A Plea for the Shipbuilders

For thousands of years, we have looked to the heavens for guidance, revelation, and understanding. Within the past 100 years we grasped our legacies. Taken the wisdom of our ancestors and touched the heavens. Discovered answers to questions millennia in the making and begun to craft even more.
Now we stand on the shores of the cosmic ocean, the frames of our ships being constructed in the harbor, and we quit. We stop the shipbuilders and tell them that it is impossible to complete what they've begun; when they can see that their efforts are not in vain! They yearn to continue, beg you to reconsider, but you don't have their vision. All you see are the bare bones of the ship, you can't see how it will protect them from the ravages of the sea. You don't have their knowledge, their passion; you crush their hopes, and your future.
Never in our history have we been so hostile to exploration. Never have we let our leaders dictate where our exploration ends. Now, with our backs turned, they slash away at our tomorrows.
Science is being attacked, the backbone of society is being removed. Will we ignore it?
The United States' space program is being decimated with steady persistent budget cuts. Cuts to a budget that hasn't demanded more than it's fair share in it's half century history.
At this rate, we will never return to the moon, or ever stand in the dried river beds of Mars; not if we systematically destroy the engines through which we touch the stars.
Children don't want to be Astronauts just because they see a photograph in a book, but because they see a Human Being launch himself into the unknown.
I saw a man hold the Earth in his hand. So small we seemed. So insignificant our differences, and all I wanted to do was see more.
I want to see the Sun form the surface of one of Jupiter's moons. I want to stand on the red surface of Mars. I want to travel beyond our galaxy in a spacecraft of ambassadors from Earth.
Let me dream that one day I might. Let me know that my chance to stand on the moon will not die because we are too afraid to do what is necessary.
Don't halt a millennia of questions. Let the shipbuilder finish his work.

Stigma

Sometimes you forget.
Not important things, just aesthetic properties of yourself.
I was born into a Indian family in Yonkers, New York, early one February morning. It's never really weighed on me before, but suddenly I see how much it weighs on the people I meet. The first thing they see isn't the image of me that I have in my mind, but an Indian woman, that probably doesn't know English. In fact, until age 5, I didn't.
My entire life, my English skills have been tested, my speech patterns, my writing habits. I progressed meteorically, but it wasn't enough. By age 6 I was fluent in all Punjabi, Hindi, and English. I was in a special education class for only 6 months of my educational career. Only removed when the teacher said it was holding me back. After first grade, I never received any special treatment.
But imagine my surprise when I learned that the state of California's educational board had required my teachers to send in a writing sample until my senior year of High School.
By then I was already on the path to becoming a full fledged writer, I had first drafts of 13 different novels under my belt and no idea I was lacking in any sort of way.
I wasn't; but because of a six month stay in special education I was "looked after."
Really? I had kids in my class that needed actual help and I was the one they concerned themselves with? And why English samples? Why not the catapult my Physics partner and I designed senior year? Or Math tests?
Was I special just because of who I was born to? So will my siblings and I live with the "stigma" for the rest of our lives?

Rumination 4

So, I got the Blogger app for my iPod Touch. This is me using it, so I don't feel bad about not using it.

BRIGHT SIDE! New blog post. Yeah!!!