My Memories of the Future.

Lately Jordan and I have been listening to podcasts by Wil Wheaton. For those of you who don’t know who Wil Wheaton is…shame on you…he played Ensign Wesley Crusher, the boy genius, on Star Trek the Next Generation. He wrote a book called Memories of the Future about being a young actor on an amazing sci-fi program with lots of behind the scenes stories!

Inspired by Wil Wheaton I wanted to share my own memories of the future. Star Trek was an important part of my childhood in a way. Beyond being a freaking awesome show it was something my dad and I bonded over.  I remember watching the original series in reruns with my dad when I was very young. I remember eating Little Cesar’s Pizza and watching new episodes of The Next Generation. In fact, this was such an important tradition to me that I vividly remember being really annoyed that I had to leave my sci-fi and pizza one night after my little sister broke her arm at the roller rink and we had to take her to the emergency room. “Couldn’t we just take her after the show?” I said, “Her arm won’t be any more or less broken an hour from now!” When I was in middle school I remember rushing home from cheerleading practice to watch Star Trek Voyager with my dad, which is always funny to people for some reason.

I remember my dad explaining to me what an android was and telling me they were machines like our TV or our refrigerator. I remember being very upset because this meant that Data, who seemed so human, did not have a soul. I remember bringing this up to my second grade teacher during religion class at my Catholic school and asking her if androids go to heaven. The teacher scolded me and told there were no such things as androids. Looking back, this was a pretty intelligent concept for a second grader to understand and something I have seen in both science fiction and philosophical debates many times. I’m a teacher myself now and when students bring up things like this I am sure to praise their thinking and address the concerns. I guess Star Trek made me a better teacher. I also remember how traumatized I was my junior year of high school when my friend Jon told me he went to see Star Trek Nemesis over the weekend and I said was planning on see it the following weekend with my dad and he looked at me and said, “Data dies.” I had to sit through that entire film knowing the thing I had feared in second grade had come true. I still get a little upset when I hear the song Blue Skies. That was seven years ago and I am still plotting my revenge against Jon.

I think my family’s favorite Star Trek memory is my tradition involving the open credits of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Whenever I would hear the start of the show: “Space, the final frontier” I would pretend to be the U.S.S Enterprise and run around the couch, sometimes removing the couch cushions to make a landing pad and climbing onto the couch. I would wait until it got to the line “To boldly go where no man has gone before” and the song would start. At that point I would leap off of the arm of the couch (on a good day I’d land on the cushions) and jump back up and continue to run around the room pretending to be a starship until the end of the song. My sister recently pointed out that the fact that I only sometimes used the cushions as a landing pad probably explains a lot.

It hit me the other day how much Star Trek means to me. It provided a lot of fun memories with my dad. While I always realized this the other day I think it hit home for my dad. My dad had on a rerun of Star Trek the Next Generation on and he said “I think I have seen this episode, the more I watch it the more I remember.” I took one look at the TV and said, “Yeah! We’ve seen this one! We saw it when it was new! It’s the series finale remember? Data has that funny hair and Piccard is like skipping around to different times in his life, and Q is there! I remember you and I sat in the old gray recliner we used to have and watched the whole thing even though it was an extra long episode and it went on late. You even late me stay up to watch it on a school night. Remember?”

For some reason dad and I are the only ones who watch Star Trek at our house. Mom and Kelly never really got into it but I’m ok with that. I like that it’s just something between dad and I. It’s probably the reason I swore I’d never even go on a date with a guy who didn’t know what a tribble was, and look how that turned out! I’m engaged to a guy who is as much of a fan as I am. However, when I hear the word “engage” I smile for a reason that has nothing to do with me and my fiancé. It’s all about me, my dad, and Star Trek.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Dad
    Feb 12, 2010 @ 22:29:28

    Very touching, Kate. (Bet you didn’t think I’d see this post!)
    Live long and prosper.
    Dad

    Reply

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