Wynne: Differences

Nora, the keynote speaker for today, was phenomenal, and her discussion about how women have a different point of view and why it was important to have women on a team made me think how differences are sometimes an advantage.

The first session I went to was the Creativity, Learning and Social Software session. The speaker had started out as an architecture and changed to a technical career. Her experience as an architecture provided with a unique perspective when she worked on projects especially for the users. This is where I can learn that no matter how dissimilar two fields are, one student of a field can shape another’s world by contributing something that other could not see.

Walking around the conference, I met up with a graduate student from Haiti, Google employee who was also a Duke alumni, and Microsoft employee. It was interesting to note unalike we were and yet these variances make up what each person is. It is to my benefit to hear what the situation is like for women in Haiti, how life is like after Duke, and who Nora was to people who knew her. I hope that my life as an undergraduate Duke student stands out in there memories as they have in mine.

During lunch, I ate at a table with a gentleman writing an article about why men have difficult changing. He believed that women used areas in decision making that men did not use as much due to the invisible advantage men had. As a psychology minor, there were times I questioned what he was saying. There were also times when he was right about the differences between men and women. He took the advice from the women at the table very well, and I look forward to reading his work.

The award ceremony was a display of another type of difference. I do not have much to say about it except that the work by the women who were recognized was fascinating and almost unbelievable in how big of an impact they made.

Tomorrow will be my last day attending the GHC 2012 conference. Whatever Friday brings, the celebration has already left a lasting impression on me.


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