Today I was Interviewed

What made the event different was that for once it was in English.  Praise be.

However, it turned out the goal of the interview was to reveal “Common Misperceptions in the Public about Astronomy.”

Nice.  “And was I the first person you thought of when asked to find misperceiving sorts,” I asked.

I was assured I was the second person.  So I gave the interview.

It turns out, big surprise, that I am more ignorant today then I was in my youth.  Proving, for once and for all, that I have left the first blush of youth.  I am in the second blush, you see.

I was asked three questions.

1.  To describe what the north star is.  Well, in my defense, the most important thing about it is that it helps us know where north is, right?  I mean, given one can find it.  I also threw out that it was a constellation, primarily because how can one star show north.  It cannot, I venture.  My dear interviewer tried to help me.  “Is there anything special about it?”  I looked at him. “Well, um, it’s visible with the naked eye. That would have helped a million years ago. And for navigating the seas.”  I see him scribbling and begin to wonder if he’s going to write that this particular member of the public thinks that maritime dinosaurs navigated by the stars. “Thousands of years,” I butt in.

Then I had to say how confident I was in my answer, on a scale of 1 to 10.  I went with a solid 6.5.

2.  To describe what the zodiac is and how many constellations are in it.  Aha!  Not for naught did I get my degree and go in debt!  I used my hard-bought reading skillz and ventured based on the question that the zodiac is comprised of constellations.

I see my gentle interviewer waiting for more, first with his fingers hovering over the laptop, and then with a slow frown and raised eyes. “Visible constellations. With the naked eye.” He sincerely tried not to smile.

I announced I felt quite secure at 0.1 on the 1 to 10 scale of certainty.  He announced the scale started at 1.  “One point oh, then. Recurring.”

3.  To describe what the seasons are.  Humiliating.  I squinted.  I crushed my eyes shut.  I raised one hand in front of me, and the other off on the side and began spinning it around.  It’s impossible to spin your hand, what with the arm being attached to it and all.

It was not, shall we say, my most eloquent moment.

After several disjointed nouns and no verbs, I went with: “The sun and how we, um, go around it. On an angle. And the moon? Tides? The way we move. Where is the sun?”

I didn’t wait. 3.5, I said.

The thing that makes this debacle extra sad, dear readers, is that my laptop for the past two weeks has been perched on the following book:  Universe.  Only the highest rated book on astronomy for beginners.

Maybe it’s time I read it.  🙂


New York City at Night -- Brooklyn

New York City at Night -- Brooklyn


About sputnitsa

Born in the US, I grew up in Africa and the West Indies, and returned stateside in my teens. After a decade in international development, democracy work, and inclusivity training for domestic NGOs, I joined Peace Corps, and after a year, experienced my first Russian invasion. I followed that up by volunteering with refugees and youth, and after some vacation time climbing minarets and mountains, I returned to New York City, where today I work on social justice with college students, produce short films, and write.
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6 Responses to Today I was Interviewed

  1. Well it amused me, if nothing else… And I’m confident at at 9.7 out of 10 on that one. 😉

    Nice to have you back blogging.

  2. Beth says:

    I couldn’t help but smile when reading this. I guess now Universe is at the top of your reading list?

    • sputnitsa says:

      Heh. Well, I moved the laptop onto a Chinese cookbook and a history of the Merovingian world, so I can at least attest to what I won’t be reading anytime soon! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. MJ says:

    Cool. Now I know what to talk about at dinner tonight.

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