- Recently married male engineer invites a lot of talk about how women beat their husbands and are generally no-fun types of hags, all jokes of course
- There are no women to engage in similar sexist conversations with though you're not sure why you'd bother anyways.
- When you're being taken on a "tour" of the facility you must be ready to run to the front of the group as everyone will stop to let the "lady" through the door. Arguing about it will just draw unnecessary attention or waste more time than you already spent jogging to the front of the pack.
- When men and women's bathrooms are not next to each other, you have to loudly ask where the ladies restroom is since you have no examples to follow to get there.
- If you are drinking beer at a table with a bunch of people drinking wine the server will mistakenly think the dude with the mustache next to you is actually the beer drinker.
- Every time you check into a hotel you have to deal with that awkward moment where the person at the counter tries to figure out if you are "with" your coworker.
- People's overconcern for you carrying things will lead to them carrying your luggage around for you even when you'd rather be carrying it yourself.
- Guys you meet are more likely to start trying to have conversations with you about their kids rather than about the project.
- Dare not to drink and everyone will look at your abdomen and wonder if you pregnant.
- People will assume you are junior, or possibly not an engineer.
- They will introduce you to the TokenFemale who works at their company, assuming you will all get along with your girl stuff problems and all.
- Any desire to go home sooner or actually enjoy spending time with your spouse will be seen as female emotional weakness and you will be criticized for it.
"The first thing the (professor) told us was, 'You should expect to see this class dwindle down as the semester goes on.' It was the first thing they told us," she said.
They article references a study showing that STEM majors take students longer to finish. But it glosses over statistics that show that it's disproportionately a deterrence to underrepresented minorities:
Thirty-six percent of white, 21% of black and 22% of Latino undergraduate students in STEM fields finished their bachelor's degrees in STEM fields within five years of initial enrollment.
I think most of us in engineering would agree that a lot of the academic rigor that discourages people is probably a good thing. As some of the commenters put it, it prepares you for the real world. But more importantly maybe, you want your engineer, or your doctor or a number of other professions, to have gone through a rigorous education. You want the weak to go off to other majors where maybe their real life careers won't have such an impact. Though we know we have a problem that the system is encouragin white people better than it encourages people of other races. And that means we probably need better support systems in place and better university understanding. There's ways of making sure we're not booting out talented people without dropping the standards.
On the other hand, people are focusing too much on the "need" for STEM graduates.
James Brown, executive director of the STEM Education Coalition, said a big problem is that educators don't often realize the urgency of fostering the next generation of American scientists and engineers.
I'm sure they realize the urgency. They realize that the jobs that were available years before are no longer available. That even before this recession, getting a STEM job was not easy. If we aren't funding science, R&D and infrastructure programs graduating a bunch of scientists and engineers is not going to create a demand in jobs that isn't there. I just talked about this a few days ago, how while engineering is still one of the better employable majors out there at under 70% for 2009 graduates it's not a pretty picture.
The guy at the STEM Education group would be better off reaching out to businesses to start spending more of their reserves on research or to anti-tax politicians to start thinking about how we're going to fund future development in this country. We used to be the world leader in manufacturing. And while some might think manufacturing is coming back thanks to the weak dollar we're no longer the science and space leaders of the world. Like the space program and the interstate highway system that all means spending money. So while that's currently out of fashion, I'm not sure we should be putting the pressure on STEM students and universities rather than where it belongs: business and our politicians.
I can feel the sweaty rage across the cafeteria, where I'm drinking coffee. He hasn't seen me—too busy yelling. His game face is on, and his team is losing. Coach's battle voice pollutes the air. His words slap, bruise and punch in ways you can't see, but will keep me up all night.
"You faaaaaiiiiiled!" He keeps saying it.The former coach is blaming the students for their poor grades. Some are stupified with shame, smiling, pretending this is cool. They are too old to melt into nothingness and too young to give him the finger.
This is just a snippet from a brilliant article in the Texas Observer on The Testing Machine: or Texas's TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) the standardized test a school is preparing for. The author is Bárbara Renaud González sent from the local university to observe a local public middle school in its effort to prepare for standardized testing that will determine whether it falls into the "low performing" category, lose funding, and possibly lose jobs of teachers and administrators as a result. There are no heroes in this story.
They both need that one job — the one that will get their plans back on track. But neither of them can find it.
Chris is selling TVs right now, but it's part time. Natalie got laid off again. They pool what income they have, allocating it on a triage — to the credit cards, to Chris's dental work, to the house.
"Natalie and her brother, they don't want to sell the house, or they can't sell the house — if they do, they take a major loss," Rogers says. "So in a way, they're limiting their search options."
But while a lot of people out of work are stuck where the jobs aren't...