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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bonsai

Just came back from  http://build.org/page.aspx?pid=345  meeting tonight at Oakland. My team continues to do well with career exploration and learning to run a small business. Tonight they spent most of their time at http://californiarealitycheck.com/ shopping a lifestyle and learning what it will cost. The next step they take is looking at what kind of jobs they'll need (in line with their interests) to earn the money supporting the lifestyle. While the kids were working, I talked with Robyn @ Cisco and Pier, a couple other mentors. It's kind of funny that none of us are particularly working in our field of study, although each of us can say there's a connection between the education we received and what we do. I try to relate that concept to the BUILD kids as well as my own- as a boat can only be steered when it's moving, a learner only learns when they make a choice and go in a direction.
Sometimes the 'wrong turns' are more interesting, and still educational. During my dad's visit from Arizona last week, he retold the story of how he was mortified when I chose to attend a vocational school rather that finish my degree (back in 1986). This has turned out to be a good decision, although I'm not still working as a car mechanic. Another way to express the concept: bonsai trees are only interesting if they aren't straight. My path to arrive where I'm at now is unconventional, but it makes a much better story. Dad wanted each of us four kids to be an engineer, and I've come the closest- with a studio arts degree. I train engineers to work on DNA sequencers. That's kind of an unimaginable outcome from my high school years. Along the way, I've learned I really enjoy international travel, and I intend to eventually live overseas for a period of some years.
How will I do this? There's a piece in there about going the right general direction, even if I don't know the complete path yet. I've found success in life is based on acting on current circumstances rather than desired circumstances, and I think I can engineer this change.  'Luck' is where the preparation meets opportunity. I'm going to see what I can do.

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