Friday, July 1, 2011


From an astronomical perspective, it's only been summer for 10 days now, since Solstice on June 21.  I worked it out, though, that my "summer" (in other words, the time between the end of Spring Semester and start of Fall Semester obligations) is approximately half over on that date.  However, the life of an academic is never really "done," and of course Space Grant obligations operate on a 12-month basis.

My latest INSGC-related activity was at the Purdue Alumni Club of Dubois County, and its annual Grissom Memorial Scholarship Awards (and golf outing) on June 23.  Lots of people say that the worst day golfing is better than the best day at work.  I would tend not to agree with that in general, but hey--in how many other jobs can one say that a day golfing is a day at work?  Here I am, in my "Work Outfit," in a picture from Kent Olinger:

See, I'm wearing my NASA Space Grant Director hat, and the INSGC pin.

Any rumors of me becoming a golf pro are drastically exaggerated.  However, I did actually hit a ~60 foot putt with my foursome, clearly witnessed.  It's amazing how a couple of great shots do manage to offset even a day's worth of mediocre play... and for me, this is my first full season of golf.  Ever.

I was also able to award $1500 scholarships to four outstanding young students from Southern Indiana who are attending Purdue this fall.  You know, this is the real reason I go to this event.  Fortunately, the scholarship committee enjoyed the surprise element of this award, so I got to work up to this surprise, and I admit to truly enjoying the expressions on the faces of the students and their parents.  By the time of this photo, they're starting to have it set in (photo credit again goes to Kent Olinger):

(I did get changed into something slightly more work-relevant--a Purdue Space Day polo shirt.)

Well, after a quick trip to Toronto for research meetings (one of my areas of human factors research is team coordination and performance improvement in radiation therapy), I'm back in the US.  Our joke is that this is the "North American Autonomy Celebration Non-Productivity Very Long Weekend": Canada Day is today, and US Independence Day is Monday.  Unfortunately, I couldn't stay in Toronto long enough to see the Philadelphia Phillies play the Blue Jays for a Canada Day matinee.  Hey, and it's Canadian Football League Opening Weekend!  (Just because I do aerospace, doesn't mean I prefer the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.  Any team highlighting that they're BC, though...)

Next up for me... an actual vacation.  I'm taking time off.  Hold it.  Part of my vacation is to go to the STS-135 launch, and celebrate the Avicenna Academy participation in the SSEP program.  So, when vacation includes work, most people say it's not vacation.  When your work includes justification to take a trip to Florida for a historic and memorable event like the last Shuttle launch...

Talk to you soon.


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