Two days to go.
It seems hard to believe that it was only a month ago when we had decided on our Eminent person. Our life in Talons had been consumed with the task of collecting research, securing an interview, writing speeches, and creating learning centers. And all the while, documenting our journey through blog posts. BLOG POSTS! Always. In. the. Back. Of. Your. Mind.
My top priority at the moment is my learning center, like most Talons at the moment. I am glad to say that I needn’t worry about the performance of my speech, and I will leave that the fretting to the grade 10’s. Not to say that there is a lack of fretting on my part, of course, but things are slowly but surely coming together.
Like most, I am taking the tri-fold poster approach for one part of my center, mostly for pictures and just a bit of text. When I was deciding what would be the one ‘hook’ of my center, I didn’t want it to be the name of my eminent. Instead, I chose to display a quote on the top span of my poster:
“Weightlessness is a great equalizer”
I decided on this quote because I think that that it embodies everything that Sally believes in: that at the point where one leaves the stratosphere, gender has no context. When in space, no one really has the right to discriminate; men and women are simply humans, no longer bound by the stereotypes of Earth. I cannot say that this is what Sally had been thinking as she launched into space, but this is what her words speak to me.
Because I also feel that there is a lot of truth and authenticity in Sally’s words, I decided to give the visitors of my learning center a chance to hear Sally’s morals through her own words. I plan to have and iPad at my center (because everyone loves iPads, right?), displaying some of Sally most memorable quotes, and give visitors a chance to comment. In a following post, I will be posting these comments, so that my extensive following of my blog will be able to see a view of Sally other than my own.
As for a more interactive activity, I will pose a question: Would you accept the flowers?
This obscure inquiry refers to a dilemma that Sally faced upon her arrival back to Earth for the first time. At returning ceremony, she was offered a bouquet of flowers, but refused them in protest that none of the male crew mates received one. Was it a gracious gesture? Or a sexist act? I myself find it quite ironic that they awarded the woman who had strived so hard against sexism with a bouquet of flowers. It really just contradicted everything she believed in. She had broken down barriers in a male dominated profession, faced judgment, fought for equality, and they give her some flowers. Flowers. What do women like? Flowers of course.
Those are my ramblings. But I want to hear from you.
What do you think?
This is what I will be asking to the visitors lucky enough to walk by my learning center. My hope is to point out to people that Sally’s flight didn’t obliterate sexism. It is still here today. But how far are people willing to go to accommodate such an act?
But here’s another: how do I wrap up this post?
Well, I suppose that it is clear that I still do have some work ahead of me yet, but I am close. This entire journey of Eminent Person has been exciting, intriguing, and challenging. My word for this year, ambition, has been the underlying drive for all that I have done with this project, learning about Sally, but also about myself (sorry for the cheesiness). This project has really forced me to form meaningful opinions about what Sally believed in, and all that she has done with her life. It was an ambitious hope to begin to understand who Sally was as a person, and I think that I am on my way to accomplishing it. Night of the Notables does not signal the end of my study, but really the end of the beginning. On Wednesday night, my goal is not to close the door, but to open it to many other people who may then form their own opinions about what made Sally eminent. I want to make people think.
And all of this has got me thinking too.