Our Student Contributors
One of the many reasons I love being at U of T is because there is always something cool happening nearby.
Sometimes it might be a concert at a close-by venue, but quite often the event itself is at U of T. Just the other day I got to see Commander Chris Hadfield! He is the rock star of astronauts. Of course I follow him on Twitter and I am proud to call him a fellow Canadian, but I never thought I’d get the chance to hear him speak, let alone meet him! As with many events happening at the university, we got an email saying that he was going to be giving a talk, that space was limited… the usual. However, the best part was why he was coming to speak to us; U of T’s Movember team had raised more money than any other Canadian university. At the talk itself we were told by a Movember representative than we weren’t just the top Canadian team, but the top worldwide team and the team was even presented with a giant mustachioed trophy. As can be expected tickets were gone within hours, people started to line up long before doors open, and the place was absolutely buzzing with anticipation as we all waited for Commander Hadfield to come onstage. As he stepped onstage the crowd went wild and he got a standing ovation. There, on stage, where just a couple years before my astronomy professor had lectured from, stood the first Canadian to command the International Space Station. At that moment I became a bit of a fangirl, it’s safe to say we all did.
The talk was amazing! He was funny, he was informative, and he was inspirational. He told us about his time in space. There were stories of how astronauts from different countries just come together to make the impossible happen, just how there was an ammonia leak and instead of having a week to prepare for a space walk, as is usually the case, they had one day, and they made it all happen. He also explained how the launch happened, what it felt like, and how rough the landing back on earth could be. It was surreal. This man had been in space and here he was telling us how lucky we were to have an education and that it was important to not only study math and science, but the arts as well.I think I remember wanting to be an astronaut at some point growing up, I mean, who doesn’t want to travel to space?
Afterwards there was a book signing and I managed to get in the line right before the cut off. After signing my book we took a couple selfies and my friend took a couple pictures of us. He was just so nice! As I was leaving the absolute cutest thing happened. Even though my friend and I were the last two in line to get our books signed, a father had just been let in with his small son. He had a small wooden rocket for Chris Hadfield to sign. As Commander Hadfield sat down to talk to him he examined the rocket and told him to keep building rockets because we needed him. By this point everyone in the room had gone very quiet and was watching the exchange and the room was bursting with the cuteness overload. It was just the perfect way to end such an amazing lecture. It was definitely worth the wait in line!