Autumn is in the air.  It’s that little bit cooler.  Flowers are fading and a few leaves are turning and dropping.  Days are shorter.  Holidays are coming to an end.   It can feel a bit melancholy. 

For many young people it’s a time of change. Particularly for those who received their GCSE and A level results.  For some it will be a time of disappointment.  They didn’t get the grades they hoped for.  It may also be a time of regret, wishing they had worked harder. 

Each week, on Radio 4’s The Life Scientific, Jim Al-Khalili interviews a leading scientist about his or her life and work.  Last week he interviewed Chris Barratt.  Professor Barratt, as he now is, did not do very well in his A levels.  His favourite subject was history and that’s what he wanted to study at university…but his grade was not good enough. 

Instead he studied Zoology and found he enjoyed it.  He qualified as a teacher and, after spending time teaching in a school, studied for a PhD.  He became fascinated and went on to further research, which led him to look closely at male fertility.  He is now Head of Postgraduate Medicine and Head of the Reproductive Medicine Group  at Dundee University. 

Sometimes things don’t go where we think they should.  They don’t work out as we hope or expect.  I wonder what Jesus’ disciples thought when he called them from the jobs they were doing and said, “Follow me.”

Chris Dawson

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