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Monday, August 30, 2010

The Walls Shook and the Foundations Trembled.

The Imaginarium's Receptionist diving for cover
at the first jolt and cheer heard from the Space Center


At 9:40 A.M. Saturday last the walls of the Space Center shook. In fact, the tremors were felt throughout the Imaginarium and Wonderland. I was sitting at my desk working on the September Volunteering and Staff schedule when the shaking started.

The jolt was preceded by Christine Grosland, one of the Odyssey's Flight Directors, announcing to her crew that they had successfully finished their Overnight Mission. A millisecond later there arouse a sound from the bowels of the Odyssey rarely heard at such a deafening volume. The cheering was so enthusiastic and energetic it caused my desk to rattle. The light fixtures overhead shook, sending me in a panic under my desk to cower in fear the fluorescent light bulbs would explode and shower my desk and chair with shards of glass.

"What the ..." I heard Alex shout from the Phoenix Control Room. "Hold on, Its the Big One," he shrieked, and in a panic so unlike the normally placid Alex, shoved his young staff out of the way so he could stand in the doorway for protection. "Its every man for himself," he spat, wildly kicking at anyone who came near him.

The cheering continued for what seemed like minutes. Dust from the overhead rafters began falling. Ceiling tiles broke free and chairs bounced around the room like popcorn in a hot skillet. The youngest of our staff took hold of anything that seemed stable. Their eyes, wide as saucers, as shock set in.

Students, attending Wonderland's School for the Imaginationally Deprived, dive for cover as the shaking started. These students are brought to Wonderland for specialized treatment designed to reignite their imaginations and creativity. For some, its too much TV, or video games. For others it is a lack of play. And for some, it is the result of their school's overemphasis on standardized testing.

Finally, the cheering stopped. The Odyssey went silent and the shaking stopped. Its said the Wasatch Fault moved a good six centimeters Saturday morning, thanks to Christine, her staff and the excellent job they did - which resulted in a cheer heard throughout Wonderland.

Needless to say, the Odyssey scored a perfect 1 across the board, the first for the summer season. Congratulations Christine and your staff. What an awesome job.

Mr. Williamson
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