Mutually Beneficial

Since GameTeen started at his current school, the Director and I have had many conversations about the goals of the school, her personal goals (she is ABD on her PhD.) and my goals beyond the Master's Degree. She's been great about helping me to refine my purpose and to a lesser extent, I've been doing that for her.

My goal with projects in the grad program is, whenever possible, my assignments benefit the school. It will be more meaningful to me to create something that can be used instead of just for credit. We've discussed this and have plans to sit down to create a 'wish list' of things the school needs.

Today, she pinged me on Facebook with a question. What she needs is a relational database to catalog and easily retrieve student information. I'm well versed in making flat file databases, but have yet to work with relational. It is something I do need to learn, because I will need to catalog my research data.

We conversed for a while, spelling out her exact needs and how she'll need to access or sort data. While I can't start on it right away, it is something that if I devote a few hours a week to creating something, we can have something together by the end of the school year (her goal).

As a parent, I know what I want to see from my son's experience in school and the teacher's objectives are similar. On a macro level, the school has to easily prove what they're doing is educating students to the standards established by the state.

If I create this for them now, then when I start doing research for the PhD., my framework is there. In a sense, I'm starting to see what others have said, that the Master's and the PhD. are easier because you are more focused in your efforts.

And if GameTeen's school is going to refine my focus more, who am I to complain?


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