The Moon Landing – a pivotal point in my life

Today’s anniversary of the moon landing brought back many memories and it made me realize how pivotal it was to my life.

As an early science fiction fan, I read my first SF at 6. The space program and in particular the moon landing captured my attention. I watched every second of the moon landing. That was it, I was going to be an astronaut. I clipped newspaper articles, read books, collected space stamps and watched everything I could on the subject.

But I soon learned that being an astronaut was out of the question, not because I was a girl, (the thought that that was a problem never occurred to me), but because I had asthmatic lungs. Not to be deterred, I decided I was going to be an astronomer. At the young age of 12 I joined the Royal Astronomical Society and went to monthly meetings. I saved up my babysitting money and bought my first telescope, a refractor, at 15 then later bought another scope, a reflector this time, when I was 16.

I had my career all planned out! I went into the pure and applied science stream in high school and took every math and physics course I could. I was ecstatic when I got accepted into Astronomy at the University of Toronto. Things didn’t quite turn out the way I had expected, though, I hated theoretical physics. I kept on plugging for three years because I loved the subject so much but when I learned I couldn’t participate in the 4th year work term at the Hawaii-France-Canada telescope (again because of my asthma), and I discovered that you practically had to wait for someone to die before you got a job as an astronomer, I decided to reconsider my goals. I started looking for another program to finish my degree.

My second love was writing. I thought I would be a science journalist, but there were no courses in that, so I settled on creative writing to hone my writing skills and thought maybe I could be a textbook editor/writer. I ended up with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Science and fell into my first job as a technical writer, not having a clue what it was. And the rest (as they say) is history.

I still love science fiction, reading 100’s of books a year, watch many of the science fiction shows, and get my telescopes out periodically. If it hadn’t been for the moon landing, I don’t think I would be where I am today.

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