Beam Me Up, Scotty

Beam Me Up, Scotty
What Are Little Girls Made Of?

Catie Osborn | 1 Sep 2009 12:00
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Even after I was far "too cool" to admit how much these birthday traditions meant to me, my dad would remind me of how deeply the show impacted our lives together. On my 16th birthday, he presented me with a leather-bound copy of The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes. Written inside the cover was the inscription "Never create an adversary you cannot defeat," a fatherly nod to my all-time favorite episode of the show (and a silent acceptance of my preference for Picard over Kirk).


That copy of Sherlock Holmes moved with me to college. It was during my freshman year that I realized I had stopped relying on my parents for care and looked to them instead for guidance. And while my dad was hesitant to offer advice lest he guide me in the wrong direction, our secret understanding of Kirk and his adventures meant he usually knew what to say. Before I left, I told my dad that I was nervous about moving away for an entire year. He looked me straight in the eye and said "Boldly go, right?" That was all I needed. It was moments like these that made me realize what Star Trek had become. It wasn't just a show to us; it was a way for us to communicate with each other.

In May, after much anticipation, I sat in the theater amid hundreds of eager fans and watched as the new Star Trek film began. It was a bittersweet experience, because my father was not there to see it with me. But I know he would have been proud of his daughter, sitting there among the most jaded and experienced of Trekkies, holding her own in an argument about the captains of the Enterprise. (The choice phrases I threw out in Klingon were, admittedly, more of a novelty act, but the looks on the guys' faces were priceless.)

My dad taught me that Star Trek is bigger than just a "silly space show" or a bunch of trivia to memorize and spit out. It's about the connections we make and the sense of common ground fans all over the world share. It can unite people from diverse backgrounds to celebrate a universe of adventure, daring and infinite possibility. It can also, as I have discovered, bring a father and daughter closer together and create memories she will cherish forever.

Catie Osborn is a theater major, resident slam poet and blue-haired mascot of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. She would very much like you to check out her website at Email her at

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