Monday, September 21, 2015

Music Monday - The Greatest Love of All

I may have linked to this once before, but many of the lyrics are coming to mind for me again in the wake of last week.

Dr. Chanda posted her Black & STEM Playlist, and the song above is one of the ones on my STEM Women playlist.

I believe the children are our future. Girls, boys, every color.

My mother read a lot of self-help books, ones that discussed human potential, so I've grown up thinking about what we as human beings need in order to be our best.

  • Health helps, a lot. It may not be required to be a good person, but a healthy body can train hard, study hard, or both.
  • Proper nutrition, which fuels a healthy body.
  • A good education, which supports our interests and allows us to follow our unique gifts.
  • Opportunities, not only for extra-curricular activities, but also internships, role models, travel, etc.
  • Supportive relationships.
I spent one summer in Florida when I was 14, and heard a sermon topic: "People become who we say they are," about the human tendency to live up (or down) to expectations. I'm pretty sure the minister kept most of the examples on the positive side. As I've matured and learned more about abuse, I've learned more about how true this can also work to the negative. I've never forgotten that.

Independently, during my adolescence, I came to believe in the UU first principle: "The inherent worth and dignity of every human being." Each and every person matters, and that is why Black Lives Matter (too).

And Ahmed Mohamed's life matters.

I really don't care whether he developed his clock from scratch, or transplanted it to the pencil case from existing 1970s technology. It's the curiosity that matters for electrical engineering. Everybody has to start somewhere, and many engineers begin by taking things apart. That is good, and should be encouraged.

Women engineers, though... I was not encouraged to disassemble things as a child. We didn't own a lot that *could* be disassembled, and what few electronics we had... I preferred to keep intact so we could keep using them.

Many of the articles I have read about diversity in STEM point to a need to allow late bloomers as well as the people with early interests to find their way here. For example, Harvey Mudd's efforts in computer science.