Wednesday, 24 March 2010

You can never meet your hero(ines)

It has slowly become apparent to me over recent months that meeting your heroes/heroines is a completely impossible task ... which is not to say that you cannot be in the same room as your heroes, you can shake their hand, look them in the eye and even talk to them, maybe even walk along the road with them ... but there is one problem ... and it's a big one ... They will not recognise themself as a hero or heroine. When you say 'it's such an honour to meet you' they will (assuming they're used to being thought of as a heroine) politely accept your (probably greatly tempered) adoration with a gracious smile.

... But you will, unfortunately, detect the almost, very nearly, imperceptible blanching of their skin as they internally recoil in reaction to the identity dissonance that you've inflicted on them. Nobody feels like a celebrity and nobody feels like a hero. You can, by all means, meet those who you have projected hero status onto but do not expect it to feel all warm and cosy. Fear not, meeting *your* heroes will still be thoroughly wonderful and life enhancing but allowing them to be themself and minimising any swooning at their feet is probably about the best way to repay them for the inspiration that they have unknowingly bestowed on you over the years.

My Finding Ada Heroine: Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE

I have Twitter and @Belladax to thank for introducing me to the inspiring Maggie Aderin-Pocock. @Belladax tweeted the following words a few weeks ago: "Who is this lady on desert island discs?she's awesome! What a great ability to explain science-y things #R4". This tweet activated the my 'being helpful to people I don't know' gene and I scampered off to find out who it was and tweeted back Maggie's name and a link to the relevant BBC webpage:

Some days later I finally got round to listening to the show myself and Maggie had the same impact on me that she'd had on @Belladax ... a space scientist who has a special relationship with the moon, built her own telescope as a teenager and was inspired to study space by watching the Clangers as a kid??! ... I was in instant awe!

Everything I've seen about Maggie since has backed up that initial impression and I love that she's so passionate about inspiring the next generation to follow in her footsteps, while finding their own path. Maggie's Telegraph article from a year ago is a pretty good introduction to the wonderful Maggie Aderin-Pocock:

You can watch Maggie in action on this compelling video about the importance of role models and getting kids to aspire to follow their dreams:

I vote that we make Clangers required viewing for every youngster (and, imho, make Moomins required reading) and help Maggie in her mission to inspire the next generation of scientists (and explorers, bodgers, inventors, artists and creative thinkers)

Saturday, 20 March 2010

A tiny part of something great

Open Document
I couldn't be more over the moon to see one of my Do Lectures doodles made it into their flick book (pg24) - photography is by the uber-talented and all round nice chap, James Bowden (see for proof!).

Open Document

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Wing-Girl Required, apply within

choose freedom

I'm organising an event which will encourage folks to go for their dreams rather than wait until they feel ready. The working title for the event is 'Wait Not For Your Wings'. It will be an event for me as much as for anyone else - a reminder to go for it, just run off the edge and let the wind catch me.

If I try and do it alone I'm worried that it might never happen ... so I'm looking for a wing-girl, someone to bounce ideas off and who might help with some of the organising and who will keep things (i.e. *me*) on track.

The heart and soul of this event is contained within this one tweet: I already have permission to run a screening of The Lemonade Movie and James Whitaker is up for showing his beautiful 'After Redundancy' portraits.

Likely date: late April, early May
Likely venue: York or Leeds
Likely remuneration: £Zero (but I will do my darndest to cover your expenses)

The next few months should be a thoroughly enjoyable adventure ... who's with me?

p.s. if you are not a girl but would still like to help me make the event happen then let me know, I'm very open-minded ;-)