Their bodies lay on the cafe floor- 1 min
Still and lifeless. The silence was deafening, pierced momentarily by a single question.
“How many people do you think have laid down on this floor?”, I ask.
// A slight pause
“No one”, they called back, almost in unison.
“How many of these people think we’re odd right now?”
// They hesitate.
“All of them!”
Glancing around, it was clear they were right. All eyes were on us. With a cheeky grin towards the onlookers, I posed one final question.
“Does it matter?”
// A wait that is almost painful
And you know what. They were correct.
Doing things that others don’t is a part of everyday life. Most people don’t lie on a cafe floor. These kids did. Most people don’t stand in front of a room filled with faces to give a presentation. These kids did, acing the last in a series of confidence building activities to help get them up on stage along the way.
It wasn’t all fun and games. When we weren’t lolling around, the kids were on a Mission to Mars as part of a Software Cornwall Work Experience week. The objective: develop an instruction set using C++ to allow a Rover to navigate the Martian terrain. The result. Bedlam.
Robots were breaking left and right by the end of day three. The dashboard, used to track team progress throughout, gave up after day two. By the end of day one, exhaustion had already set in. But it was OK. Tiredness was kept at bay thanks to the cafe’s excellent coffee, coupled with the group’s infectious enthusiasm.
That. . . and the occasional lie-down!
The mission was the perfect way to bookend the winter work season, ready to start afresh for the season ahead. Before that, it’s time for a well-deserved break and a potter around the garden. Helping to grow the next crop of the county’s tech talent is all well and good, but now is the moment to nurture this year’s veg.
Originally featured on LinkedIn