I'm opening this blog to Facebook, where I have been posting lots of very long posts. Kind of a diary, if you will. Lately this blog has been used by a group of bloggers to discuss a (monthly) topic on writing. That will continue.
So here is the first diary-type post.
A recent New Yorker magazine had a long article on the demise of the English major and "liberal arts" majors in general. Wait a minute! I was an English major who spent 25+ years in technology.
When my kids were in junior high and getting ready for high school, I took stock of my suburban life. A pretty good one. Lots of friends; lots of organizations and volunteering for non-profits. Tennis, fencing, business and social entertaining. I thought nothing of cooking for ten or fifteen. Once we had an open house for 100. I re-read all of Proust.
But something was missing. After some thought, I knew I wanted to get a job. the problem was, I had plenty of skills, but none of them marketable. Thanks to my degree in English.
After asking around and doing a bit of research, I discovered computer people were in great demand. Especially programmers. Business programmers. I bought a book to find out what this was all about. Interesting but not exactly compelling. Then I discovered that the nearby Lake County Junior College offered courses in systems and programming. A junior college? With my degree from Rice University? Seemed like a huge step dowm. Nonetheless. Registering for classes was traumatic. I had to use a computer. Everyone seemed younger. They appeared to know what they were about. Gaaa!
It was summer, and I signed up for the most basic course: Computer logic and Flowcharting. I bought a flowchart template at the college book store. Nervous as a cat, I attended the first class. The friendly approachable instructor gave us an overview and explained what we would cover in the class.
With notes, my template (which is knocking around here somewhere,after lo, these many years), I completed the first assignment. Not really all that hard. Warm summer nights (we had no AC in the Chicago area) I sat at the kitchen table and drew my flowcharts. It was rather fun! I aced the course and enrolled full-time for the fall semester. COBOL, systems analysis, business, accounting, and something else.
Once my husband and two sons realized the laundry would still get done and that food would be on the table, things fell into place. What I had never anticipated was the variety of people who would be my classmates: welfare mothers, teachers wanting to find a new occupation, scruffy students. We were all in this together. It was a new life, but a good life.
Coming on next: I realized I was "technical."