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In fourth through sixth grade, I spent an hour each week -- and did a summer camp -- at this place. That black addition in the back of the building that you can barely see over the roof? That's a planetarium. With a Spitz starball, the same model as the one at the Discovery Museum in Sacramento.

So you might say I have been into this stuff for a while.

Well, as it turns out, the Discovery Museum has need of a planetarium volunteer for Saturdays. And they'd of course love to have someone who knows the starball and the sky doing some of their shows.

The Saturday shows aren't rocket science: you have to gear it to be comprehensible to toddlers in the audience, so you mostly keep it super-simple, point out the north star, talk about a few constellations and their shapes, and that's about it. Still -- this is an opportunity I can't pass up... the Planetarium was a significant part of what made my childhood unique, and passing this on, in small doses, to another generation is irresistable.

The shows are at 1:00 and 3:00, so I'd be there for about three hours most Saturday afternoons. I talked it over with Robert and Kate; they are going to alternate Saturdays to come with me, so that I can spend some one-on-one time with each of them. (Kate in particular is in constant danger of being cheated out of 1:1 time since there's always someone around who's either less independent or more sophisticated, so this will hopefully work out to be positive for them as well.)


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