On Saturday, May 30 I along with many watched the launch of the NASA-Space X Demo-2 mission and the return of United States crew launch capability. It was as engine ignition began that I started feeling something that I had lost a long time ago, a love for science and space. Space and space exploration has always been one of the biggest passions in my life when I was a child. Somewhere along the line, I lost that dream of being a part of the greatest exploration frontier that we have yet to conquer. But it was while I watched the rocket lift-off that I knew I wanted to make a change in my life and follow that childhood passion of mine.
That is right, I am in the process of making a dramatic change in my life, with that, I am heading back to school for the first time in a decade. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management, with a minor in Business Administration from St. John’s University. With that degree, I have spent the last decade working in the sports and communication industry. I have done well in the field, winning many awards but I did not feel fulfilled. There was a hole and desire to make a difference that I was not addressing. As I watched the Space X Falcon 9 rocket rise from the famed LC-39A launchpad from Cape Canaveral, Florida I was reminded of what I wanted to do as a child. If you were to ask me in elementary school what I wanted to be when I was older I would have told you an astronaut. In fact, in my elementary school yearbook, I wrote “astronaut” under my dream career.
As a child, I was delighted at the prospect of exploring space and learning how the universe works. I was inspired by some of the greatest science fiction series around like Star Trek and Stargate. I was glued to the screen watching “The Right Stuff,” “Apollo 13,” “From the Earth to the Moon,” etc. I would take apart our old computers and learn how they worked. I would take out any and all books on the stars, planets, or space program from the library (Sorry NYPL I probably owe you a lot of money for those). My childhood was filled with learning whether it was watching “The Magic School Bus” or “Bill Nye: The Science Guy.”
As I got older I put aside that love for something that I thought would be more practical like business and sports so I got my degree and start my career in marketing and communications. Now in the next couple of months, I will be heading back to school to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering Science. Between the Demo-2 launch reigniting my passion for science and engineering and the pandemic wiping out my freelance contracts, it is the right time for me to make this change in my life. I know the journey will not be easy, I have not done any complex mathematical problems since I was in high school. Many of the things I once knew about science was forgotten. But I am dedicated to this, more than I was to anything in my life. I have spent the months since the launch re-introducing myself to the world of science, engineering, and math. I invested in workbooks, textbooks, and more.
Since the beginning of June, I have worked my way through math refresher books, Intro to College Math books, Algebra workbooks, a precalculus textbook, and more. I began listening to Neil Degrasse Tyson’s StarTalk and enjoyed the genuine conversation about science. I read “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” and enjoyed the trip through the cosmos. Speaking of the cosmos, I have binge-watched “Cosmos” both Tyson’s version and the Sagan version. I highly recommend both of them to anyone who wants to learn about the universe we live in. Doing math has become apart of my daily routine, along with running to help get myself in shape. If you follow me on social media you may have seen my tweets of math or running updates.
I will be providing more updates as I go on this journey of education and self-improvement. I hope you all join me.
If you would like to help me on this journey, I have set up a GoFundMe page where you can help me raise the funds needed to pursue my degree in Engineering Science.