My fascination with technology and space exploration started at an early age. The Star Wars movies and trips to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (with freeze-dried strawberries from the gift shop) impressed upon me a love of space and all the gadgets and trappings that came with it.
This love was clearly evidence by the Legos, Star Wars characters, and other toys strewn across my bedroom floor. While many of those toys have faded from memory, one has attained a special foothold. It is the Lego Cosmic Cruiser kit.
It was about the best gift my six-year-old brain could conceive. Just the image on the Lego box was enough to excite my imagination. Its best feature was a landing craft that detached from the spaceship for terrestrial exploration. I remember opening the box and meticulously following the directions so my creation matched the box exactly.
But the true genius in the kit, as with all Legos, was its versatility. In the following weeks, after the novelty of the Cosmic Cruiser had worn off, those Legos could be reconfigured into new creations. While my creations might not have had the polish of the original kit, they were my creations. In this case the whole is not quite as valuable as the sum of the parts. For it was in those parts where I could realize the need to create and reconstruct.