findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are
those of the developer, PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE, and do not necessarily
reflect those of the National Science Foundation.
To MARS with MER - RESEARCH/ers
Mechanical Engineering section
NASA / Jet Propulsion Laboratory
"Work" as "Play"
I've been known to tell people that I wake up every day and I get to go play, and I get paid for it. And I mean that. I really love what I do. I live to work. I don't work to live. So when I wake up I get to go, Wow, I get to go to work, and I get to test the rover today, or I'm going to get to throw a vehicle out of a helicopter, or I'm going to get to blow up something, or I'm going to get to design this thing that's going to end up on Europa and study the icy moon to see if there's life there, or I'm going to get to build a new vehicle that's never been thought of before. I get to sit back in my office and create, and spend some time with some people I enjoy, and a team of people that I enjoy and come up new ideas of how we're going to explore the solar system. There's nowhere else in the world that you get that experience.
So in my world, if I spend a 16 hour day at work, I spend 16 hours playing. Then I get to go home and spend a few hours walking my dog, who misses me immensely, and then I sleep and then it's "Okay, it's time to get back up and go." So although it's stressful having somebody pound on you saying, "Hey, you need to deliver this, you need to deliver that," at the same time it's really fun and joyful for me because it's something I always wanted to do. I don't wake up going, "Oh, I don't want to go to work today, it sucks." I wake up going, "Gee, I'm going to get to do something really cool today," and it happens everyday.
Now granted like anything else, there are days when I feel like, "I really don't want to be here," the mundane crunching of numbers, but the most part of it is it's fun, you get to talk to people, you get to meet some of the most intelligent people on the planet.