Showing posts from December, 2015

Why I love CoderDojo (and you should, too)

On Sunday I got up early to pack up laptops and LEGO onto trolleys, strike out into Greater Manchester, and hope for the best. I had to get up on a freezing morning, spend most of the day on my feet, and pack up after everyone. I loved it.

Why? Well, on that day something called CoderDojo happened.

Manchester CoderDojo takes place on the second Sunday of every month. Broadly speaking, a bunch of volunteers come together, take some computing bits and bobs with them, and teach kids about the joys of programming.

When I was a little girl, I used to be a member of something called NAGC (the National Association for Gifted Children), which you might know better as Potential Plus UK. Broadly speaking, it puts on events for gifted and talented children (in the top 5% of the population) where they can meet each other and learn about things beyond an often restrictive school curriculum. To children who are often isolated, bored and restless, this is a lifeline. I credit NAGC with helping me su…

The Shadow of the Other

I feel like I should clarify a few things.

I am Israeli. It's a part of me I can't get rid of. This doesn't make me special or exotic. I'm just me. All of this becomes relevant.

If you know anything about international politics, you'll know about Israel and Palestine. Some of you will say that Israel is illegitimate, others that Palestine was not and never will be a state. Some of you will argue for Israel, others for Palestine. Some of you will say that they're both awful. Either way, everyone expects you to choose a tribe.

It's a funny old thing, being a naturalised British citizen. Seen as a Briton it is natural and accepted that I have individual opinions. It is nothing remarkable that I should disagree with my government, and people are generally happy for me to speak about my experiences.

Seen as an Israeli, things are very different. Suddenly, I'm not Osnat who lives down the road; I'm Osnat the foreigner, Osnat who is the ambassador for a co…