Sunday, August 10, 2008

AU Going Away Party

Close on the heels of the Museum's farewell extravaganza was the shin-dig the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit had last night. The AU is a very dedicated group of volunteers who do astronomy outreach to thousands of people each year. They are partnered with the Museum and it has been my pleasure to work with them closely for the last few years. When I came into my current position, things were a little strained between the Museum and the AU, but we all worked hard to get the relationship to a better place. If last night was any indication, mission accomplished. We had a lovely dinner together (the food was great - thanks, Timma!), and then they presented me with a very impressive plaque and a lifetime membership to the AU, as well as an engraved green laser pointer. I was very touched, and got all misty again. (I think that's about to be the story of my life for the next 8 days.) If you haven't seen a green laser pointer in action, think of a light saber that points into space with a beam that extends several miles. Astronomers use them to point out stars and constellations, but the laser always impresses people more than the night sky.
After that, I went to my last star party. Star parties are monthly public observations that also include hands-on demonstrations and activities. They are staffed by the AU, and they were out in full force to the 130+ visitors that came. Unlike the Museum staff, I had to actually say goodbye to all my AU friends at the end of the star party. It was hard. The chocolate cake from party helped.


Jefe said...

I expect playing with green laser privileges when i come to will happen. Sometime. I promise :)

Dana said...

Haha! "Javier is thrilled I'm leaving..."!