Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Forever a slacker

I am always impressed by people's ability to work really hard and accomplish great things. I, on the other hand, am a total slacker. Sure, I do a good job at work, but I mostly ride on my "natural ability". When I was a senior in high school, I received an award for achievement in mathematics and unlike the other award recipients, had no extra work they could credit me for, so they gave it to me for "natural ability". I always did the minimum amount of work to get the A+ and not one iota more. Sometimes I call it "efficiency". I did have to bust butt to get a decent GPA at MIT as the workload there is for superhumans. I'm probably selling myself short, as I've definitely put my share of long hours and huge efforts at work, but for the most part, I do just enough to be "exceeding" and don't put in the extra effort to be "outstanding". I've got a life to live after all! And then once in a while, I hear stories such as these and feel guilty that I'm really not contributing enough to society, and that I probably could do great things with my "natural ability" other than coding pretty user interfaces and efficiently doling out tasks as a middle manager and soccer mom. Here are the NPR stories about impressive people who have real drive and aspirations.
  • School bus driver wins NASA Contest: Sure the title sounds far-fetched, but this guy does have a leg up in that he was formerly an aerospace engineer who opted out of the rat race. It describes his ingenuity using very little resources and the long hours he put in to design a new space glove.
  • Farmworker to Surgeon: Immigrant Lives Dream: Illegal migrant worker turned neurosurgeon and professor at Johns Hopkins University. This guy is really impressive and humble to boot.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Hi Angela,

I'm new to your blog, via the WW, and wanted to say Hi :) I'm thinking that if you managed to make it out of MIT the official way (instead of the "we think you should leave now" way), then you're definitely selling yourself short :)

Plus, wife & mother on TOP of a fulltime job?

yah, I think you're definitely not a slacker :)