I'm excited.

It's been awhile since I've done frankly anything with the site.  I haven't had any submissions and its bummed me out but to be honest I've been too busy to put the time and effort into promoting it.  Which is fine, actually.  I'm pursuing something and hope to at least partially document the journey here on the site.  As usual - you're welcome to be a part of the conversation.

A few years ago I began to look into a life dedicated to science.  I was pretty sure I wanted to return to school or self-teach on an advanced topic.  Neither seemed like very realistic options, to be honest, and I entered a pretty deep depression.  I was eventually set adrift, pushing my dreams off in favor of a good paying job (and fun) job here or there.  I worked in Tahoe helping three ski shops and even though it was immensely stressful, I had a great time and met some incredible people and spent time in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Then something happened.

In putting together my research for our leadership series (your responses to it have been great!), I put together another blog about one of the exercises - "Get Real."  The exercise had a profound effect on me and spelled out quite categorically what I valued most:  my dogs, my family's adoration, and my dream of holding an advanced degree in astrophysics.  As I completed that exercise I sat and pondered on the immensity of the task before me.  I hadn't been to school in close to 12 years (and math class in 15!) and hadn't a clue about how the college process would or could work.  Were my past grades going to haunt me?  Would I even be able to keep up while working full-time?  Would I even be able to afford school and life?  I had no reason to believe I could make it work.

Personal circumstances provided the opportunity.  Generous help from relatives, a forced return to California, and an opportunity to study.  I still wasn't sure it was going to happen.  Now?

I'm doing trig homework.

I am very much still on something like the fifth step of over a thousand but that is irrelevant.  I was met with resistance enrolling, met with resistance in financial assistance, and met with resistance in the form of a maths assessment (spoiler alert: I tested into trig - after testing into something like half my current ability 12 years ago).

The picture I selected is far more appropriate than most laypeople will know.  The picture is of the mirror-refining phase on the construction of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) - a telescope that will be far more powerful than Hubble and will float in space at a point known as a Lagrange Point - L5 in particular - and provide graduate students, researchers, and university professors with vital data for years to come.  It is very likely that my own future that I have chosen to set on is tied completely to it (and the Thirty Meter Telescope being constructed in Hawaii).  The JWST is the latest and greatest instrument of astronomy and physics - and represents what I hope to help popularize in the years to come.

This site was always meant to be a refuge - not necessarily a haven for content but a place where you could go when you needed inspiration or wanted to share ideas with like-minded people.  I hope in the future I can update you when I can.  But - I'll be honest - much of my free time is dedicated to not just going through the motions of class but understanding the concepts and making them my own.  I've even taken the unusual precaution of bringing books on black holes and time travel t work with me to read on lunch breaks.  To say people find me odd when I laugh at a joke about quantum jiggle isn't in the least bit surprising.

I'll be updating the site with more information when possible and will make a point to include any science articles I can find when I have time to find them and frame them in such a way that they are relevant to what we are doing here - connecting people to the outdoors.

Thanks for reading.