Sunday, August 26, 2007

Parabolas in St. Louis

I just got back in town from St. Louis. This was really a baseball weekend. The Royals and Cardinals both won and were both good games. I got to go to the Cardinals game because my wife pulled a certificate out of a pack of baseball cards for free tickets to any major league team we wanted to go to. The bad thing was we couldn’t pick the date so we decided on St. Louis and it actually worked out that we could go to the game. The reason I am writing about the game is that while we were walking around the stadium (This was my first trip to the new stadium and it is awesome! I hope that some of the renovation to Kauffman Stadium are similar.) and noticed a giant parabola outside the ball park. The reason I talk about this is that the microgravity flight in October will be flying parabolas. So I thought I would post a picture of what a parabola is. I’m of course talking about the St. Louis Arch. When I am weightless in October I will actually be weightless at the top of the parabola (arch). I’ve drawn some arrows on the picture. These arrows show where the weightlessness occurs. I’ve also included a couple other pictures just because I thought they were cool. The first is of me with Fredbird, the Cardinals mascot and the other is of me with the World Series trophy. That is the first time I have ever gotten to touch a world series trophy. Also, notice that I am wearing a Royals hat!

The other thing that I wanted to mention was something that I heard my cousin say this weekend. She is a registered nurse and has worked at several different jobs including a hospital, and an outpatient surgery center. She is now working with adults with mental handicaps. She really liked her old job and when someone asked her why she had left she said, “I just wasn’t learning anything new.” I thought this was an awesome statement. What a great reason to change jobs. She has a family and is very busy with them but she changed jobs because she wasn’t learning anything new in her old job. How powerful a statement about learning is that?!? That is one of the reasons why I love my job. I am always learning something new. Sometimes it is from the kids and sometimes it is on my own. There is never a lack of opportunities to learn. One of my favorite baseball players of all time was Dan Quisenberry. He was a relief pitcher for the Royals and he pitched submarine style. I also pitched like that when I was in college. I got a chance to meet him and asked him for advice and he took the time to give me a mini pitching lesson in the middle of a book store (he was there for a book signing. He was also a poet). He had a quote that I think completely applies to me. He said about playing baseball, “everyday was like Christmas. I didn’t always like the presents but I loved opening the packages.” I never know what is going to happen each day at school, no matter how prepared or planned I am, something interesting or unplanned happens. That is why I love my job.

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