Where is Glee for engineers?

Recently, my wife has been subjecting me to the musical stylings of the show Glee.  While I will let some other blog do an analysis of the fragmented and dry dialog, I couldn’t help but think that the show must be doing something to revive interest in the arts in high schools across the country. When was the last time that the arts had such a cool headliner?  It really is fantastic for them and I couldn’t be happier that they are getting some more of the spotlight, and ultimately, mindshare with our young people.

Yesterday evening I was at my wife’s sister’s house for Passover and we were all discussing what one of her kids would be best suited for as a career.  Of course, her daughter is only 5 years old, but the makings of some intelligence are clearly there.  After a few people suggested lawyer, because of her argumentative personality, and other miscellaneous professions, I posited that she is already showing that she has what it takes to handle engineering.  If you ask me, she has the knack.  Never mind that she is always inquiring about the inner workings of things.  I caught a few sideways glances, and then someone gave her some math problems to work out, and without any math training, she was able to complete them all except for one.  After seeing her math ability, I proclaimed that from now on she would only get scientific types of gifts from us and that I was going to do everything in my power to glorify the science, technology, engineering, and math professions for her.  But wouldn’t it be so much easier if I had some help?

If poorly written and highly produced TV can glorify the lifestyles of Glee club members, what about a show for engineering?  We need to make it easier for kids to see the impact that engineers have on society, and it should start by finding a way to enter the collective conscience of TV viewers.  And if you think I am crazy, think about how much we glorify GERMAN engineering in this country, and that is mostly just based on car commercials.  But short of TV, what can we do to make engineering seem more glamorous?  Is it playing on the successes of startup founders?  Tell me what you think in the comments.

Family and friends newsletter

Since I have started spending all of my free time on useful pursuits, I have noticed that I spend considerably less time talking to my friends and family, especially those that don’t live near me. I am not the kind of person that keeps lots of friends, but I do place lots of value on keeping the ones I have. So, recently I decided that I should take a page out of StartupDigest and start sending an email newsletter to my close friends and family.

My wife and I both spent some time writing up a short history of the past several months in our lives, what is new, what the changes have meant to us, and what we are planning to do next. In the meantime, I judiciously friended everyone on Facebook that I thought might want to get this little newsletter. After getting most of them on a list in my google contacts, I sent it out, and to my surprise, a large number of them responded back with something positive to say. It gave me a chance to find out what everyone else was doing in their lives too, and to connect with people again. Most people were just thankful to hear from us and offered us an encouraging word as we embark on some ambitious life goals.

With that, I encourage you to try something similar if you haven’t been giving your F&F the attention that they deserve. It will make you feel better and most of all, they will probably appreciate hearing about the things happening in your life.