just five minutes

NASA / SDO and the AIA Consortium This SDO image (AIA 193) shows an M9-class solar flare erupting on the sun's northeastern hemisphere at 03:49 UT on Monday, just four days after a previous strong CME that sparked aurora around the world. More geomagnetic activity is expected.

Watching the news report of the recent solar storms I find myself remembering when I finally met Susan face to face. Our conversation was brief…five, maybe ten minutes. Perhaps it was a little bit longer. We were both at BlogHer10 and myself, and others, were in the afterglow of Susan speaking at the Voices of Year Community Keynote. I tried not to gush too much meeting a woman whose blog I adored. I tried not to be too starstruck. I have been told that I tend to do that when I meet those who inspire me in real life.

Thank goodness Susan made it so easy with her warm smile and laughing eyes. We made small talk while we sipped our drinks and waited in line to have our palms read at the BlogHer party. We talked about science and just how cool science is. I then confessed that I dropped Physics in high school because I was struggling so much and was afraid of my precious GPA dropping. I loved science…life sciences. The physical sciences I just did not get.

See how easily I can embarrass myself when I am starstruck?

But ever the scientist, ever the teacher, Susan patiently explained how really they are intertwined and connected offering up NASA’s Life and Physical Science Program as an example. That’s Susan, always teaching, always encouraging, always making her audience more aware…and when we should be already aware, she calls us to stand up and take action beyond silly Facebook games. And Susan has taught in her writings, in her conversations, in her life to be grateful. Even grateful in the exhausting, chaotic tedium of this life we have.

Our face to face encounter was perhaps just five minutes but it is one that I won’t soon forget. I know I will never forget Susan.

Thinking of you Susan.