WEEK 4!!! I cannot believe that a month has passed by already...time really flies when you’re eating borsch and drinking Fanta. This week has topped all the others because my russian family whom I’ve seen only a few times came to visit me from the Ural mountain city of Ijevsk. I was also in dire need a haircut and decided to visit a russian barber shop. The lady there did a great job despite almost leaving me looking like a mushroom. The University of Aerospace Instrumentation has also assigned me further topics of research involving Six Sigma, quality management, and RFID technology.
Uncle Vladik, Grandmother Roza, Me
My grandmother’s and uncle’s visit has definitely been the highlight of my trip thus far! I have only seen them three times in my life and we spent our short time together by visiting the Hermitage, the Russian Museum, and a Swan Lake ballet performance at a beautiful theatre right across the street from the famous Kirov Theatre in St. Petersburg!
Grandmother and Me outside of a Grand Cathedral
The Hermitage was as beautiful as it was large, being at one time the winter palace of Russia’s great Tsars. It is one of the worlds most, if not the most, grandest collection of artwork and historical masterpieces. Beginning in the 18th century, Catharine the Great purchased a considerable amount of artwork from all over europe that laid the foundation for today’s Hermitage Museum. Over 3 million pieces of artwork reside within that museum which would take a person 20 years to see all of it if they were restless observers.
The following day we visited the Russian Museum which displayed a beautiful collection of artwork by russian artists ONLY. There were hundreds of paintings depicting famous nobles and royalty, writers and poets, and biblical scenes. Many of the paintings were landscapes of St. Petersburg done 200 or more years ago and I found it interesting that the view the artist saw back then is almost the same view people see today!
As for research assignments, I have been digging deeper into how RFID’s ( Radio Frequency Identifiers) work and their applications in industry. This technology is in fact very popular, one example of its use being the Western Student One card which lets us get into all locked classrooms! Six Sigma is the second topic I have been studying and it is essentially the study of producing more value at less cost within any process, organization, etc. It is a handy thing for all engineers and managers to know!
That raps up my summary of week 4. Only 5 more weeks left until I will be off to Finland for more interesting adventures.