand four hundred kilometers, being able to land in cities like Miami, Guadalajara, Managua, and La Havana. It unfortunately will not be big enough to make direct flights to cities like L.A. but it is still a big step for the city.

What Lic. Jorge and the rest are afraid of is that Pres. Morales not taking the project seriously and just brushing it off much like past presidents have done when asked to make   changes for the country. If that does happen, their best hope for the airport would be to have a private inverse fund the project which is pretty unlikely to happen. Lic. Jorge will present the project personally to the President in the upcoming weeks. Hopefully everything goes well.

Before going before the law

On Friday, the law group I am working for will be going to court in Los Angeles to attend a hearing regarding a law suit over fees for a case that took place nearly a decade ago. The courthouse has a tremendous ability to animate the office. So many hundreds of hours filing, researching, crafting arguments… but all in the dark corners of a sparsely inhabited workplace. The courthouse brings this practice not only out of the dark, but into the spotlight. The intensity that this polarity creates is awesome to witness. I also had a good conversation with the boss regarding annotations to this document I’ve been toiling with for quite some time, and it is now the case that instead of editing its language I will be underlining significant elements. In my opinion, considering the technicalities of this document, this is tremendously more efficient and I’m very happy the boss and I both agree this is the best way to proceed.

The Beginning of my LAST Week

Hey everybody!  Today was a busy day at the office – a new intern named Houston (19, from Oregon) arrived and Gracie, Olivia, Luke, Evan, Gina, and Seth were all in the office at once!  Everyone is very excited that Seth, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Thirst Project, is back in our West Los Angeles office (from Swaziland) to help out with our Gala.  Since Houston had some free time, he helped me work on the tedious spreadsheets that have compromised much of my time at this office.  As of today, I have now compiled over 1150 rows of information on middle school and high school students across America.  It is crazy how much work I have done on one excel sheet!

My sense of family/community has greatly developed over the course of my three weeks at the Thirst Project.  I love working alongside these young adults.  Today at Chipotle, four of my co-workers (Evan, Luke, Olivia, Houston) and I sat down and talked about the transition to adulthood.  As everyone in the group ranged in age from 18 to 25 years old, each person was going through some type of “transition” phase – ex: renting an apartment, finding a new roommate, or pursuing a higher degree of education.  It is nice to hear a myriad of honest thoughts, struggles, and accomplishments.  Although I am nervous about my future, I am human and I know I am capable.

I have definitely grown immensely over the course of a few weeks.  I am more aware of the networks that connect people, the actions required to run a successful organization, the lifestyles and backgrounds of different people, and the motivators that drive people to interact, donate, and volunteer at the Thirst Project.  I am learning the art of business in a genuine and caring atmosphere.  It has been an empowering and thrilling experience.  I don’t want to leave these social, fun, and bright people!


Week 2 (Part. 2) – “No Pressure”

I ended my week here at the office back on excel (surprise, surprise). After I escaped the pile of never ending dresses (which added up to 200!!) I got a break..thank the dress lord. Once the caffeine had entered my body I went back to work with Kevin. This next assignment he gave me was actually pretty fun! My job was to rewrite the titles and descriptions of the website that comes up when the company name is searched on google. I was given key words, and excel doc, and a limited amount of characters to work with. He gave me those, told me to try and be “cute-sy” because he cannot, and said “no pressure”. No pressure. Okay sure. Ha. I spent pretty much the rest of my time there just writing and rewriting descriptions so they would fit the requirements. This was probably the smallest but most hands on assignment I have had and it was really fun. I got to use my own creativity to figure out how to catch the potential customers attention.

Middle School all over again

Today I start working with the middle schoolers. None of the kids are in yet, but my supervisor was kind enough to let me get some blogging in and to let me work on my essay. But yeah, today the middle schoolers are who I’m working with, and I’m really curious to see how they behave. So far, just by observing them during free time, they seem like a really close group of friends, and they all seem to get along. But I’m not certain about this.

I’m also curious to see if I’ll be of any assistance to the kids when it comes to homework help. I have no idea what types of things middle schoolers in this area are learning, so I hope its stuff that I know. If not, that’ll be embarrassing. But all I can do is try my best, and I’m sure I’ll do just fine.

The controversy between the health sciences… PT or DC?

Today I did more shadowing with Dr. Gunter and then spent the rest of my day with the Physical Therapy clinic run by Jesse and Garret.

Their specific clinic focuses on functional movement based rehab. Unlike most physical therapists who may put their clients on machines, or stretch out the injured area, Jesse is a hands on based physical therapist that uses various manual practices to rehab his clients. His philosophy is to deal with every problem at the same appointment, instead of dealing with one problem per appointment. This is because all parts of our body are connected, and therefore in everyday actions, (walking, running, bending over, etc)  our bodies react and move through compound movements. This means there is always more than one body part associated with each movement. Your hip being out of place can be the reason your ankle hurts.. therefore the place where it hurts may not be the place where you should treat. Jesse has a very unique and holistic approach to his treatment, which has been proven extremely effective for his successful clinic.

I had the awesome opportunity to sit in on one of Jesse’s appointments this afternoon. First Garret, Jesse’s colleague, stretched his client out the first 10 minutes, and then Jesse came in to do the manual work. Since this client in particular had multiple muscle strains and soreness all over, the appointment lasted well over 2 and a half hours with Garret first evaluating the area and then Jesse coming in to do the actual rehab. He used a very similar technique to Dr. Gunter, where he asked what was hurting and then evaluated his movement by having him walk down to the end of the room and back. From this test, Jesse instantly knew what was wrong as he could tell from this guy’s walk not only why it hurt but how to fix it. For this specific client he used some type of resistance rehab where he started at the clients feet, pressing in certain areas and then queued his client to flex his foot against his hand both forward and backward as hard as he could for a couple seconds and then relax. This technique is supposed to enhance the range of motion through the foot by tension and relaxation. He did this for both feet, and then re-evaluated until he saw a change.

When comparing PT to Chiropractic, the biggest differences in my opinion fall in the business aspect. While PT’s can work in hospitals and outpatient centers, their clients have to be referred by a medical doctor unless they’re able to pay by cash. Nevertheless since Chiropractors aren’t certified as medical practitioners under the American Medical Association (AMA), they will always be fighting an upward battle trying to legitimize their own profession. Chiropractors also have to become more business savvy as more than half of all Chiropractors own their own practice since by law, MD’s and DC’s (Chiropractic Doctors) can’t work together in the same practice.

As far as job growth, the PT job market will continue to grow at an extremely high rate over the next decade compared to chiropractic who’s job will relatively stay the same. For me, I personally like chiropractors better mainly because of the freedom and independence that comes with the job. I can do so much as work in a medical building to owning my own gym/practice like Dr. Lum does. While PT’s may get paid more off the bat and have a better chance of landing a job, I see a lot more growth in the long run with Chiropractic medicine.Nevertheless…. I have a lot to think about concerning my near future…


Right now I am working on an analysis that compares genre and box office and their impact on titles. I am also preparing a presentation for the team that I am going to make on my last day. My project is mostly analyzing excel spreadsheets. To do this I had to learn several different excel formulas. I didn’t know this before I started, but most jobs in the business world require extensive knowledge of excel. Almost everyone that I have talked to has recommended taking an excel class in college.

Some of the formulas I have learned are Iferror, vlookup, and Index/Matching. The IfError formula tells excel that if the formula comes up with a certain number, then show this number instead, so it is easier to see errors. VLookup is like looking someone’s name up in a telephone book. It takes a value and finds the corresponding value in a different column. Index Match is a simpler VLookup. It consolidates the formula and requires less processing power.

One important thing that I took out of this is to learn excel. It is used in so many professions and could put you ahead of other prospects for a job if you are proficient in it.

Finally Made a Sale

After making all those calls and sending all those e-mails, someone finally responded saying that they are interested in purchasing some fabulous Hint Mints. I expected more people to be interested in buying, but a lot of the stores, coffee shops, and gift shops that were listed either went out of business already or already have other products that they sell and didn’t need anymore. Luckily, when Hint Mint first did business with this woman, they made a good impression, so when I called her, she remembered the name and was eager to receive an e-mail with new information about our products. She simply responded saying that she wanted to place and order and asked how she should go about doing that, so I responded with some options for ordering and that was that. Starting your own business requires a lot of persistence and it’s nice to see it start to pay off.

Aside from trying to sell the mints, my mentor has also asked me to do some additional small projects on the side. I like having these projects to do when I take a break from making calls and spread sheets. For one of the mini projects, he has asked me to write a lot about me and my family, which I enjoy because I love to talk about my family! One of the prompts was to think of 10 things about my mom and dad’s parenting styles that I liked. This questions was pretty hard to answer because it required a lot more deep reflection than I thought, but I finally came up with some things that I really appreciated about my parents. I love that I’m learning multiple lessons during my senior project.

Final Week at Wpromote

I’m sad to be leaving after this week.  I have learned so much about what goes on behind the scenes of a website, and even google.  I have a lot of responsibility to write blogs and facebook posts for their clients.  I love the freedom they give me. I don’t really have any guidelines to follow when it comes to writing, it’s a lot of creative writing.  Many of their clients are orthos or dentists, so I am learning more about teeth and Invisalign and braces than I ever knew before. I’ve met some really cool people here and they’re all very nice to me.