Educating the Wheelers

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Chronicling the Experience of Educating our Children and Managing our Family

Saturday, March 11, 2006

College Alumni Donation Solicitations

Andrew and I both went to college, so we have two institutions that call us for alumni donations. Andrew received a nice sized grant from his college, so we give to them on occasion. [Though I can tell I've really become a parent now. The last time I got a call I said, "If you continue to call us more than once a year, you will get nothing."]

My college? Not so much. I have given to them only twice in the almost ten years since I graduated, and the person in whose name I always gave -- my mentor when I was there -- no longer works there. I am a little ambivalent these days about the value of my education I had while I was there. I can't say it's the institution's fault, but it does make me less eager to pony up money to them. [Note: I never received any grants or financial aid of any sort, but I did work as the assistant manager in the dedicated computer lab for math and science students. The manager of that lab was the aforementioned mentor. What I learned from her during that time is the knowledge I used once I graduated.]

There weren't a lot of women doing Computer Science while I was there, so for my first few years out, I would get the occasional invitation to come back and speak on a panel to the current crop of CS students to let them know "what it's like" on the outside, and how what I learned at our fine institution helped. It was an odd experience, because I graduated in 1996 -- the reality of the situation at the time was that I could have fallen off the back of a turnip truck and been employed in the high tech industry in Seattle during those years.

I realize this is completely incoherent. Sorry. Heh.


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