As a ten-year-old boy flat on my stomach, head propped up in my hands, watching “Cosmos” on television, Carl Sagan showed me “the joy of figuring things out.” I learned that there is just as much adventure in the real-life dramas of sending robotic probes to new worlds (well, new to us, anyway) and that “Eureka!” moment when a mystery becomes solved, and, paradoxically, the simultaneous revealing of myriad additional mysteries, as there were in the science fiction and fantasy works that I loved so much.
I’ve never lost my love for that moment of gaining a little more understanding and becoming a little more at home in the Cosmos, and more than anything else I wanted to share it with as many people as possible. I became a high school teacher of physics upon graduating from college, and I haven’t looked back.
More than anything else, I am grateful that I was able to share with Drs. Sagan and Druyan what they were able to give to me. A book signing for Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors at Oxford Books in Atlanta, GA gave me the opportunity to personally thank Carl Sagan for giving me such inspiration and for flagging this path for me to follow.
My dream is that maybe one of my students who may never even have heard of Carl Sagan might catch the fever and pass it along themselves.
Michael Poley, Physics and AP Physics Teacher,Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School
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