Skip to main content

Humbled.

I guess if you really strip everything away...

...wanting to be an astronaut...
...getting an Aerospace Engineering degree...
...working on helicopters...
...living with Type 1 Diabetes...

...there is one underlying theme in my life. I want to inspire someone.

Last week Chris (the F) and I went to a lecture at the Space and Rocket Center. Dr. Langsdon talked about President Kennedy and his connections to the space program, it was really interesting! Afterward he was signing his newest book, so we decided to purchase one and wait in line to talk with him. While we were waiting, the center's new CEO walked up and started talking to us. We told her our little story...how we had met there 4 years ago, how we both loved inspiring kids to be fighter pilots, and how we planned to have our wedding reception in that very building next year. She was excited for us and continued the conversation by asking what we were doing now. We mentioned our degrees, and our jobs...she was impressed. When she walked away another woman from behind me asked if she could have my "autograph". "What?" I said. "I'm not really anyone important." She told me how her daughter is a junior in high school and was nervous about pursuing an engineering degree. "I just want her to know that she can do it. You did it!" I agreed to write a note to a girl I had never met right there on some random lady's manila folder, because it is important.

I also included this little blog address in the note, so maybe she is out there, somewhere, still unsure. And if she reads this I want her to know that she absolutely CAN do it! It's going to be tough, you may encounter teachers that are still not used to girls in engineering (I did anyway), you may have to prove yourself a little more than your male counterparts. But it doesn't matter, because you CAN do all those things. All those things will make you a stronger person, they will build your confidence, they will lead you on a path where anything is possible. Do it for yourself...and in the process, you just may inspire someone else.

Comments

  1. That is such an amazing story! I am sure you are such an inspiration to many!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have 2 engineering degrees, so if she's still unsure ....

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awww April, this story made me smile. You are an inspiration on so many levels. Keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What an inspiring post! Especially since I was just reading this depressing article: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-05-17/features/sc-fam-0517-education-girls-math-20110517_1_math-girl-scouts-society-of-women-engineers (Now I'm curious; what proportion of your engineering classmates were female? Where I went to school it was like 25%, but it's since been brought to my attention that it's as low as 3% at some universities.)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks everyone for all the lovely comments!!! And to answer anonymous: 3/15 were female ... so about 20% ish!!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Who has two thumbs and loves comments? Nerdy April!!! Type one out and hit publish!

Popular posts from this blog

The road to curing Type 1 Diabetes

From the moment of diagnosis, the road is rough, the learning curve is steep and the stakes are literally life or death. The map is less-than-helpful - paths originating from virtually every corner, coalescing at a center point (aka "diagnosis") and bursting back outwards - some paths cross and wrap around each other but others are isolated. And even with all of these roads, most of the territory is uncharted - how did we all get here and how will we all exit? Where are the obstacles we haven't found yet? Which passage holds the key to unlocking the solution? On any given day I feel pretty isolated with this disease - I'm the only T1D in my group at work, the only one in mission control, the only one in my family. I go through the logistics of calling insurance companies, ordering supplies, changing sites and troubleshooting malfunctions mostly on my own. Even those pesky carbs really only get counted in my brain, no group think for a meal bolus here. But there i

The Diabetes Transportation System DTS-T1

I was looking forward to the Space Shuttle launch on Monday, then it was pushed to Wednesday and now it is scheduled for Thursday due to several electrical issues from a main engine computer controller. Ironically, our little MH-47G (due to start testing on Monday originally) has been having it's own issues and it is still unclear exactly when we will start testing. And all of this uncertainty, schedule changes, and issue-working reminds me of my little friend Diabetes [come on, you knew that was coming :-)]. Even with hard work, super awesome bolusing skills [ check out Holly's blog today, the number crunching is very impressive] and constant blood sugar checks, Diabetes can still be unpredictable, necessitate schedule changes, and cause the carrier to work through the issues. I have been lucky today, even after a late-night cocktail last night, I woke up this morning at 112, and before lunch I was an amazing 113. I love being steady like that, cruising along with hardly an

What it's really like being a woman engineer in 2020

Today is International Women in Engineering Day (#INWED)! This year marks a full decade since earning an Aerospace Engineering degree, launching my journey as a woman engineer. So, what does it feel like as a woman engineer today, in 2020?  It probably comes as no surprise that women are still the minority in most engineering fields, mine included. The real statistics? At my first job out of college , women made up 10% of my group and that percentage came from only one woman: me. There were a handful of other women scattered throughout the rest of the organization but it was probably around 10% at best. I relied solely on men to teach me how to interact with military officers, when to speak up in meetings, how to don and doff flight gear and talk on the radio, how to avoid red-out during aerobatics, how to take engineering notes during night flights, how to setup and run data, how to run a pre-flight and post-flight briefing, how to conduct myself at customer sites, how to layer up an
01 09 10