Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Constellations

by Chris McGinty (According To Whim .com)

There was a point in my life, very early on, when I wanted to be an astronomer when I grew up. I was completely fascinated by outer space. My dad had a National Geographic that dealt with new pictures of Saturn, and I would look at it a lot. I tried learning the constellations, but there were only a few that I could get my head around. Some of them are very abstract to be honest. I also don’t manage to see those weird images in those posters where you’re supposed to squint and see something.

I was thinking about this because the guard post I’m at is a little way out of the main city area, so I can see the sky pretty well. I was wishing I had a book with the star maps (the kind that show you where Leo is in the sky, not the kind that show you where Leo DiCaprio lives) or maybe even that app than Nathan had on his iPhony thingy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want an iPhone, just that app for the moment.

As a side note, I have decided that that I’m not 100% opposed to Apple iProducts. I have, in fact, decided that when they release a special Faith No More themed cell phone, the iSwallow, I will probably wish I had one.

I’m not a boat and ocean type of person, but I guess on some level, I am curious about the days of sailing the sea with the sun and constellations to guide you. I mean, I’m not at all about the part where every time you get on a boat that you might not come back because of some faulty navigation, I’m just curious what it was like. The GPS of the stars. Pretty literally.

I’m not sure where I lost my interest in being an astronomer. I seem to remember that it had something to do with being told that it would require college. I didn’t want to go to college. For as long as I remember, I just wanted to get done with the required school and get to work. I’m not too sure that that worked out too good for me so far, but what can you do? Somewhere in all this mess, I wrote about the trouble with jobs and college, which is simply that even if everyone went to college, there aren’t enough degreed jobs for everyone. I may or may not have ended up being a pizza delivery driver with a degree in astronomy. At least I could have called the customer, “Yeah, Virgo is positioned to my left, and I’m at Main and Elm.”

I know that at some point I became very interested in writing, and that became the direction my life seemed to want to take. I just don’t remember how quickly I let go of the idea of being an astronomer. One would think that it would be this thing that was still present in my life in some way. Like I would complete a writing project and reward myself with a trip to the planetarium. And let’s just end this as anti-climatically as my astronomer career interest did.

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