We celebrated Black History Month (October) with mother, Norma, and daughter, Helen, over the past few days. Norma is a member of our Club and invited members and prospective members to her house for a special Ben Johnson Day meal. Participants were asked to bring along an ingredient to prepare a meal together. A very tasty soup made from lentils and vegetables was followed by spicy fried chicken with wild rice mixed with vegetables. The accompanying caper sauce had a very generous helping of white wine! A dessert of apple crumble was then served up to complete the meal.
Norma (below left) is from Jamaica where the tradition of cooking whatever there was available in the house on a Thursday night was handed down through the generations. This was known as Ben Johnson Day. If you would like to find out about the origins of this day, click on this link: Ben Johnson Day
At the following Club meeting, we invited Helen (above right) to talk to us about her career and achievements. Helen became interested in mathematics from a young age, very much encouraged by Norma to play games and have fun with everyday mathematical skills. Helen referred to this as a ‘trick’ i.e. she was unaware that it was actually mathematics she was being taught and therefore became confident in the subject . At Edinburgh University, Helen studied Mathematics and Music. The two are quite compatible subjects and Norma played a variety of music at home for Helen to listen to. Helen went on to become a mathematics teacher and then head of department in a secondary school. She is now involved in designing software content for a company using a form of artificial intelligence. This involves diagnosing young people’s skills in a particular subject area and providing episodes of online tuition to extend their learning. There are wide range of subjects covered as well as Mathematics, such as Science and English up to A’ level. The programme of learning has not just been used in the UK but abroad in countries such as Pakistan. It is clear that Helen is an inspirational young woman and encourages those around her to be confident and work towards their full potential.