Week 4: From Barbecue to Heartbreak

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Sunday, June 22, 2014


Benjamin Perez

Week four has come to a wrap, and this week was as fun as the rest. First off, I am getting to the meat of my project at NIST. Everything has been working properly and to make it better, the results COMSOL gave correlates closely to my calculated values the transistor should detect, giving me support for my results.

On Monday, I will continue to add more components to the transistor and simulate the effects an electron has on the device. This will hopefully result in showing that this transistor will work theoretically, but the actual fabrication I will leave to Kelby.

I am enjoying my time at NIST and the science I have been able to accomplish so far. It is an amazing place to work and I encourage anyone who is reading this and wants to apply next year to do so because this is a fantastic opportunity to learn from some of the greatest minds in the world and build your resume. Do not be discouraged if you think that a government lab is over your head because I had the same thoughts too. Once you settle in and talk to different people around the office, you will find that everyone is normal and they were once undergraduates like you are now. I am glad I received this opportunity and can’t imagine where else I would rather be.

Apart from work, I continued my exploration of D.C. this weekend. I found my new favorite restaurant Friday, called Hill Country BBQ. Being from Texas this restaurant is literally Texas in D.C. Texas style decorations cover the walls from floor to ceiling. They play live country music most Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. And don’t get me started on the food. From the brisket to the pork, each bite packs so much flavor you can't help but fall in love with the place. I thank Toni and Savannah for recommending the place, and will be back for more soon.

As the week drew to a close, our final activities were the National BBQ Battle and World Cup Soccer. Safeway held their 22nd National BBQ Battle on Pennsylvania Ave Sunday. They had teams from all over the country and samples galore at the event. We tasted various BBQ from each vender, stopping at each both in an attempt to get our fifteen dollars' worth of the event. Nick and I even got a picture in front of the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile.

That night ended with a bitter sweet tie against Portugal. Stephen and I started watching the game in our room, but eventually joined the crowd of onlookers across the street at a restaurant. After conceding an early goal USA played well for the next 90 minutes. The automatic trip to the round of 16 was squandered as Ranoldo had a beautiful cross near the goal which ended in the back of the net with a header from Varela to equalize. It was a heartbreaker in the 95th minute, but I will be in full support come Thursday and our match up against Germany.

From getting my simulations to run to soccer and great BBQ this weekend. I cannot complain about the events. Each week goes by faster than the one before. I can't believe week four is already finished. I am excited to work on Monday and continue modeling the software. I am savoring every moment I am in D.C. This internship won’t last forever, but I will enjoy it while it does and am ready for what Week 5 has in store.

Benjamin Perez