Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Job - pt 2

The first question is:  Why electrical engineering -> programming -> babysitting?

I've thought about that question over the years.  I think there are two reasons:

a) My sister
b) Drama club!

As these years pass, and I continue to barely speak to her (we've exchanged maybe 2-3 sentences over the last 5 years), I come to the realization that my sister never did like me that much.  But, she didn't really hate me - to be clear.  But she didn't want to hang out with me and just be with me.  Which makes pictures of my kids enjoying just being with each other all the more enjoyable:


And because I didn't have a "bud", what I learned was that computers were interesting.  They liked to play games (I like games where the outcome is never the same each time).  They were willing to play whenever you wanted to play.  And you could play as long as you wanted (or until the modem hung up on you).  And remember this was the days of a green screen with block characters - not Xbox or Playstation.

And then drama club:  putting plays together.  I was never really big on acting, but it was enjoyable being backstage, being in on the "secret" that those in the audience couldn't see.  Also it was a required "ballet" of everyone working in a coordinated manner to produce something.  It was also interesting how people who hated each other could suspend that dislike for each other for the 5 minutes or so they shared the stage together.

So when it came time to think about my career future, I remember that a stage electrician told me that I would probably make a good stage electrician (if you show up on time and not strung out on drugs, you make a good stage "anything" in the theater).  Hmmm, technical theater major.  Or, a programmer.  And when I become this programmer, I can write games! (I was already writing rudimentary programs while in high school).

So, I had a sit down talk with my Dad:
Me: Hey Dad, I think I know what I want to major in college.
Dad: Oh yeah.  [putting down the paper] What would that be?
Me: Technical theater!
Dad: What is that?
[a short explanation to him]
Dad: Well, all I'm paying for is Electrical Engineering [retired a few years ago after 40 years as a professor of Electrical Engineering]
Me: [thinking, thinking, thinking] Well, how about computer programming?
Dad: Well, if you first get an EE degree, then you'll really know how a computer works on the inside.  And after you get your EE degree, if you want, I'll pay for a Masters in computer science.
Me: [mulling, mulling, mulling] Okay, I guess.
And he was right. The analogy was I spent 4 years learning how to be a race car mechanic.  And then, I spent 2 years learning how to drive the car I could fix with my eyes closed.

But of course, I never got around to working on any part of the car.

But I could have!

At any time!

Yeah, right.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:11 AM

    Broadway stagehands make great money, an average of $100k or more depending on which theatre you work for. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/28/arts/hey-stars-be-nice-to-the-stagehands-you-might-need-a-loan.html?pagewanted=1

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