The primary reason why I see my dad as such an inspiration is because he is so clever. He is obviously academically intelligent, but then again, lots of people have parents who are- some even have multiple PhDs, for example! However, what is most inspiring is not his achievements in academia, but his practical ability to solve every day problems.
Every single problem that I can come across, my dad can usually think of a simple, yet effective solution, one which is probably so obvious to him, but absolutely genius to us mere mortals. If you look around our house, there is something in each room which he probably made/fixed/improved by hand.
- We needed a new bookshelf, he made 5 new ones from planks of plywood
- We needed more room for storage, so he converted the loft and placed new floor boards and built a conservatory
- The light in the cupboard under the stairs had broken, so he placed a new LED light which would automatically turn on when the cupboard door was open
- He made my grandma a chicken pen for her chickens when they grew too large for their old one
- He made my mum's wedding ring by melting and casting some gold that he had
And the list goes on and on...
I suppose those examples just make him sound like a handy man, but he really isn't. Anyone can nail some wood together. It's having intuition to think of innovative solutions that impresses me.
For example, once we were going on holiday for a few days, leaving behind no one to feed the fish. Therefore, he created this fish feeding device. He had this sort of tape player device, and within each layer of the film, he would place a few flakes of fish food, and then place the device a the top of the fish tank. We would then press play on the tape player, and the film would unravel, causing the fish food to drop and thus, feed the fish. He worked out a speed for the tape player to run, in order for the fish to not be fed too much food, and how much fish flakes would be needed for the entire duration of the holiday. It's hard to explain, but basically he came up with a contraption which actually did work well, using resources that were available to him, and solved the problem.
For his career, I must admit, I don't really understand his business, but what I find most interesting is that he once told me that some of the technologies that he is developing and using didn't even exist during times that he was in university. I know that he isn't Lord Alan Sugar, and isn't making millions from his products, but, this is something that definitely spurs me on in life - I also wish to make discoveries, and then develop them further into viable products to improve and make a difference and advancement to the society we live in. Of course, people skills are invaluable, but development in sciences and technology is what is going to shape each and everyone of our futures.
So here I am, soon starting to build the foundations of my career with my A levels. It is always good to think about what your end goal is going to be, and it's important to learn from the people around you. My dad is someone I definitely someone I am going to aspire to be like.
P.S. If anyone is wondering, I am taking maths, further maths, chemistry, physics, Chinese and design and technology for AS, and maths, chemistry and physics for A2! I hope!