By Jemma Burgess
You don’t know me, Marc.
Before you even start at SCA, you will get told by numerous alumni that there will come a time on the course that Marc will just know you, in his mysterious father figure way he will figure you out and it’s a bizarre moment when it happens. I remember my young naive self being told this and immediately thinking, of course he won’t! I am an enigma. I give nothing away.
Today I realised I was wrong.
On the first day back this year, we all got a Christmas present from Marc. It was a 6-minute diary to encourage us to reflect and have gratitude. Sweet I know, but that wasn’t the interesting part. What struck me was the personalised bookmarks that he had written to each person. Each with a direct message and this was mine:
All you need in life is ignorance and confidence and success is sure.
Straight away my insecure mind highlighted the word ignorance and thought “Marc thinks I’m stupid, what am I even doing here, I’m never going to make it in life.” But after reflection, I kind of get it. I’ve never been book smart, I don’t know the longest word in the dictionary off by heart and sometimes when I get excited about what I am talking about I trip over my words, mixing them up like a baker kneading dough. I climbed trees when I was young instead of reading books and I tell people I got a B in English even though I actually got a C.
I like to think that I am emotionally smart though. I see people. The hidden facial tells that disappear in an instance. I notice the unconscious looks that give away what someone’s thinking and even though it might conflict with my own opinions, I listen and understand where someone else might be coming from. I must admit, I don’t think logically either. I think in images, in scenes and daydreams. So, yes, I might ask you to explain what you mean in more simple terms but I am not interested in business jargon of the Oxford/Cambridge language. To be honest, If I don’t understand your fancy fluffy words, your consumer probably doesn’t either.
Despite this, I still fear that everyone around me thinks that I am stupid. We are always told to act on instinct and I often find myself doing this when sat on the back couch of the famous SCA pit. I know I am an outgoing and confident person so without thinking I will jump at the chance to respond to a discussion or question. But if not heard I will instantly recoil, curling up as small as possible, often covering my embarrassment with laughter so if anything I can make a joke out of how “silly” I am. What’s worse is that I am absolutely astonished if ever get a question right or say something of value to the group. So I think that is why I got that bookmark. To not be frightened to feel like a fool. To be confident in my answers and myself and even if I fail, success will inevitably come.
So I think the moments happened and yes, it’s pretty bizarre.