Pandemic Journal, Day 564

This afternoon I competed in the quarterfinal round of the Table Topics contest for the District 101 Toastmasters Fall Fusion event. All the speakers get the same question and have to reply immediately; everyone but the first contestant has to wait in a breakout room until it’s their turn. I was the first contestant, so I didn’t have to wait around; the question was “when you were a child, what was your dream job?”

One of my favorite books in elementary school was Starship Into Space by Lee Correy (a pseudonym for G. Harry Stein, SF author and real rocket man at White Sands). I can’t tell you how many times I read it. I even convinced other kids to help me act it out on the school playground – we’d run across the playground and pretend to go into hyperdrive. I hadn’t thought about the book in many years, but as I thought about the question, there was only one possible answer: “astronaut” – and not just the kind who goes into low Earth orbit, or even to the moon, but one who got to travel to the stars.

As it happened, I didn’t become an astronaut. I didn’t win today’s contest, either. Oh, well, there’s always next year!