#janefosterweek day 1 - space
They say there are two gateway sciences: space and dinosaurs. For Jane Foster, there was never a choice. She’s never liked things with sharp teeth.
Six-month-old Jane bats at the mobile above her cot. It’s expensive but well made, a gift from a great-aunt who has never had children. Stars and planets bounce and sway in the breeze from an open window as Jane sticks one foot inside her mouth and inspects her sky.
Four-year-old Jane sees a shooting star for the very first time from her bedroom window. It’s long past midnight and the house is dark and quiet. The impulse that got her out of bed and tiptoeing across the room has long since vanished. She doesn’t make a wish — her mother has no time to teach her silly superstitions — but she wonders how it would feel to fly.
Seven-year-old Jane can’t wait for winter. Night comes early; the stars are out before bedtime. “Just ten more minutes,” she begs, a constellation map spread over her lap, fingers leaving marks on the breath-fogged window. “The big dipper is almost out.” Sometimes she wins a reprieve; sometimes she doesn’t, and in her dreams, she races point to point across the sky.
Eleven-year-old Jane doesn’t like space. She likes boys and fashion and makeup and all the other things her friends say are normal. She’s not weird. She isn’t. Her books collect dust in the corner of her room.
Fourteen-year-old Jane has had enough of fitting in, of pretending to be ‘normal’. She’s smarter than all the boys in her class; it’s not her fault they can’t do math. She unearths her old books and buys more from the second-hand store with money saved from baby-sitting until her bookshelves overflow. Her so-called friends label her ‘weird’; she finds a new place to sit at lunch. There’s a boy who likes plants and a girl who likes stories: with a book or two apiece, they take up a whole table together and trade interesting facts over sandwiches.
Eighteen-year-old Jane has a scholarship to Culver University and has never felt so excluded. Apparently, girls study biology, not physics; she wins class hottie four years running but never gets a say in group projects. She wins an internship with Erik Selvig who encourages her to keep studying. First, her Masters, then her Doctorate — her supervisor calls her unconventional but talented, her peers call her a crackpot, but her math is perfect so her conclusions are airtight.
Thirty-year-old Jane is running out of grant money when she spots something in the sky above New Mexico…