During all four years of high school, I was part of my school's Rocket Club. We were fortunate enough that half of our club was girls! In the rocketry and STEM world, this is crazy-talk. In a world where NASA wondered if 100 tampons would be enough for Sally Ride's week-long voyage in space, and 18-20% of engineering students in the US are female, having 50% of our club (which grew to 50 members) was huge.
But I didn't fully appreciate this equilibrium of genders until we went to competitions and events where other high school and college rocket teams met us. They were ecstatic to meet our team members and talk with us. We were less thrilled about being hit on or thought inferior. But it all comes with the territory and we learned to stand up for ourselves and prove what we knew. It also bonded the team together: the girls would rescue each other from guys who couldn't take a hint, and the guys would tell the other boys to back off or respect us.
This one time at an outreach event, two guys came sniggering up to me and asked me if I could tell them "everything you know" about this "big guy", referring to the 6-foot-tall rocket propped up next to me. "Don't worry, take your time and consult your notes if you have to." Snigger. Well, it turns out I was the Project Manager of the team that built this rocket, and they did say "everything". As soon as I straightened up, looked them in the eye, and started rattling off the structure, stats, and science of the rocket, they looked at each other wide-eyed, and realized their mistake. Ha.
But that aside, I love science, and I love the wonder and romance of space. It is symbolic of what we as humans can reach beyond, find, and accomplish. And it reminds me of the childhood innocence from October Sky and Up (side note: those first 10 minutes of Up are my relationship goals. But then again, whose aren't?).
So when I ran across this quote on Pinterest or Instagram (too many inspirational platforms to keep track of!), I knew I had to do something with it.
(the signature, like all my others, are added to prevent art theft. I'm working on making it prettier. Eventually.)
Also as a sidenote, if you find yourself in the Seattle area with someone who likes airplanes or rockets, or flight of any kind like that (yourself, possibly? Obviously.), you should check out the Museum of Flight. I have been volunteering with them since 2011, and it is a fantastic place to explore.