In the summer between my 2nd and 3rd year in college, I decided to sign up for an introduction to astronomy, designated for non-science based students. To me, astronomy is sci-fiction – movies, tv, novels. I day dreamed about the galaxy far, far away.
At the very first lecture, I sat alone in the middle of a big class pretending that I wasn’t intimidated by the foreign terms and long words. The professor invited us into his world of planets, galaxy, and black hole. He frantically pushed his hands thru his fussy hair when he looked for simple words to explain the concepts. His small eyes were shining when he showed us how to find the northern star and his hands were waving wildly to illustrate the big bang theory. For 2 hours I sat there mesmerized by his enthusiasm, feeling lost with a sinking heart, knowing that I was totally out of my league.
After class, I stood quietly at the bus-stop with a few fellow students. My mind was racing. “I am going to fail this course. My GPA will go down and my life is over.” Somebody gasped and pointed a finger up above. I looked up blinking back my tears of dismay and saw the dark velvety blue sky covered with shinny stars. The big dipper and the Polaris stood out in front just like the picture we saw in class. The stars were brilliant. They were daunting me and daring me to feel sorry for my receding GPA. Who am I in this endless universe. What am I but a frog at the bottom of a well. Suddenly my head cleared, my heart soared. What a beautiful world and I am lucky to be part of it.
To this day, I could always find peace and courage when I look up at the starry night sky. I am tiny and insignificant but I am part of this beautiful universe. There is no edge to the universe and I vow never set any limit to myself.
“look up at the stars and not down at your feet” In memory of Dr. S.H., the household name that bridge the gap between us, the universe and infinite possibilities.