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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Power Outages. Tex Causes a Kid to Swear Multiple Times. I Make a Big Mistake in Booking a Double Field Trip and an Overnight Mission. A Voyager Captain Leaves Mr. Williamson Speechless. From the Archives. The Space Center Journals from April 2002. Plus, the Imaginarium.

The Start of Another Overnight Camp (2007)
Space Center Journal
The Week's News Set in a Fictional Story. People Mentioned:
Jennifer Remy, Lorraine Houston, Scott Slaugh, Mark Daymont, Aaron Yeager, Chris Call, Kyle Herring, James Porter, Stephen Porter, Bryson Lystrup, Bill Schuler, Matt Long, 
April 15, 2002

Hello Troops,
The following is a fictionalized account relating events from last week. Read it carefully and you should find that most of the news and events have been mentioned. 

Look for future installments written in this style. Who knows, you might even be mentioned in a future story.

And now: The Week of Admiral Williamson......
     Buried in paperwork. No other way to describe what I've been up to this last week. Every day a new shipment of cadets requesting placement on either the Magellan station or the Voyager, Odyssey, Galileo, or Falcon. We are approaching the summer months on the 
northern hemisphere of Earth. These requests always multiplied in number during the Northern Earth spring. Cadets getting out of the Academy, anxiously seeking placement and advancement. 
     "Admiral," a female voice sounded from the wall speaker. "You asked to be informed when we finished docking at the Magellan. Also, the Odyssey, Galileo, and Falcon are all in the shuttlebay. The task force is assembled."
     "Is that you Remy?" I asked. "I thought you had a few days off for the shipwide musical extravaganza!" 
     "Wrapped up Sir. Back to as normal as life gets on the Voyager," she responded. 
     "Are you in charge up there? Where is Daymont?" I asked knowing if the Odyssey was in the shuttlebay that is where you would find the second in command. 
     "Shuttlebay Sir. You know, that fascination he has with the Odyssey just isn't normal." I heard the chuckle of the bridge officers in the background, obviously enjoying Remy's teasing. 
     "Understood," I said, cutting her off from further comment. "I'll be up there soon."
     I stood up from my desk and stretched. A pylon of the Magellan stretched across my viewport. I walked over and gazed out. The docking clamps were in view and attached.
The boarding ramps were extending. "Clockwork - perfect clockwork," I thought knowing that the Magellan ran as efficiently as German trains. I suppose it was a coincidence that the Station Master was German, and perhaps a bit Russian. Hard to tell and nobody would 
dare ask, not even me. My attention was arrested and refocused to a set of flickering lights up near the Command and Control Center. "Some kind of short," I muttered as I zipped up my jacket and turned away from the port and headed toward my cabin door. With a swoosh it opened and I was out in the hall. 


A Summer Camp Galileo Crew. Five in a tiny box. Amazing what the Imagination can do! (2007)

     I think I counted at least 20 "Good Morning Sirs'" on my way to Ten Forward. My first stop was a quick breakfast with Commander Lorraine Houston. As always a brilliant smile and enthusiastic confidence. I had my lowfat cottage cheese and diet coke as she gave me her report on the ship's activities for the past week. She listed off the visiting delegations from ships with names like the USS Lindon, USS Welby, USS Chiron, and the USS Ecker Hills. She reported that all had gone well. Her next report was on the uniforms in development. All going according to schedule. "A busy week coming up?" I asked her as I finished the last of the coke.
     "When isn't it?" she responded as she grabbed her papers, finished her yogurt, and moved toward the door. "Oh, I'll have the cake baked and ready for Lt. Scott Slaugh's Birthday," she continued speaking as she left the room with a wave and an exhausted grin.      "Your promotion to for Admiral is approved!" I shouted as the door closed. In the round window of the door I saw a fist with thumb up appear and disappear. I gathered my things 
and walked out the other door toward the shuttlebay. 
     The Shuttlebay was the hub of activity while in port. Shuttles coming and going. Supplies loading and unloading. It exhausted me just standing there and looking at the work being done. Yes, just as expected - standing there by the Odyssey was Commander Call,  First Officer Daymont, and Lt. Commander Yeager. They were looking her over carefully with the attention of a overprotective mother. Mr. Yeager was showing them his new pilot's license. Yes, something to be very proud of. 
     "What's going on here!" I said as I walked up to the group. 
     "Look at what Aaron and his wife are selling," Chris said while handing me a jar full of something pink. I was hoping to talk about Aaron's new pilot's license but instead heard about the wonders of Soy CandlesMark saw this as an opportunity and escaped out the door before Aaron could finish the first sentence. 
     Well, I'm happy to report that I now understand the advantages of owning a Soy Candle and even authorized him to sell them in the briefing room. I left Chris and Aaron as they continued their inspection of the Odyssey and strolled over to the Galileo. Commanders 
Herring and Porter
were going over their week's flight schedule. "All missions covered?" I asked. 

     I got an answer and a complete "Request to Purchase" list from the Fish. "What does he want now?" I wondered. He was asking for a digital Amp. How was I supposed to understand what a digital amp was? Who does he think I am? Come on, we all understand 
my function around here. I'm the person they like to hang pretty medals on because I know how to talk in public and make everyone look good. I'm like a Christmas Tree; I get the nice ornaments. I get to stand around and get looked at. Everyone else keeps the place running 
- right?
Kyle, you know the routine, just give me the papers and I'll sign them. Just don't stand too close, you might take the sparkle off one of the medals. Where's Radar? I need Radar to tell me what to do now. 


Summer Camper at PG Pool on day 2 of the 48 Hour EdVenture Camp  (2007)

     Just then a little fella wearing glasses dressed in an olive green t-shirt, jacket, and pants walked by with clipboard in hand. "They need you on the Bridge Sir," he said in stride. 
"Got to finish the inspection," we both said in unison as I headed for the bridge. 
     It was a short hop in the Voyager's turbolift up to the Bridge. The doors slid open and a voice shouted, "Admiral on deck!" I walked around the room. All seemed in order. I stopped by Commander Remy and thanked her for the fantastic logo animation she created for the 
Briefing Room monitor. I moved on and was handed the morning reports from Mr. Daymont. "Mark, give me the abbreviated version of this," I said handing him back the stack of papers. "Has he also forgotten," I wondered as I shifted positions so the new officers could see the 
glittering new pin for over 10 years of service in the fleet. 
     I was shocked to hear of Lt. Bryson's illness that has kept him off duty for awhile. I was told that he is on the mend. I was also informed that Lt. Commander Rio had an accident in her shuttlecraft and will be on medical leave for awhile. I ordered the communications officer to send our best wishes and greetings from all of us to these two fine officers. Mr. Daymont said he would take care of the rest. I sat in my chair and looked over the rest of the day's 
schedule. 


The Odyssey Crew on a 48 Hour EdVenture Camp (2007)

1. Thank Stephen Porter for assisting the Falcon crew with a bit of a medical emergency on their last mission.
2. Thank Lt. Matt Long for his work with computer programs this week. 
3. Thank Commander Herring for doing an extra urgent Galileo Mission.
4. Go over the list of Explorers coming in for missions and sending them a list of when to come.
5. Prepare for a long overnight mission with the crew of the USS Idaho on Wednesday.
6. Thanking Adm. William Schuler for his work on the Falcon this week even though the Adm. was suffering from intense pain from a tooth pulling. The Adm. was also responsible for taking care of an urgent meal request from a crew on Saturday visiting us from some distant world. Mrs. Remy directed that group. 
7. Etc.......Etc........Etc.......

     I should finished all of this plus mountains more on Saturday in the P.M. Another week starting. Never a dull moment in StarFleet. Then I remember my request for the leg rest and mini fridge had been approved. Yes, my legs up and plenty of ice cold Diet Coke - this would be a good week. "Carry on," I said and settled into my chair and listened to the buzz of voices doing what it takes to keep this place running..........
     Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, snort, cough.....Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..........


Mr. Williamson

Mr. Williamson Giving Instructions on how to Fill Out the Camper Survey Form and the end of a 48 Hour EdVenture Camp. 2007.

Space Center Journal
Power Outages. Tex Causes a Kid to Swear Multiple Times. I Make a Big Mistake in Booking a Double Field Trip and an Overnight Mission. A Voyager Captain Leaves Mr. Williamson Speechless. People Mentioned:  Jennifer Remy, James Porter, Brady Young.
April 21, 2002

     An interesting week. A Spring Break week for those of us in the Alpine School District. Monday brought in a cold front that finally cooled the valley down. Last Sunday was very hot, perhaps an indication of a searing summer to come. 
      The Fifth Graders were loaded on the bus early. Clear Creek waited. No math periods to teach this week. Clear Creek would take 3 days to work through our 5th and 6th graders. I sit here on a Sunday and try to remember what schools came when. They all seem to fold together. Unless there is something strange or a certain captain or ambassador does something out of the ordinary they end up in that backend part of my memory where events and faces loose their boundaries and drift together creating a kaleidoscope of patterns and colors. I know I lived through it because I'm here but what it was exactly - can anyone 
remember. 


The Galileans in Front of the Little Ship that Could! (2007)

     Wait....... I tell a lie. I do remember one mission. Monday. Park City.
     The power went out at the school mid afternoon. I was concerned because the wind was getting its second breath in advance of a storm. Usually in Pleasant Grove that means a couple of power hiccups or perhaps a full grand mall power seizure. The power went out for 30 plus minutes and then came on for 5. The calm of the storm. Then out again for another 20 minutes. I called Park City to tell them. The power was on when we spoke so the bus left bring 30 excited children to the field trip of their lives. 
     They arrived. No problems. We loaded and began the training process. I remember the boy on the right wing computer. All these Park City kids look well to do but it wasn't his expensive clothes that causes his memory to keep its borders - instead it was something he did that had never had happen before in the eleven years I've spent running programs.
(Now, I'll be quoting him so don't get upset with me for using a bad word in this post.)
     I heard mumbling coming from his computer. I walked over to tell him that there was a bad section on the tape and to keep listening it would play through; but that wasn't it. He was doing fine. He just had a need to comment on what he was doing.
     "What the hell?" I heard him say quietly as he stared at his computer. He said it softly so I ignored the comment knowing that everyone else around him was involved in their own training and wouldn't hear him. I was taken back a bit. No one had ever sat and swore at their computer before. I chuckled to myself and waited for a question. 
     "What the Hell?" I heard him say again except the volume of his voice had increased. He was totally engrossed in the spinning dial of the thrusters settings. I thought I'd better tell him to stop talking. It was obvious that he wasn't aware of how loud it had become. You all 
know how easy it is to shout when you are wearing headphones and not be aware of it.
I moved over to tap him on the shoulder and give him the finger to the lips sign to zip it.
Just as I reached him he shouted, "WHAT THE HELL!" 
     The kids around him turned and looked. I grabbed him by the shoulder. He knew instantly what had happened and gave me a sheepish embarrassed smile. I walked behind him and told him that he needed to stop talking during the training. I added that swearing wasn't allowed at the Space Center. 

     "It's this dude, some cowboy or something, I can't understand what he's saying," he explained. That's when I realized it was Tex's voice he was reacting to. I told him to continue with the tape. He would get the hang of the accent soon enough. 
     I enjoyed watching him during the mission. Everytime I came on as Tex, he gave the speaker over his right shoulder that look of `What a complete Dork' that kids can give one another as a total put down. 


Campers arriving for the next 48 Hour EdVenture Camp. Summer 2007

     I remember something else from that mission. As Tex I asked the captain, "Captain, why don't you ever come down here and say `hey' to all of us engineers down here in the engine room. I mean, we are down here day and night shoveling coal as fast as we can keeping the engines running and the lights on." 
     The captain stopped and thought for a minute and responded. "Tex, I only hang out with rich people." Something happened to me that moment. I, the great OZ, the founder of the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center and pioneer of this type of interactive EdVenture was ..........speechless......................... These kids were from Park City and yes, some of them were very rich but to admit it was taboo and to admit that you only hang out with rich people was the ultimate taboo. 
     That captain was brilliant in his performance for a 12 year old. He was extremely self confident and assured in his command and direction of the crew. But his answer to my question still hangs in the forefront of my memory of the week. I think I'm trying to come up with a proper come back for what he said. What would Tex say to that statement? 
     Half way through their mission he received his Titanic response from the almighty. I remember from my reading in the Good Book a certain statement, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven." The power went out. It was pitch black. I grabbed a flashlight and went out to the bridge. Brady Young had things under control. We escorted the kids from the bridge to the gym. Mrs. Remy took control (thanks Jennifer!) and let them play warball under the emergency lights. The lights stayed off so we canceled the remainder of their mission and sent them back to Park City. I learned later that they had to battle blizzard conditions in Provo Canyon. It was a nasty storm. 


Little Spencer Merryweather as the Hallway Pointer.  2007

     Wednesday. The busy day for us. I started my morning shopping for the overnight mission. Yes, a Wednesday overnight mission (Spring Break tradition with the kids from Idaho) The day missions came from Sego Lily Elementary. After the day missions I did the camp registrations and set things up for the overnight camp. At 3:30 P.M. the Park City field trip arrived. In a moment of complete madness I booked an afterschool Voyager, Odyssey, and Galileo mission on the same day as an overnighter! Stupid isn't the word so I want to thank the awesome staff of the Space Center for just working it without calling me names - at least to my face. 

     The private mission ended at 6:15 P.M. I was happy to see that Lorraine had the pizza supper taken care of. The transition went very well. I thought I'd be a basket case of stress having just finished 8 hours of missions and facing an overnight but I wasn't. Again, the staff had everything under control. I want  to thank James Porter for coming up with the ideas to load and feed 43 kids from Idaho that had arrived one hour early. 
     The mission went well. We had a great group of girls on the Voyager that screamed in all the right times for the Shadows story. The best thing about the Idaho group is that they all leave at the same time by bus. The Center goes from busy and loud to deathly quiet all at once when the bus pulls away. No tours, no nothing! 


Yes, it is one of our Fleet Admirals coming for another summer camp.

     Spring Break is winding down. Everything should be back to normal tomorrow except for the fact that Dr. Jacobson announced last week that he was retiring. One year at Central and that was it. Finished and ready to pack it in. On Wednesday we heard that our new principal would be Colleen Green who is currently an assist. principal at Lehi Junior High. Let's see, on July 1 we will have gone through one principal and two secretaries in one year. Come on, Central isn't that bad. 
     This has been a relaxing Spring Break. The Magellan's ceiling was painted the same gray as the carpet on the walls.  
      Many of you have a dream of being a flight director but how many of you have a wish to become a Set Director? Not easy. Set Directors don't get paid for work they do on their own ships. The Center can't afford to pay a Set Director for the time it takes to keep the quality of their simulators up to the Disney standard we strive for. A thank you to our Set Directors. And a thank you from them to all of you for your assistance and 
support. 
     Well, that is it for this week except to say that I went to `The Scorpion King, Trash. Complete Trash. Don't waste your time. It upsets me to see Hollywood waste so much money on such stupidity. If we only had a fraction of the money wasted on that silly movie what we could do. 


Even after eleven years, I still remember some of these campers. 

     Enough already. Have a great week everybody. Work hard in school. Be good to your families. Tell one of your teachers that you appreciate the good job he/she is doing. They need to hear that from you. 

All the Best.
Mr. Williamson


The Imaginarium




























































































































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