Parenting quandary(s) Need input

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by pygmalion, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Companies do a lot of stupid things when it comes to recruiting and hiring. In your particular example, why on earth would they take on undergrads as interns if they only hire MA's?

    On the flip side, unless an undergrad is shooting for a particular company (which is itself kind of a low-odds bet), why would your particular company's hiring practices be relevant to her?

    There is only one solid piece of advice I could give to an undergrad or high-school student. Find someone doing the job you think you want to do, in a company you think you'd want to work for, and talk to them. Yeah, it takes some effort, but with the level of social networking now available, it shouldn't take too much effort.
     
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    It's a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. The summer intern program is administered by a completely different set of people than the recruiting group. (The recruiting group targets the necessary skill set for each function; the intern program is ALL undergrads.) *sigh*

    My biggest issue is that, if she had known the lay of the land as, say, a college freshman, she might have been able to structure her undergrad course load to get that MA and be preferred to get the job she wants. But she didn't have anybody to guide her.
     
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    There are other examples, though, for example the (more than a handful of) friends I have who went for a PhD in engineering, but ended up ABD. Would it not have been better to go for a much less expensive, much more easily attainable MS, in a field where MOST people have/don't need more than an MS, rather than end up with a not-quite PhD?
     
  4. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    did they end up ABD because of cost? I don't know how it is in engineering, but in physics, if you've already done the research, why on earth wouldn't you write the dissertation?
     
  5. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    In the instances I'm thinking of, a variety of reasons. Mostly because PhDs take time and time costs money. If you're in your late twenties and are starting a family, sometimes you have to choose a job over a dissertation. *shrug*
     
  6. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Knowing what I know, yes, working on a Ph.D. and starting a family are not very compatible, unless the student's spouse has a real job.
     
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  7. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Sometimes your son reminds me a lot of me. His issues with taking the internship, in particular, hit home harder than you can possibly imagine.

    That said, I'd like to play the devil's advocate here for a moment...
    I agree with the first definition. However, while I see what he is getting at in the second sentence, I find myself taking issue with it. And, yes, this is coming from a highly personal standpoint.

    I'd fail that AP exam. I took a ton of different AP classes, and passed them all with very good grades, but I'd fail that exam. I don't do "creative solutions." I do "follow the logic gates" solutions. Yes, this is often criticised as doing things by rote, and not being able to look outside the box, but creativity isn't the be all, end all of advancement. (Admittedly, given my recent, public struggles regarding getting a promotion, I could just be way off the freakin' mark. That's entirely fair.) But if you're going to define intelligence as being able to use what you know to get things done effectively, and you are willing to accept that different jobs require different skillsets...then you kind of have to admit that there are different forms of intelligence, and that creativity in problem solving isn't the Almighty Holy Grail of Learning.

    Back to the AP exam for a moment... Yeah, I'd fail that AP exam. But put me in accounting (where, I would argue strongly, creativity has its...um...drawbacks) and I'm fine. Some jobs, some things, don't really need creativity. What it takes is being detail-oriented, and rather concrete.

    So, while I understand what he's getting at, it's also something of a self-serving definition (you've talked about his creativity before)...which goes pretty far in minimizing other people's skills. And there's all different kinds of jobs, and all different kinds of intelligence, and all different kinds of people. Life isn't one-size-fits-all. (I know I'm preaching to the choir with you, but I'm thinking more in terms of a response to your son.)



    And, again, I'll play the devil's advocate. All of life is accepting someone's version of reality. Best get with the program now, and learn to pick your battles. Yes, it may be a b.s. test...so consider it something easy to show that you're doing well on, and move on to something more worthwhile. Pick your battles. Sometimes, you're going to have to learn to stink it up and just go with it. You might think it's a load of crap, but decide if you can change it or not (or at what cost), and either change it, change yourself, or quitcherbitchin. I get that high school is the age where you're supposed to rebel and all that, and righteous indignation seems to be a rite of passage, but sometimes things just stink, and are just unfair, and such is life. Pick yourself up and move on. Give the answers they want to hear and get out, get the check mark, get the grade, and leverage that for something better. Not worth the effort...no sense tilting at windmills.

    Um...I remember thinking about stuff like that at his age, actually.
     
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  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Fantastic,P! I'm buried right now, but will be back later to discuss. :)
     
  9. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I like that, Peaches. And, as to the multiple choice tests, in the abstract, I agree with pyg's DS, but in the real world, the only answers that count are the ones your teacher, or your boss, expect.

    I had a problem, up through my early thirties, of needing to be right. I didn't take it so far, though, that I would contradict a teacher. :) Somewhere in my mid-thirties, I figured out that "being right" often got me stuck in my interactions with others. I found that my team got a lot more done, and my personal interactions went a lot more smoothly, when I would either let someone else "be right", or I would take the blame.

    "Being right" builds a wall around you. Being a beginner lets you connect.
     
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I agree. Hence my advice to DS. Three more years of junk, then find a place that's a better fit. *shrug* I dunno. I've always been like Peaches in that I speak the language of standardized tests. It comes naturally to me, to think like test-writers. It's not something I ever had to adjust to or be taught. *shrug* All these years of working with DS have taught me that it is a language that not everyone is naturally fluent in. But it's one that our educational system is skewed toward and focuses on to an incredible extent, especially since NCLB. I think that our educational system does a poor job of meeting the needs of kids who think outside the penciled in bubbles. But yes. Being able to fill in those bubbles is a valuable and necessary skill set that has served me well.

    More to come ... :)
     
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member



    I sort of agree and sort of disagree with this. All of life is accepting that other people may have a different version of reality.

    Accepting other people's reality? Not so much, IMHO.

    So yes, when it comes to standardized tests, be smart enough to enough that they're inescapable. Be smart enough to know what answers they're looking for. Be smart enough to give them the answers they're looking for. But also be smart enough NOT to accept other people's truth as more valid than your own. :cool:
     
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member



    Yes. You're right. DS is self-absorbed. That's kinda what fifteen-year-olds do. But he also has a point. He has a skill set that is not particularly valued by the educational system he's been subject to his whole life.

    I can't imagine how I, the straight A student, anal retentive, excellence oriented person, would have felt if I'd been raised in a system that insisted on giving me the kinds of tests that DS likes (and I hate,) all year, every year. It's not like it was when I was in K-12. When I was in K-12, we went to school and had achievement measured in a bunch of different ways. Once or twice a year, we'd go to school and get the casual announcement that the [blah] standardized test would be administered that day. Really. No big deal.

    It's not like that anymore. Now, teachers' careers hang in the balance. School district funding is contingent on testing success. Kids get standardized test prep tests all the time. It's not like, if you lack that aptitude, you can ever escape it. You can't. You just have to accept not measuring up because you DON'T think inside that particular box. OR you have to fit your square peg into a round hole. All the time. That's not right. It's reality, but it's still not right.
     
  13. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    There are people that go along, and people that insist on their "right way". That is orthogonal to intelligence. That is a personality trait. The latter group, if they are truly intelligent, are likely to be successful in a way that the former group will not. The smartest know when to do one or the other.
     
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  14. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    Oh! I finally understand what you were getting at earlier. Doh. *head twacky thing*

    Yes. You are right 100%. And you're right. DS and I need to talk about it. What you describe is WHY, IMHO, the Ex has been very, very successful as a scientist but failed at his own business and failed at (now two) marriages. He sees what other people can't see (and he is often right,) but he cannot let go until he makes them see it/do it his way -- the "right" way. He doesn't know when to go along.

    DS has some of his Dad, in that respect. He also has some of me. He and I will talk. Thanks for sharing your insight. :)
     
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Oh, I don't mean accept it as more valid. But when you think your boss is an idiot, it does not behoove you to make that known. Not when the reality of the people in charge is different.

    As for test taking, as someone who excelled at test taking, there is a time for basic factual knowledge. You should know your multiplication tables by rote, and if you're a scientist there are similar sciencey things that you just have to know. Nothing wrong with a non-creative test. But even beyond that, while there is an aspect of reflecting back to the examiner what they demand to hear, often the more interesting thing is just what bit of knowledge the question is trying to get at. There is almost always an underlying question, with a bigger concept attached to it...enough of those and you begin to see the logic and the mindset.

    One of my professors said that the purpose of your degree wasn't to teach you the facts you need to do your job. (He was taking about Econ in my case.). It was to teach you how to approach problems from the mndset of an economist, and to learn to think like an economist. That has always stuck with me.
     
  16. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    This.
     
  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Of course he is. He sounds like a perfectly normal teenager, doing what perfectly normal teenagers are supposed to be doing. I never meant it as a criticism.

    And, yes, you make a very good point about things today being vastly different from when I was in school.
     
  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    I didn't feel criticized on DS's behalf. He is a self-centered little [poop.] But he's also thinking for himself, which is a good thing, long term, even if it's not the easiest thing to live with today, for him or me.

    He has a long row to hoe, when it comes to stuff like this. He IS a lot like you, P. Eventually, he'll acknowledge reality, but ... it will come at a cost. *sigh*
     
  19. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Don't you know what they say in the Army?

    "There's the right way, the wrong way, and the Army way."
     
  20. Dots

    Dots Active Member

    I am not a parent, but I am a computer engineer (for 10 years now) and my job involves constant day to day creative problem solving. Would my input on how the educational system helped me prove useful for your DS?
     

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