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Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Congregation of Zod Causes Brownouts in Saratoga Springs. A Former Volunteer's Medical School Essay. The Imaginarium.

Three Congregants of the Congregation of Zod Gather on the USS Leo. Brownouts Reported in Saratoga Springs!

     All three people shown in the photo above are members of one of the world's premier elite societies -  The Congregation of Zod.  Each was awarded the coveted and career changing Silver Chalice of Zod. 
     The Silver Chalice of Zod comes from a mission I wrote early in the 1990's called "Supernova". The Romulan antagonist is called Dr. Marcus. He is a member of the Romulan Academy of Sciences. He is proud, conceited, arrogant, and condescending to humans - the ultimate definition of racist. Near the beginning of the mission, Dr. Marcus has the occasion to speak to the captain or ambassador. He asks the captain to list his qualifications concerning the scientific investigation of an upcoming, predicted supernova. The captain is usually speechless; this gives Dr. Marcus the opportunity to list his accomplishments and accolades in agonizing detail. "I was awarded the Silver Chalice of Zod. I was awarded the Five Golden Rings of Trivioli..." he boasts. 
     Years later, I decided to create a yearly award to honor one individual who exemplified the spirit of the Space Center. Someone who had volunteered their time and talents to further our cause. During a telling of Supernova, I was inspired by dear Dr. Marcus and felt that if he was worthy of the Silver Chalice of Zod, then why not one of our own?  The rest, of course, is history. 

Bill Schuler: The First Recipient of the Silver Chalice of Zod. 2003 
     In the title photo, left to right, are David Hatch CZ, Kirby Glad CZ, and Brandon Wright CZ. True to expectations, their convergence - rarely authorized by the Supreme Zod - led to sporadic brownouts throughout the Saratoga Springs community.  A fourth congregant's presence may have caused a brief, microscopic breach in the space/time continuum. Which is why all such gatherings are forbidden without prior approval and proper safety precautions followed.
     All three were on Lakeview's USS Leo to test Kirby Glad's new InfiniD simulator controls.  Brandon Wright is one of the managing directors of InfiniD and director of Lakeview Academy's Space Education Center. David Hatch is InfiniD's head IT guy and has been with the company since the Leo was built. He helped set up every InfiniD (Discovery Space Center) ship. Working has worked in the trenches from the beginning - without being paid. A true example of Zodness in action. 
     Releasing this picture to the general public was a risk the Troubadour's editorial staff chose to take.  It may not be prudent to reveal the identities of such august Zods, but the public's right to know outweighs their privacy. Knowing David, Kirby, and Brandon are diligently working on your behalf should let you rest easy knowing that all will be well.

A Former Volunteer's Application Letter to the U of U Medical School.  Congratulations Justin!  

A while back I received this email from one of the Space Center's former volunteers.  Justin was an outstanding young man with great potential. His email contained an essay he wrote as part of his application to the U of U's medical school, which by the way, his application was accepted. Congratulations Justin!

Dear Mr. Williamson, 
I was a volunteer and shortly a "Blue Shirt" at the Space Center when I was in the 7th and 8th grade (1999-2001) and really enjoyed my experiences with the many facilitators at the Space Center. Fast forward a few years, and I have just been accepted to the University of Utah School of Medicine Class of 2020.  I thought you might enjoy the essay I wrote for my application to the U.
Thanks for lessons and the fond memories. 

Justin Leavitt
University of Utah Secondary Application Essay.       
August 22, 2015 
Please describe the concept of professionalism (2,000 Characters).      
     “It’s better to look good than to feel good.” These words belong to Victor Williamson, Director of the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center in Pleasant Grove, Utah. As a teenager, I volunteered at the Space Center that Mr. Williamson created and his words always struck me as sarcasm. Years later, I would begin to understand the idea that Mr. Williamson was trying to convey.  My understanding of professionalism has evolved with age. I learned many important characteristics as a child, such as the importance of being honest and respectful. My first job taught me responsibility and the value of communication. As a paramedic I learned the necessity of proficiency. While these traits are essential, they are directed at the individual. I had not learned to appreciate the “look good” aspect of professionalism until I began filling leadership positions. When I became an Acting Captain at the fire department, I was no longer “one of the guys.” My focus had to shift beyond myself. I was accountable for the actions, appearance, and attitude of my crew. Even when scared and uncertain, it was my duty to look calm, confident, and to communicate clearly. If I wanted my crew to be its best, I had to lead the way. I learned this concept from men like Captain Conrad. I had worked with Captain Conrad for over a year when I learned of his head-splitting migraines. I never knew because, migraine or not, he came to work dressed sharp in his uniform and ready for the day. He was consistent, dependable, and he understood that looking good despite what he felt was his responsibility to his crew, and ultimately to the community we serve. While the concepts of duty, honor, and respect are never far from my mind, to look good even when I do not feel good has earned special emphasis. Like Mr. Williamson and Captain Conrad, I have realized that I am part of something bigger and it is my responsibility as a professional to make those around me better.
I guess in every sarcastic comment there is an element of truth. Thanks Justin for the email and congratulations on your achievement. May I suggest geriatric care as your medical speciality.  I'm getting on in years and would like to be your first patient. Of course I would expect a discount of some kind for having taught you such valuable lessons :)

Mr. Williamson

The Imaginarium

It works for Santa Clause, why not the Easter Bunny?

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