Tag Archives: science

To Schmooze or Not To Schmooze…

… That is the question!schmooze

According to Urban Dictionary the definition of “Schmooze” is: Making ingratiating small talk – talk that is business oriented, designed to both provide and solicit personal information but avoids overt pitching. Most often an artifact of “networking.” It is more art than science but can be learned.

But, blimey Charlie is schmoozing difficult!

I admit I can’t do it.

I can’t do small talk. I can’t talk to someone with an underlying intent of getting something out of it.

I never have been able to.

When I left drama school we had the usual showcase performance with casting directors and agents attending with the ‘networking’ after – but false situations like that fill me with dread and after 5 minutes I had to leave.

I simply don’t have the courage to just walk up to someone and start a random conversation in order to find out who they are and what I can get out of them – be it a job, a sale, etc.

How do you do it?

How can you learn it?

As a business owner I’ve attended business networking events – and the same thing. I can’t talk about myself. I’m happy to listen to other people, but opening up and making the right kind of schmoozy noises, I find excruciatingly painful.

Even if I try to put on a different persona and ‘act’ the part I still fail, because deep down I’m just too nervous, believe that people can see right through me and never know quite what to say – there’s a reason I always hated improve classes at drama school!  (I’m one of those people who can never quite get the right words out, and then 5 minutes later think “damn, I should have said that!”)

Thankfully, these days I don’t need to go to networking events – the business area I’m in doesn’t hang out at the normal business events. But I have to do the dreaded cold calling! Which I find slightly easier, because it’s on the phone and I have a script. Then if I get to meet a prospective client it’s because I’ve already spoken to them and they want to hear more – so it’s not a cold, having to make small talk situation.

That’s probably why I’m so rubbish when it comes to dating. I’ve always been able to talk to boys/men, but when it comes to one I actually like and they ask me out for coffee I’m actually petrified of saying or doing the wrong thing that when I try to be myself I always end up looking a complete wally.

If anyone has any tips on how to schmooze effectively, please let me know – I think I need all the help I can get 😉

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My date with a guy called Leo …

The weather was a glorious Spring day.

The setting of the Science Museum was perfect.

Just a shame my date has been dead for nearly 500 years!!!

 

I have loved the Science Museum ever since I was a little girl and my parents used to drive us into London to while away a Sunday afternoon playing with all the fun stuff they had for kids that used to be housed in the basement – I hasten to add this was pre-internet, pretty much pre-computer, so it really was lots of machines with levers that you could pull and buttons you could press.

And I have never grown out if the place – it’s a perfect place to embrace my inner geekette.

Well, with a Saturday all to myself and nothing better to do, I thought I would trot into London and visit the Science Museum – after all normally I have the company of SC who whistles round at top speed not really paying much attention to anything, so a saunter around – well when I say saunter, I don’t actually mean that as I walk fast – the museum would be wonderful.

I totally forgot that they have an exhibition on until September 4th all about Leonardo da Vinci. So I paid for my ticket and spent a fabulous couple of hours taking my time looking at everything, listening to every audio going and having a go with every bit of equipment there was to get my hands on (and I was not the only grown-up doing so!)

The man clearly was a genius and had a brain so far ahead of his time it was unbelievable.  Some of his invention were pre-cursors to stuff we have in the modern world.

For example he invented a 3 wheeled cart for a theatrical production, steered by a rudder attached to a 4th wheel, and motorised by cogs – this they reckon was the pre-cursor to our modern-day cars!

His idea for a diving suit was not so far removed from our modern-day equivalent, and then there was flight, anatomy, weapons, mathematics, this list was endless.

I did not know that he actually wrote backwards! All his notes are written from right to left and although the words are spelt correctly and not backwards as well, the letters are written as if in a mirror. Not entirely sure if this was due to secrecy and only his successors would know the code, but it must have taken some doing!

I was blown away – literally.

Although most people would think of him as a painter, apparently he only ever painted 30 pictures and there are only 20 surviving to this day, compared to over 5000 notes (can’t remember if that’s sets or pages).

If you get a chance to go to the Science Museum before the 4th September I would definitely recommend this exhibition. I would gladly go again, and probably find out more stuff that I did today – you always gain more knowledge after the first experience I find!

After I said goodbye to Leo, I have to admit, that although I didn’t have SC with me I just couldn’t help myself going to some of the other hands-on interactive galleries – I know I’m such a big kid 😉

And I also managed to spot Wally – courtesy of a gentlemen wearing a white and red knitted bobble hat!

With that done, I headed back to the tube.  The sun was still shining, but I was in desperate need of refreshment. So I stopped off at Embankment (luckily can walk to the train from there), found a friendly purveyor of teas, purchased a soothing chamomile and in the middle of London found an oasis of calm.

Literally next door to Embankment tube station, there is a delightful garden/small park and in the midst of all the hub-bub the garden was peaceful and serene. I sat in the sunshine, listening to the birds, sipping said tea and partaking of one of my favourite past-times – people watching.

Who knew Antirrhinums were also called “bunnies ears!”

The old lady sitting next to me didn’t like the students chatting outside her flats and told them they should go to the nursery up the road instead of back to college!

I hope the man in the suit jogging through the park got to where he was going on time (and without splitting his trousers, they were rather tight!)

And then I noticed people stopping near a tree, “mmm, must be a bird up there!” thought I. Then I realised they were looking at the back of the tulip bed. And lo and behold this is what they were all looking at:

Fantastic Mr Fox

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Out of the Mouthes of Babes – In the beginning…

God created light with a big bang!bigbang

So there you have it – question solved.

SC reckons that when God created light it would have made a big bang, so creationists and scientists can both claim victory 😉

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Out of the Mouthes of Babes – Gods

“Mummy?” said SC as we were driving home this afternoon, “who made the Gods?”gods

“I mean,” he continued, “the Gods made the people, but how did the Gods begin?”

“Ummm!” I answered, “to be honest, I have absolutely no idea sweetheart!”

 

And I don’t.

It is one of those questions that really doesn’t have a definitive theoretical answer behind it.

Any tips on how to answer this question would be gratefully received.

 

(And, no it isn’t a typing error, he really did say Gods in the plural)

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Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

Now, these are a bit like Marmite, you either love them or hate them.

Being a nerdy geeky type, personally I love them.

I will always remember watching them, every year with my dad, and they were (and still are) on in the days between Christmas and New Year. Who remembers Professor Heinz Wolff?

They were, when I was young (OMG that makes me sound so old!), half an hour long, aimed at children with a fun theme that children can relate to.

Then Channel 4 or was it 5 took them over, and they moved to 5 o’clock in the evening and 45 minutes long, and now they are back on the Beeb, BUT on BBC4 at 8PM.

What happened to them being aimed at kids as young as 5/6. Or do all 5/6 year olds these days not go to bed til midnight?

And they are an hour long too.

I actually went to see one being filmed a couple of years ago. Loved it and I can’t wait to take SC, but judging by the average age of the kids in the audience this year, that’s not going to be for a few years yet 😦

But why do they appear to have made them less for children of any age, and more for your 8/9 year olds plus, and put them on at a ridiculous time, and channel?

Come on Royal Institution get back to fun science for children of all ages and please BBC next Christmas make them half an hour and put them on at a time when children can sit and enjoy them with their parents, instead of boring us rigid with yet another Eastenders omnibus!

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