Not long ago, NASA announced the “winners,” you could say, out of a record number of applicants in the thousands, all vying for what may be the most sought-after profession in the world. Continue Reading
Howdy. Chris here. This post is going to be a little off the beaten path from what we usually do here at Take Back the Sky, but as an educator, I wanted to share something that affected me very deeply, both personally and professionally. I hope you don’t mind.
It has been a little over a year since the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that claimed the lives of 26 of the school’s students and teachers. Like many people, I was deeply affected by the event, more so than by any other like it before or since. I think this was not only because of the young age of many of the victims, but also because teachers gave their lives in an effort to protect their students.
It’s unfortunate that so much controversy arose in the wake of the Newtown shooting. All the debate about gun control vs. Americans’ right to keep and bear arms and the media’s coverage of incidents like this (and those who perpetrate them) vs. Americans’ right to free speech can sometimes cause us to lose sight of the real human tragedy. Like most Americans, I have very strong feelings about those issues, but it is not my intention to discuss them here. Instead, I want to talk about a project I undertook to pay tribute to those students and teachers who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary, a project I dubbed “The 26 for 26 Project.”
I let my wife Richelle choose the destination of our family vacation this year. I figured she’d more than earned that right. After all, she had been willing to let me go off to a major con in Philadelphia for four days in late spring, and had put up with my taking over the job of organizing Pittsburgh’s annual Can’t Stop the Serenity events. She also agreed with the idea of our traveling to Germany next summer with a group of my students and their parents instead of taking a family vacation.
When she said she’d like to go to Houston, Texas for a few days to visit her sister Laurie and her family, I was on board without hesitation. My previous experiences in Texas were overwhelmingly positive, and I enjoy spending time with Laurie, her husband Steve and their two kids, who are both about the same age as my son. Since this would be the first time we visited them since they moved to Houston from Austin, I was also looking forward to seeing what the city of Houston had to offer, and I was especially enthusiastic about the prospect of visiting the Johnson Space Center. Continue Reading