Saturday was a bitter sweet day. I’ll get right to it. (by the way, Saturday was yesterday for those of you that sleep most of the day and get up only to eat and..... well.... you know).
45 fifth graders attended our overnight camp. Many of the them came from the school’s ALL class (the we’re smart and you’re not class). The flight directors, for the most part, reported great kids. I'm happy to hear things like that. If the kids are good then the staff has fun and if the staff have fun then they continue to volunteer.
I was woken up in the middle of the night by a vomit discharge. Luckily the boy made it to the trash can in time. Jon P. took care of it for me, leaving me to my slumber (or the sorry excuse you call the kind of sleep I get at the Space Center). I did a bit of math a few months ago to calculate how many nights I’ve actually spent at the Space Center chaperoning younglings over the last 19 + years. Are you ready for this? A LITTLE OVER 3 SOLID YEARS WORTH. That’s right friends, we are talking nearly 1,200 days of sleeping on the floor in front of my desk! You may wonder what drives me to do it? Well........ I’ll tell you what drives me........ or I will once I get it figured out.
OK, back to Saturday. During our short ten minute wake up meeting in Discovery several of the staff were shocked to see multiple boxes of chocolate covered donuts (nutrition rings as I like to call them) for the staff and camper's breakfast. Last week I wrote about my switch from purchasing glazed only donuts (as I did religiously for 19 years) to a mix of glazed and chocolate donuts. I asked the surprised staff if they read the post I wrote on the subject in The Troubadour (the Space Center’s Blog). To my surprise many of them said they didn't read the Blog. One of the junior high staff said, “I’ll go awhile and not read the blog and when I finally get to it there are so many posts I just go to something else.” He said it bluntly and then stuffed his face with another bite of chocolate donut. I wanted to slap him up alongside the head.
Another teen staff said, “I’d read it but you use big words.” BIG WORDS! I just about lost it. I apologized to the assembled staff, promising I’d be careful in my choice of words in the future. In my apology I said, ”I’m sorry for using more than one syllable words. I’m sorry for writing posts longer than two paragraphs. I’m sorry for wanting to keep you updated on news. I’m sorry for taking rather boring news and fictionalizing it up a bit for interest’s sake, I’m sorry for even attempting to take a portion of your internet game time, I’m sorry for our failing schools and lousy teachers. After all the years you’ve all been in school and you can’t sit still still long enough to get thorough a post? Well it has to be the teacher’s fault. It can’t be yours, can it? I’m sorry America is producing a new generation that must be entertained all the time.
Does this generation have the attention span of a goldfish? Is this a generation that can tell you the history of every Mario Brothers game produced but can’t identify the person on the five dollar bill? Very well. I'll surrender? I'll write future posts in a style more fitting several members of my staff? Here goes nothing..........................
My News, by Mr. Williamson
Characters in my Saturday News:
Kyle: Builder of the New Galileo, the Old Galileo and almost everything else at the Space Center)
Brittney: Set Director of the Magellan simulator.
Stacy: Set Director of the Galileo simulator.
Ben: New Galileo Flight Director.
Megan: Set Director of the Phoenix. Leaving on a mission in two weeks to South Korea.
Emily: Set Director of the Odyssey.
Bracken: Flight Director of all our ships.
Brady: Flight Director of the Voyager.
Bradyn: Flight Director of the Voyager.
Matt Long: Guild Master for the Programmers.
Spencer: Space Center Maintenance.
The camp ended at 10:00 A.M. We had a nice meeting. We talked about the campers scores. The Voyager won the prize for best scores. Brady cheered. Bradyn cheered. All were happy. I was happy.
I did paperwork. I did lots of paperwork. I don’t like paperwork. Do you like paperwork? If you like paperwork then you should come to the school and do my paperwork. I’d like that.
It was cold on Saturday. Were you cold? I was cold. I think everyone was cold. Emily told me she was cold. She shivered. You would have felt sorry for her if you were here. You could of given her a hug to warm her up. Emily would slap you if you gave her a hug. Maybe you shouldn't give her a hug.
We have people that like to program computers. They have their own club. They call it the Programmer’s Club. Matt Long runs the Programming Club. Can you say Programmer’s Club? They meet at the school every Saturday. They are writing new programs for the new Galileo ship. I think they are doing a good job. They showed me their new programs. I thought they were good. I told them they were good. I said,
"I think your programs are good," They smiled and said I was a good person to say that their programs were good. I felt good about being a good person. Are you a good person? I like good people.
Kyle and Spencer worked on the new Galileo all day today. The new Galileo will open next week. I'm excited. Are you excited? I know, let's all be excited together! Ready........... one........two...........three.......... HURRAY. WE ARE ALL EXCITED TOGETHER.
I was sitting at my desk doing paperwork. Kyle came in and said a bad word. I was sad when Kyle said the bad word. I said, "Kyle, why did you say a bad word?" He said, "I said a bad word because this 4 channel HDMI switcher doesn't work. It is the second one we bought from the store and I'm mad. That's the reason I said a bad word."
"Kyle, you can be mad and not say bad words. Would you like to know how?" I asked. Kyle nodded his head. "Would I ever, Can you really teach me how to be mad and not say bad words Mr. Williamson?" Kyle asked while clapping his hands.
"Yes you can," I said. "Now, when you get mad I want you to think happy thoughts. If you think happy thoughts you won't want to say bad words," I said.
"Can we try?" Kyle asked.
"I'd like to very much," I replied. "OK, you pretend you don't know this is broken. I'll bring it to you and tell you its broken. The minute I say its broken you start thinking happy thoughts. Are you ready?"
"Can I get someone to help me?" Kyle asked. I said yes. Kyle ran out of the room. I did more paperwork. He didn't come back for a long time. I was worried. I stood up to go find him.
Then he came in with Brittney Vanders (she has a foreign last name that you might not know how to say so I made her name American so you can say it easier and wouldn't be sad).
"Where were you Kyle?" I asked. "I was getting worried."
"I'm sorry but I had to go potty. I found Brittney on my way back. She said she wanted to play so we held hands and skipped back. Brittney will help me not say bad words."
"I'm happy to play," Brittney said as she curtsied.
"Oh no, I forgot to wash my hands after going poo poo," Kyle said. "I'll be right back."
Kyle ran out of the room. Brittney looked at her hand. Then she looked at me. Her face was turning green.
"Brittney, your face is all green. What's wrong?" I asked. Brittney put her hand over her mouth. I could tell she was sick. She ran out of the room. I heard a splashing sound in the hallway. Do you like splashing sounds? Splashing sounds remind me of swimming and swimming is fun. I heard someone shout my name. I think shouting is rude, don't you? I stood up. I was angry. Stacy walked into the room.
"Was that you shouting at me?" I asked. "Shouting is rude."
"Brittney threw up in the hall?" Stacy said.
"So that wasn't a happy splashing sound?" I asked. Stacy nodded no. I said a bad word.
Later in the day, after we had our graham crackers and milk, Kyle and Brittney came in so we could play the game.
"Kyle," I said. "the HDMI switch doesn't work."
"Happy Thoughts..... Happy Thoughts.....," Brittney said. She was bouncing up and down, hoping her playing made a difference. Kyle stopped and closed his eyes.
"Darn it," he said.
Brittney and I jumped up and down clapping our hands. The game worked. Kyle opened his eyes.
"I didn't swear did I?" he asked.
"No, you said darn it. You win!" I shouted.
"I won.... I won!" Kyle said while running around the room giving everyone a high five. I reached into my desk and gave him a handful of Magic Medicine. We really have a good time at the Space Center, don't we boys and girls?
Later in the day I took my camera and walked to the cafeteria to take pictures of everyone working on the new Galileo. Would you like to see the pictures? I'll put them right here for you to look at.
At 5:00 P.M. it was time to go home. I put on my coat. Everyone was putting on their coats. We were all putting on our coats because it was cold outside and when its cold outside you put on your coat. I said goodbye to everyone but Stacy and Ben.
"Where are Stacy and Ben?" I asked.
"We don't know where Stacy and Ben are," everyone answered.
"Let's all look for Stacy and Ben because its cold outside and if they went outside when its cold they could get into trouble."
Megan started crying. Everyone ran to her and made a happy circle to make her feel better.
"I don't want Stacy and Ben to be outside in the cold," Megan said. "They could freeze and Stacy is my friend."
"Don't worry, I found them," Bracken shouted from down the hall. I was angry because Bracken shouted but I didn't want to say anything because Megan was sad. We followed Bracken to the cafeteria. We found Stacy and Ben sitting behind the Galileo crying.
"We're sorry we scared everyone," Stacy said, while wiping a tear off her cheek.
"Yes, we are very sorry," Ben replied.
"Why are you sad?" Everyone asked at the same time.
"We are sad because this was the old Galileo's last overnight camp. We are sad because our old friend is going away," Stacy explained. Ben nodded his head up and down while Stacy talked.
"But you get a new Galileo," I said while pointing to the shining new Galileo parked on the other end of the room.
Stacy stared crying louder. Ben cried more too. Ben's nose started to run. Ben's face became all sticky.
"Please don't cry," Emily said. "It will make us all cry and I want to be happy because we have church tomorrow."
"Why did you have to say that?" Stacy and Ben both cried louder. Everyone started crying then. It was sad.
"Hey everyone!" Kyle shouted from the other side of the room. He was standing on top of the new Galileo. "Think Happy Thoughts?"
And you know what? It worked. We all started thinking happy thoughts and the sad went away.
That Kyle really knows how to make everyone feel good. We all like Kyle.
Well, that was my Saturday. I'm tired from all this writing. I think I'll lay down and take a nap.