Visit SpaceCampUtah.org to learn more about the Space Education Centers in Utah. Visit SpaceGuard.org and ProjectVoyager.org for information on joining a simulator based school space and science club.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Can We CoExist?


This Blog is a place where I record things for our collective memory - good, bad, and annoying.
Speaking of annoying - how about the Odyssey's close proximity to the school's library? We've been working with Central School’s Librarians ever since the Odyssey opened to find ways to stem the flow of bleeding sound from the simulator into the Library. Every year it comes to a head and then resolved. That tradition was continued last week with a note in my mail box from our librarian. The note was written politely. It said the noise was excessive and correction was needed. The note was to the point. Do you get a mental picture of a school librarian in plaid skirt, white blouse with glasses hanging around neck and hair up in a bun writing that note? Now add a sledge hammer in her hands. Do you see her taking massive swings, sending the iron top of the hammer into the shared cinder block wall between the Odyssey and library? The sparks and chips would provide the urgency in her note.

In addition to the noise her note complained that her repeated knocks on the Odyssey’s door, her way to tell you to turn the sound down, were ignored. She asked me to intercede for her sanity’s sake. I should of taken the matter into hand earlier in the year. Instead, I let it slip. The science of procrastination teaches that unpleasant tasks are best left to another day. That failed philosophy has Janet at the point of no return. If success isn’t achieved soon Dr. Carter will be drawn in for mediation. Our principal has enough on her plate so we needed to step up to the plate and do the right thing.
One solution would present a new challenge - running a mission with no sound. I suppose we could do everything through headphones or all of us could learn American Sign Language. That would also required the teaching of the language to our campers as part of their mission training. Training time would be increased from 30 minutes to several months or more for a private two and one half hour mission. Costly and not practical but you all know me - I always consider all alternatives before a course of action is taken.
Emily Perry, Odyssey’s Set Director, offered another promising solution. She suggested we clip the vocal chords of BJ Warner, our Decibel DJ and master violator of the peace. It was funny to imagine, but discarded in the end. BJ hopes to have a career on stage - as a actor, not a mime.
My final solution was both novel and imaginative. I ordered the sound turned down. Our librarian is satisfied. Making her happy would involve C4 explosives but she saw the need for compromise. She can be seen wandering the school with a noticeable smile. The nervous twitching around her eyes has stopped. The Odyssey Flight Directors, on the other hand, feel I’ve abandoned my principles. They describe me as having a bright yellow streak running down my back. I have two new nicknames. The more educated call me Chamberlain while others are fond of Benedict Arnold.
The Odyssey Flight Directors will adjust to flying with whisper technology and should be more relaxed knowing that the Odyssey and library will peacefully coexist.

Now I go to my room and sit quietly,
Mr. Williamson
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