A few years ago, I took part in a panel discussion for the benefit of a bunch of high school students at Marist High School nearby. The physics/chemistry professor, Ryan Mosier (sp?) invited a bunch of us to come tell his students what they can go on and do with their interest in science.
It was fun seeing the HS campus and seeing the kids, that’s for sure. They were a pretty good group. The other members on the panel were an MIS manager, a hospital lab tech, a pharmaceutical researcher, and a forensic scientist. All of these are interesting occupations. I encouraged the students to consider writing as a career or at least as an adjunct to any other technical career. We got asked about our favorite and least favorite parts about our jobs. I talked about the freedom and not having to commute and being in control of my own hours, which a student told me later produced a somewhat envious look from the other panelists. The students had a number of good questions and seemed fairly interested in what we had to say. For me, the most memorable comment came from the forensic scientist, who observed about the level of care that was necessary in his job. Every time they did something, it tentatively took away from another human being’s civil rights, and, the longer they were in their profession, the more weight their opinion would carry. That’s quite a responsibility and one that I’m not sure I’d care to have.