Archive for Creativity

The Imitation Game

Last night I saw the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game. This morning, I sat at my computer to resume the edit of a fairly complex and lengthy computer-network training manual, feeling the touch of Turing’s ghost in every word. The movie moved me. I found Turing’s drive and imagination so far beyond my own that it was a challenge to comprehend. I do, however, find it fascinating. What broke my heart, though, was the way society treated Turing and his ultimate death as a result. What could he have achieved if those around him could have opened their own minds to a fraction of what Turing  was capable of. I continue to wonder what bigotry and ignorance has done to our world—what could have been, if only we all could have been more accepting of those who are different from us?

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Birthday

Today is my birthday. I came across this piece, “Remember How We Forgot,” by spoken word artist Shane Koyczan earlier this week, and it moved me. His humor about the past and what that means for the future forced me to think about the impact I have and will make in this world.

So many passages resonate with me, but I think this one is the most powerful:

“Let no one say we’ll be undone by time’s passing
The memories we are amassing will stand as testament
That somehow we bend minds around the concept
that we see others within ourselves.
That self-knowledge can be found on bookshelves
So who we are has no bearing on how we appear
Look directly into every mirror
Realize our reflection is the first sentence to a story
And our story starts:
‘We were here.’ ”

Renaissance Woman

Once again, CareerBuilder.com is playing fast and loose with their interpretation of “qualifications.” Although I’m flattered that they think I’m this much of a Renaissance Woman, I don’t come close to being qualified for any of these positions. Here are my suggested job applications for this week:

  • solar cell design engineer
  • material scientist chemical engineer
  • lead teacher – early childhood education/preschool
  • registered dietician
  • real estate sales associate
  • recreation assistant
  • product surveillance specialist

and, my personal favorite:

  • cryptologic linguist for the US Army

I’ve received phone calls and email messages from head hunters and job placement agencies, desperate to place me in one of their open positions. I had no idea I was so marketable! Unfortunately, the vast majority of these “offers” don’t come close to resembling jobs for which I’m qualified. It seems these humans can’t accurately assess an applicant’s qualifications any better than automated online databases such as CareerBuilder can.

Although, they may be on to something here. I am a mom. And, as such, have gathered and honed a wide variety of skills I might not otherwise have come close to. For example, when my children were younger, I worked from home and was able to spend a lot of time with them. I was their lead teacher in so many things: feeding and dressing themselves, toilet training, sharing, language skills, writing their names, creative play, and so on.  As my household’s resident material scientist chemical engineer, I was responsible for identifying mysterious chemical combinations all over the house: crayon wall murals, missed toileting opportunities, and the sippy cup full of milk left behind the couch for three days,  for starters. I also created chemical concoctions such as salt dough and slime, providing hours of play.

As a solar cell design engineer, I was responsible for calculating the amount of solar light my charges absorbed, and applying protective layers of sunblock to them as necessary. Like a registered dietician, one of my main goals was setting up menus, creating nutritious meals, and getting my kids to eat more than apple juice and Teddy Grahams. I performed the duties of recreation assistant by bringing my kids to tee-ball, playing hopscotch with them, and organizing play dates. As my household’s real estate sales associate, I assisted in coordinating the tasks involved in building a home, such as choosing flooring, exterior covering, and window types. I identified paint colors and other home improvements that would maintain the “saleability” of our home and made them happen. My skills in the product surveillance industry include maintaining the quality of my products by keeping them healthy and safe, ensuring regular visits to the family physician for product maintenance, forcing them to wear coats in the winter, and forbidding them from jumping off the shed roof. I continue honing that skill to this day, attempting to know where my products/children are at all times and not allowing them to do stupid things. (Refer to “wear coats in winter” and “shed roof” for more clarification.)

And, although I’ve never been in the US Army, I can say that I have performed the duties of cryptologic linguist innumerable times. Anyone who has tried to decipher what a two-year-old is saying will back me up on that one.

Hey, if CareerBuilder can play fast and loose with job qualifications, then I certainly can do the same with job titles.