I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life how to better understand their children.

5 Sep 2013

What books can do to improve us - Part 8


Thad Roberts is the main character in Ben Mezrich’s latest book, Sex on the Moon. His dream is to be the first man to walk on Mars. The buzzword at NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) now is Mars. Everybody is talking about Mars. In the 1960’s, it was all about the moon. The sixties culminated in man landing on the moon for the first time on July 20, 1969. To date, man has landed on the moon six times. Each time we collected moon rocks and various samples.

The beginning of Thad’s life was poles apart from NASA and space. His family was extremely religious. After Thad made what is really a small mistake (if one can even call it a mistake), his family banished him. Forced to fend for himself, Thad had to get a job to put himself through college.

When he reached the end of his diploma, Thad still didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life. Fortunately, the university had an office where students could research possible careers. For hours, Thad sifted through files, from A to Z. He brushed through astronaut, thinking it was a pipe dream. When nothing else caught his eye, he started seriously considering becoming an astronaut. He read the file and documented what he needed to do. He continued his research off campus, and decided that he would need to learn new languages and various skills, such as scuba diving. Self-funded, self-motivated and often on his own, he learned the skills he needed. Then he applied for a co-op position at the Johnson Space Center, which is a stepping-stone to working at NASA. The JSC accepted Thad, before they even interviewed him.

Thad thrived at the JSC. He adapted quickly and was soon head of his social circles. Due to his genius level intelligence, his superiors also favored him. He worked for a few years going from strength to strength. Unfortunately, this is where things take a bit of a wrong turn. Remember I spoke earlier about a lack of love being the root cause of many problems. Well, even though Thad had achieved so much, he still always felt like something was missing and that he wasn’t accepted. He hatched plan to steal used moon rocks to impress his girlfriend. Moon rocks are extremely valuable, but are illegal to own.

The caper went off without a hitch. However, Thad and his accomplices were caught while trying to sell their prize. Thad went to prison. Now, he could have given up and said my life is over. Instead, he investigated what courses were available for inmates. He realized that he was at a much higher level than anything offered, so he decided to teach an astronomy class to fellow convicts. In return for teaching the class, he didn’t ask for money. Instead, he asked that the students who left prison would please send him a physics textbook.

This is what he spent his time in prison doing: teaching other about the stars and the sky, reading physics textbooks and writing his own book. He left prison with his own seven-hundred-page manual about seeing the world in eleven dimensions. Now, don’t worry if you don’t know what that means. I don’t either. Through it all, Thad never lost sight of his dreams. He still plans to be the first man to walk on Mars. Much of this wouldn’t be happening without books.

What books can do to improve us as people - Part 1
What books can do to improve us as people - Part 2
What books can do to improve us as people - Part 3
What books can do to improve us as people - Part 4
What books can do to improve us as people - Part 5
What books can do to improve us as people - Part 6
What books can do to improve us as people - Part 7
What books can do to improve us as people - Part 9

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I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life
how to better understand their children.
And I show people who are facing difficulties that they are not alone

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