Saturday, July 28, 2012

Life moves on...

I had started writing the series of how I got to where I am.  Most recently, I was writing about my first semester as a cooperative education student (aka, "co-op").

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Graduate school is exhausting...

... and I haven't started any classes yet.

Now I know why I took a break in 2010.  It wasn't just because my mother died in January of that year.  It wasn't just that my employer revised benefits.  Nor was it the other family health concerns that I have chosen not to write about.  And not just concern for my son, either, making sure that his needs were being met.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Kids and opportunities

Some good things and some sad things today.
Good news: I'm officially re-admitted to Purdue's Graduate School through their Professional Education / distance learning program.  Once I get the log in information, I can submit my Plan of Study, and the other next steps towards registering for classes.

Sad news: Sally Ride passed away today, of pancreatic cancer.  It should come as no surprise to anyone who's been following my blog, that she is one of my heroes.  She was not who inspired me to want to work for the space program - I'm fairly certain I saw the space shuttle before she made history.

But I have some faint childhood memories of telling people that I wanted to be an astronaut, and some people saying that girls couldn't do that.  Even though the first female astronauts were selected in 1978, I guess they didn't register until Sally Ride flew in 1983.  That, that told people that yes women can.  THAT put a stop to THOSE comments, so thoroughly that I can barely remember them.  And for that, I am profoundly grateful.

I want this blog to be inspirational, to be a positive thing.  But the truth is, traditions can be deeply rooted and hard to change.  Our SWE section in Houston decided to invite high school girls who were interested in STEM fields to a holiday party with college engineering majors and professional women.  One school system, the guidance counselor told the woman calling, "Oh, none of our girls are interested in that."  As if they didn't need to ask.  Because they just assumed that no girls would want to do that sort of thing.

Which always makes me wonder, how many opportunities did I simply miss, in elementary school or so, because the adults around me just assumed I wouldn't be interested?