We headed off to the science festival at a local college last week, with our HE group. This is the third year we've been and its always well worth it. This year we learnt about 'busy bees', 'frenzied food chains', 'flaming fires', and 'Hetty's human organ chaos' (love that last one!).
This is the second time I've been the contact/organiser for our group, and it all went pretty smoothly. It always worries me as I never think I'm up to the job! But I'm actually ok with this kind of behind the scenes emailing and organising - just don't ask me to present anything or work with groups in person!
The kids were great, we had to split into two groups as there were too many of us for one, and our group ended up being all girls, but a range of ages (between 6 and 13). Most of them joined in and contributed enthusiatically, there are some very bright kids in our HE group and I think the workshop leaders were pleased with the keen responses (although A did point out that one guy appeared to be terrified!!)
A was very quiet, partly I think because she feels she's a bit old for this particular festival (its aimed at the 9-11 age group) but she did enjoy it. Also - its easy to hold back if others are really happy to answer and ask questions, I was like that myself (and still am). I felt a bit uncomfortable seeing that bit of myself in A, as I know for me it comes mainly from a lack of confidence and being easily intimidated - thinking others are much more intelligent than me. I certainly think A has much more confidence than I ever did, but I have noticed her putting herself down a bit regarding intelligence, which really upsets me. She's not drawn to the obviously academic subjects, but - of course - that doesn't mean she's not intelligent, I hope I'm able to get that message across to her.
Saturday we had a wonderfully lazy day, doing crafty stuff on the couch with the music TV channel on. The music videos brought up some interesting discussions, as I became more and more fed up with the endless procession of malnourished girls poncing about in their pants, surrounded by S&M imagery. Thank goodness for Adele, looking beautiful and dignified singing 'Someone Like You'.
There are some exceptions - cynical as I am, Katy Perry's 'Firework' video always makes me want to cry. And there's that weird tennis match video for 'Hello' which made us laugh. But generally, although I enjoy a lot of the music, watching music TV leaves me feeling quite depressed, and concerned for my daughter.
A gets weary with me periodically checking "you do know this is bullshit, don't you???" and we've had plenty of discussions around the issues - how the media manipulates, body image, the connotations of some of the violent lyrics and images - all this and more! She seems pretty sussed about it all, but its hard not to worry. It seeps in. I just hope A can keep her head straight and see it for what it is, after all, we cant hide from it, its about finding a healthy way to navigate around it all.