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The Right Stuff

It was the Spring of 1990, that I was given an opportunity to go to Space Camp at Huntsville, Alabama. I knew this was going to be a one time event, and I knew that I may never have a chance to experience it again, so I soaked in the moments as the events transpired. I remembered the first morning that the majority of us were going to the SLC Airport. The morning sun shone throughout the entire sky, as I was beaming a bright smile, all because I was going to SPACE CAMP!

When I arrived with some of my classmate at Huntsville, the bus was waiting for us, I was getting a bit excited. As we met the counselors, I was rearing to start exploring the entire campus. But it's been a long day for us, so, we had dinner, and watched a movie, then head to bed.

The following day, we started our lessons, as we were learning the basics of being an astronaut. As I was closely paying attention to the counselors teaching us, I learned how the rocket is controlled by it's boosters, and how things work in space, and one of my most memorable thing I learned was the ABC's. In an event of an accident, and the astronauts need to figure out what's going on, and the first thing they remembered is the ABC, which stands for Always Be Calm. I thought it was interesting, and I would not forget that.

As the next few days had transpired, I made a lot of good friends, and yes, there was a girl that was interested in me, which her name was Paige. I have no idea where she was from or what not. But I do remember quirky look, that she could easily pass off as a nerd. She had braces, and glasses. As for I, I had glasses, but I certainly wasn't a hearttrob kid. However, we enjoyed our company and yes, we shortly did keep in touch after the trip, but it didn't last long.

Then that day came, the day that I never will forget. Every time I hear the words, "Space Camp" it reminds me of a scar that I got from that day. The scar I have been carrying for so many years that occasionally would cause an pain in my ear, if certain conditions were met. If the Barometric Pressure changes, our body does react to it, which is hardly noticeable. But as for I, I notice...because of that scar. The scar is a slight cut from my hearing aid's shell when it shattered to pieces. It was a day that I would never forget how it happened.

It was a Wednesday Evening, after a full day of activities, we were all directed to have dinner. During the time at Space Camp, I had obtain 2 rocks that had the magnetic properties. I was walking with a friend, and we were conversing about a few things, and I wanted to show him the rocks that I got. My friend was on the left side of me, and I had my head turned to the left so that I can talk to him and pay attention to what he was saying and doing with the rocks that I handed to him to try out with the magnetic properties. While I was talking to him, I walked right into a concrete pillar that kept the cafeteria's roof up. I pretty much was walking fast, and I slammed into the pillar, where my right ear took the damage, and my hearing aid was in that right ear. It shattered the hearing aid to pieces, and left shards in my ear, where one of the piece left a slice in my ear canal. My ear bled, and I had the broken hearing aid in my hands, and I knew I was done for. But, with the lessons that I've learned at Space Camp, I remembered the ABC's. I looked at the damages that I experienced, and I didn't panic. I tried to be calmed and the counselors took me to the hospital to take care of my ear.

So, the rest of the week was going to be hard on me as I couldn't hear anything, but had to watch everything that goes on around me and try my best to figure out what's going. I still had a good time, and my favorite part was that I got to launch my rocket which was never found again. But, the memories I had were well worth it, despite the fact that I didn't have a hearing aid to hear the sounds.

Graduation day came, and we all get to have a certification saying that we accomplished a great week and so on. Without my hearing aid, I had no clue what else was going on. So I patiently waited and waited and waited. Then my counselor jumped up and pointed at me! She told me to come with her, and I still had no clue what was going on! I was directed to go to the podium, and I was given an award, "The Right Stuff" medal. It was given to only one student, out of 200 that attended Space Camp that week, and I got it. It was all because of the time I walked into a wall and shattered my hearing aid and did what I was taught to do, just know my ABC's.

I sure would like to give my kids a chance to go to Space Camp one of these days. It was worth it.



Mar. 18th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC)
From Jessica --
Hey, some times I pop on over to LJ to see what's happening, and I just wanted to say I really enjoyed this story. And... I'm kind of jealous that you went to space camp! lol. Thanks for sharing this. :)