Page 6 - HGS Suburb News 143 - Summer 2020
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couple of years ago, when I was scrolling through my
           A   social media, I saw an article by BuzzFeed which was  The Sparkly Scientist
                                                                                                                   Have you ever had any negative experiences working as a
                                                                                                                   woman in science?
           titled “A Woman Delivered A Speech To Students At NASA
           Wearing A Sequined Dress Because Girls Wanted To See A
                                                                                                                   I went into a company to pitch a two-week workshop with
           ‘Sparkly’ Scientist.” The Scientist who made the speech, Rita J.
                                                                                                                   Science House. I was wearing a black suit as I would but with a
           King, seemed to address an issue that not many people talk
                                                                                                                   pair of silver dangly leaf-shaped earrings. The room I was pitching
           about in a very intriguing way. I was so interested in her story
                                                                                                                  to was all-male except for one female. After the pitch, the woman
           that I got in touch with her and managed to interview her.
                                                                                                                  walked up to me and said “don’t wear those earrings, they’re
           What inspired you to pursue a career in science?
                                                                                                                  distracting.” The company declined the two-week workshop and
           I actually began my career in journalism. In high school, a group
                                                                                                                  instead took us on for six months!
                                                                                                                 TEDXYOUTH / YOUTUBE
           of  friends  and I  got  together  and  interviewed  some  local
                                                                                                                  What piece of advice would you give any young woman who
                                                                                                                  wants to go into science?
          politicians about issues within the town. I distinctly remember my
          friend asking a specific politician a difficult question and his face
                                                                                                                  My main advice would be, be curious, and nurture your curiosity.
          slowly turning red from embarrassment. I enjoyed the problem-
                                                                                                                  It’s okay if all of the things you want to pursue are unrelated, do
          solving aspect of journalism because before then they were just
                                                                                                                  them anyway because there will be a reason why in the future.
          expected to report on the issue, but around the time I started,
                                                                                                                  The common thread that connected my passions is solving
          investigative journalism started to become a real thing. I carried
                                                                                                                  complex  problems.  Another  thing  is  bring  creativity  and
          that problem-solving aspect into my career as a futurist and I felt
                                                                                                                  imagination with you because they’re your best skills. They’re my
                                                                                                                  best skills too.
          it fit nicely because I have always had an interest in science.
          What does a futurist do?
                                                                                                                    I felt so inspired talking to Rita because she has achieved
          It’s a marriage between the more academic sciences such as
                                                                                                                 so many unique things but it didn’t feel like she had to pick
          biology and chemistry as well as social sciences. I look at current
                                                                                                                 and choose what she could achieve because of her main
          and past trends and use them to predict what the future in some
                                                                                                                 career. She’s also so different from so many female science
          industries may look like.
                                                                                                                 role models on TV. Many of them feel very one-dimensional
         What projects are you working on?
                                                                                                                 and intangible because they aren’t like real people. Talking to
         The company I co-direct, Science House, has created a new
                                                                                                                 a real scientist and seeing how she has many sides and
                                                             How did you feel when you were wearing the dress?
                                                                                                                 passions and is  breaking the mould of what a scientist should
         project called model meetings; it looks at the way companies are  Wearing the dress didn’t faze me really, whenever I would give a
         now hosting their meetings online and how to use that time
                                                                                                                 be according to TV and media. I recommend to everyone to
         efficiently.                                        talk, especially to younger people or within my own company, I
                                                                                                                 actively seek out role models and talk to as many people as
                                                             would  feel  comfortable  expressing  myself  in  that  way.  So  the
         Did you expect wearing the dress would have such an impact?
                                                                                                                 possible because you can learn so much. The last thing I asked
                                                             NASA talk was the perfect opportunity, sometimes people will
         The reason i actually wore the dress was because a group of girls
                                                                                                                 her was if she had any advice for young women who want to
                                                             say that your clothing could be a distraction, I don’t think it was at
         who were attending the talk had sent me a letter asking if I could
                                                                                                                 pursue a career in science and she said be curious. This not
                                                             all, the students still listened to what i had to say and respected
                                                                                                                 only applies to science, which is founded on an intrinsic
         wear a sparkly dress. At the time I gave the talk which was in 2011,  me. However, I don’t believe in inappropriate dressing so
         I didn’t think much of it, however last year I tweeted about it (the
                                                                                                                 curiosity, but to life and the world in general. If you are curious
                                                             personally in a corporate situation I would usually wear black  then you can unlock many hidden passions of your own
         dress). It still had the NASA sticker on it and then it just blew up   trousers and a black top. Not to take away from my femininity it’s
         and I was flooded with tweets from other female scientists and
                                                                                                                which will help you decide what you want to do, help you
         their experiences!                                  just the way I feel most comfortable. I felt more than comfortable
                                                                                                                realize you can follow your dreams and grow as a person.
                                                            wearing a sparkly dress in that situation.
                        The Rose                                                                                                                        MADHU  K
                    ast year my Mum and I saw a beautiful
                   L    rose in a front garden on our way to
                  school. One day we saw a lady next to it,                                 An interview with
                 she said it was her Mother’s. When Lockdown                          Head of English at HBS
                 happened, we popped a postcard through
      that letterbox with our number. Not long after we got a     ampstead Garden Suburb is full of inspirational women,  Barnett School – these are definitely qualities which characterise
      call from Lilian, who told us she was being helped by kind   Hpast, present and future, but one clearly stands out,  the students. This has been made particularly clear during the
      people (later Lilian and her husband Eric were lucky to get   Henrietta Barnett. As creator of the suburb, and founder of  school closure due to coronavirus – the students’ self-motivation,
      food deliveries) but that her daughter was abroad. From   HBS, she has inspired many, and continues to inspire us all.   creativity and desire to progress have been truly impressive.
      time to time we’ve helped Lilian and Eric, getting bits and   As some of the readers may know, the team of girls that run   How does it feel knowing that you inspire students to pursue
       bobs. We’ve written this poem about them. I learnt about   Suburb News Youth all go to Henrietta Barnett, so I wanted   careers in your field?
       acrostic poems during Home Schooling – the start of each   to  interview a  teacher,  to  get  their  unique  perspective  on   It feels great! Leaving school can be a scary time, and it’s often
       line makes a word.                                     what it is like to work in the school. I interviewed Alexandra  tempting to pick a degree for which there is a more obvious or
               Lilian & Eric (an acrostic poem!)              Hedges, head of English, to get her view on how Henrietta   ostensibly-secure career path. As a department we therefore
                                                              Barnett’s legacy has inspired her, and how Miss Hedges has  work hard to make sure that students are aware of the breadth
       Lovely rose is why we meet,                            inspired students and passed on the legacy.        of options open to someone who opts to study English at A Level
       I hear my Mum on the telephone to you, in the early Spring   Who is your biggest female literary inspiration?  or beyond. Every year, we invite back students who have gone
       heat,                                                  For me, that’s an easy one – it’s got to be Virginia Woolf. Firstly,  on to study English or the Arts, to deliver an English Extension
       Lilian, you make  my  Mum  laugh  as  she  checks  if  there’s   Woolf understood that – in order to break new ground in literature   session for our sixth formers. These are wonderful opportunities
       anything you need to eat,                             – you had to “tolerate [...] failure.” She spoke passionately about   for current students to hear about careers that the Arts can lead
       I run back home through the hidden path when we leave you   the need to accept mistakes or setbacks in yourself and others if   into – as well as a lovely chance to catch up! And we’re hoping
       a small treat,                                         we are to create new kinds of writing or art – I find that both   that some of the reporters for Suburb News may go on to be full-
       A moment when I see you both on your doorstep, we stand   inspiring and reassuring. Secondly, she understood the   time journalists one day...
       apart several feet,                                    practicalities of working as a writer – her famous essay ‘A Room  Who is the strongest woman you know?
       Now roses are on our table, bright orange and red, opposite   of One’s Own’ reminds readers that a woman who wants to   As predictable as it may be, I would have to say my mum! Like
       my seat.                                               write needs a space to herself. She understood the challenge of   me, my mum was a teacher, but, unlike me, she never seemed to
       &                                                      balancing work and family responsibilities – something a lot of   complain of being tired, or to resort to making pasta every night
                                                              us have been facing during lockdown!
        Emails from your daughter Penny in America, flowers and   Who is your favourite female fictional character?  just because it’s easy and quick! I have always been proud of my
                                                                                                                 mum, but it is only since becoming a teacher myself that I have
        picture books sweet,                                  I have a real soft spot for Maggie Tulliver in ‘The Mill on the Floss’.  fully understood just how much she was achieving on a daily
        Remembering my name when I see you, your knowledge of   She’s a character with whom I’ve identified in different ways at   basis. I think it’s easy to underestimate how much physical and
        the news is hard to beat,                             different points in her life. She’s so desperate to do the right thing   emotional  energy  teaching  demands;  while  it  has  the
        I hope when I am 98, like you I enjoy music and walking with   and to achieve in life – but she so often finds herself on the wrong   advantage of being a career that is compatible with raising a
        purpose down the street,                              path! But the ending of the novel is unspeakably sad – I warn you...  family, it’s important to recognise and celebrate all the women
        Countless thank yous for inspiring us in Lockdown and   Who was your female role model growing up?       who are managing this balance.
        making our days feel more complete.                   My A Level English teacher, Miss Harvey, was, and is, a real  What is it like being part of such a female department, and
                                        THEO  M (aged 6)
                                                              inspiration for me. She introduced                                     with the headteacher being a
                                                              me to the poem ‘Ode to a Nightingale’                                  woman too?
                                                              by John Keats and at that point I                                   KATHERINE HEDGES  It’s a joy to work somewhere that
                                                              knew I had to choose English at
                                                                                                                                     gives its staff such autonomy and
                      Maths                                   university! Whenever I teach that                                      which is built on mutual respect,
                                                              poem, I have her in mind.
                                                                                                                                     rather than hierarchy. What I value
              Combat Learning Loss with                       What do you feel is most important                                     most about leading the English
                                                                                                                                     department at HBS is being part of a
                                                              about Henrietta Barnett’s legacy?
            Expert private coaching in Hamsptead              When Dame Henrietta Barnett was                                        team which comprises people with a
                  Online or face-to-face                      trying to purchase the land on which                                   range of approaches, ideas and
               Common Entrance and 7+, 11+, 13+               she founded the Garden Suburb, she                                     perspectives, but all of whom are
                 GCSE, A level and Further Maths              was told by an agent that there was                                    keen to collaborate – and to have a
                          STEP & MAT                          little  chance  such  an  important                                    laugh over lunch!
                                                              estate would be signed to a woman.                                        Henrietta  Barnett  was  an
        Recent successes at Westminster and St Paul’s, as well as Oxford   She described being advised: “If only                     inspiration to all as the mastermind
        and Cambridge Universities.                           you would get a few men behind you,                                    behind the Hampstead Garden
        Highly  experienced  former  Head  of  Maths  with  B.Sc.  Maths,  1st   it would be all right!” Undeterred, she             Suburb and HBS, and we are
        Class hons. degree from top UK university and experience in writing   continued to work hard to bring her                    grateful for amazing teachers like
        11+ materials.
        1-to-1 support that will secure those A*s, grade 9s, top university,   plans into fruition. Her imagination,                 Miss  Hedges,  who  continue  her
        Independent or selective places.                      resilience and independence have                                       legacy and inspire us further.
                                                                                                                                                       JOANNA  C
                    Contact: 07811 254061                     not been forgotten at the Henrietta
      6                                                                                         SUBURB NEWS IS PRODUCED AND DELIVERED TO YOU BY RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION VOLUNTEERS
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