Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for Ideas

Onward we march to the letter "I" for the A to Z Challenge.

Everyone was ideas. It is what you do with them that make them a good idea or a bad idea. Of course, you can ignore your ideas and they'll become fleeting ideas.

One evening in high school, family friends had a medical emergency and I was pressed into service to baby sit their two tweens. They slept the entire time. I opted to scan the books on a shelf and settled on an electronics textbook to read. I loved it. Thus, an idea of possibly making a career in the electronics field was planted.

After high school, I didn't have the money to go to college and worked briefly for the Clerk of Circuit Court doing photography work. When I became unemployed, I looked for another job in the photography field and happened to interview with someone that had a friend in the state rehabilitation office. I confessed to him that I was interested in electronics, so because I had a bad arm from polio, he set me up with an appointment with state rehab for testing. I passed the tests with flying colors and they paid for my tech school training.

The school was a glorified radio and TV repair school, but I managed to get enough basic knowledge (in vacuum tube theory!) to land a job as an electronics technician for a defense contractor. Five years later, I got laid off and I found a job at RCA working on computers. After three years on the hardware side of things where I had to learn to program the computers in order to be able to fix them, I switched permanently to writing software.

My computer career spanned 45 years. Despite conventional wisdom that you are washed up and over the hill in computer software by the age of 35, I was still programming and keeping up with (or ahead of) the youngsters at the age of 70.

All, because one night in high school I had an idea.

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