OFJ Field Journal from Laura Barnard - 12/2/95
THE SEARCH FOR A BALANCED LIFEToday is Saturday, one of my days off, and I wanted to tell you about the group of singers that the Galileo Project has. They are called the "Not Ready for Real-Time Players", and as a nickname I call the group the "Players". A group of Project staff (scientists, secretaries, integrators, etc.) started to join together in the far and distant past as satirical entertainment for the Christmas and Launch Anniversary parties. It became so popular that the group was asked by the project management to entertain more often. Launch anniversaries, Christmas, and any occasion that had merit. I joined the Project a month or so before one of their launch anniversary parties. At the party I was still meeting people I didn't know - when all of a sudden, the audience started to laugh. Jan Ludwinski (one of my team chiefs) was introducing the Players. They then proceeded to put on a show medley of tunes. They were having a lot of fun, and all of the tunes were recognizable, but all of the words had been changed! It was satire at its best.
Lyrics had been changed to reflect the angst of reengineering, and management woes. Everyone in the audience (all project members) were laughing. I decided to see if I could join this select group. I couldn't write satire or lyrics - but I could sing!
Well - they are a friendly group of people. They invited me to sing with them whenever there was a show. The Players only come together and practice a few weeks before their show - they don't practice every week. So our next show was for Probe release in July. I was nervous! I hadn't sung in years, and I was on stage in front of hundreds of people! But we had fun. The audience is usually project related, so the lyrics reflect that. For example for Probe release we sang a tune called "Turkey in the Straw" and the words were changed to "Probe in the Bay" and so on. The other song that we sang was "Please Release Me" with some of the words changed. It was very appropriate because we were releasing the Probe from the orbiter. The audience loved it. There were a few teachers in the audience, and they later requested the material so that they could have their students sing it and learn about Jupiter and Galileo.
Dr. Carol Polanskey is the leader of the group, and she talks with project management about potential shows that we can participate in. Right now we are practicing for Arrival Day on December 7th and we are having great fun. We have so many different songs, we had to vote for the top five because we don't have enough time to do all of them in our allotted time slot. We have been getting together on our lunch breaks and after work to practice. I also practice at home - which is what I have to do right now, so I'll talk to you later.
The next day - December 3, 1995
Today is Sunday and I am trying to catch up on my rest. This next week is so exciting and I know that it will be stressful. Yesterday I went and got my hair cut, and a new outfit to wear for the special event. When I am at home I like to kick back and do nothing, but it doesn't work out that way. There is always food to shop for, laundry to clean, and other things that make your house a home. My three cats want extra attention when I am home as well. I won't even mention the time that goes into making a marriage work. My husband isn't happy with me right now. He wants me home cooking dinners instead of working overtime.
So when it is finally the weekend, he is already upset with me so it ruins the rest of the quality time that we might have had. Oh well - my marriage will hopefully last forever, but Galileo Arrival Day will be over December 7th! By the way - I need to remind myself to stay up late tonight so that I can watch the Discovery channel at 9pm. They are having a special called "On Jupiter" and several of my friends on the Galileo Project will be featured. If you get a chance you should watch it too, because it will be interesting. It should be repeated later in the week if you missed it this time.