Astronomy: Me and the Universe
When I was a youngster, I would go outside, particularly in the wintertime, and gaze, spellbound, at the night sky. How beautiful, how inspiring!
But when my parents bought me a kids' telescope, it was horribly inadequate and highly disappointing. I did not realize it, but a very large and expensive telescope is required, perhaps complete with motor drive to compensate for Earth's rotation. It was hopeless for me to hope that one day I could really "get into" astronomy.
Then along came the 8th grade and Mrs. Best, who required of us a report on what we would choose for our future occupation. This report would be graded for English but would also move us to consider our futures. Looking back, it entirely influenced my future vocation. Why?
I chose astronomy. The 7th grade science class had rekindled my desire to pursue the field of astronomy. I would gain access to the needed equipment as a result of obtaining a college education -- or so I thought. I spoke of it to Mom. How would she like my choice? She hated it. She shot it down. "NO! Not astronomy," she said. "You can't make a living as an astronomer." I was crestfallen.
My New Friend
In high school, I met a fellow who lived a few blocks away from me, who was older than me. He loved chemistry. I quickly befriended him and thrived on his fascination with chemistry. He made it come alive for me. Soon, I was convinced there was no better, more interesting field for me to pursue than chemistry. What would Mom say?
Surprisingly, Mom said, "Yes. You can find employment if you are a chemist." How happy her words made me. Besides, one of my mom's friends worked for Union Carbide. Maybe some day he could help me find employment as a chemist. And so, I attended Drexel Institute of Technology (soon called Drexel University), and I specialized in organic chemistry. I would love to have become involved in Quantum Organic Chemistry.
Thankful for Mom
I'm actually glad Mom shot down astronomy. Contrary to what she said, I could have found employment as an astronomer. But here's the rub: the astronomer engages largely in speculation. Oh, they interpret data they gather in the hopes of better understanding the universe. But their "science" is largely, by nature, speculation, not Truth.
In all things, I seek truth. In all things. Things that are true are proven true, indisputably. Some things are possible. Some probable. Some definite, yes true. Not that often in astronomy...
Image Credit » Astronomy Observatory https://pixabay.com/photos/observatory-haleakala-telescope-3877321/