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March 4, 1999
QuestChat with Marilyn Ramsey

Graphic Designer
Federal Aviation Administration
Hawthorne, California

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 0 - 09:33:20 ]
Hello to our early arriving chat participants! Today's Aerospace Team Online/Wright Flyer Online chat with Marilyn Ramsey will begin at 10:00 a.m., Pacific Standard Time. Be sure you have read Marilyn's profile at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/team/ramsey.html before joining this chat.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 1 - 09:34:31 ]
Once the chat begins, Marilyn will attempt to answer as many of your questions as she can, but please be patient. Today's chat will be MODERATED to allow Marilyn to keep up with our questions. This means that only a few questions would be posted to the chat room at a time. Don't worry if your questions do not appear on your screen immediately during moderation. They will be held in our chat queue and posted as Marilyn answers those ahead of you.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 2 - 09:34:52 ]
Remember to enter "Your Handle" in the box provided before posting messages to the chat room. Once you've done this, please let us know that you have logged on for today's chat.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 3 - 09:35:19 ]
At the conclusion of today's chat, we ask that you take a few minutes to let us know what you thought about it. For your convenience, you may use our online feedback forms at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys. We look forward to hearing from you!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 7 - 09:58:48 ]
And now, here is Marilyn Ramsey to answer your questions.

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 8 - 10:00:01 ]
RE: [Oran/NASAChatHost] Hello and welcome to today's Aerospace Team Online/Wright Flyer Online chat with Marilyn Ramsey. Marilyn assists Wright Flyer team members in tasks like sewing the fabric and fabricating wires on the airplane. She has assisted with preparing the Wright Flyer for wind tunnel testing, and has also acted as photographer to document team events for history files. She has also used her computer skills to support the team members.
Good morning! I am Marilyn from the Wright Flyer Project.

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 10 - 10:01:41 ]
RE: [Lonnie] When you were young, what interested you about drawing and writing?
I have always liked to draw, although I was no expert....but it was fun! I began writing in high school. It got me my first "A" in English. I was hooked ever since!!

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 12 - 10:03:22 ]
I guess I was a little scared. You know the old saying, "a bird in the hand". I had a job, but it was exciting to think of working for the FAA. It has been a very exciting and rewarding experience!

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 15 - 10:05:40 ]
RE: [LonnieandJimmy] What kind of education did you have after high school that helped you bcome a graphic artist?
I have actually had no formal training. I was working as a computer support person, and when graphics first came out in about 1985 for computers, I was interested. I took a course in "desktop publishing" at a local jr. college. We learned about all the graphics programs out there and how to use them.

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 17 - 10:08:43 ]
RE: [Dane] You said in your autobiography that you got bored in school. So do I. What keeps you from getting bored in the job you have now? And how did you keep from getting bored ironing shirts in the Chinese laundry?
On a job, it is easy to sometimes get bored, but if you are in a mode of supporting yourself and your family, you look at it a little different. You will do anything to keep that job. You try to do the best job you can. When I came to the FAA, I thought I would be very inexperienced, but found the people very supportive and they gave me training on the job as well as sent me to many, many classes. I still like to try new things, software programs, anything to do what I do better!

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 19 - 10:11:54 ]
RE: [Deb] What type of work does a graphic artist perform for the FAA? Please tell us about a "typical" day.
I may be asked to do a color cover for binders for a special meeting to be given to all participants. Last week, FAA got the entrants for the 1999 Art Contest, and we had local artists come in an be the judges. The winners were selected and their art was given to me to scan and place on the computer. I scan it, resize, enhance the color as needed, so it can be used during the year. We want to make a poster sized calendar with the winners art work on it. I will get to put that together!

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 22 - 10:16:00 ]
RE: [Deb] How would you counsel middle school students who are interested in a career in graphic arts? What sort of education, hobby, and work options will support their pursuit of this career?
Hi Deb! Until this past year or so, it was very hard to find classes in computer graphics design in local jr. colleges or high schools. Now, the schools are trying to update their equipment - but it is expensive!! I didn't want to spend $500++ on a class. I liked to play with different media at home like colleges' (applying e.g. paper, shells, and dried flowers to create a picture). It may not be the greatest creation, but you learn from each experiment!

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 24 - 10:20:09 ]
RE: [Lonnie] What interested and motivated you to become part of the Wright Flyer Team?
Someone who works where I do saw the airplane and said "You just have to go over and see it!" I figured, "Okay, I don't have anything else to do. I will fill up a Saturday morning." I haven't had a Saturday off now for 9 years!!! This airplane seems to captivate people, me included. I am not an engineer, but I came in to help, and I have helped to fabricate the wires that cross on the two wings, filled sandbags for the "static test" (which showed it was strong enough to come to the NASA wind tunnel), did computer signs for the project location, and later decided to put together a little 20 page booklet on the project. It's fun!

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 25 - 10:21:14 ]
RE: [Dane] Do you work mainly by yourself or with other people? How do you communicate with other people who are working on projects with you?
I usually work on my own and my boss is there if I need assistance. I can do what I think works best.

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 28 - 10:25:30 ]
RE: [Dane] We built models of the Wright Flyer out of recycled materials. It was hard for me to get the fabric to stay on mine. How did you attach the fabric to the Wright Flyer replica? What kind of fabric is it? (I used old sheets.)
The thought of sewing fabric for this airplane is scary! I am not a seamstress. We nail the front around and under the edge. There are little pockets in the fabric which the ribe go through. It's very complicated on the real thing. The thing I thought was really great when I was at Toyon Elementary in San Jose was their project - they made "edible Wright Flyers" out of graham crackers, pretzels and frosting! They were great! (Tastes good too!!!)

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 31 - 10:28:52 ]
RE: [Deb] Could you please explain the process of the static test and how the baggies of sand were used?
To be able to get into the NASA wind tunnel, we had to do a "static test". That means testing the strength of the airplane while it is on the ground (much safer!). It was hung upside down in a structure, and one of the things I had helped with was filling thousands of little baggies with sand - and these were all weighed and labled to go on a precise place on the airplane. When we finished, over 3000 pounds had been placed on the airplane. It came through with flying colors! AND - we are at NASA and in the tunnel!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 33 - 10:34:05 ]
RE: [JimmyandDeb] What do you like most about your job? What do you see as your biggest successes or challenges?
I like the fact that I can do my job without having to "report in". My boss knows I like to do a good job and he lets me make decisions. When you do graphics for other people, sometimes you think something is great.....and they don't like it at all. Other times, you struggle to make something work, and aren't happy with what you have created - and the customer LOVES it. I like to work with people, and I get to take on jobs from folks all over our building. It's fun working on different subjects.....Medical illustrations,. airplanes, etc.

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 36 - 10:36:15 ]
RE: [Deb] I have to ask this one....What types of computers and software do you use in your work? Macs or PCs?
Our company uses PCs. So we are all compatible with each other. Because I work with graphics, I need a BIG disk drive. I work with Photoshop, Pagemaker and Arts and Letters, mainly. I also use other little programs as needed.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 37 - 10:38:20 ]
For those of you leaving us, please share your thoughts about today's chat with us at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys.

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 38 - 10:39:18 ]
RE: [DaneandJimmy] What kind of changes do you think there will be in your field before you retire?
Hi there! It was only a short time ago that computers did not do graphics. Now, we can scan photos that we take ourselves, get graphics over the internet to use, listen to music on a CD while working on the computer, animation, video, special FX! Computer games (programming). It is a very exciting field. You will not get bored. Everything today is touched by computers!

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 41 - 10:42:28 ]
RE: [MrsMetcalf] What kind of advice can you offer us girls about a career at NASA?
Well, I am not a NASA employee, but I would suggest you go to their Quest site and select "Biographys". There are some fascinating prople out there. And they will tell you how they got started, their interests, and their careers. Just think, I am sitting in their media center talking you all of you from a computer! You will probably find any career you are interested in at NASA....FAA or any other company. Just because a company "e.g. builds trucks" doesn't mean that's all they do. They need all these other talents too!

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 44 - 10:44:39 ]
RE: [Deb] Where will the FAA Flight Deck Museum be located? Will there be virtual tours for people who do not live in the area?
Hi Deb, It will be in Hawthorne, CA which is south of Los Angeles Int. Airport. It will be open to all schools and people interested. We plan to have volunteers from the Wright Flyer team available to talk to visitors. I am working on the web page, and I hope it will be up soon! We will put a link up on our Wright Flyer site.

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 45 - 10:46:52 ]
RE: [All] Congratulations on being part of the Wright Flyer Team. Are images you capture going to be on the Wright Flying web site?
Thank you! When I go back home after this test, I have "oodles" of film and video to go through. I will begin putting photos out there. This has been a fabulous experience working with NASA! (Actually, I don't want to go home, but it was great!!!)

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 46 - 10:48:49 ]
RE: [MrsMetcalf] If you could pick any other job for NASA, what would it be?
If I were just starting my career, it would be interesting to be an astronaut. We have a group of folks visiting us today who are becomming astronauts! How exciting.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 48 - 10:52:20 ]
As a reminder, for those of you leaving us, please share your thoughts with us at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys.

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 49 - 10:52:25 ]
RE: [Deb] So the folks at Tonyon Elementary in San Jose also tackled edible Wright Flyers!! Good for them as that is a fun and educational project. (It's much harder than it sounds to do a good job! We struggled!) Speaking of harder than it sounds....What sort of problems do you encounter in your field? What kind of problem solving process do you use?
I think the most important thing I have learned working with this project as well as the FAA "Flight Deck" museum, is that just because it is a great idea doesn't mean that people will automatically say "Yes" to you. We have struggled for many years to make this happen. Don't take "NO" for an answer if you feel something is worthwhile. They told us no for several years, and suddenly, someone said "That's a good idea!" You only fail if you give up. You may get hundreds of no answers. But that one Yes makes it all worthwhile. Stick with it!

[ All - 51 - 10:53:14 ]
We really appreciate you taking the time to chat with us today and to answer our questions! It is also good to hear that you are so successful despite the fact you had to work while you were in high school to help support your family and that your grades were not always great.

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 52 - 10:54:11 ]
RE: [MrsMetcalf] Who is your hero?
Hi Mrs. Metcalf, I guess I don't really have any heros, like TV stars or the like. But working on this project, I have come to really admire the Wright brothers. They didn't take no for an answer either. If they had, we would all still be sitting on the ground!

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 54 - 10:55:14 ]
RE: [All] Good luck to you. We look forwad to checking out your images and to the Flight Deck Museum web site! Thanks again!
Thank you all for your interest and support! You all make it worthwhile to the team. Best Wishes!! Marilyn

[ MarilynRamsey/FAA - 55 - 10:56:58 ]
RE: [MrsMetcalf] Our class has gone to Space camp and is going to the Jason X project!
Wow! That's great. This experience at NASA we will never forget. Get all you can out of the experience. You may end up heading in a whole new surprising direction in your life because of one of these projects! Have an adventure.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 58 - 10:58:21 ]
We will now be ending our chat with Marilyn Ramsey from NASA Johnson Space Center. We would like to thank everyone for joining us today. Our special thanks to Marilyn Ramsey for staying with us to answer our questions, and sharing her career experience and expertise with us.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 59 - 10:59:55 ]
We hope you can join us for our next Aerospace Team Online chat with Steve Bauman from NASA Lewis Research Center. This chat is scheduled for Wednesday, March 10 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. Check the Aerospace Team Online chat schedule page at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting to learn more about this chat. Also check our schedule of events page at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/common/events/ to learn about other upcoming chats with NASA experts.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 60 - 11:00:54 ]
Be sure to share your thoughts about today's chat with us at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys. Please join us again!


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