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RE: Job Title

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From: LeAnn Escoffre (leann_escoffre_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Aug 16 2002 - 06:33:24 PDT


MessageJust wanted to say that I loved your story.
LeAnn
  -----Original Message-----
  From: Lawrence A. Parker [mailto:occti@mindspring.com]
  Sent: Friday, August 16, 2002 9:08 AM
  To: ArtsEdNet Talk
  Subject: FW: Job Title

  Thought some of you might enjoy this. As I told my wife, who works full
time, I now have a job title I can live with (Business Owner and Research
Associate...).

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  I'm Just a Parent? - - Excuse Me!

  A few months ago, when I was picking up the children at school, another
mother I knew well rushed up to me. Emily was fuming with indignation. "Do
you know what you and I are?" she demanded. Before I could answer and I
didn't really have one handy...she blurted out the reason for her question.
It seemed she had just returned from renewing her driver's license at the
County Clerk's office. Asked by the women recorder to state her occupation,
Emily had hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself. "What I mean is,"
explained the recorder, "do you have a job, or are you just a...?" "Of
course I have a job," snapped Emily. "I'm a mother." We don't list 'mother'
as an occupation...'housewife' covers it," said the recorder emphatically. I
forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same
situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career
woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high-sounding title like
"Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar." "What is your occupation?" she
probed. What made me say it, I do not know. The words simply popped out. "I
am a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human
Relations." The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair, and looked up
as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly, emphasizing
the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement
was written in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire. "Might I ask,"
said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?" Coolly,
without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a
continuing program of research (what parent doesn't) in the laboratory and
in the field (normally I would have said indoors and out). I am working for
my Masters (the whole darned family) and already have four credits (all
daughters!). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the
humanities (any parent or non-parent care to
  disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day (24 is more like it). But the
job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards
are more of a satisfaction rather than just money." There was an increasing
note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up,
and personally ushered me to the door. As I drove into our driveway, buoyed
up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants - age 13,
7 and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model (6 months) in the
child-development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt
triumphant! I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the
official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind
than 'just another parent.' Parenthood...what a glorious career. Especially
when there's a title on the door. Whether a stay at home Parent or a career
Parent, we should all carry this title. Does this make grandparents, "Senior
Research Associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations"
and great, grandparents, "Executive Senior Research Associates"?

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