Tuesday, 22 March 2011

I'm a scientist - evictions looming

We're just half an hour away from the first evictions in "I'm A Scientist"...

How am I feeling? Pretty good actually. There have definitely been highs and lows throughout the last week and a bit. Last night (as my blog post yesterday probably gets across) I was a bit sick of it and struggling to see the point. I concluded that the impact I was making was not big enough for the time I was spending on it and was almost even feeling a bit exploited by the whole enterprise.

I think the reason for this was because of the difficulty in communicating online. Communication is a two-way affair and while the students get some background information on us, I have literally no idea who I'm dealing with or their level of knowledge, let alone any clues to their personality. That makes the whole thing a lot more difficult... which I'm not used to because I'm used to dealing with this age group in person. It's a totally different experience and one that I was, I admit, struggling with a bit!

But then... I had some really lovely emails from teachers and some good feedback from scientists on twitter which were really encouraging. This morning I had two lovely chats which had some good questions and a good level of general banter... and now I find myself enjoying it again.

I'm starting to see the benefits of online communication - although it's harder for me it's probably easier for the students to be bold and ask questions that they wouldn't otherwise ask. I mean, where else are you going to ask that nagging question about how light travels through glass?

So I just wanted to say: I don't want to go out now... not as I've just started to enjoy myself!

But even if I do I think I've learned something. I will probably have more time to reflect on this in coming days, because I don't think I can win after outraging a group of teenage girls in a chat by saying that I think Primark has unethical trading practises... but I will try my hardest anyway!

There is  consolation if I'm evicted this afternoon though... as I'm currently getting prepped for a black-tie dinner in London tonight in the presence of HRH Prince Phillip.

But as I've been trying to tell the students, my life doesn't fit stereotypes. I'm not a middle aged male in a lab coat. I'm not a white haired professor. I'm just a normal person whose job is science. But then, just occasionally, even being a scientist can be a little bit glamorous...

EDIT: I haven't been evicted. Not today at least. So tonight shall now be a celebration. Woo!

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