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Re: career


< 
 << A few months ago, when I was picking up the children at school, another
  >>mother I knew well rushed up to me. Emily was fuming with indignation.
  >>
  >>"Do you know what you and I are?" she demanded.  Before I could answer
  >she
  >>blurted out the reason for her question.
  >>It seemed she had just returned from renewing her driver's license at
  >the
  >>County Clerk's office. Asked by the woman recorder to state her
  >>"occupation," Emily had hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.
  >>
  >>"What I mean is," explained the recorder, "Do you have a job, or are you
  >>just a ......?"
  >>"Of course I have a job," snapped Emily. "I'm a mother."
  >>"We don't list 'mother' as an occupation...'housewife' covers it," said
  >the
  >>recorder emphatically.
  >>I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same
  >>situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a
  >career
  >>woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high-sounding title, like
  >>"Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar "And what is your
  >occupation?"
  >>she probed.
  >>What made me say it, I do not know. The words simply popped out.
  >"I'm....a
  >>Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human
  >Relations."
  >>The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in mid-air, and looked up as
  >though
  >>she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly, emphasizing the
  >most
  >>significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pompous pronouncement
  >was
  >>written in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.
  >>
  >>"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest,  "just what you do in
  >your
  >>field?"
  >>Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply,
  >"I
  >>have a continuing program of research (what mother doesn't) in the
  >>laboratory and in the field (normally I would have said indoors and
  >out).
  >>I'm working for my Masters (the whole darned family) and already have
  >four
  >>credits (all daughters).  Of course, the job is one of the most
  >demanding in
  >>the humanities (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours
  >a
  >>day (24 is more like it).  But the job is more challenging than most
  >>run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are in satisfaction rather than
  >just
  >>money."
  >>
  >>There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she
  >>completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.  As
  >I
  >>drove into our driveway buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was
  >greeted
  >>by my lab assistants---age 13, 7, and 3. And upstairs, I could hear our
  >new
  >>experimental model (six months)  in the child-development program,
  >testing
  >>out a new vocal pattern. I felt triumphant. I had scored a beat on
  >>bureaucracy. And I had gone down on the official records as someone more
  >>distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another......"
  >>
  >>Home...what a glorious career. Especially when there's a title on the
  door.
   >> >>
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