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2020 Graduate + a chat with NASA Astronaut Jonny Kim

2020 has been a unique year in so many ways, culminating for us at the halfway point with my oldest son graduating from elementary school during a drive by parade for his stepping up ceremony. He received his middle school gym top and a cursive writing license along the way (graduating to “pen” for the sixth grade), as well as a yellow rose and dvd featuring memories of his fifth grade ♥︎ This year he learned how to make power point presentations, studied Central and South America, learned about the ecosystems in depth, focused on pre-algebra, and created art from recycled materials. He advanced in piano, read a lot of books, improved in both Greek and Spanish language studies, and learned how to start a small business (and invest).

It was a great school year, fun for me too as a parent, and I have to admit I loved having the boys home with me for the last two months. It gave me a taste of what homeschooling would be like, and I think it’s a great choice for many families for so many reasons. We are happy with our school, though, and absolutely love the teachers (and the teachers love the students), so it was just a great year.


A chat with Astronaut Jonathan Kim

After returning home, our new graduate had a NASA Virtual Event with Astronaut Jonathan Kim, an American US Navy lieutenant and Navy SEAL, physician (graduated from Harvard Medical School), and today a NASA astronaut. It was a great interview, and Astronaut Jonny Kim shared that growing up in L.A. as the son of Korean immigrants, becoming an astronaut was something that never even occurred to him. Today, he can’t believe he’s paid to do something he loves and enjoys. He shared some of his favorite aspects of being an astronaut, what a day for him looks like, and more. I wish they offered a recording (the virtual event was not recorded) because the 5th graders asked a lot of grade questions and he had some fun answers, including:

Q. What makes you most excited about being an astronaut?
A. Thinking about being blasted off into space is very exciting! Every day I love what I do, and I can’t believe I am paid for doing what I love.

Q. What do you have to do to become an astronaut?
A. There are many ways to become an astronaut, and many pathways. Astronauts can study different things. For me, I studied math as an undergrad and I don’t think I would be an astronaut today if I didn’t have a background of studying math and logic. If you are passionate about something, pursue it- if it’s science, technology, mathematic, something in the STEM field is important to being an astronaut, and it’s important to always have that hunger to pursue your passion. I didn’t have a lot of confidence as a child, but dreams are possible, and things can be hard, but believe in it. Military experience is good and will carry you through a lot of obstacles too.

Q. Do you think that you will be the first person to make it to Mars?
A. I doubt it. I would be happy to be part of anything NASA asks me to do, so I would do whatever opportunities come up.

Astronaut Jonny Kim is not only a doctor, Navy SEAL, and astronaut, but he is a family man, and says the one thing he would definitely bring with him into space is a picture of his wife and kids. I found some more great information about Jonathan Kim’s background here, including what inspired him to pursue medicine, that will really share more about who he is as a person. We can’t wait to cheer him on when he receives his first mission!

I made the mistake of relying on my cell phone all day for pictures, which I never do (don’t know what I was thinking) and these all came out absolutely terrible and I’m sorry, but bad pictures are better than no pictures, especially when capturing a memorable day ♥︎