About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Facing the unknown

Two things inspired this posting today. First, I was speaking to a colleague today, who said that her daughter was having a terrible time deciding on a major. My colleague blames herself for her daughter's dilemma as she encouraged her children to choose a profession in which they will be able to make a decent living and be self reliant. Her daughter is an excellent writer, and feels that this skill will not give her a steady income. So while she really does not like science, she is taking science courses so she will be employable.

The second thing was while I was preparing lunch today, the only tomato available was a yellow tomato one of my husband's colleagues had grown and given to us. I cut into the tomato and had an immediate revulsion as it reminded me of a yellow plum. Finally, I forced myself to try a piece. It tasted just like a red tomato.

Sometimes, I feel we do our children a disservice by not making them take a taste of the yellow tomatoes in life. Trying something that goes against traditional wisdom is risky. I feel we need to support younger people to try doing things in a new way, but putting them back on track when the risk is too great.

I was lucky in life. My father, who went to Yale on a scholarship, regretted not taking the opportunity to learn new and different things while he was at Yale because his family (who were poor) counted on him to do well in College. His advice to me was to study what I was interested in, learn as much as I could while I was in college, and don't worry about studying for a profession. As he said, a good worker is a good worker and will learn what he or she needs to do well in their job when they are on the job. He believed that graduates were not, nor would ever be, prepared to do a job right out of college. Only job experience and the ability to learn in the workplace would prepare someone. The key to hiring good workers was to hire those that were prepared to learn and were not scared to face the unknown. Rather, they would be ready to study the situation, figure out how to work within any situation, and persist regardless of the barriers put in front of them.

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