Monday, July 9, 2012

How many interns does it take to find 36 random items on a large college campus?

Day 1
Today we had our first day as interns at RIT, and while the day was fun I am kind of overwhelmed. Right after the morning meeting we were separated into different groups for a scavenger hunt. Even though my group (And I know your names now; Olivia, Tyler, Denise, and Sadie) had some trouble finding the objects at first (despite the help of a list from Tyler's Dad) we still had a lot of fun getting lost. Now however, I can honestly say that I know more about getting lost than ever before! After that we were treated to some delicious potato pizza (I didn't even know that existed), and edited video clips from our campus wide escapade into a coherent mess of slow-motion and crazy antics. Sadly, our group lost, no wait, tied for second out of the three groups there, but on the plus side we won a plethora of paper plate awards. Once we had heard the judges verdict we each separated into our separate labs. I am working, as indicated by the title of my blog, in the Historical Document Restoration lab, which is in itself, a misnomer. In reality, the work of the lab involves visual analysis using various imaging techniques (such as ultraviolet light spectroscopy, and x-ray imaging) to uncover ancient texts which have been covered over with other writings. There isn't any real alteration or restoration done to the documents. Anyways, the focus of my summer will be on the Archimedes Palimpsest, an ancient manuscript written by Archimedes, which has been scraped off and used as parchment for a prayer book. Roger Easton, (for anyone who doesn't already know, Roger is one of the imaging scientists responsible for the work on the Archimedes Palimpsest) went over my goal this summer which is to create a decent alternative to the current website for the project, which will be more accessible for scholars. Although a lot of my work will consist of HTML programming and file conversion, I am excited (I know most people would probably not feel the same way). Like Roger said, even when the work gets tedious, it's important, and will be greatly appreciated. Plus, I get to work with images which, although I can't read Greek, are still really cool, and it's exciting to know their history, and the science that helped to produce them. Like I said it's a lot to take in. So now I will just sit back with a glass of ice water, and let the day's events sink in.

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