dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #929

jstallcup at juno.com jstallcup at juno.com
Mon Dec 20 18:08:31 EST 2004


My parents had me work for my father starting when I was about 10 years
old so that if nothing else, I could be an electrician.  Yep, until I was
20, in my spare time, I went to Dad's construction sites and pulled wire,
made up plug and switch boxes, installed the actual plugs and switches
when the time came, did finish work and helped out in various ways when
my dad needed an extra pair of hands.  

It made me very happy to go to college, which my parents wholeheartedly
supported.  

It also makes me happy that if I need to I can change a plug or switch
and do lots of other kinds of odd construction jobs around the house, if
I want to.

My parents are an odd mixture of conservative and progressive, though. 
Here's a story I like to tell.  When I was very young, my mother found
out that women engineers were being hired for VERY good salaries.  So she
started telling me how great it would be to be an engineer.  And although
I never actually wanted to be an engineer, it always made me feel good
that my parents thought that I could be one, if I wanted to be.  

Then I was telling this story to someone in front of my mother one day,
when I was about 20 or 25.  And she said, "Oh, Jackie!  I didn't want you
to BE an engineer.  I wanted you to go to college to study engineering,
and meet a nice engineer, and MARRY him!."

Ah, disillusionment!

Jackie


On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 21:58:22 -0000 "Dorian E. Gray" <israfel at eircom.net>
writes:
> Jadwiga said...
> 
> > *giggle* I remember having a long-draw-out argument with my mother 
> about
> > taking typing in summer school. My mother was afraid that being a 
> woman
> > who could type would limit my career prospects. :)
> 
> Whereas *my* parents *insisted* that one of the things I did during 
> my year 
> off between school and university was take a secretarial course: 
> "that way, 
> no matter what else happens, you'll always have something to fall 
> back on."
> 
> And I've used what I learned on that course far more than what I 
> learned on 
> my university course in my working life...
> 
> Dorian. 
> 
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