Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rest in peace

Sorry that Monday's post didn't go up until Tuesday.  That was my second scheduling FAIL, I'll try not to let it happen again.

Sometimes it feels like everybody's dying.  One of the biggest factors in my move to Alabama was that my mother and grandmother were dying. I'm not quite ready to relate that story here, just yet. I'd like to write chronologically where I can.

Yesterday the news broke that Roger Boisjoly, the engineer who tried to stop Challenger from launching that last time, passed away.

Last night, astronaut Janice Voss died of cancer.  My sophomore year at Purdue, she came to speak, probably for a SWE event. I had to leave halfway through the discussion, to attend a circuits midterm.

I got the chance to hear her a second time when we lived in Houston.  A few of us had started a new section of the Society of Women Engineers, named Texas Space Center.  One of the first annual traditions the section began was to hold a Holiday party, including career engineers, college engineering students, and high school students interested in studying engineering.  In 2004, Janice Voss was our guest speaker.  As she spoke, it triggered memories of the speech 9 years earlier, so that I was able to ask questions.

I would like to start talking about college.  The place where I really started to feel like I belonged in college, was with our gaming club, the Purdue Fantasy Club (official Purdue site) (old site for rules/settings) (possible current site?).  The system I first learned to play was developed locally by Dan Lawrence.  Dan was... quite a character.  I didn't always know what to think about him, but I always felt welcome at his house.  That was quite possibly the first place that I felt unconditionally accepted just as I was.

I had a LOT of fun playing AdventureQuest throughout my Purdue career, it became a fixture in our lives.  I keep in touch with my original "newbie group" through Facebook, and no matter how many years have passed, I still feel like I know them.  He died in 2010, about 4 months after my mother passed.  I wasn't able to make it up for the funeral, I had to travel the Monday afterward.  But my life was changed for the better because I knew him.