Helena Smith’s First SCAB – By @_helenasmith

By Helena Smith


No scholarship, but having watched the winning applications I was left with a poignant realisation. So, I felt it was the perfect time to make a physical record of this realisation and write my first reflection.


With the process of creating I always enjoy the end comparison of my initial ideas for what the thing I’m creating might be with what it actually ended up being. It was no different with my scholarship application. What this part of the creative process always confirms to me is that I can’t predict myself; and I like this.


So why did I get so bogged down with trying to predict myself from the start?


I know that focusing on the end result before you’ve even started is a trap we can all fall into and that any creative project needs a certain amount of planning. But on this occasion, with the gift of hindsight (and comparing my approach to that of scholarship winners) I know the balance was tipped. It seems I lost my ability to recognise the inevitable unpredictable events as positives and allowed myself to spend too much time planning. After realising this, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed in myself, especially having done four years of an art degree where it was a rarity and small miracle if things went to plan. I should know better.


So at this point I would like to queue an unpredicted theme shift and remind myself of my favourite science topic, stem cells. Now I doubt many people often think about what their favourite science topic is, but stem cells were something that completely fascinated me when learning about them in school. To avoid a laborious detour back into the classroom I will simply say that stem cells are unlike any other cell in that they have not yet decided what they will be. They have the capacity to become any cell in the body, and it is this quality that puts them at the forefront of ground breaking medical research. It is their malleable, unspecialised nature that makes them so special.


Now, I’m not going to run before I can walk and say that I’m going to break-ground or change millions of lives, just yet. But I do want to remind myself that sometimes it is your own malleability that makes you so valuable. This clean slate is something I want to remember to embrace about myself and in doing so I want to remember to place my trust in myself and my ability to adapt to change when the unpredictable occurs. I cannot predict myself or the decisions that end up taking place but I must always remember that uncertainty is intrinsically valuable.


And following the train of thought set out by Kenneth Higbee, I’m hoping that by using the function of ‘encoding’ and taking the time to put these thoughts into my own words, I am more likely to remember what I have realised.


Helena, give the planner a break.

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