Challenge Accepted

Starting a blog is a big undertaking. But, then again, so is living in an isolated research station designed to simulate the living and working experience of six astronauts on a real Mars mission. So, why does this blog feel like the more challenging pursuit?

Last week, with a mere 7 minutes to spare, I submitted my 19 page application to the Cornell/University of Hawaii Hi-SEAS mission. I allowed myself a brief moment to savor my achievement and enjoy that pleasant calmness that follows the anxiety of anticipating a deadline. Graduate School does not allow you much time to rejoice before it throws a new obstacle your way, so I grabbed my thinking helmet and was off to tackle more challenges.

But, instead of studying for my statistics exam, I wanted to be searching the Hi-SEAS facebook page for news of other successful applicants. Instead of finishing my SAS homework, I wanted to be reading and commenting on blogs that have already started to chronicle the application process. It was becoming increasingly clear that waiting quietly and patiently for semi-finalists to be announced in late-March was not an option.

When I first discovered the call for applicants in early February, something took hold of me and inspired my decision to spend the limited spare time I had available on compiling a competitive application. Once inspiration, motivation, and excitement take hold, it’s quite difficult to tell everything bubbling up inside of you to hush up! With good reason, that is my voice aching to be heard!  I have more to say and I shouldn’t think I have to wait to do so. I spoke often about passion and optimism in my application. It seems only fitting to demonstrate them now.

I hope to spend the next year sharing my opinions, insight, and knowledge with the followers of the blog. I encourage everyone to add their own voice to the mix through comments, questions, suggestions, jokes, etc. I will attempt to maintain a wide assortment of discussions, while remaining ever-mindful of the big picture objective: instilling an interest in all for space exploration (and other scientific endeavors). The challenge of maintaining a blog pales when compared to the potential impacts of inspiring others.

I will leave you with a few words from friends that have inspired me.

“Your words are your best weapons, adversity is your toughest battlefield, but your armor of determination will shield your way.” C. L.

“just tiny people
in the middle of space
in a tiny amount of time
completely irrelevant
except to each other” D. C.
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