Welcome to my blog, aka my place to comment and reflect on things I find inspiring, amusing, irritating, or baffling. When I was young, my Stanford PhD, former physics professor, software engineer father used to help me with my math homework, and I, being mentally deficient in all things math, could never quite get it. He would constantly say to me, "Jill, it's not rocket science." (Did I mention the PhD was in Aeronautics and Astronautics??) So I thought it would be an appropriate title for this blog because everything I write about is, indeed, not rocket science.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Why My Dad is Awesome

I was reflecting on my blog title and how "It's not rocket science" is very meaningful to me because it relates to an awesome story about my dad, which relates to the quality I admire most in him. As I mention in my blog description, my dad used to say to me, "Jill, it's not rocket science" when he was helping me with my math homework (which was more often than not because I'm retarded at math). I knew that he had a PhD from Stanford and that he was super-smart and could explain to me the wonders of the universe, but I just assumed his degree was in Physics because he used to be a Physics professor at the University of Victoria, in Canada. And he had a radical t-shirt that said, "Physics is Phantastic." I wore it to a high school dance once, when my friends and I were trying to be goofy and ironic. It wasn't until I was 18 years-old that I found out that his PhD was actually in Aeronautics (or Aeronautical Engineering or some other genius-sounding thing - he can correct me later). We were at my grandfather's memorial service, and I have no idea how it came up, but he casually mentioned it and my mouth hung open. "Your PhD was in Aeronautics?? I thought it was in Physics! So all these years you've been telling me, 'It's not rocket science,' and you actually know what rocket science is???" He smiled and laughed. 

But my dad's uber-smarts is not why he is awesome. The rocket science thing is impressive and cool, of course. But he is awesome because I didn't know this fact until I was 18. 18!! I think if I had a PhD in Aeronautics, I would wear a name tag that said, "Hi, my name is Jill, and I am a rocket scientist. SUCK ON THAT." Well, I don't really think I'd do that. Because I'd like to think that I'm somewhat like my dad. As you might have surmised, my dad is not the sort of guy who talks about himself very often. Or ever. And when he does offer up a crumb of information about himself, you snatch it up and put it in your memory bank because it probably won't come around again anytime soon. My dad is not shy by any means, just very humble and modest. In fact, he's probably embarrassed that I'm writing this post. But with my dad, as with most people who don't like to talk about themselves, you just have to remember to ask questions. Then he'll talk. It just never occurred to me to ask. 

Humility and modesty are such admirable qualities, especially in this day and age, when everything in the Facebook and Twitter world screams, "LOOK AT ME!" Boastfulness and over-sharing is not phantastic. But my dad is. 

UPDATE: My dad informed me that his PhD was in Aeronautics and Astronautics - Aeronautics has been around for years and involves flight inside the Earth's atmosphere, while Astronautics is flight beyond Earth's atmosphere - the rocket science part. 

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