Thank you for being impressed, and for all your congratulations. Let me set the record straight…I did NOT make a speech in front of the General Assembly! But I did get to do something rather cool. The Commission on the Status of Women consists of 45 member states; they invite outsiders with various kinds of expertise to speak on panels before the commission. NO, I was not even a panelist! After the panel, member states and a few NGOs are able to respond and/or ask questions. I had been told to keep my remarks to five minutes, so I very carefully practiced and slashed and condensed and edited until it was right under five minutes. Then when I arrived at the UN, our “shepherd” (who pushes us around and makes sure we get a spot on the agenda and then makes sure we are not in the bathroom when it’s time to speak) our shepherd says, casually, “Now, you know you must keep it to two minutes or under since there are so many to speak.” I spent the next half hour cutting the little I had left, but–by gum–the chair didn’t have to call time on me!

Since the topic of the panel was how to increase the number of women who go into science and technology, my remarks had to do with keeping children interested in science beyond the primary grades by — duh! — good science training for middle school and junior high teachers. All the other comments and the UN documents had emphasized training high school teachers. But in my humble (but irreversable) opinion most girls learn to fear science before they get to high school. That’s it! two minutes of “duh,” but maybe there was one person who had not figured it out. As in the rest of life, we never know what makes a difference…

Perhaps even more impressive is that I got to sing in Carnegie Hall (here all the real musicians in our community do a double take). We went there last weekend–on more free tickets–for a wonderful afternoon of choral and symphonic music. First on the bill was a high school chorus from British Columbia who did a variety of musical styles. Looking over the program before it started, I saw Loch Lomond, and of course had to sing all the verses I could remember, on the spot. It didn’t matter since everyone else in the audience was talking–but I poked Jan and said, “Hey, I just sang in Carnegie Hall!” However, nobody rushed up afterwards to sign me on for a future engagement…I was also disappointed that they did not ask me to stand up when they played Missa Azteca in honor of my hometown. Well, we take our two minutes of fame where we can get it, right? Thanks for your prayers!