March 4, 1999
QuestChat with Marilyn Ramsey
Federal Aviation Administration
- 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.
- 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
- 2 - 09:34:52 ]
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- 3 - 09:35:19 ]
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use our online feedback forms at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys.
We look forward to hearing from you!
- 7 - 09:58:48 ]
And now, here is Marilyn Ramsey to answer your questions.
- 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.
- 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!!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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
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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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
- 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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!!!)
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
Thank you all for your interest and support! You all make it worthwhile
to the team. Best Wishes!! Marilyn
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 60 - 11:00:54 ]
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