One Small Step Closer

Got the email this morning! Early this morning. A bit too early. I’m grateful for my attentive mother who saw the post on the Hi-SEAS Facebook page and called me repeatedly until my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ringtone awakened me. 

Dear HI-SEAS Applicant,Thank you for your interest in the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation. As you may know, we received almost 700 applications for this mission, for only six crew positions…. At this point, you are one of the candidates for a potential
education/journalism/outreach/art/social-media position on the crew…. We expect to be able to notify the ~30 crew semi-finalists by mid-April. 

I am very excited and very honored to be considered for such a position and must in return thank every single person who has come to check out my blog, shared it with friends, commented, and provided support. There’s not much for me to do at this point other than continue to post and work on getting more readers and commenters! I would appreciate if everyone could keep it up and perhaps tell a friend or two about the blog and keep up with the commenting. Comments make my day!


8 thoughts on “One Small Step Closer

  1. Hi, Meridith. I found your blog here via your comment an Damaris Toepel's blog. I found that just before the HI-SEAS application deadline, probably the same way you did–Googling around looking for more information on the experiment.

    I applied for that after discovering it the Friday before the deadline. It was a fairly intense weekend; I put more work into an application for a shorter duration “job” for less pay than ever in my life!

    Congrats on making it from the “huge” list into the “long” list, and good luck getting onto the short list. I've looked a bit at your blog here, and I agree you do a good job of presenting technical subjects in a way that makes them interesting, and makes your readers want to learn more.

    It looks like they sent out that e-mail storm at midnight Friday April 6th. Maybe they spent the day setting up the emails, and timed them to go out around midnight to avoid overloading their servers during working hours. Anyway, I also got good news:

    At this point, you are in the “highly qualified candidate” pool of about 150 applicants. However, we will have to narrow that pool down further before moving on to interviews, references and medicals. We expect to be able to notify the ~30 semi-finalists by mid-April.

    One of the guys I asked to be on standby to provide a reference emailed me on the following Monday to inquire (I think he's jealous he didn't see the announcement himself), and I told him “more waiting, but at least I'm not eliminated yet”.

    And here we are at mid-April (arms folded, toe tapping, eyebrow raised (I don't know if there are emoticons for all that)). I do believe they were caught by surprise by the response. Apparently, on April 6 they got to the point they expected to be on March 1.

    Anyway, best of luck to you. Maybe we'll meet at their “culinary school” at Cornell in June.



  2. Ed,

    Congrats to you as well! It certainly was a great relief to finally hear news. For some reason I'm not quite as anxious this week for more results. Perhaps I've allowed myself to get my hopes up! 'Mid-April' is certainly upon us, but I'm predicting a similar Friday night batch of email. 150 emails must be much easier to compose than 700.

    I'm glad you found your way to my blog. You are absolutely right, I have been scouring the web (facebook, twitter, google) for information on other applicants. I have links to other blogs on the right side bar, and I recommend giving them a look as well! Do you have a blog or any other sort of social media going? You certainly must have worked very hard to get your application together in just a few days! I've never compiled a longer application than the Hi-SEAS one. Luckily, since I'm just exiting grad school the duration and pay isn't quite a step down.

    Thank you for your comment and kind words. I hope to see you in June. Let me know what you find out about the short list! I'll be sure to have a similar post announcing my fate.



  3. Good morning, Meridith,

    To answer your blog/social media question, no. I value my privacy too much. I am of a generation that considered it an unforgivable breech of trust to read someone's diary, and I didn't even keep one of those.

    When I emailed HI-SEAS links to my kids and told them I'd applied, my daughter (who is about your age) said, “Dad, you'd be perfect for this”, and I answered, “Don't tell me, tell them”.

    She was skeptical that her endorsement would carry much weight. She's probably right.

    Hopefully, we'll only have to hold our breath a little while longer. We'll see what Saturday morning brings.

    Good luck.



  4. Good morning!

    I certainly wouldn't want to be a diary peeper. But I have enjoyed the insight into people's minds that social media provides. I never thought of myself as a blogger before, but I've definitely found something that I really enjoy and am grateful that the Hi-SEAS program has already provided me with such insight!

    How are you going to feel about privacy if you are selected and will be sharing such closed quarters with 5 others? I'm certainly nervous, but am more eager for the entire experience. I'm glad your kids are so supportive and enthusiastic for you! My family has been very supportive as well.

    Holding my breath!


  5. Well, obviously my diary analogy missed the mark. I was trying to come up with something to keep myself from launching into my “Facebook is evil, Twitter is stupid” rant, which is probably not appropriate here. (short version on Twitter: anything I can say in 140 characters is probably not worth saying, and certainly not worth anybody's time to read.)

    I agree about this being a good way to meet and get to know someone, but my preference is to engage in a two-way (or more) conversation, where I can put some thought into what I say, and take some time to digest what I read.

    I'm a private person, and I'm selective about what I share, and who I share it with. On a public forum like this, because I can't control who, I'm extra selective about what. I dont usually dash off quick, off-the-cuff comments–I like to think through what I want to say, first. Over my life, there's been some times I've made thoughtless or awkward or just plain stupid comments that I'm glad to have buried in the past. On an internet forum, a comment like that is a) out there for the whole world to read, and b) never really goes away.

    Of the social media types, the one I'd be most likely to use myself is a blog like yours. But why would I bother when you have such a nice one here that I can make comments on and not have to bother updating or maintaining?

    As for the physical privacy issues of living and working in close quarters with a few folks I don't actually know, and possibly one or two I don't even like; no real problem after a twenty-year military career. Been there, done that. While I was never restricted to quite such a small space for quite such a long time, apparently each crew member has a personal sleeping cubicle with storage and a door and everything. Sounds like luxury to me.

    Still no word?




  6. I see your point. I agree that people should be more mindful and careful with the communication platforms they utilize. I'm also very glad to be able to provide a safe, inviting platform for people with similar interests to enjoy and discuss. I've got some great ideas for creating a bridge between the Mars Analog researchers and the eager enthusiasts following along via social media.

    PERSONAL SLEEPING CUBICLES?! I wasn't sure what the arrangements would be like. I've imagined the habitat over and over, but often privacy was minimal. Even if your living space is tiny, having a physical barrier between you and 'everything else' can be really soothing at times. Luxury, indeed!

    Still no word. Tomorrow will start the second round of obsessively checking my phone/the internet/the Hi-SEAS media pages. Not to mention jumping every time my computer makes an email ding. Gotta love the anticipation, although I'm sure the application committee must be ready to have that part over with.

    Hang in there!


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