Re: Graduate Degree Programs?

Subject: Re: Graduate Degree Programs?
From: Sue Ahrenhold <sahrenho -at- ARBORTEXT -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 19:09:42 -0400

It really isn't a question of how good you are - it's more a question of
how much you still have to learn even when you have completed your education.

Every organization has internal standards, internal working habits, secret
handshakes, that can only be learned by actually doing time in a pod farm.

Even with the best education in the world, you really have to work in a
development environment to get a feel for what it's like -- that's why we
call it the "real world".

Please don't think I'm being snippy here. I have a masters, and I have done
contract work at home with small children, and it is incredibly hard to
schedule your work and your life. It's easier than leaving a baby with a
sitter, which is why I did it, but I had already put in a lot of years
learning the ropes. And the whole thing fell apart when my three-year-old
turned four, and decided she no longer needed naps. Ask me how much fun it
is to be talking to a client on the phone while simultaneously watching a
two-year-old dismantle your electronic typewriter when the hold button on
the phone doesn't work.

I appreciate the fact that you were up-front with your prospective
employers, because I think it's important that parents are honest about
this stuff, but working in this day and age is so changeable that I think
you should just take the best offer you've gotten and work your
tailfeathers off. You may find that everything changes. Let's see, what
unexpected life events have taken my life in different directions than I
anticipated: 1) called off one marriage two months before the wedding, thus
changing my grad school of choice; 2) had a long-term relationship break
up, thus freeing me to move to a different city to pursue a wonderful
career opportunity; 3) met the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life
with right before before the division I was working in closed, leading me
to turndown a promotion in another city, 4) lost a baby, which made me
realize that being a mother was all I really wanted to be, and 5) realized
that if I stayed home with those kids one more day, I was going to lose my
mind. And I'm only one person! Relax, and concentrate on being the best
wife/partner and new technical writer you can be, and let the future take
care of itself.

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