What Heck Week Does to a Space Center Employee. Ben, Galileo Flight Director at the start of the week Monday.
Ben, Wednesday morning.
Fatigue has set in.
Silliness sets in. Mental capacities are diminished.
Any semblance of self respect quickly fade.
The mind has difficultly separating reality from fantasy.
You begin to look like the characters you play.
Dementia sets in
The cots next to mine are occupied by the flight directors, supervisors, volunteers, chaperons, kitchen staff and teachers who survived the summer of 2012's Heck Week! We are battered, bloodied, bruised and bitten and yet here we are. KAOS threw everything they had at us and we stood our ground. The battle is over. We are victorious.
My staff and volunteers tell me this is where I belong after
setting up the summer's camp calendar with two EdVenture Camps back to back.
I hate to disappoint them, but I already own a condo in Luneville, along with
several acres of land reserved for anyone who continues to work and /or volunteer at the Space Center
for an extended period of time :)
I'm watching as the Imaginarium's mobile surgical unit's nurses move from cot to cot administering medicines and checking wounds. A couple flight directors are laughing toward the front of the large medical tent. I see a grassy field surrounded by a dark forest framed by the tent's large opening. The sky is overcast looking anxious to relieve itself of the rain it holds.
"We did it." Bracken gave Jon a high five from across the aisle separating their cots.
"We did. Don't ask me how. Anyone know where Bradyn is?" Jon asked.
"Are we all here?" I called out.
"Yes sir," answered a familiar voice. Megan waved one of her crutches over head so I knew where she was.
"Phoenix staff all accounted for. Dave is in a bit of a coma. The nurses say the blunt force trauma wound to his head won't have any lasting effect. Miranda is next to me. She lost her voice but is waving hello. Chelsea is throwing up. I knew Heck Week would be too much for a new Flight Director."
"Magellan staff and volunteers all alive and nearly well." Zac answered from the edge of his cot. His curly hair was drawn into a pony tail to keep it out of his face giving the nurses access to a nasty cut running from his left ear to his chin. A loud snort rang out across the tent startling one of the nurses. She dropped her metal tray of bandages.
"That's Mr. Daymont. He's got a broken nose," Zac said to calm everyone's anxious nerves. "Nicole has gone to the mess tent trying to arrange an early meal for everyone. Brittney only has a scratch or two so they have her stapling and filing papers at headquarters."
Ben stood up to get my attention. "The Galileo staff is here. Erin is next to me. Stacy is out in the latrine."
"Odyssey?" I called. "Odyssey?"
Josh struggled to his feet. "James is in surgery. Emily is good shape and went out to get some fresh air. I'm doing OK except for a dislocated shoulder. The last time I saw Adam he was out talking to a group of nurses and Devin is asleep over there," he said pointing to a far corner of the medical tent.
"What's wrong with James?" I asked on behalf of everyone who was listening.
"He took a hit to the lung. They're reinflating his lung now."
One of the nurses overhead the conversation. "He'll be fine," she said as she walked by with a pill and glass of water. "Pain killer?" she asked.
"No pain killers for me. Give it to someone on my staff who needs it more than I," I spoke loud enough for everyone to hear.
"We have plenty of pain kil....."
I stopped her in mid sentence. "Shhhh!" I whispered. "Let them think I'm making a sacrifice on their behalf. It will help their recovery. Lifting their spirits, you know. That sort of a thing."
"Gotcha," the nurse tapped the side of her nose with her finger and moved along.
Mrs. Houston sat outside the front flap of the hospital tent enjoying a late afternoon wind heralding the arrival of a storm. She was talking to someone outside of view while sewing one of our uniforms.
"Where is Aleta?" I asked. Aleta Clegg runs the kitchen, and everyone knows the kitchen keeps the Space Center's campers, staff and volunteers well fed. An army marches on its stomach and Aleta keeps our stomach's full.
"She's out here with me," Mrs Houston called back. "She's OK except for a couple burns on the back of her head and neck. A shell exploded over the mess tent right before our last camp's pizza lunch. The shrapnel missed her but the tent caught fire. A bit of the burning canvas landed in her hair. Lucky for her, Micah was on hand to douse the flames with the homemade dry ice root beer."
"They found Bradyn," Jon shouted. "He's with Adam."
"No problems with Bradyn then," I observed.
Matt Ricks entered the tent wearing his pajamas. "I've got everyone's meds!" he shouted. He was carrying an assortment of candy from the camp's canteen. He stood in the doorway, tore open a box of Hot Tamales, poured them into his hand and threw them out into the room. Hot Tamales rained down on nearly everyone.
"Hot Tamales are my favorite," Morgan exclaimed as jumped up to collect the candy from the cots of the sleeping staff and volunteers.
"How about some more!" Matt said as he started to open a box of Sugar Babies. Two men wearing the white coats of the Psychology Ward arrived. Matt saw them and took off jumping over cot after cot in an attempt to keep his distance. They chased him down and tackled him to the floor. The semi comatose Dave Daymont was knocked out of his cot. He didn't wake. Matt was half carried half walked from the tent.
"Sorry folks," the orderly apologized as they exited the tent.
"I'll be back with more medicine," Matt's voice was heard amidst the shuffling of feet on the hard rocky ground.
I'm proud of our troops and what we did this past week. We survived two back to back EdVenture Camps. Correction...... we did more than survive - we dominated! We had two good camps. The campers were outstanding (sorry Monday to Wednesday campers, but the Thursday to Saturday campers performed slightly better. Better luck next time). The staff stayed positive through the good, the bad and the ugly. What's best of all, Fortuna stayed away, leaving Lady Luck to care for the overall atmosphere of the six days. Potential disasters sputtered out before they caused too much damage.
- Our $400 liquid nitrogen Dewar Thermos broke. Mrs. Houston and Mrs. Remy found a way around the issue without the slightest hiccup in the classroom operations.
- The Voyager's Tactical Screen Computer crashed. The spare computer was installed and ran beautifully
- The Galileo's air conditioners tried repeatedly to fill their water collection tanks to the point where they would overflow down the walls of the ship. Stacy, Ben and Erin stopped that from happening by draining them daily.
- The school's principal was caught in the hallway as the Magellan crew ran by her screaming and shouting as they fled the approaching alien intruder. Instead of overreacting and demanding the campers walk and not run away from the 10 foot alien life form, she said as she walked into her office, "What other principal has to put up with this? Where's my peace and quiet?"
- Friday's swimming night was nearly canceled by the rain storms that swept over Utah County Friday late afternoon and early evening. Luckily the skies calmed just before 8:00 P.M. and swimming night went on a s normal.
We start again on Monday. This week we are running a 3 day Day Camp and our last four day Ultimate Camp. Almost another Heck Week, but not quite. We sleep at the Space Center three nights instead of four.
And Now, a few laughs and food for thought from the Imaginarium......
This describes 10% of my staff, volunteers and campers
The life of a nerd......
This is where I am when you see
me at my desk with my eyes closed.
DO NOT DISTURB
If you don't find me above, then I'm here
..... or here.
The Winter is Coming......
Perhaps this description will encourage our
campers to use the product liberally.
"You can't use too much deodorant," I always say.
Adults should be mindful of the dangers of removing the next generation's dreams and aspirations.
We messed this economy up. It is up to fix it.
The Personality Disorders of your Favorite Cartoon Characters
Creativeness and ingenuity: A+
An insight into Mr. Williamson's personality (based on what you see me do every time I sit down at my desk).
Mr. Williamson, unhappy.
Mr. Williamson, happy.
Mr. Williamson, unhappy
Mr. Williamson, Happy
Mr. Williamson, Unhappy
Mr. Williamson, happy.
Mr. Williamson, unhappy.
Mr. Williamson, happy
Mr. Williamson, unhappy
Mr. Williamson, happy.
A short lesson to help you recognize propaganda.
(Its election season)
A little something for those smarter than your average 5th grader.
It doesn't have to be this way.
We will order a bunch of these in for the Space Center's Gift Shop
and dispense liberally. Feel free to stock up for your
family and friends.
They make excellent birthday and holiday gifts.
My dream job.
The laser death ray clinched the deal.
Does anyone out there understand their mentality?
I'm at a loss for words (which is unusual for me).
What you'd find in the vending machines at Hogwarts
I'll admit it.
I can't blame God or the Devil.
I can't blame the staff or volunteers (although I've tried, believe me)
What can I say? I'm human?
Of course, you could always sign up for a September Overnight Camp
There are still a few openings.
Reminds me of my flight to the old USSR on Aeroflot Soviet Airlines.
I was invited to spent 3 weeks at a Soviet "Space Camp" in the mid 1990's.
It turned out to be a Communist Young Pioneer Camp in Siberia with a space theme.
Something to consider
Something more to think about
See you all in the Trenches.