I had an experience this week! It was one of those unplanned “moments” where it seems that the universe aligns and presents an opportunity for the taking. This is the story of an experience involving a grand-daughter (student) and a “grampy” (IT blogger). You might guess the personalities involved here
A chance set of circumstances aligned such that the “grampy” in our story had an opportunity to transport subject grand-daughter back to her college with what was expected to be a 3-5 hour drive depending on the traffic involved. The travel day was beautiful, the traffic light, and the trip started off with little conversation (…it was still quite early in the morning!).
As the trip progressed subject grand-daughter began to think about what she was going back to at school — including her IT course which she began to fret about — saying that it was a required course for business students at her school and that she just wasn’t understanding any of it. She expressed concern that the book seemed so technical – and that she couldn’t seem to understand all the various acronyms – what they meant – and what they did. All just seemed to be one big mystery to her! She expressed concern about not being able to “see” or “visualize” such things as a LAN or a WAN — never mind the possible array of components that might exist within them!
Her frustration came through loud and clear! Enter the “Grampy IT Guy!” Now it just so happens that at the very moment that she was communicating her concerns they were less than an hour away from the IT department subject “Grampy” recently retired from. A quick call to said company IT Manager (MIS as they refer to it), and reassuring said IT Manager that there was no intention of pointing said student toward the IT ratrace as a career — a stop at the old company for an IT department “visualization” and Grampy’s IT 101a course was scheduled.
The extent of the value of said stop remains to be seen, and can probably never be quantified – but what subject Grampy realized from the event was in fact valuable — first, that as an IT guy there are a lot of assumptions made regarding understanding, secondly, presenting IT to the business student provides a valuable foundation for the inevitable future contact with IT in business, and third that moving beyond the “book” learning adds significant value to the education.