My First Lecture – A Space Anarchist and LIGO

Let me first start by explaining some background to this story, I am president of Saddleback College Astronomy and Physics Club and we have a lecture series. Now, this series usually involves professors giving the lectures and they are typically amazing but I felt we needed something new. Something that hadn’t been done before in the lecture series and then the idea came to me…wp-1457327035330.jpg

A night with the officers.

Now, I don’t know if I was tired, delirious, hungry or drunk but I thought it would be a great idea to have myself and two of my officers each give a lecture on the topic of our choice. And guess what? It was a hit.

Carolina Garza my Publicist spoke on the Cassini Mission and she absolutely nailed it. Well spoken, confident and handled an unruly guests questions with grace and confidence.

Neda Afkhami my Secretary spoke about Dark Matter with poise, a confidence I have never seen with her and I was so proud.

The evening was met with rave reviews and a very happy club adviser. I was very proud of my officers and I wanted to make sure I gave them the praise they deserved before I got into my story because they absolutely deserved it.

Now without further ado…

I have never gave a lecture before let alone even thought about giving a lecture on something as big as LIGO. I have a debilitating fear of speaking in front of an audience and I loathed that I fear it. So in my moment of self loathing I decided to have a night with the officers. Now, when I say I was nervous that is an understatement, I was an absolute basket case. I questioned my self everyday after I decided to have the three of us do this and the day the flyers were made I just sat and stared at the page. I kept thinking “What the hell did I do? I can’t do this.” Wait, I can’t do this? Have I lost my mind? And it was that moment I kicked my own ass.

“I can’t do this” is something I swore never to tell myself again so I put on my big girl panties, buckled down and started my LIGO presentation prep. I was going to do this, I didn’t care if I passed out on stage I was going to give my LIGO lecture. So help me someone better have smelling salt to revive me because I was going to give that damn lecture! I knew the material, I had been researching LIGO long before I decided to do this  and I was confident in my ability to put the presentation together but deliver it? Not so much.

And then the day arrived and this was the results.


And there it is, a pale redhead in a NASA shirt and heels tackled LIGO and the rest is history.

Rachelle Williams





3 thoughts on “My First Lecture – A Space Anarchist and LIGO

    1. astroanarchy

      Thank you, Jenn! It wasn’t easy posting this but it was important for me to talk about it. It’s helping me overcome my fears.


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