Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Coastie Spouse 101 to Teenagers

In the next week, I am scheduled to lecture among 120 magnet students at my old high school. I graduated from the program a decade ago, and an old teacher asked me to come back and tell the current students how the program has helped me.

As I stare at the blank powerpoint screen, I catalogue all of my life's aspects (thus far), creating mental charts of how my magnet program helped me get where I am today. There are a couple of areas where the lines overlap, showing the ( I hate to use buzz words) synergies among my varied professional pursuits, pro bono passions, and my current USCG spousal role.

I could talk all day about any number of angles regarding the first two, but I am having a difficult time conceptualizing my approach for the last one. I am a proud spouse; no one shall challenge that reality. But my main concern is how to align that with what I learned in high school. Some of the learnt and practiced basic coping skills, organizational skills, and rapid analytical skills have all helped me be a better wife.

Coping Skills: "Honey, we are leaving all your friends and this flippin' beltway and moving to an island in Alaska."

Organizational Skills: "Honey, I have to go to school for two months before we PCS. Can you find, negotiate, and buy a house; plan our trip across the country; create a HHG manifest. And while you're at it, negotiate a transfer within your own company and plan a good bye party?"

Rapid Analytical Skills: "Ok, so if the boat successfully seizes a foreign vessel caught doing illegal actions, and they are delayed by X number of days; and yet my business trips begin and end on these dates, what are the chances we get to see each other for a period longer than 48 hours?"

But can I say any of this to 13-18 year olds -- and make an impact? Hmmmmm

How should I frame it? If at all?


(A Little) Gris Gris said...

Students today need (IMO) a few key things:
- to understand that while they should build a strong support network, they have to be competent, independent people;
- to understand how to strike a solid work/life balance;
- to value and work to synthesize classroom and experiential learning.

So, my two+ cents is that you should work it in. It has certainly shaped you and helped you cope both personally and in your own work environment. It's valuable information to pass along to those little sponges!

徐若瑄Vivian said...
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