Today I took Emma to work with me for the University's Take our daughters and sons to work day. It's the first time I've done this (it's for kids in grades 4-9) and it was really fun. The day started with a talk about micro-loans by a children's author and all the kids received a copy of her book--One Hen. I missed the talk so I could do a bit of work and I'm sorry I did. It sounded like a great discussion.
Then Emma and I went on a tour of the Architecture faculty (her choice) where we learned about some of the city's buildings, the faculty and the student projects, we met the Dean and then the kids got to make monuments with clay and other materials.
Next was lunch which was another opportunity to meet other kids and their parents and then Emma joined me in my workspace to see what I do.
My job is pretty boring to a 10 year old. I do research and analysis on faculty life, help plan and coordinate workshops for faculty and academic administrators, do policy work and general academic hr (reviewing tenure and promotion files, appointment files etc). It's a lot of "playing on the computer" and "reading stuff" as Emma would say.
I had her make me a file folder so she could use the label maker, fetch things from the printer and fill in a workshop evaluation form so she could see what we did with them (I'm examining last year's evaluations to plan next year's schedule). The high point was when a co-worker took her for a coffee break to Starbucks.
Last thing in the afternoon was a big meeting with a Vice-President, an Assistant VP, and my boss (Assistant Provost) in the VP's office. Emma got to attend. I warned her to behave, because while they are three nice women, they were "very powerful people who could fire mommy" (Craig's words).
So at the meeting, Emma pulls out her notebook to take notes (I said it would help her listen better) and she wrote across the top in pink marker: Meeting with highly powerful people who could fire mommy. Then put in a line and wrote: I have no idea what they are talking about.
Luckily a) no one saw it and b) I didn't burst out laughing.
After the meeting, they asked her which job seemed the best and when she shrugged her shoulders because I could tell she had no idea who did what. Then, the VP said: Be sure to choose the job that pays the most money.
Maybe not the best advice (though it is GOOD advice). I especially liked that she could learned that some of the most powerful leaders in Canada's largest university were all women.