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.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

This Week in Review Plus: Things You'll Never Hear Spoken at the Space Center


Hello Troops,
This is the last week of February. The call for March volunteering is out. Staff and volunteers, please send your requests back to me as soon as possible.

We had a good week for the most part. There was a glitch with the Odyssey’s Junior Simulator Controls. I suppose it was more than a glitch. They wouldn’t work at all. I should have described it as a cascade failure. I don’t know exactly why the word ‘cascade’ seems to make the word failure more horrible than it is but it does, don’t you agree? Christine was the Flight Director. She continued merrily (as Christine always does) and had two staff in the simulator calling out what the youngsters were doing so she could make the correct effects. If you work here long enough you soon learn the skill of dealing with no network. Your bridge officer says something like, “Oh look at that, you went to WARP 3 so well. I liked the way you clicked on that button. Such skill and wrist action. Good for you for taking the ship to WARP 3.” Of course if you’re working with an older group they give you a look of disbelief when you talk like that. I’m sure they think the Space Center is a place like Deseret Industries - you know - offering employment to special people.

On Wednesday I asked Alex A. to revise the Junior Controls so they are at best reliable and at worst semi reliable. He agreed. Results are forthcoming, which will make every Odyssey Flight Director happy, especially Aleta our Junior Flight Specialist. “Look at Aleta, She is Happy. Happy is Aleta. Good Job Aleta being so Happy!” OK , I’ll stop now and move on.

On Friday I had a real treat. I watched Saint Sheila of Lehi play football with a group of our young third graders before the 9:00 A.M. bell rang. You’re wondering why that would be considered a real treat? What if I told you she was wearing her Star Trek Uniform. Oddly funny is a better way to describe it. Every one of her throws wobbled to the point of almost being non-aerodynamic but they traveled far enough to get caught. Sheila kept apologizing for “Throwing like a girl”. The boys didn’t mind. Kids like a teacher’s attention, even if she is wearing a Star Trek uniform and standing on the school’s front lawn at the busiest time of the morning so every car pulling up to the school gets a full vision of life at Central Elementary. Yep.......... you got it. Of course I don’t know what is the stranger sight, Sheila in her Star Trek uniform or me in my bright Florescent orange pumpkin suit (Crossing Guard vest) complete with Space Center emblem?

We had Honor’s Night on Thursday evening in the Discovery Room. Not a very big turn out. That was OK by me - all the more cake for those of us that attended. Many of our staff and volunteers were awarded their 1 and 5 year service pins. Others received their pillowcases and blankets. And others got their simulator pins for passing off the stations. We have pins for every simulator. You wear the ship pin on your lanyard if you have its passes. Patrons may purchase the pins in the gift shop. A special thanks to Dave Daymont for his work on pin design. Dave says others helped, Stacy for instance, but I don’t know who all of them are so I’ll say thanks to all of you in a generic sort of way. Thanks.
We watched Megan’s slide show at the end of the evening. I’d never seen it and was impressed. Megan did a great job. If you’ve not seen it ask to see it. I think we will show it at all gatherings

Did you know there are some things you will never hear at the Space Center? Here are some examples only our employees and volunteers will appreciate. All others reading this post can go to sleep, browse elsewhere, get up for a drink, use the toilet or just go to bed.

THINGS YOU’LL NEVER HEAR SPOKEN AT THE SPACE CENTER IN A MILLION BILLION YEARS.

Mark Daymont: "We're going to do a different mission today in the Magellan. No Death Trap
today!"

Bill Schuler: “That was a great story on first reading. No further editing is required. Your story is good to be told. What skill, what writing. You are a credit to your family and nation. A new Ernest Hemmingway.”

Dave Daymont: “Thank you for calling me at the last second and asking me to take another Phoenix mission. I had plans to do something else but last minute missions are my specialty. Golly I’m lucky.”

Mr. Williamson: “If you’re going to Harts please pick me up a bottled water. One must watch one’s health. Don’t you agree?”

Aleta Clegg: “Perikoi is my best mission. I’m so excited when I get to tell it to our visiting sixth grade classes.”

Lorraine Houston: “I brought a cake from WalMart’s bakery. They are so much better than anything I can do at home. You know me in the kitchen - all thumbs I’m afraid. Well, thumbs and a bit of blood if you let me near the knifes.”

Metta Smith: “Please leave those shirts untucked. I mean right now! Don’t you make me come over there and untuck it for you. Listen all of you, you’ll get the sharp edge of my tongue if you don’t listen to me.”

Megan Warner: “ Please lean back in the chairs. Please leave your personal belongings in my Control Room and Briefing Room.”

Megan Warner: “Hello Children, this is our transporter room. Aren’t we excited? I can see it in your eyes you little darling. Now, we are all going to go into this room and wait for the transporter sound. You will be magically transported to the Phoenix waiting for you way up there in the sky. Also, be sure to touch the walls when you go in. There will be a shock but well worth the experience. Everyone in. Isn’t this fun? Are we all ready? “

Bradyn Lystrup: “Shadows is my mission. I own Shadows. I’ve always owned Shadows. Did I mention it was MY mission. Yes, I’m all that and more.”

Kyle Herring: “OK, I finished everything on the repair list. The Space Center is in tip top shape."

Christine G: “I’m so depressed. Nothing works right. I can’t get through this. Oh the humanity. I’m going to lay down right here on the control room floor and sleep. I can’t cope. I can’t go on.”

Rachel H: “Me too”

Stacy Carroll: “I know I’m early to work. It shouldn’t surprise you. I’m what’s known as a morning person. I thrive in the morning. I’m awake before dawn busy as a bee.”

Sheila Powell: “I’ve never met a child I didn’t like. Children are angels. If they are disrespectful in class its my fault. I must not be doing the right things to entertain them. Children can’t be expected to show self control. Its not in their nature.”

Bill Schuler: “Please let me offer you my work space here in the Briefing Room. I’m working at the school today but see you need a place to work yourself. I’m perfectly willing to work right here beside you on the floor. I only need a little corner and access to electricity.
If there is anything else I can do to make you more comfortable at my desk please don’t hesitate to ask.”

Kyle Herring: “I’m changing my hair style to something more natural for my age. I think I’m going for a Victor Williamson hair cut. It has worked well for him for the last 50 years so learn from the best - that’s what I always say.”

Victor Williamson: “Wasn’t that fun having me spend the entire overnight camp in your ship watching you fly. I learned so much. This week I plan on spending all my free time in the simulators watching mission after mission after mission. I just can’t get enough. Hey everybody, let’s get together and discuss your mission ideas as well.”

Warren N.: “Socialism is the only real form of government. The government has a responsibility to care for the weak and lazy. We all need a rock solid safety net under us for hard times.”

Kyle Herring: “Ditto”

Jace (Central): ‘silence’

Brock B: “Mr. Williamson, I’d love to spend more time in the Magellan but you keep putting me in the Voyager. Please can I get to do what I want to do sometime?”

Spencer M: “I’m nothing. I worthless. I’m the worst player on my church ball team. I don’t know why they put up with me. If I could only make one basket. Oh what’s the use?”

Spenser D: “I really enjoy all the kids you send into the Voyager to work with me. They are so full of life and energy. It makes my day to get to train them how to do the acting parts. I get a kick out of the cute things they say. Oh, and if they refuse to do what I say as Supervisor, I’ll forgive them because, after all, they are just kids. We can’t expect them to accept responsibility and the value of a job well done, can we?”

Mr. Williamson: “The best part of my job is dealing with personality issues. I love to mediate conflict between staff and volunteers. I thrive on staff misunderstandings. I get a kick out of ironing out the petty issues that arise from any organization staffed with multiple humans.”

Yes my friends, those are things you’ll never, ever hear spoken at the Space Center.

Now let’s have a great week at school, at work, and at home. Remember, the Space Center is a home to all of us. Let’s work hard to help it achieve its potential and an influence for good and learning not only for the students but our staff and volunteers as well.

Mr. Williamson
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