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, May 6, 2012

A Weekend Posting.


Hello Troops,
Yesterday a few of the staff made a comment regarding my infrequent posts to The Troubadour.
"Maybe I just don't have anything to say," I responded.  They laughed.
"Mr. Williamson with nothing to say!"  snorted one of them from the back of the room.  They enjoyed a laugh at my expense.  I shrugged the comment off, refusing to let it dampen my spirits.  It was closing time on Saturday.  My week was done.  It was time to go home.

It's Sunday morning.  I slept and feel 70% refreshed, the bare minimum to contemplate a Troubadour post.  Some kind of caffeine infusion should get me to to the 75% mark.  Some feeling should return to my extremities.  Having the ability to feel where my arms, hands and fingers are in relation to space / time will restore my ability to string sentences together into a jumble of a paragraph.  Cutting to the point I'm laboring to make - here comes the Space Center news.


Aleta Clegg was summoned to the Space Center early Saturday morning to receive her Ten Years of Service Pin.  Aleta is a  person with a closet full of hats.  She is a Space Center educator, planetarium manager,  curriculum writer, summer camp kitchen manager and runs the Space Center office when I'm in the Voyager running field trips.  She has also been known to come to work with a plate full of delicious home made cookies (and if I beg loud enough, she will make rhubarb pie, one of my favorites).  Congratulations Aleta and thank you for giving the Space Center 10 years of devoted service.  Let me also add that we are all very happy your husband got a job at BYU.  Your threatened move to Washington State is now behind us and life returns to normal, or as normal as we get at the Space Center.


This is Phoenix Flight Director and All Around Awesome Person Megan Warner (aka, M, the Destroyer of Worlds in the late evening hours).  Megan is seen here glowing over the praise given her by the rest of the Overnight Camp staff.  Megan and her Phoenix Dream Team won that week's trophy for All Around Best Ship based on the post camp surveys taken by the 43 campers attending from the West Jefferson School District in Idaho.  Megan and her team told the Phoenix's new summer mission for the first time to a paying crew.  

This is amazing, getting the Best Ship Trophy on the first telling of a new mission.  No wonder Megan was showered in praise, no wonder she is seen here glowing and looking off into the distance while pondering her next miracle (mind you, both the Odyssey and Phoenix crews had trouble getting around her for the first hour or so of Saturday's Super Saturday Day Camp.  The place where she stood, right in front of the Space Center's logo, is right smack in the way of both the Odyssey and Phoenix's main crew entrances.  I tried to get her to move to the lobby and continue her Glow but Megan refused.  She stood stubbornly right by the two small ships). 




The Space Center's own Wyatt Lenhart (on the left) spent the weekend in Georgia shooting the pilot episode for a new online Star Trek series (http://www.startrekcontinues.com).  Wyatt was cast as young Mr. Chekhov. I begged and bribed anyone associated with the production for the part but was turned down. They told me I was just a bit too old and didn't look Russian enough (they were looking for a young Slavic baby face - someone who looked like he could hold his Vodka and deliver a classic Chekhov sneer on Que).  Wyatt posted this picture on Facebook.  He and Sulu are at their console familiarizing themselves with the Enterprizes' controls.  Wyatt dyed his hair to look more convincing.

Now, if we could only get Wyatt to read his working schedule at the Space Center.  You remember the Space Center Wyatt, that place where we fly kids around on Starships for real....... ah, well...... sort of ....... Anyway - read your working schedule!  The Odyssey doesn't fly itself you know.


Nicole is a Flight Director and Supervisor at the Space Center.  This week she showed her domestic side and sewed a new cushion for the Magellan's brig seat.  No longer will the Magellan's prisoners be forced to put their evil backsides on a hard wooden bench.  It's only the best for the Magellan's prisoners.  Nicole sees to that.



This was Teacher Appreciation Week at Central Elementary School, home of the Space Educator Center.   Friday was crazy balloon hat day.  At 9:30 A.M. a member of the PTA caught me in the Center's doorway.
"This is your alien balloon hat!" she said excitedly.  "Put it on and wear it all day."
The hat was ingenious with a creativity score nearly off the charts.  I tried to put it on and discovered it would be a real tight squeeze.  I guess I've got a really big head.  Besides, I was in panic mode.  The Voyager's Engineering Computer was on the fritz and stopped working.  Mr. Schuler and Spenser were attempted to swap out the broken computer with one of our spares while I dealt with a newly arrived bus full of overly excited children.  I'm sorry to confess that the hat and I never really did become acquainted.  I left it on my file cabinet.  I'm betting I'm on the PTA's list of naughty teachers and for that I'm truly sorry.

Jake found my hat on Saturday and begged me to give it up for adoption.  At first I said "No" thinking I would wear it for a bit on Monday morning to demonstrate my school spirit.  His look of disappointment gave me a reason to reconsider.  Jake put the hat on and I snapped the picture.
"I tell you what," I said as he returned the balloon hat to the file cabinet.  "I'll let him take the alien hat home as long as you promise you'll wear it to church on Sunday."
"I promise!" Jake said.


In addition to the balloon hat, I was the proud recipient of this PTA billboard on display near the Space Center's main door.  Many commented that it was the best of all the billboards put up to honor teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week and I agree.
I agree it is the best billboard and I agree 100% with its message.
 Let there be no doubt, I am out of this World.    


   
Megan Warner's Prideful Glow ended just in time for a 5:00 P.M. Saturday evening staff meeting to discuss and plot out the schedule for this summer's Leadership Camp for 15 to 17 year olds.  Attending were Flight Directors and Supervisors all assigned to work the camp.  Please notice the refreshments.  This is what it takes to get the staff to stay after a long week and even longer weekend.  There was sugar in abundance thanks to Megan's generosity.  The staff thanked her.  Megan stood to accept their praise and froze in pose.  The meeting stalled.

"There she goes again, off in la la land," Emily remarked while fishing through the Oreo's for the one with the most double stuffing.


Emily was right.  Megan stood near the front desk looking up at the ceiling tiles.  She held one hand off to her side while the other reached upward and onwards to the heavens.  She was looking to the future and guiding us to a victorious summer camp season (we still don't know where the red robe came from and how she got it on without anyone noticing).   

Bracken Funk and I left the Space Center just as the Leadership Camp meeting stalled so Megan could finish her vision.  We drove to Provo to attend Kyle and Michelle Herring's wedding reception. 



Kyle Herring is one of the Space Center's foundation stones.  He has been a great friend and helper for many many years.  Kyle was the driving force behind the construction of the Phoenix, Magellan and Galileo.  He oozes with creativity and imagination.  The Space Center is a better place because of him.

Kyle and Michelle made a lovely couple.  We spoke for awhile and then I surrendered them to a few other people in the reception line.  There was something more important needing my attention.  All that talking was exhausting and the refreshment table was my oasis in the dessert (the goodies were lip smacking good - especially the fruit tarts).

"Better go Kyle," I said while spitting crumbs from my overstuffed mouth.  "It's a Saturday and if I don't leave now I'm afraid I'll fall asleep at the wheel."

"No, don't go," Kyle begged.  He looked around at the beautifully decorated room.   It was nearly empty.  "Who am I going to throw the garter too?"
  

 

 I was tempted to stay, but I had the newest episodes of  Whale Wars recorded and waiting for me at home.
"Kyle, Whale Wars..." I whispered.
"I know, I know."  He looked disappointed.  Can you at least stay long enough for us to cut the cake.  We need someone to applaud.  I thought for a moment and decided that Whale Wars could wait

(truthfully, we got there before the reception started so I could get a few pictures.  It was a one of the best receptions I've been to and very well attended).  



 
The Leadership Camp was still going strong when I got back to the school to check on things before heading home.  This is what I call real dedication.  The Space Center has an awesome staff. 


 And Now, from the Imagainarium......


I rarely go to McDonald's, but when I do I always order the Happy Meal.  The portions are perfect for a quick lunch.  And yes, I get that look, especially when I tell them I want a toyless Happy Meal.  











The Double Helix of life





And from the Imaginarium's Shop of Unknown Pleasures..










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