"Getting Back to Normal "

Bridget Landry - July 15, 1997
Deputy Uplink Systems Engineer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

    My schedule has moved around to where I'm almost on a normal workday again, after a week and a half on the night shift. Not sure whether I like it or not; it's certainly easier to stay awake, but there is something special about working in the middle of the night. Do other people feel this way? Not sure; I've always been a night owl and loved staying up late, so maybe that's where the magic comes from.

I'm glad, however, that this is only for a month. What I'm doing is something that I've wanted to do since I was a little girl, and still there were days last week that I desperately wanted to go home and go to sleep. How do people do this, day in and day out, especially when it isn't their dream job? I'm developing a new respect for doctors, police, those in the fire department and factory workers who work the night shift; it's a lot harder than it looks.

The project is doing well. We seem to be closing in on the causes of all these resets of the lander computer, which have been upsetting our work timetable. The detail coming down in the less-compressed images we've started taking is spectacular; there are data here for years of study. Almost makes me think about going back to grad school...

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