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To answer a frequently asked question ...
Many years ago a good friend of mine, Bill Mullarkey, organised a "Science and Technology Extravaganza" in Wigan. It was a fabulous two-day event with hundreds of teenagers and adults in attendance. The buzz of excitement was huge, and it was an honour to be part of the whole thing.
Afterwards, Bill wrote to me to say thank you. I was expecting the usual sort of thing, but this one was different. The actual letter is currently filed away with some other papers while we (all too slowly) work on the house, but the general contents come easily to mind. I will never forget what Bill said, and the story he told, and this provides the answer.
Broadly, the letter opened with a thank you, and some figures about the number of people we'd had coming through. The event had by all measures and accounts been a huge success, which was great.
Then it went on with a particular story ...
Bill closed the letter by saying that when he started planning the event he had said - only half jokingly - that he would regard it as a success if we saved one child from a career in accountancy, but who knows. Maybe, just maybe, we'd saved one from the scrapheap.
That makes it worth it.
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