For the month of March, Harry Potter super-fan Maddie asked the group to learn a bit about the author Joanne Rowling. Their homework included the videos and articles linked at the end of this post.
To kick-off the meeting, Maddie had each person start a drawing and gave them very limited time. They then had to pass the drawings around the table, completing each other’s work as they went. At the end, she asked them to compare the final product and to see how close it was to their intent. One of the Damsels noted that she “must have drawn too much because it became what I wanted”.
Next, Maddie asked a few questions about Joanne Rowling including “who was her inspiration?”. The answer is Jessica Mitford. Maddie then asked the group who inspires them. The answers included “my mom”, “everybody here”, “my doctor who keeps me alive”, “all of the people who do things they don’t have to”, “my friends”, “my family”, “my dance teachers”, “volunteers”, “Michelle Obama” and “all of the women we’ve chosen”.
Another part of the discussion was based on Joanne Rowling’s speech at Harvard University (The benefits of failure and the importance of imagination). Maddie asked what this quote meant to the rest of the group: “As is a failure, so is life, not how long it is but how good it is”. The replies were very thoughtful and included “when you read, you’d rather have a good story than a long one”, “life – it’s what stories and adventures you put in”, “life is a journey, not a destination”, “fill your pages with great actions”, “my school’s motto is “childhood is a journey, not a race””.
Following dinner and this great discussion, the group proposed several actions. They suggested supporting a charity that Joanne Rowling supports, volunteering at a shelter for mother’s and children and helping at an upcoming MS walk event. They voted and decided to help at the upcoming walk to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis research. You can see the Damsels in action here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTotbiUjLxw (41 minutes long)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2adjz-KG9Y (24 minutes long)
https://www.ted.com/talks/jk_rowling_the_fringe_benefits_of_failure (20 minutes long)