I was scheduled to speak to a couple of classes on Monday morning about One Week Job, though because of the tropical storm bringing a non-stop torrential down pour throughout the night, all of the schools were closed. I have heard of "snow days" before, though this was my first experience of a "rain day." Although I prepared the night before and felt ready for the presentation, I was a bit nervous. It has been re-scheduled for next week Friday and I have three other presentations this Friday. You would think, great, now I have more time to prepare - let's be honest, I will be equally prepared as I was on Monday morning. I guess this is what keeps life interesting though; stepping outside of our comfort zone and continuing to challenge ourselves.
Yesterday, we visited an Elementary school as this week is the Journey Through The Universe program. Astronomers and local scientists are going into schools through the district educating the kids about the cosmos. It is Hawaiian custom to welcome guests into their school with a chant, so upon our arrival we were welcomed by the 6th grade class singing to us and were presented with flower leis - a very cool experience.
The presentation was about the history of astronomy. The kids responded well, were very attentive, and asked lots of questions. We built telescopes out of cardboard tubing, lenses and some foam. I think I learned just as much as the kids did.
My boss this week, Gary Fujihara, is incredibly intelligent. If you don't follow very closely to what he is saying, you will quickly be lost in his immense vocabulary and vast knowledge... and I am sure that is with him trying to simplify things for us too.
Trying to wrap my head around some of the facts is a difficult undertaking. For example, light travels at the speed of 186,000 miles per second. To get to the edge of the Universe, it would take 14 billion years traveling at the speed of light. Wow, difficult to comprehend. Makes you realize how small we really are. My question is, well suppose you could go to the edge of the Universe, what would you see when you got there?
We also visited the planetarium at 'Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii, currently the only one of its kind in the world, and watched a presentation about space exploration. It gave the impression that there is no reason why we can't inhabit Mars or Space at this time. We have the knowledge, it's just a question of cost. Pretty crazy to think that one day human beings may inhabit planet Mars. Gary tells us they predict the high school students of today will be the astronauts of tomorrow who walk on Mars for the first time. Perhaps we will be vacationing to Mars much sooner than we think.
We are still hoping that the weather will co-operate for our trip to the summit of Mauna Kea today. It's not looking too good though as the rain has not let up for the past two days. Fingers crossed!