In the winter of 2006 my friend Charity and I created a MySpace page for our mythical character Alumni Andi. The purpose of Alumni Andi was to drum up support for Space Camp’s 25th Anniversary. We were both alumni of Space Camp programs, we both loved the idea of getting our hands dirty around work, and we both enjoyed every moment of our project.
At the time Charity was working in scheduling and I was the manager of Aviation Challenge. We had just completed our greatest triumph with Be Ready Camp and Be Ready Day! I was struggling through my second year of marriage and she was still enjoying the life of a somewhat single chick. I can’t remember how we came up with Alumni Andi other than it was some random idea that came out of my eccentric brain. We had our purpose, our goal.
I remember Andi’s first words like I just wrote them, or like I just read them, a few minutes ago on MySpace. It was a very fun time. It was my first blog. Please, let me reminisce.
“What do you get when you put a red-headed step child and a planning and logistics person together (who are both alumni)? Well, with a little bit of Space Camp magic mixed with AC lake water, you get Alumni Andi. Andi is the brain child of US, the players to be named later.”
Jump forward past two classes of inductees, an injured camper in Iraq, a marriage, and reaching the 500,000th camper to today. It was a special day. I woke up thinking it would be an average Friday and the highlight would be my consultant hubby coming home from Newark. But it wasn’t that way at all. Today Andi received a nod of thanks and I remember how great it was back in the winter of ’06. It was great to work with my “appendage.” Two and Three are Andi’s flags. I don’t consider my flag as my flag. It belongs to Andi.
Yes, I did look lustfully at the flags that were shoved in Kelley and Holley’s office corner; the flags that were too damaged to give to VIPs. Yes, when I presented my favorite astronaut with his 25th anniversary flag, I was jealous. But today standing up with Andi – Charity, Mike, and Geoff, I was more honored than I could ever be.
I love my job, I love my purpose, and I love my place in this world. Being Andi taught me two things: Anyone can be influential, even a mythical character; and I love to write.