A March For Their Lives…

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Today I am sitting on my farm in Iowa, snowed in by blizzard,  when I wanted to be marching in Des Moines to support these kids who are fighting for their right to be safe.  So instead of marching I am watching their speeches on television.    The more that I watch the more I find myself overwhelmed and hopeful to see this generation of bright, thoughtful, savvy,  eloquent, young people taking the lead.

It makes me think, am I doing enough to keep our children safe and to feel safe.   As I recall the things I did to protect my children, who are now adults in their 30’s, were things like — not letting them have a phone in their room, keeping the computer on the Internet in a family area, teaching them to be defensive drivers, teaching them stranger danger and avoiding alcohol and drugs.  I remember not being able to sleep until they walked in the door as teenagers out with the car.

I can not even imagine the terror a parent feels now sending them off to schools everyday with the thought that these kids are scared for their lives and have to do active shooter drills.  It makes me wonder how we got here in such a short time.  How did the “right” to bear arms become more important than keeping our children safe?

I was raised in Iowa, in a hunting family — I even had one of my brothers accidentally shot by a cousin cleaning his handgun.  A terrifying event, but he survived and living a long healthy life. So I get people who want to own guns — but I don’t get the need to have military grade weapons meant to kill people.

When I was in 8th grade, Martin Luther King was murdered and I vividly remember that year — Bobby Kennedy was murdered just a few months later.  My social study teacher, Miss Seawick, a blue haired woman, with one blue eye, one brown eye and always wore purple suits, had a lesson that has stuck with me.   She drilled this into us, “Your rights leave off where the next person’s begins.”

So, as you listen to this group of young people pour out their messages from their souls — remember, they just want their “right” to be safe to be respected and as important as that “right” to bear arms.

Before those Amendments we value so much were these words.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Somewhere along the way, the 2nd amendment started becoming more important than the “insure domestic Tranquility, or promoting general Welfare…

So thank you to all of you who are marching today!

Mary

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Ladies Start Thriving and Not Just Surviving With Tech Career!

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 middle10904098_10204719144031930_7716147741434340035_o 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!

Mary