The Troubadour has been quiet for a week due to this yearly event called the start of the school year. And with school comes an expanded workload. Swamped, buried, overloaded, up to my neck in it - are just a few expressions used to describe my current situation. Something had to move to the back burner and, sorry to say, The Troubadour was that something.
Things are better now that the first week of school is behind me. I've met my class. They seem like good kids. I've worked with my team. They are competent and friendly. The new common core math is always a challenge but challenges keep you on your toes, alert, and thinking. I get to teach social studies this year - my favorite - making me think this will be a good year.
Space Center Honor's Night
A few weeks ago the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center hosted "Honor's Night" for all former and current staff and Farpoint Voyager Volunteers. I started Honor's Nights over ten years ago as a way to honor our volunteers and staff and thank them for jobs well done. August's Honor's Night was hosted by the Space Center's new director, James Porter.
Instead of typical evening refreshments one would expect to find in a Utah social gathering, James took us down memory lane with a mock Space Center Overnight Camp breakfast. You'll notice Sunny D, Gogurts and Walmart doughnuts. James got the bananas right but forgot the other two fruits campers could choose from. Also absent was the white and chocolate milk. He forgetfulness was forgiven by an appreciative audience.
Mr. Mark Daymont and Nathan Ellenberg are seen above admiring the effort it took to assemble such a fine buffet.
The gathering socializing before the call to attention.
Several items from the Voyager simulator were on display for examination. We remembered the good old days when the Voyager was the flag ship of the fleet. The items were given away as door prizes later in the evening.
James Porter, CMSEC Director, with arms outstretched explaining his plans to expand the Space Center concept to the world. "The only things stopping us are money, drive, time and desire!" he shouted.
"Well said," Mr. Daymont added from the audience.
Mr. Porter holding the audience by his every word (except those still at the refreshments table. They wondered what all the shouted was about).
James is seen in the photo above drawing names from the Voyager's old bowl mirror. the mirror hung from the center of the Voyager's bridge ceiling. Voyager Cadet Brandon is seen at the tables selecting his Voyager souvenir after having his name drawn.
The trivia challenge. The bottom portion was every one's favorite. James played a few seconds from well know simulator soundtracks. You wrote your guess on the lines. I hadn't heard some of that music for years. How many of the questions do you know?
The audience working through the trivia.
James Porter working through the musical play list. Jon was on hand for moral support and the official keeper of the bowl mirror. The box behind Jon was used for the Phoenix mission Dark Origins (about the Borg King).
As per tradition, Lorraine Houston pillowcases were awarded to our top volunteers.
Lissa, Marissa, Mrs. Houston, Rich, Isaac, and Connor all were recognized for numerous hours donated to the Space Center.
I don't remember how or way this tradition started. As per tradition, the recipients of the pillowcases put them over their heads for the official photo.
Bombardment and dodgeball finished off the evening in true Space Center fashion.
Before leaving I snapped this photo of some real old timers. Mr. Daymont, Allan Stewart, Dave Wall, and Lorraine Houston. Allan is holding the Star Trek Galaxy Class Enterprise poster which hung on the wall behind the Voyager captain's chair during the years he was a volunteer. Dave is upset he didn't get it.
On a side note, I wanted to be sure you got to see the new titan screen used by the flight director in the Magellan control room. Jon Parker reports the new Magellan cocoa controls work well and relatively bug free.
Work on Canyon Grove Academy's Two Simulators Continues.
I stopped at Canyon Grove Academy, a public charter school in Pleasant Grove, to check on the construction of the valley's two newest simulators, the UCS Everest and UCS Pathfinder.
The studs were up and the electrics nearly finished. Insulation was next on the to do list.
Looking toward the front of the UCS Pathfinder.
DSim's construction supervisor spends many hours a week working on the simulators. Brandon is seen above pulling Internet wire through the ships, across the ceiling and down into the two control rooms.
A picture of the Everest's sink and storage.
The right side of the Everest's bridge.
Looking to the back of the Everest.