Tina Kakadelis
YA Author


Burn Before Reading: A Carly Allen Story

Decision Height

So, my dad is here and napping behind me on my terrible pull-out IKEA couch. It's not even technically a pull-out couch. That gave it way more credit than it deserves. It's more of just a couch that folds down. It's barely a twin bed.

I am the picture of hospitality.

Anyway, my dad told me to do this for today's quote of the day and I quickly agreed because it's so short. It's a space term about the point where the aerodynamic stress is maximized on the space craft. I'm guessing that's like the make or break moment and if the shuttle makes it through that, then it'll be okay. I'd ask my dad, but he's snoring.

It reminded me of this girl I knew from college and the play she wrote for her senior thesis. It was called Decision Height and it was about American women pilots in World War II. The title comes from the moment in flying when the pilot must decide to execute a missed approach. (That's a terrible definition and I'm sorrry. I'm running on like five hours of sleep and SOME OF US CAN'T NAP BECAUSE THEY HAVE WORK TO DO, DAD. But here's the Wikipedia article about decision height.)

I remember seeing her play in the upstairs theatre at my college my freshman year and just being absolutely blown away that someone who was only a senior could create something like that. Apparently, it won the 2013 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Who knew?? (Since it's a play, you can't really get it at regular bookstores, but you can but it online.)

The play's about a group of women training to be pilots in Sweetwater, TX in 1943 and I really wish I could remember more about it, but that was 5 or six years ago. I also only saw it once, so I remember only small details. But, most of all, I remember it being good. Like really good. I remember keeping my ticket stub and telling my girlfriend at the time that this would be worth something someday. So, Meredith, wherever you are, I'm rooting for you.

For someone that doesn't really like flying, I sure am drawn toward stories about female pilots in World War II. Code Name Verity is one of my all-time favorite books, I loved Decision Height, and I really like this nonfiction book called Slacks and Callouses. What does this all mean? Should I be a pilot? Can I be a pilot if I have to wear glasses? Should I take a nap right now??? Somebody answer these questions for me.