You know, there are times I am thrilled to be able to say I have a job which actually happens to be in my field of study. There is even a bonus to doing what I do in my off time–play with computers, dabble in new applications, see what the next best thing is on the horizon. There are a lot of people who do it much better than I do; the web design, the databasing, the blogging. But I actually like exploring the ethernet, finding what’s out there, trying it out for myself, and the fact that it can help me in my job is a bonus. I learn an awful lot by watching others; lurking is one of my best features.
I was a returning adult learner who finally got her degree by juggling a job, a house, a spouse, and kids (not necessarily in that order). I stumbled into my IST education by chance, much like Charlie and his golden ticket, but it was well worth running the risk, taking the core curriculum while stalking the Senior Academic Advisor for two years until he begged the Dean to grant me admission. It wasn’t the easiest thing, having 20 years in the work force and, even though you might have been quick, finding out every incoming freshman was quicker, brighter, and could code circles around you before they even drank their first Jolt 6-pack of the day. Think Concrete Jungle meets Lord of the Flies, and still try to remember the names of your family members as you come through the door. Still, I persevered, and paid for my degree with sweat equity. Family watched, family cheered; hopefully, kids learned that education is important, and completion is an accomplishment to be celebrated.
As kids grow up, parents naturally go from being amazing, to smart, to old, to embarrassing..you get the idea. My kids are now old enough to think that I am actually on the upswing, and what I do is actually a little bit cool. Knowing about Second Life, social networking, web design, texting during school–I’m pretty hip when I’m on this turf. Occasionally, however, I have to mark the irony when the tables are turned, and I suddenly find myself following the teenagers in my life rather than leading, and I have to hustle to catch up. The latest instance of this cognitive dissonance is facebook. I’ve actually had a facebook account for several years (you know, the due diligence of parenthood while checking up on your children and their online personas). Now I find that facebook is the “hot new thing” that my industry deems we need to know. So I’ve dusted off my account, and am trying to get into the swing of things. I feel old. But then again, all is not lost: my 13 year old said recently, “Mom, you’re on facebook? Sweet!”
Sweet indeed. Beware of friend requests…. I’m trying to catch up. 😉