Thursday, October 10, 2013

the slopey bit

Indeed, I'm going to have steep going to climb this learning curve for my job for a good long while.  However, I am making progress, despite the extra challenges the last weeks have held.  We continue to meet for training sessions at the library, and I’m getting in plenty of studying at home as well.  I haven not set foot on JSC since a week ago Tuesday, so it will be a little weird to do that again (at some point).

Something here that gets joked about a lot, but is a real phenomenon to which a neophyte must adapt, is the lingo.  We talk in acronyms, and even sometimes nested acronyms, that stretch to several levels of encryption.  The whole operational culture is different than that in which I worked for three years with the SOHO spacecraft.  The scale of the organization is orders of magnitudes larger as well.  Of course a lot of that has to do with the scope of the vehicles involved (a space station with an area footprint the size of a football field…hello, big!) and the added concerns about safety since human beings get to go fly on a number of those vehicles.  I have a lot to learn, and I’m looking forward to it.

On the home front, I feel pretty much settled in and continue to revise how I have my junk arrayed in my apartment.  I actually got a folding lawn chair and some new pillows last weekend, so I feel I’m living pretty large now.  But, with the uncertainties about the work situation, I have been maintaining a frugal budget.  I did get my first paycheck today (hooray!), and hopefully that will continue to be a weekly event.

My heart goes out to the researchers and support personnel of the United States Antarctic Program that are being hit hard by this manufactured disruption to normal business.  With a bit of luck the abbreviated summer season and premature redeployment of hundreds of people will come off safely and leave the stations squared away for next winter.
“Valor is of no service, chance rules all, and the bravest often fall by the hands of cowards.”