I guess that by the time you’ve notched up several dozen years it’s pretty likely that some distinctly unlikely things have happened to you.
I went to a lecture at Logan Hall in London. The Logan Hall is a huge lecture theatre and holds nearly a thousand people. Speaking in public has never been much of a problem for me, and as I looked around I wondered what speaking to such a large audience might feel like. The only venue I could think of that was more prestigious was the Lecture Theatre at the Royal Institution.
When I got home I switched on the computer to check my emails. At the top of the list – and I still have it today – I read:
“[We] were wondering whether you would be able to do a Primary
Maths lecture for us at the Royal Institution in London ….
“We would be very keen for you to do something based on your “Take Ten
Cards” activities which you introduced to Jenni during the ATM conference
(although Jenni has already used the envelope problem at a lecture last
I really don’t think anything has topped the excitement and pride of speaking to 300 children at the Royal Institution, standing at the very desk where Michael Faraday and some of the world’s most famous scientists stood. Evening discourses at the RI were one of the great events in the London calendar, so much so that the resultant congestion meant that Albemarle Street became London’s first-ever one-way street.
I did indeed include the envelope problem, and that’s what I want to write about next time.