A couple weeks ago, my fiance and I had the absolute pleasure of seeing Neil deGrasse Tyson speak at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. I honestly cannot describe how awesome this event was; as I sit here trying to think of works to properly convey everything, emotions are welling up inside of me. Where to begin….
The event was scheduled to begin at 7 PM, so I arrived at the Nutter Center around 4:50PM. Even then there was a sizable line down the sidewalk. As we waited for the doors to open at 6, more and more people began to show up and the line grew longer and longer…
Eventually the line progressed to circle the parking lot (pictured above) and go clear back beyond the tree line in the distance, along the sidewalk. Before I go on, I must say that seeing so many people arrive and wait in this long line was and AWESOME sight! This was something you’d only see at a rock concert or perhaps die-hard sport fans waiting to enter an arena. This is unprecedented when it comes to seeing a scientist! This gave me chills down every inch of my body. I was absolutely amazed to see such a turnout to see one of the greatest science communicators of our time.
We eventually made it inside a little after 6PM and was ushered to the front of the non-reserved seating (my fiance had a twisted ankle and was on crutches). We sat, rather impatiently I might add, while everyone got seated. There were more people than they anticipated and so they had overflow into an adjacent room where they had TVs to live broadcast the event. OVER FLOW FOR A SCIENTIST. Can you believe that?! So, we waited. 7PM rolled around before we knew it and out Dr. Tyson came to a marvelous standing ovation. Seriously, the atmosphere rivaled the biggest concert you’ll ever go to.
So the talk begins, and let me tell you not a word was uttered when Dr. Tyson started to speak. I could sit here and tell you about everything that was said, but it would be a long endeavor. I will, however, leave you with a motivation poster I put together with a quote from that night. I hope you enjoy it 🙂
This is a fantastic video! Stunning beauty that only a select few will ever get to see, at least at this moment in time. Hurtling around the Earth at 17,500mph (nearly 5 miles per second), gazing down upon the Auroras and looking out into the Milky Way Galaxy.
Humans are barraged with centrisms their entire life, but when one understands the true scale of things, all of those centrisms come crashing down like a house of cards. It is a great lesson in humility when one confronts the beautiful truths the universe has to offer. The problem is getting people to open up and want to understand and learn. But once you overcome that obstacle the domino effect takes over: The thrill of understanding something for the first time is sought more and more. For me, it’s analogous to adrenaline junkies, but for ones mind. And just like adrenaline junkies, not everyone wants to be one (or they can’t for various fears).
All that one can do is share experiences and try to get others involved and engaged. Once you open that door for someone, showing them the wonderful and exciting things about the universe that is hitherto unknown, you’ve become a teacher. You’ve now aided someone in the learning and understanding of concepts — which at one point you yourself didn’t grasp — which builds you as a person. Passing on knowledge (as well as adding more to the pile) is the essence of science; it is a body of knowledge and provides a way of thinking.
Every one of us goes from being a student (about the world or life in general) and ultimately to becoming a teacher. Passion is what fuels any good teacher, be it of morals, history and, you guessed it, science.