Girl Day is for modern Martha Winthrops

Girl Day is February 27, a day set aside to encourage girls interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). I had to correct the “T," at first I typed theology. It’s been a while since theology would have generally fit on that list …hundreds of years. It fits for me in that girls in theology are still rare.

My own interest in STEM started when Bell Labs gathered kids from all over Dallas and put on a show for us — maybe I was 10 or so. I don’t remember what grade I was in but I remember learning about LASERS and how many phone calls were going to fit into a fiber by guiding light down a piece of glass. It was ultra cool and indeed has since come true.

Guiding the Light

Back then we didn’t feel the need to have separate days for girls (not sure it’s needed now — what’s needed is including girls, not isolating them)… all curious kids were encouraged to go into the STEM topics. Or maybe they actually picked the irritating ones that kept asking “why” because that was about my only credential back then.

The Curious

Roger Williams was not my only favorite character during my research on Rekindled. My favorite character was John Winthrop the Younger’s first wife Martha. I cried when I learned she was going to get whacked young if I kept to history. I seriously considering quitting the history bit and writing alternate history instead. Martha had an engineering mind. Her brilliance shows through in the letters in code she and John Winthrop the Younger wrote to each other, in an age when most women couldn’t write at all in any alphabet. She collected medical remedies (he later was famous for using a few of them) from her father the apothecary in England and from the indigenous people in New England and she invent0r her own (he of course got the credit later). She was an astute observer and asked the tough questions. People marveled at hearing the couple debate; only a few could follow them. Curious girls like Martha are who Girl Day was created for, and in many countries today’s Martha’s will not have to die young. Now that is worth celebrating.

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