Thursday, January 13, 2005

Unequal Pay For Equal Work

The Price of Liberty has an excellent article up about the wage gap myth. I've told people the same thing for years and years now, but never had the numbers to back it up.

Here's the money quote:

But take a closer look, and it turns out the male directors had an average
of 14.8 years of news work experience, while female directors had only 5.6
years. In other words, the men had almost three times more work experience, but
were paid only about a quarter more.

I've been telling people the same thing for years... decades, even! Men have more experience, and generally are able to work longer hours. My parents both worked, but if I was sick and needed to be picked up from school, it was my mom who got me more often than not. My mom worked regular hours; my dad worked nights and weekends and was on call. It's all about the division of labor. I'm not saying women are required to do this, I'm just saying that in general, that's how couples tend to split the responsibilities, even if the Lileks household doesn't.

It's the same in my house -- I am usually the one who takes our son to daycare, and usually the one who makes dinner, for example. My husband does both, too, but the majority of the time it's me. I never work nights or weekends. He frequently does. It's just how the labor is split.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Science Lab for Homeschoolers

I have been considering home schooling, and I actually always wondered how people handled some parts of science that it would be really helpful to have a lab for. There are some things you do at home, and some things you can buy, but sometimes I'd bet it'd be really helpful to have a lab.

I know a lot of homeschoolers don't like to partner with schools, but this is a college, which they generally seem to be more open to.

Of course, with lines like:

Becky Watts, spokeswoman for the Illinois State Board of Education, confirmed that the state does not keep track of home-school students, test them or interfere with their curriculum.

Sure makes Chicago seem like a nicer place. Of course, my friends there are already complaining about shoveling snow. ;)

Anyway, it makes me more optimistic about homeschooling. Of course, situations like this are probably illegal in California.... which brings me back to not wanting to move. Ah well. Maybe if I learn to cook indian, chinese, thai, and so forth better, I'll be more willing to move. ;)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

What do I want to know?

Now that I've told you what I do know -- what is it that I want to know? More about:
  • Economics -- though I do find that what I learned in college is more than what most of my peers know. That thought depresses me, because I feel like I hardly know a thing.
  • History -- I'm not good at memorizing dates, and I tend to forget names and places, too. Not so good for remembering anything to do with history. I'd like to compare what was going on in different countries and areas at any one time. Since in school, we generally learned the history of one place, instead of by year, I am constantly surprised at who was alive at the same time. Very interesting stuff!
  • Politics -- Similar to the above. Politics is really current history. ;) And once I know more about history, it should help me understnad current politics.
  • Education -- Should I homeschool? Should I send him to CA public schools? (*shudder*) I'm learning more about education schools and methods so I can tell if the schools are making it up as they go, or in case I need to use them myself to teach my own son. I still have no idea what to do, so I continue to read homeschooler's blogs, education blogs, and anything else I can find. I'm tempted to homeschool him just so I can spend more time studying history for myself!
  • Medical reform, social security reform, tax reform -- not general topics, but specific topics I want to know more about so we can fix them.


So, I've been reading Evangelical Outpost's series on starting a blog lately, and right now I'm wondering -- what do I have to offer? It's actually something I think about a lot. Why would someone want to come here and read what I have to say?

One the one hand, I really can't think of anything. I'm not an expert at anything, really. I know a little about this and that, but I'm sure that any subject I know about, there's a dozen people out there who have blogs dedicated to it and do it 100 times better. It's sort of discouraging, but really, it's exciting to know that there are so many people to learn form out there! But it isn't a good reason to come here and read what I have to say.

So let's list off my skills and we'll see if I can bring anything to the party:
  • Technical writer -- above all, I'm a tech writer right now. I've been one for 5 years, and I'm pretty good at it. I'm definately better at the tech than the writing, but I'm pretty good at writing procedures so that people can read them and follow them easily. The drawback here is that I spend so much time writing all day that it's really making me less likely to want to blog. But hey -- if you have a procedure that needs writing, I can do it! ;)
  • Online help/HTML expert -- I'm the online help and HTML expert for my group. At least I can design a halfway decent HTML page and miss the big errors a lot of people make. Pick a nice font, for example. And single-cource a doc to print and online help real nice and easy.
  • XML guru -- Okay, I think it's sort of a joke, but I really am an XML/XSL/etc expert in the doc group of my company. All self-taught, of course.
  • Learner -- I can learn anything, usually just by teaching myself. The internet is the best thing ever invented for me. So much information, all waiting for me to internalize it.
  • Lizards -- I've had an iguana for 11 years, and used to help admin a huge mailing list for them. I know a thing or two about lizards. Not an expert, but I certainly know more than Average Joe.
  • Science -- I have a BS in molecular biology and a year towards a biophysics degree. I worked for a year or two in the Pharma industry, so I know a few things about it. It should make Mr. Moore's new film extra irritating.
  • Mommy -- I have a wonderful one year old son. I have the knowledge that only mommies have about pregnancy and babies, and how to survive for two years on very little sleep.

Maybe I'll add to this list as I think of more.