Having a background in computers and technology saved my family when my husband died suddenly, many years ago now. I had two children in school, one in middle school and one in high school. At the time I was teaching for a pretty low wage at a local business college — a job I kind of fell into after the construction business I had worked for went under. My husband had left only a very little insurance policy, just enough to pay for the funeral and some medical expenses. I had no idea how I was going to make it with a daughter going to college the next year. We were pretty much that family in “The Middle”..struggling to make ends meet.
In college I had accidently gotten interested in computers — I took a class in Data Processing (back in the day with punch cards)..and I found I was one of the few who GOT IT… I had no idea what I was going to do with it, however, since I was a Physical Education and Art Minor. My dad just made me take something that might be useful in the future…Who knew it would be the thing that helped me survive and then thrive in life.
I always had a bit of a mechanical side — in Ninth grade I took one of the those stupid interest test — I was so embarrassed when I was the only girl who raised her hand when they asked about who had scored high in mechanic… All I could think of was I’m going to be an Auto Mechanic!
I never did finish that Physical Education major, I fell in love and got married. I was fortunate enough to get a job using my data processing skills. Each job I took after that I made a concerted effort to learn as much as I could about the technology at the time and soak up the knowledge of my mentors. Finishing a BA degree in Management Information Systems, with two small children at home, took me five years at night school was a challenge, but I was determined and I did it!
Success isn’t always fast, but it was steady. That low paying teaching job lead to a very nice paying job with great benefits — enough to send both of my kids to college. Having a marketable skill saved us from what could have been a much bleaker situation that I see everyday.
Which I guess brings me to the goal of this blog. I would like to help and inspire women of all ages to consider a career in Math, Science, or Technology. It is not just for geeky guys — but all you goddesses out there too!
Don’t just survive — thrive!