Still Discovering my Story
Here’s my Dad, a budding scientist working on his PhD at The Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, 1960. It was a happening place for biochemical studies at that time, he was part of a team working on the structure of haemoglobin.
Dad’s lab was on the bottom floor of this building on the right. A sharp eye will spot the bike he rode to uni every day, parked infront of the white building.
The local shopping strip and student hangout, Oxford, 1960
In memory of Hans Krebs
Trinity College, Oxford
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Anyone who has studied cell biology would have the name Krebs firmly embedded into their memory. He’s responsible for the Krebs Cycle so many of us sweated over while cramming for exams. While Dad was studying for his PhD, Nobel Prize winner Hans Krebs worked with his team in the upstairs lab of this building. It’s part of my story that Hans Krebs patted me on the head when I visited the lab one day with my Mother and Sister. That’s the beginnings of my pathway into science I was told.
My sister and I are somewhere in Oxford, feeding the ducks in our jelly sandals. I saw this image for the first time several weeks ago.
I never knew about my picnic to Stonehenge either.
My Dad’s approaching the end of his life with a failing heart, a brain sharper than ever and an insatiable hunger for knowledge. So what does a daughter do with such a grumpy old dad? We go shopping, buy a laptop and slide scanner then spend hours together learning how to create his digital story. It’s also my story, much of which I never knew.
Dad’s seen and enjoyed reading my blog, my portfolio, my narrative…call it what you like. He doesn’t see a need to create one and bore everyone with the details of his past, it’s not important to him. But it’s important to me. I wish I’d known the stories I’m hearing now and seen the images of my formative years. I’d love to have fully comprehended the significance of the scientific moment of time he was part of. But, it’s happening now and I’m grateful for the time we have, the time to learn new things together, to chat, listen, tell stories, scan slides and record memories.
A portfolio for me isn’t a statistical record of my learning, locked behind the walls of platform owned and managed by someone else. There’s a place for those records in learning institutions but they can’t be a lifelong, personal learning portfolio. Mine is a narrative, a story woven together with the threads of my learning over time, experiences, reflections, interests and more. It’s also a story I hope my children will enjoy hearing about, long before my invendable slippery slide into old age grumpiness. Dad has a story too, what we’re able to document now is a joy that will live on with our memories of him.