The adventures are far from over…
Since leaving Norway, my life has been launched on an absolutely thrilling path I could have never foreseen – one thing has built on another in the most spectacular way...
THE LAST YEAR OR SO
Due to the interruption in my studies posed by my Norwegian exchange, I had a winter term of school to fill. A professor of mine at the U of Saskatchewan kindly agreed to hire me on with his group in the Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies (ISAS), giving me a chance to experience life as a graduate student in the space sciences, not to mention the opportunity to remain active and on-campus.
Leading from ISAS, I was invited to speak at a CaNoRock conference at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. In addition to the chance to meet some of the great individuals responsible for organizing this program, I was also met a representative from Bristol Aerospace, the very company who had designed the rocket we had launched. This proved very beneficial…
…as I was hired on for a full-time summer internship with their space engineering division in Winnipeg! In addition to learning more about that rocket, I was also a part of the Radarsat Constellation Mission team, and was able to apply a great deal of my Satt/Rock knowledge within this firm.
Thanks again to CaNoRock, I applied for and was accepted as a Canadian Space Agency student delegate to the Congress of the Committee on Space Research, a HUGE conference on space science held every two years with the absolute top level of researchers, scientists, and policy makers. At this conference, I helped bring bring the story of CaNoRock to the world stage and met dozens of peers and leaders from across the world as I soaked in every possible detail of space science.
Oh, right. Did I mention the conference was in Bremen?
I don’t know what good karma I generated, but wow! Raimo came to the conference, he showed I and my fellow Canadian delegates an excellent time, and we explored his home city properly while taking in the very best of the conference lifestyle (it worth a blog of its own). And then, when the conference finished, we headed just a few miles out of town and picked up a lonely Austrian on the side of the road…
You guessed it – we had found ourselves an Alex! With Alex, Raimo, and Julia, we set out on a great odyssey from Bremen all the way to Brittany, the home of Marie and Pierre-Marie. Five days of hiking, sailing, swimming, and surfing (well, somewhat) were made all the more exceptional by our marvellous French hosts, the family LeFeuvre. On the way home, I was treated to Cologne courtesy of Marc and Hagen courtesy of Jana. My great fortune to be back in Europe so soon still astounds me, especially as my hosts (Raimo, Lefeuvre, Marc, Jana) were second-to-none once again.
SEPT 2010 AND COUNTING...
Finally, my term of Space Systems Engineering has forever altered my academic path; I am currently involved in both a scientific balloon and nanosat program, and am pursuing graduate studies in aerospace engineering come the fall. I can’t wait.
A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE
Perhaps most profoundly, those five months in Norway had an effect on me as a person that is near-impossible to overstate:
- I am more self-reliant, more confident, and more willing to take risks and pursue my dreams.
- I have a new appreciation for my homeland and for my friends at home and abroad.
- I have kept a healthy correspondence back across the Atlantic, which has sadly taken a backseat as I have finished up this journal (but will be resumed soon, I promise).
- I have a new country to cheer for in the sporting world (except when they curl against Canada, even in the best pants of life).
- I have a fun language to toss around when I’ve had a few pints of øl.
Even a year later, I continue to stumble upon new ways in which my life was enriched by those five months spent above the Arctic Circle. If we are indeed a part of all that we have met, then for the lives I touched and those that touched me I am truly blessed.
Above all, I am thankful that so very long ago, in what seems like another life, I retrieved that e-mail regarding the Fellowship for Studies in the High North, flagged it for further thought, and was allowed the chance to experience this life-changing opportunity to the fullest.
Here, at the end of all things, I thank you my readers for your feedback and support, and I look forward to joining you again one day. And you know, I can’t help but feel that life has another great adventure waiting just around the corner.