My role as Recreation Therapist keeps me busy “making my rounds” as a the patients are waiting for surgery in the preoperation ward, an area on the 5th floor with about 21 basic beds. I have a small table that I keep stocked with puzzles, games, crayons and coloring pages, and little toys. I go about making sure patients are relatively comfortable and happy. There is a wide age range and frequently several family members are present as well. So I interact with patients, siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins….all with the intent to bring a smile to their faces.

Things happen in bursts of activity, as the surgeons come through each morning, the pediatricians ready the patients for surgery, and after surgery, the patients groggily return. I step in during the inevitable periods of waiting. Offering a puzzle, a box of crayons, a wave, a smile…most of the time, nonstop. Sometimes, I get to play with them as they do their activities. Post-op is often time for everyone just to rest.

For the most part, I am too busy to snap pictures…for pictures of the mission, best to visit the official historian’s site:

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Dr. Shope, the Wandering Scholar

Mime Artist, Author, Educator. Dr. Shope worked as a Science Educator at JPL for 15 years, earned an Ed.D. at USC, and is currently president & CEO of the World Space Foundation.