I'm one of those individuals who, since childhood in Italy, was placed on the "college (liceo) track". But it was 1961 when I graduated from HS in the US and, although my parents were told that I should pursue higher education, I was steered to get married and settle down with a husband. I was soon divorced after getting married but already had two children to support. Ever since, I've been miserable in any job I've been able to hold but made sure that my children concentrated on their natural talents and prepared for careers accordingly. I must say that I was told by school officials that my son would make a good "draftsman" but he went on to graduate as an Architect from Notre Dame University and eventually ended up as a Professional US Senate Staffer. My daughter, had an aptitude for math and works in a male-dominated field as a Computer Scientist. She was accepted for the PhD program in Computer Science at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Both my children averaged "C" or "C+" all the way through school yet they proved themselves capable in their chosen fields.
I'm a firm believer in the fact that "school learning" is only a "tool" to help someone pursue their personal interests. And I believe that PARENTS play a big role in helping children do so. Sometimes it takes a while for young adults to identify those interests but if they are given freedom to chose, the basis of self-confidence and a sense of responsibility for their deeds and contribution to society, they will eventually chose the right path. Also there is a need for society to expand employment opportunities to those who express an intersts in a particular field without having had previous direct working experience. Seems that personal "motivation" is largely undervalued these days.
Elizabeth D. Niemeyer
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