“Professor Phillips, is there anything you would still like to do before you die?”
As I get older, I have looked back on my life and feel confident that I have truly lived a full and interesting life. I have regrets but I also have validation that I have been successful in loving others, giving back and in finding JOY in life itself. I love life and the exploration and experiencing of life each and every day. Some days are more difficult than others, but each day has good too, simply because I am alive.
The other day, one of my students asked me, “Professor Phillips, what haven’t you done?” “Is there anything that you would still like to do before you die?”
My cheerful and confident response was, “I’m going to go to the moon! My students are going to build a city on the moon using 3D Printers. When they finish and spaceflight is just as safe as airline flight, I will go.
The last item on my “Bucket List” is to stand on the surface of the moon, or in a classroom or lecture hall on the moon, and look up and see earth as a planet, as another heavenly body. Then I can die. I will have done it all.” Big Smile. 😀
The students were both amused and astounded by my response. One girl said, “You are so cool!” To which I said, “No just not afraid to dream. Either that or I am just crazy.” This exchange led to more questions about what we would all like to do in life. The dreams of my students are not unlike mine at the same age; finish college, travel, get married, have a family,….hike across Europe, sail a boat around the world…climb a mountain…jump out of an airplane. When they asked what was next on my Bucket List I told them about the remaining items on my list….admittedly, even I wasn’t exactly sure what I still wanted to do, so it was just as revealing to me as for them.
- Mount Redoubt, Alaska
- Visit the CERN in Switzerland
- Mexico City – Our Lady of Guadalupe pilgrimage
- Mount Popocatépetl Volcano – near Mexico City
- Icelandic volcanic fields – add auroras and volcanic eruptions
- Machu Picchu in Peru – teach science and math at an orphanage
- Patagonia, Argentina – Perito Moreno Glacier – teach science and math at an orphanage
- Antarctica – search for meteorites
- Mount Fuji in Japan
- Fiji Islands or Japan and view iridescent algae
- East African Rift and Mt. Kilimanjaro
- Pilgrimage to Rome
- Greek Islands, birthplace of philosophy, math and science
- The surface of the moon and look back at Earth as a celestial beauty
I am sure there are other things I’d love to do and places I’d love to see, but this is the Bucket List of places I’d like to travel to and things I would love to see.
Since I still haven’t “grown up,” yet, I hope to have many more years of experiences to share with my students before the Lord calls me home.
Never Stop Dreaming – “Sciencegranny”