A poem, if you will:

Remembrances of the Newcomer

The far-east winds and traces rare are what we dreamers seek
above the waves of oceans and the highest mountains peak.
We set our feet on northern soil, a team of many teams,
and metal wings are brought to bare the weight of foolish dreams.
The calling that we all once felt has brought us to these lands
of ice and stone, in summertime, the task on our hands.
One wonders what this time might bring, while we are here to stay,
what pay-offs this campaign will bring, no-one yet dares to say.

It takes a lot of time and skill of our scientists
to plan ahead and pave the path to our interests.
Through maces high throughout the skies, that lead us to our goal,
the teams on ground will guide us well with air traffic control.
Our engineers, equally skilled, equipped with tape and screw,
work ceaselessly, from dawn till dusk, to make these goals come true.
And unsung still, the brave few souls, who all attend each flight,
who steer the craft, or who make sure that everything goes right.

There are a lot of ladies here that join us in our flight;
many of them have come of age, but that is quite alright.
For they can see what we see not and are quite well attended
by our engineers on ground as soon as we descended.

There is a gal, who above all, desires aerosol,
that’s liquid mixing in with gas, that does affect us all.
My own mistress, to whom I tend, a marvelous device,
can sense the faintest heated glow with frozen cores of ice.
In contrast stands her sister, who, a heart of glowing heat,
excites the air, that she breathes in, and leaves it incomplete.
And then there is a fish on land, or in the air more like,
who thirsts for any water that his orifice may strike.
And rumor is, that ‚`ill this day, we‘re haunted by a ghost,
but worry not, for he is known to measure air at most!

If you discerned of whom I spoke, I recognize your guile.
Your knowledge is exceptional, you might just made me smile :)

After the flight, we long to see what ours did obtain.
It’s most important to secure or all has been in vain.
And when the stream of data flows, once streaming, and once faint,
I take a breath, and realize, it feels like drying paint.
But caution is our highest creed, to copy from the plane,
The roundabout goes round and round, we do the same again.
But can you guess if that’s enough, if we just have them twice?
You never can be save enough, we have to do it thrice! (Hurray!)

The dobs we gathered from the path we recently have flown
require some processing still, to polish and to hone.
We pick the best, then attribute for each pixels position,
and rotate them, to keep it real, and fit them in addition.
And when we gaze upon the stars and void that lies between
we know what nothingness looks like, adjust and take the mean.
And in the end, when all is done, we learn the composition,
of all the air we came across, each cloud and each emission.

My good professor Riese, who’s experienced and wise,
one early morning gave to me this excellent advice:
The best way to produce results, avert needless frustration
is constantly and well applied process optimization.
And frequently he spoke of it, reminded me in kind
and while I tried to heed it well it burned into my mind.
Optimize, yes optimize. I never truly knew,
its truest sense, and as I stood, the counsel came anew.

Optimize, yes optimize! From mountains I shall sing!
Of wonders and of pleasures that optimization brings!
A well oiled cog, maintained machine, can always run much better
if only our creed, my friend, you’d follow to the letter.
Optimize, oh optimize! The voices never stop!
So if you choose to optimize you’ll climb far to the top!
So let me share with you my friend my most treasured advice:
if science is what you pursuit then you must optimize!

Optimize, oh optimize! A word like love’s embrace!
I might have gone a bit insane, that might just be the case,
My thoughts turned dark, my soul grown sore, the light has left my eyes,
I realized that rest is what I failed to optimize.
-- But never-mind that! -- 
The weakness of my flesh is but creation of my mind,
whoever fails to see my way, he truly must be blind!
Who needs to sleep, how needs to rest, when there’s so much to do?
I never *once* did second guess what I had got into.

With every day that passes by the mists take on more shape,
the unknowns bare before our eyes the more we lift the drape.
Each job well done, a triumph small, truly its own reward,
another white spot on the map that Halo has explored.
And then one day, awaited long, in still anticipation,
we lay down work and gather for a lively celebration.
Don’t call it party, though, for that’s a word no-one should hear
`t is but a social gathering, with music and with beer :)

While our work is never done, there’s so much you can do
you cannot work forever nor bite off what you can’t chew.
But days off work are rarely spent in solitude, you see
there are so many places here where we wanted to be.
The irony, that in our zeal, to capture every sight,
the feeling grows, that we miss out, no matter how one tried.
A lifespan is too short a time, to learn their secrets all,
to revel in the beauties that relentlessly enthrall.  

The sour soil of labor hard will bring aloft the fruit
that long awaited, bitter earned we came here to pursuit.
When kindled soft, through constant care, progressively have grown
the seeds, under the Asian sun in summertime once sown.
And in the end, when I look back, on days soon long come past
I’ll realize that all that pain and struggle did not last.
And in its place, all that remained, the knowledge that we earned,
and all the things, that once unknown, we finally have learned.
The time will come to part our ways, to bid us fare thee well,
but suffer not the heavy heart, for one thing I can tell:
As certain as the sun will shine after the pouring rain,
the dreams we dare to dream will soon entice us all again.  

Details on what is meant in certain verses I can provide info for.

About Jan Kaumanns

Jan Kaumanns is a PhD student at the Institute for Energy and Climate (IEK-7, Stratosphere) and a HITEC fellow. During his PhD he is researching isentropic mixing processes in filaments in the middle atmosphere. He is responsible for forecasting, flight planning and data processing during the PHILEAS campaign.

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