Life isn’t a rehearsal for something else. If you don’t step onto the stage and play your part, you’ve missed your chance.
That’s what I kept telling myself this week. It was orientation week for the 2014-15 Fellows at Knight Science Journalism at MIT, where I’m the new acting director. This is a one-year gig for me: there will be no do-overs. So for me, the first orientation where I’m in charge is also the last. There will only be one first seminar, one first field trip. Remembering this makes everything a bit more poignant.
I’ve always been prone to what you might call pre-nostalgia. When I look at my niece and nephew, who are 3 and 6, I sometimes think to myself “they’ll never be this cute and fun again.” I started to fret about what it would be like to live without my wonderful dog Rhody years before he actually died in 2013.
I try not to let this kind of kind of in-the-moment regret tip over into true sadness, but I think a small dose of it is useful. It helps me pay attention to what’s happening right now.
So this week’s flurry of Knight program orientation events will stay vivid in my memory. On Friday August 15, Bianca Sinausky, Patrick Wellever, Eric Strattman and I threw a wine-and-cheese reception where...