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!