Reflecting on Countdown to the Moon a year ago – Radha – 1832

My family went to go join the Malhotras for Christmas day. Their two daughters, Radha and Anjani are close to the ages of my two sons Stephen and Christopher. We had been hanging out with each other for years. Also, Sandeep’s parents have been friends with Sonia’s parents. So it has been a nice setup.

It was only natural that I would ask one of them for an interview when we went over.

Just remembering back to how much had changed. Only in about 3 months school would be put online because of the pandemic. We had no idea of what would happen in the next few months with lockdowns, concerns of mass death, and the like. I believe the big news item at the time was the impeachment of President Trump.

Radha mentioned that she felt awkward with interviews. I felt like I was feeling awkward doing the interview. And watching the interview there is a bit of awkwardness. Like we are both not sure what we are doing. But one note is that after 1840 interviews, it should be quite natural to talk to people. The key though is not just to go through the motions 1840 times, but rather to try to improve in some way each time.

There is the old adage “practice makes perfect.” But my band director, Leon Steward pointed out that “perfect practice makes perfect.” Practice actually make permanent. If you practice the mistakes, you will make them over and over again.

As I do these interviews, I think it is key to avoid verbal pauses like “ah” and “uh”. And it is key to walk the interviewee through their thought processes in a logical and comfortable way. But also in an efficient way.

Radha would take a vacation to space, but no more than a month. She does not look for space news, but finds it fascinating when she hears about it at our North Houston Space Society meetings.

She really like the talk by the space architect Suzie Bianco who gave a talk a couple years ago. Seeing the vision of what it could look like inspired her more than the technical talks.

Radha had a few suggestions for questions I could ask during my interviews:

  1. When was the last time you thought about space?
  2. What was the last space news you remember?

Radha’s passion at the time was studying the mind and brain. And she would be interested in more talk on how space affects this.

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