What Would You Do?

In my other, past, volunteer life, I used to interview scholarship applicants for our alumni group, and help select the winners. A couple of thoughts as I reflect on that process: 

-Jeez these kids are focused nowadays. You don’t see this in the media but these kids are taking AP and even college courses, getting A’s, working a full time job, AND putting in x number of hours of volunteer time. It was really quite astonishing to me.

-They seem to be so much more together, well spoken, wordly, maybe, than we were at that age. 

-We had some tough questions, and they were rarely rattled. Or if they were, I couldn’t tell. One question was: “What does this education mean to you in one word?” Most answered ‘opportunity’ or other such ‘safe’ answers. But the one I remember is the kid who said quietly ‘Everything’. He was the first in his family to go to college, and if I recall correctly, had emigrated from Africa. He wanted to be a doctor.

If you’re wondering what this has to do with technology, be patient, I’m getting there.

Another question we ask is ‘If you get to college and find you absolutely hate your major, what would your backup major be?’ When we formulated this question we thought we’d see a lot of Journalism/Criminology or Engineering/Computer Science. And we did see some of that. But the funny thing was, the answers started to surprise us. Engineering/Music. Business/Theatre. Almost complete polar opposites. Statistics/Nursing. It almost seems like it was a ‘what I should do’/’what I want to do’ type of thing.

So my question to you is, if you weren’t a mainframe sysprog, programmer, operator, manager, whatever you are, what *would* you be? Remove all the obstacles like money, location, etc. Just for the love of the game, what would you do for a living?

By the way, ‘everything’ kid had a great summer. He got his medical degree and got married. He is a huge success story; he’ll be a great doctor; and he’s a wonderful human being.

Your link today, for no particular reason whatsoever, is a link to the SHARE youtube channel videos:



Have a great day!

Mary Anne




Many things!

September 2, 2015 04:26 PM by Marna Walle

Good article!  I'd love to have done many other things, so it would be hard to pick just one:  French Lit, some sort of medical doctor that sees rare conditions, Chemistry, ...these are just a few.  

My options

September 2, 2015 07:43 PM by Mary Anne Matyaz

I agree Marna, many! I wanted to be an interior designer but when I got to high school I was crushed because the guidance counselor told me to take art classes and I suck at art. :) Can't draw worth a dang.

Right now I think I'd love to be a photographer (which is funny cause I suck at that too) or a pastry chef or own a vineyard or maybe a hot air balloon operator. But if I were really honest, I'd have to say having a bunny rescue.

I don't know

September 3, 2015 04:52 PM by M. Ray Mullins

So suffering through my senior year in high school, I had no clue. I didn't even bother applying for a 4-year university, because I really had no idea; my plan was to go to community college and figure things out while I was there. I thought possibly something in urban planning, but that really didn't excite me. I had science interests, and some mathematics.

Then I got a TI-58 programmable calculator for Christmas. After a month, I started playing with the programming functions. Boom. The light bulb went on. The school opened a computer programming class in the spring semester and I took it. I was hooked. 

Looking back, and even today, I really am unsure. I am such a techie that I don't know what else I might be good at, other than mathematic fields. My stick figures suck, so artistic areas are out. (And, frankly, I express creativity through programming.) I'm not physical, so sports and any laborious jobs are also out.

I always wondered if I lived before the advent of computers, what would I have done. I really don't know.

I'm glad I didn't have to make that choice

September 4, 2015 09:43 AM by Cheryl Watson

Out of college I wanted to be a teacher, but teachers were making $350 a month and computer programmer trainees were making $550 a month, and I had a husband to put through grad school.  It was an easy choice.  My other choices were being a park ranger, a designer of logic puzzles, or a CPA.  (I just love to see figures come out even at the bottom of the ledger.)  But once I had fixed my first bug in a program, I knew I had found my life's passion. 

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