10th April, 2018
Each day, I just need to start early, clear all the interruptions off my desk quickly and get into my writing. I know I am privileged to be here at AUT and this view reminds me of that each day. It also reminds me of where I started, so long ago. The buildings of the University of Auckland can be seen outside my window but that is not where I am; I am here, now.
Around me, I am surrounded by the photos of the people I call heroes in my world; Margaret Hamilton was the only female software engineer working at NASA during the Apollo Missions. Her work was probably the most important component of the systems that landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon at a time when hardware was everything and software was just “women’s work“. Grace Hopper was arguably the mother of computer languages as we know them today. Ada Lovelace, Babbage’s muse and probably the first computer programmer. Caroline Hershel, the first woman ever to receive a stipend from the king to support her research work on comets. She was also the first woman supported by a few visionary males in the otherwise male-dominated Royal Society.
You might ask why I have no pictures of male heroes on my wall. I could put some up but generally, they had a far easier time in the world. No, each of these ladies pushed up hard against a glass ceiling and broke out of the mold the world of their time wished to impose on them. That took courage, tenacity and a lot of grace.
So they are honored on my wall and they inspire me each day to move out of my comfort zone and stay focused. It is my way of paraphrasing what Paul wrote in Hebrews 12v1 :
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
I love this stuff…