Monday, 3 June 2013

Outreach

There is no better feeling than reaching out to another human being and feeling them react. I believe that wholeheartedly; it's even influencing my career choices. Today I got the opportunity to write a piece designed to tug heartstrings and elicit donations and, although it's not your every-day fare, I was really quite pleased with it. There's nothing more exciting than pouring your ideals into a message and it working. When you read it, you can almost feel the shift in the room, feel the synchronicity as the audience's breath and heartbeat start to move to your command, collectively building to the climax your proscribe. I'm probably overstating, but all the same - it is enough to know that you've reached even one person to feel that perhaps what you're doing is worthwhile.

It's a bit babbly, I confess, but today (with any luck) I wrote something that will convince the students to reach into their pockets and cough up a little money to help a student who needs it get into the School. It's a tough sell; students are poorer now than they've ever been, but - I look at it this way:

“I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” - Etienne de Grellet
I'm not a religious man, though Etienne de Grellet was - he was a Quaker, in fact - but his words ring true for me. I am an atheist, and that means I am certain that I will pass this way but once. I don't get to come back, or shower blessings down from Heaven - nor cast up curses from Hell. Instead, I get one shot, one chance, a big break of maybe one hundred years to do the best I can, to be the best I can. When I go I don't get to take anything with me, and as long as I'm fed, and I'm happy, and there's a roof on my head, I feel like I ought to give something back. A few euros now, when I'm certain I'll earn many more in the future - it's nothing.

Sorry, I sound disgusting. Charity should be more subtle, I know, but maybe some of my students will read this and find their hands reaching into their pockets by themselves. We can but hope.

Right. Enough of moralistic proselytising. Here are some pictures of my flatmate:

He's so fluffy. Or she. I'm really not sure.

Rest of today: putting together a crossword (holocene, refining, and thermodynamics are some of the words that need to go in and absolutely will not)

Showed m'colleague how to apply some clever macros to Excel to sort her work for her, and sat in on some tutoring with my other colleague. We had a fascinating discussion about connectedness; my older colleagues felt that the way young people were continually attached to their phones was horrifying; for me, it's a step on the way to making sure you enjoy your work. I love getting emails early in the morning about new opportunities - they literally make my day. That's why this response, from the Facebook page of +Edelman, made me do a little jumpy-happy-dance.

Ohh myyyyy.

So hopefully something may come of that.

Elsewise it's pretty much chilling with a beer on a balcony.

Enjoying it while I can. Aberdeen beckons.