August 6, 2007

Ultimate Emotion

This week, Barbara Morgan is set to become the first teacher in space.


This news brings back one of the saddest memories I have.

In 1985, Morgan was chosen to be the back-up to teacher-in-space Christa McAuliffe. They trained together at Johnson Space Center in Houston for six months, and it was McAuliffe who was on board Challenger when it blew apart on Jan. 28, 1986.

News crews were in McAuliffe's classroom to get the reactions of her students as she was to become the first teacher in space. As I watched, shocked by the disaster, the news cut away to her school as the students watched. The emotional and traumatic reactions from her students as they saw their hero's life flicked away by the hand of God, in real time, is the saddest thing I've ever witnessed. Tears still come to my eyes and a lump in my throat when I think about those kids.

Teacher's have always been my heroes. I've never wanted to be a teacher, and don't think I could ever rise to their level. Teaching only works when the students have motivation to learn, and only the best teachers can aspire to the level she attained. Christa McAuliffe was one teacher that motivated students to learn, not only hers, but the entire nation.

She inspired, but the Universe/God/Randomness decided to give her students a hard, brutal lesson in life, and stole their innocence, while the whole nation watched.

Whe I heard the news about Barbara Morgan becoming the first teacher in space, my thoughts immediately turned to the memories of those kids.

I couldn't hold back the tears.

.

9 comments:

Evil Spock said...

I was in fifth grade when it happened. Our classroom response was less than sympathetic.

I'll blog about it after the shuttle launch.

azgoddess said...

BIG HUGS!!!! life is fragile...

Nancybee said...

I do remember that day and it was very sad indeed.

I remember watching her on many interviews before that fatal launch, I thought she was very courageous for going out into space...

Thank you for this touching tribute to this gutsty lady!

Blueberry said...

Who can forget that day? At the time, I was working for an aerospace corporation, and there were veteran and training astronauts on staff -- so our first reactions were trying to figure out if our guy was up there or if he was scheduled to go again later. Also, our company built part of the shuttles. So, shock and horror mixed with confusion. I later worked with one of the astronauts (...one who never got to fly, but was trained and ready to go up. The disaster changed all that).

Sooo tragic for all the incredibly brave souls who have died during space missions, and for those who loved them and had to watch it.

Mary said...

V. sad. How could any one feel any other way?

niCk (Mem Beth) said...

ES - I hope my post didn't jinx the mission, I have a history of doing that.

AZ - Indeed.

Nancy - I'll never forget it how I felt when I saw those kids reactions.

blueberry - It's so much more tragic because of the invited guests are aboard when these shuttle disasters have happened.

Mary - Yes, so sad.

Peacechick Mary said...

It was surely a sad and shocking day.

Pam said...

I remember that day as well. I was a senior in high school and I remember there was a lag between when it happened and the realization that it had exploded.

This post brought tears to my eyes too....

Mauigirl said...

I feel old compared to some of you. I was at work...and had been working for 11 years already at that time. A secretary (as we called them then, not administrative assistants) ran down the hall saying "It blew up, the Challenger blew up" or something to that effect. We all went into a conference room and watched the TV in silent disbelief as they showed the explosion over and over. So sad.