Today is a special day in my family, the circle of karma has turned. To understand why, I have to tell something from my own story. You may know that currently, I am a Cloud Architect and contract technical author on Linked In Learning. I’ve authored over 30 courses total and I get a good deal of my income from technical teaching. How did I get here?
You Should Get Married
I came from a very traditional place (West Fargo, ND) and household. My loving family saw one path for me. THE path was to get married and settle down soon after high school. The path they saw (and funded) for my brother was quite different — doctor or lawyer, pick one. I, however, had other plans. My inquiry into what might be possible for me started early.
12 year-old me was entranced by one of my subjects in school — geometry! So I asked my math teacher, “can a person have a career doing this? If so, what would it be?”.
His answer was very perfunctory.
“Oh honey, girls don’t do math.”
So I asked my family the same question, and they gave me the same answer. School increasingly frustrated me, so on my own volition, I started university (riding my bike across town!) when I was 15. I’ve always been a high energy person, so to pay for tuition, I worked one or more PT jobs at the same time.
Despite being at a university, I choose to study linguistics (rather than math), because I wanted to become more fluent in my grandma’s native German and I discovered a love of reading literature in its original language. As for math, I was unsure, so I didn’t take any classes in this area at this time in my life.
Out at 19
I quit high school at 16 (got a GED while attending university) and was fascinated by the quality and breadth of classes available at college. I was now working two part-time jobs (to pay for school) and had decided to start with an undergrad degree goal in German.
My parents told me that my plan was ‘stupid’ and (irony not lost on me considering what I do now), my very practical dad said, “well, if you have to be there, you should at least take something that will get you a job, that punchcard stuff is in demand”.