View Poll Results: What led you to your career?

Voters
32. You may not vote on this poll
  • Always wanted to do it

    6 18.75%
  • Role model

    0 0%
  • Teacher

    1 3.13%
  • TV / Film / Book (fiction)

    0 0%
  • TV / Film / Book (factual)

    1 3.13%
  • Accident

    2 6.25%
  • Mistake

    1 3.13%
  • Beer

    0 0%
  • Other

    23 71.88%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Results 31 to 44 of 44

Thread: What led you to your career?

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    5,454
    I initially was going to be a professional motor cycle trials rider. I was competing in the major national and European championships as a schoolboy and was already in the top 10 in the professional adult category by 17 years old. Unfortunately I was involved in a serious road accident which fractured my spine and left me out of action for nearly 2 years. During this time my head was in the shed and I felt like my world had come to an end my professional biking days were over! At 19 I ended up working as an apprentice mechanical engineer. I went on to do a number of jobs in the engineering, fabrication and electrical industry. I managed to sort myself out get some qualifications behind me and now, years later, have a job (maintenance director) that I enjoy, is reasonably well paid and can be quite rewarding. I have now made plans for my retirement, though I've got a good few years to go yet.

  2. #32
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    May 2005
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    7,983
    Quote Originally Posted by closetgeek View Post
    Other. I barely graduated high school and thought that there was no way I could handle higher ed. In my early 30's, I was just looking on the internet to win a Star Wars argument (not the parsec one). I found some guy, what's his face; the Bad Astronomer, blogging about the parsec argument. I read the blog, and then another one, and then another one. When I was bored, I started searching for this guy. I thought "space stuff" was cool when I was a kid, I liked to watch Cosmos with my grandfather but I certainly had no interest in pursuing a career in the field--that was for smart people. When I eventually stumbled across the BAUT forum, someone recommended some books and I couldn't get enough of them. Still, it was a pet interest. When I needed to find a job, I went for short-length certifications, first CNA, then RMA, and I was planning on going to become a PA, but I didn't really like working in the medical field as much as I thought I would. While I was in my crisis, I attended An Evening with Phil Plait and Hakeem Olusayi. There were two moments during that talk that really resonated with me; Hakeem Olusayi couldn't remember the name of an asteroid and Phil Plait was talking about researching for a talk and it dawned on me that these guys don't just walk around knowing everything. I couldn't stop talking about it. My husband pointed out that I had planned on going back to school when he graduated and I was considering changing fields, why not apply to the Astronomy and Astrophysics program at FIT? It took another year to get the courage to do it but I finally applied and was accepted, so here I am, old enough to have birthed most of the kids in my class and I will probably be graduating with my current classmate's children.
    Very cool!

    I wanted to be a math teacher, but I didn't fit in. I majored in physics, then EE, then math. I only graduated so I could go into grad school--I'd been offered foremanship at a construction company building houses, but I'd been accepted to grad school in the Fall, and I needed 7 hours of summer school to get the ** first. I went to grad school in math just so I could teach math (the university used grad students as instructors). Another grad student talked me into signing up for a test (NSA), but I was hung over and didn't do well. I took it again the next year and I passed, they sent me a PSQ, DD398. No way was I filling that out. My wife was graduating, so I wrote a masters and she found a job announcement in the jobs center from a guy who'd been visiting relatives in town over the weekend. It was more than some of my professors were making, and the guy was going to be back in town and could interview me. They hired me, and sent me a DD49, probably twice the size of the 398. I filled it out, but it took a long time--they even gave me a week's wages, and paid me to travel to sit with an assistant for a day while we called all over to get the answers that I'd been unable to track down. Months later we'd bought a house, and the moving van was loading up our stuff, and they told me it was taking too long and they didn't have anything for me to do in the meantime. My paycheck would be direct deposit though. So, I sat at our new house, expecting a call to come to work, for eight months. Then, I finally got to work, a "scientific programmer," developing and implementing math algorithms. We were using satellite ephemeris that had to be updated and I was fascinated by the problem of the earth's shape. I eventually went into a PhD program for geophysics. I'm ABD, but back teaching.

    ETA: This made me wonder where ol' grav is: https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...)-*-cos(x)-x-y

  3. #33
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    Feb 2003
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    Depew, NY
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    11,078
    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    (people saying that Star Trek is the reason they went into aerospace engineering, or universities noting a spike in applications for forensic pathology courses after some TV series or other aired)
    Ah!

    Quote Originally Posted by closetgeek View Post
    so here I am, old enough to have birthed most of the kids in my class and I will probably be graduating with my current classmate's children.
    First, let me say, I assumed you were much younger. Text-only can shave years off of you.

    Yesterday night I was sitting in an economics class and the teacher asked us each to explain what we wanted to be as a child. I answered that I wanted to be an X-Wing pilot. Then I told the old story about going to the library and being presented with a book about astronauts. The book predated actual astronauts by a good bit, so it was just line drawings of what people thought astronauts would look like. Based on that, I decided that I might want to be an artist.

    My classmates were baffled. They asked ¨what book?¨ and of course I had no idea it was 30 some years ago. That cause more bafflement. ¨You have a Kindle, isn´t it on there?¨ No! Kindles are like those hokey tricorders on Star Trek, it does whatever is dictated by the plot. Clearly they are a complete fantasy. ¨So, a paper book?¨ they asked. Yes, a paper book. That confused them as much as not having it on my Kindle.

    Thankfully, this professor is older than me by a bit. He enjoyed it all.
    Solfe

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    5,454
    Quote Originally Posted by grapes View Post
    Very cool!

    I wanted to be a math teacher, but I didn't fit in. I majored in physics, then EE, then math. I only graduated so I could go into grad school--I'd been offered foremanship at a construction company building houses, but I'd been accepted to grad school in the Fall, and I needed 7 hours of summer school to get the ** first. I went to grad school in math just so I could teach math (the university used grad students as instructors). Another grad student talked me into signing up for a test (NSA), but I was hung over and didn't do well. I took it again the next year and I passed, they sent me a PSQ, DD398. No way was I filling that out. My wife was graduating, so I wrote a masters and she found a job announcement in the jobs center from a guy who'd been visiting relatives in town over the weekend. It was more than some of my professors were making, and the guy was going to be back in town and could interview me. They hired me, and sent me a DD49, probably twice the size of the 398. I filled it out, but it took a long time--they even gave me a weeks wages, and paid me to travel to sit with an assistant for a day while we called all over to get the answers that I'd been unable to track down. Months later we'd bought a house, and the moving van was loading up our stuff, and they told me it was taking too long and they didn't have anything for me to do in the meantime. My paycheck would be direct deposit though. So, I sat at our new house, expecting a call to come to work, for eight months. Then, I finally got to work, a "scientific programmer," developing and implementing math algorithms. We were using satellite ephemeris that had to be updated and I was fascinated by the problem of the earth's shape. I eventually went to into a PhD program for geophysics. I'm ABD.

    ETA: This made me wonder where ol' grav is: https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...)-*-cos(x)-x-y
    Its funny how things work out, I felt like I wasted most of my early working career sulking over what could have been instead of looking at what could be. Older and wiser I've learned my lesson and realise that there is no substitute for experience. A friend of mine gave up teaching physics to become a "roofer" I asked him his reasons as I couldn't understand why he decided such a dramatic change in career, "because I don't have to think about it any more, I just get up, go work, do my graft and go home, simple", was his reply.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    2,630
    Quote Originally Posted by grapes View Post
    Very cool!

    I wanted to be a math teacher, but I didn't fit in. I majored in physics, then EE, then math. I only graduated so I could go into grad school--I'd been offered foremanship at a construction company building houses, but I'd been accepted to grad school in the Fall, and I needed 7 hours of summer school to get the ** first. I went to grad school in math just so I could teach math (the university used grad students as instructors). Another grad student talked me into signing up for a test (NSA), but I was hung over and didn't do well. I took it again the next year and I passed, they sent me a PSQ, DD398. No way was I filling that out. My wife was graduating, so I wrote a masters and she found a job announcement in the jobs center from a guy who'd been visiting relatives in town over the weekend. It was more than some of my professors were making, and the guy was going to be back in town and could interview me. They hired me, and sent me a DD49, probably twice the size of the 398. I filled it out, but it took a long time--they even gave me a week's wages, and paid me to travel to sit with an assistant for a day while we called all over to get the answers that I'd been unable to track down. Months later we'd bought a house, and the moving van was loading up our stuff, and they told me it was taking too long and they didn't have anything for me to do in the meantime. My paycheck would be direct deposit though. So, I sat at our new house, expecting a call to come to work, for eight months. Then, I finally got to work, a "scientific programmer," developing and implementing math algorithms. We were using satellite ephemeris that had to be updated and I was fascinated by the problem of the earth's shape. I eventually went into a PhD program for geophysics. I'm ABD, but back teaching.

    ETA: This made me wonder where ol' grav is: https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...)-*-cos(x)-x-y
    I envy that you were young enough to explore multiple interests.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    2,630
    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Ah!



    First, let me say, I assumed you were much younger. Text-only can shave years off of you.

    Yesterday night I was sitting in an economics class and the teacher asked us each to explain what we wanted to be as a child. I answered that I wanted to be an X-Wing pilot. Then I told the old story about going to the library and being presented with a book about astronauts. The book predated actual astronauts by a good bit, so it was just line drawings of what people thought astronauts would look like. Based on that, I decided that I might want to be an artist.

    My classmates were baffled. They asked ¨what book?¨ and of course I had no idea it was 30 some years ago. That cause more bafflement. ¨You have a Kindle, isn´t it on there?¨ No! Kindles are like those hokey tricorders on Star Trek, it does whatever is dictated by the plot. Clearly they are a complete fantasy. ¨So, a paper book?¨ they asked. Yes, a paper book. That confused them as much as not having it on my Kindle.

    Thankfully, this professor is older than me by a bit. He enjoyed it all.
    That is too funny! I have two situations like that. A couple of weekends ago, one of my classmates came over to study for a test. When he was leaving, out of habit I asked him if he could get out of my neighborhood okay. He looked at me like I had two heads and held up his phone, "Yeah, I have Google maps." I responded, "Sorry, old habit from back in the day when we either had to bust out the paper map or memorize the friend's directions to get back to the main road... and get off my lawn."
    Secondly, I love my math professor because he hand-writes notes on the board (my previous classes were essentially really expensive PowerPoints). The issue is he writes in cursive. They don't teach cursive in schools anymore, I had to teach my own kids cursive so they could sign their names to documents. Sometimes a fellow classmate will ask for clarification on a tern/phrase and the professor will repeat it and say, "It's written on the board, right here." I haven't worked up the nerve to explain to him, yet, that a lot of them probably can't read cursive.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    14,905
    I've Always felt it was a bit early, say a century, to stop teaching cursive at school.

    But let me guess: they're still teaching Latin.

  8. #38
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    May 2005
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    7,983
    Quote Originally Posted by closetgeek View Post
    I envy that you were young enough to explore multiple interests.
    Well, I turned forty my first yearmonth in geology grad school, but yeah young enough. I still qualified for Young Researcher grants.

  9. #39
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    Feb 2003
    Location
    Depew, NY
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    11,078
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    I've Always felt it was a bit early, say a century, to stop teaching cursive at school.

    But let me guess: they're still teaching Latin.
    I'm teaching 6 15 year old children to write in cursive. Under normal circumstances, they have letter formation and order problems but they have beautiful cursive handwriting.

    There is some irony here. I have dyslexia and they have autism which means our printing looks about the same for completely different reasons. They can spell wonderfully but loose track of where they are in space. I think letter order and spelling is some sort of shared delusion I simply can't grasp. They will be excellent cursive writers because the pencil never leaves the paper which counters them getting lost in the visual field space, where I will always have chicken scratch because my brain is off doing it's own thing. It's amazing.
    Solfe

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    1
    A sense of care for older people led me choose to be caregiver.

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    11,824
    Well good on you Miss Carley.

    I'm one of the two "accident" voters.

    I had a bad accident in my youth that precluded me from most forms of gainful employment. (Epileptics tend to not be hired due to insurance issues, or are soon laid off after their first seizure.) So I had about five or six careers through out my working life. Finally settled into furniture moving at the end.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    R.I. USA
    Posts
    9,996
    Been around construction most of my life. Done some tool making and electronics (US Navy , lab work,mfg engineering).
    But money...... being the big factor, and necessity is the mother of invention. You go with what pays.

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Norfolk UK and some of me is in Northern France
    Posts
    7,583
    at school I rebelled at being pushed into a physics degree and chose engineering. Flipped a coin effectively to choose between mechanical and electrical and then chose fixed wing over variable without even having time to think about it at aircraft interview. So I designed the Concord with some help. Lucky project in electron beam welding allowed me into consultancy which I loved but eventually a mad streak made me want to manufacture my own product, I was therefore 54 when I started my real career, 18 years ago. However it's too soon to say what I will do when I grow up.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,393
    A quick grasp of computer technology, an understanding of how to relate customer requirements with design, adaptability, a desire to do things right, and a small radioactive spider bite. Well, at least three of those anyway.
    Depending on whom you ask, everything is relative.

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