So whilst I was on the plane back from Rome, I was sitting next to this lovely American girl who was the same age as me, flying to London Luton to then get a lay over to then Iceland and then Chicago! A very long journey for her.
We started chatting about the World Cup and then just introduced ourselves and she told me a bit about why she was flying from Rome back to Chicago where she grew up. She explained how her parents didn’t want to raise children in the Italian economy but wanted the “American Dream”, so they immigrated to Chicago, and how she’d been given the opportunity to go to college and become a teacher because of it and how glad and grateful she is of her parents’ uplifting their lives from Italy, for their future unborn children.
We naturally then went on to talk about Trump’s America and she said she wanted my opinion on how America is now seen because of him becoming President, and later onto Brexit. Throughout the whole conversation though we were able to say things we were grateful for, mainly about education, and it dawned on us that we were actually incredibly lucky to have been born into families and countries that allowed us to go to university and get good jobs etc. Many people like this girl’s parents who migrated from Italy are not so lucky. It’s weird to think it is just down to luck?
I think it’s important to celebrate your achievements, but to also express your gratefulness to how you got there.
What are you grateful for?
I’m in Rome at the moment with my family and it’s amazing to think that over 2000 years ago the Romans had the knowledge and technology to create aqueducts and antiquities that weren’t possible elsewhere.
The Pantheon is an amazing structure with a self-supporting roof, the Romans knew to put the heaviest materials at the bottom and lightest at the top. We can all use this analogy when it comes to taking on a modern tech project… solid foundations of heavy code and a database as a base for softer web code to make it look good!
Take a look at Bekah Hawrot Weigal’s blog Life + Code… or follow her on Twitter @BekahHW
Learn about her personal reason of why she codes: https://bekahhw.github.io/blog/2018/04/23/How-coding-has-been-therapeutic-for-my-PTSD
I’ve found Bekah’s blog and articles included in this post, to be both inspiring and empowering!
Keep doing what you’re doing Bekah 💪🏻👩💻
I visited my high school the other day and it was such a surreal experience to think I’d left 4 years ago, but really it hadn’t felt like I’d left at all. Seeing my tutor and the Heads of A-level was so great to catch up with them, still the same old humour and supportiveness that I’d received at school.
I’d learnt that last year my school was unable to continue IT A-level because it had stopped existing by the exam board and because there wasn’t enough IT teachers to cover it, but they informed me that they are going to be bringing it back to my high school as a BTEC course. I’m so glad they’ve decided to bring it back because I personally felt that it was limiting the students, if I was a student there I probably wouldn’t have gone elsewhere for A-levels just because they’d stopped that one subject and it may not have led to what I’ve achieved over the last 4 years and the excitement I’ve found in IT and STEM.
With a lot of changes recently in government and the change to GCSEs, it’s left educators even more so chasing paperwork than concentrating on actual educating. I know the government are trying to entice STEM teacher training, but why would the majority of STEM graduates choose teaching over industry if the starting salary is at least £5K a year more in industry. I know it’s not all about money, but to live comfortable after university and be able to afford a house within several years, industry has to be chosen. Personally, I do want to go into teaching at some point in my career, but I want to gain industry experience before I do.
It can also be said that the people in charge of the curriculums do not understand STEM subjects (flashback to Mark Zukerberg’s hearing about Facebook) and the constant changing and innovation within them, this is why it’s hard to teach them because there’s so much content to cover… maybe they could and should, be split even further?
Regardless, of how STEM is being told to be taught or being taught, it’s apparent that it’s becoming more of a priority. 🤓
What else do you think the government or schools themselves can do to engage more students in STEM?
Are you a woman in STEM?
If so… do you have anything that you’d like to share on the IT Girl platform?
I would love to create a collaborative platform where it isn’t just my opinions about the industry, but a wide range of experiences with the aim of inspiring younger generations of women to pursue STEM.
If you’d like to be involved, then get in touch!
From the moment you finish your final exam until the moment you receive your results is a nerve wracking time, however much calculating of grades you’ve done and pep talks you and others have given to yourself, it is always on your mind.
A week ago I woke up very early morning to the news that I had achieved First Class Honours in Business Computing with Professional Practice BSc and an A* in my dissertation… it still feels very surreal! I’ve loved school and it feels weird that for now education has come to an end.
When I found out my result I was in Cornwall on a family holiday, staying with my grandparents whilst my parents were in their caravan at another site. So I went straight into my grandparents and told them, they hopped straight out of bed and then we spontaneously got ready and drove over to my Mum and Dad’s caravan to tell them… about 6am! The reactions of my family definitely were the best bit about achieving the result.
The messaging between all my friends from my course and finding out what others had achieved throughout that day was fun, very proud of my peers and how hard they have worked over the last 3/4 years! Especially finding out my tutor group’s dissertation grades was such a nice moment after spending many hours with them over the year. Cannot wait for graduation in a month’s time and to thank the staff of the Computer Science Department for all of their support over the last 4 years in person.
I know for sure that my experiences and my degree has set me up well for my future, and I will always be thankful for that.
It’s weird how pets or animals in general have an effect on people, that’s why many offices now have a resident dog. 🐶
For me, growing up even when my Mum was really ill and I didn’t want to maybe talk about it to anybody, my cat was always there. He’s been there ‘helping’ me study for GCSEs, laying on my paintings at A-levels to this year stretching over my laptop whilst I write my dissertation 💻
Even though animals can’t speak our language, there’s an unspoken bond which can be very uplifting after a long day at work or in a stressful moment in life.
Take a look at this article written by Beata Green, on ways of finding talented female coders even with a shortage of women coming out of computer science degrees.
There is a marked gap between the number of male and female students enrolled in computer science in schools. That means very few women are entering into a computing career. Moreover, this is a concern, because the lack of women in information systems careers can actually slow down the economy. Not only that, but the risk trickles down to companies who are missing out on the more diverse teams that studies say will make their businesses more successful.