December 16, 2014
Forgive me for keeping you in suspense my dearest blog companions, this was quite the busy month and it is ending on a very high note. I am writing after finishing the final edits to my paper that will complete the requirements for a Master’s of Engineering degree from the illustrious University of Idaho in Mechanical Engineering.
**the crowd goes wild**
I know, I didn’t even use the importance of getting this blog out on the right day to procrastinate on the paper.
**mother falls to the floor in shock**
Although I did procrastinate the rest of the day away by cooking a fabulous second monthiversary Lasagna with sesame green beans, sprout salad, and bread sticks with brownies, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate fudge sauce for dessert.
**mother smiles knowingly and approves of the food-based delay**
I worked my butt off on this paper, re-learned all kinds of things about stats and scientific writing (I knew I blocked out those classes for a reason) and now I’m done. Martha cut back on my workload so I could spend more time on it and also edited my horrible grammar. Jocelyn also edited and patiently explained stats to me again. Neil contributed to the stats teaching session. Dr. Soule and Dr. Riley reviewed my paper during the busiest time of year for any professor. Dr. Wolbrecht walked me through just about everything. Sue, Cheri, George and countless other people all deserve a hug and a shot for all their hard work keeping me on track.
So this month I received a NASA Group Achievement Award for a prototype George and I built for the Intelligent Robotics Group at Ames Research Center’s telerobotics project that was tested by astronauts on the space station (picture below). I completed the final paper for my Master’s of Engineering degree. I made sure that mom gets some exciting and very official mail for me :). I got a haircut and I survived another month in the dome.
You know, for the last two missions HI-SEAS has done, at this point crew members were half way done and about to settle into a a thing functionally deemed the third quarter syndrome. Apparently its a long term isolation and confinement version of the doldrums and people are supposedly more likely to mutiny at this point. You know what I think? Bring it, “This Is My Horse” makes a pretty good song to start paddling to and Tony would approve of the cross-training. Yes that’s an amalgamation of inside jokes but basically it means I’m ready, I aint scared, and I don’t think its gonna be a problem for us.
**knocking furiously on every wooden surface in the dome**
Maybe its the fact that for the first time in a long time I made a meal full of gluten free (GF) substitutes and freeze-dried (FD) proteins that tasted good instead of just avoiding the whole thing. Maybe its because when I complained that the pouches of powdered spiced cider were awful my friends made an entire stew pot of amazing hot cider from FD ingredients. It could be the fact that I’ve now two-stepped with everyone in the dome and Martha and I are planning on learning how to swing. My long awaited christening with my call-sign (Two-Step, who can guess the two meanings?) makes it a pretty awesome month to be out on EVAs. It absolutely helps that the 3ft fake Christmas tree we got has only 2 non-Dr.-Who ornaments on it, a red 3D printed star Zak made and my own sparkly hedgehog, and is surrounded by presents from loved ones.
There’s a million things I could talk about loving and a million things I could talk about missing. Right now though, emails from loved ones, and phones that can’t ring… these are a few of my favorite things!