Re: Re[2]: I'd rather teach an engineer to write than a writer

Subject: Re: Re[2]: I'd rather teach an engineer to write than a writer
From: Linda Anderson <lindaa -at- PC-SERV1 -dot- EMTEK -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 1995 08:21:22 -0700

I have to disagree with you on this. I believe that over the years enough
studies have been done to show that people do NOT share equal abilities. I
think that's where a lot of that left-brain, right-brain stuff was
originated from. A case in point: when I was in high school, I wanted
nothing more in the world than to be an artist. I studied art for three
years and worked my tail off at it, but was never able to draw animal or
human forms with any degree of accuracy. OTOH, my oldest son, who has NEVER
had an art class, can draw anything and I have many beautiful pictures he's
done over the years. Whenever people see them, they can't believe he never
studied art. At the same time, he can barely put a coherent sentence
together and struggled all through school with English. He just simply
never *got it*.

When I went to college, I tried to major in programming and was a dismal
failure. It is next to impossible for me to think consistently in logical,
detail-oriented form. Upper level math was a nightmare I don't even want
to think about. Yet in six years of college, my lowest grade in English
was a B+ -- once! I'd love to be a programmer (they make BIG bucks!), but it
just ain't in my makeup. <g>

I don't think anyone is trying to be elitest when they talk about
engineers v. writers. I think these are just observations that come from a
lot of experience in working with people who truly cannot write so that
others can understand them. I've worked with both types of engineers,
those who write well and those who don't. And the latter far outnumber the

Striving for equality is a noble ideal. However, I think it overlooks the
fact of our individuality. We all come with certain talents and abilities.
The talents allow us to instinctively succeed at something we try. The
abilities allow us to LEARN to succeed at something we may have no talent
for. Yet there is that area for each of us in which we have neither
talent, nor ability. And that, IMO, is what makes us individual.

And that's why I have a job! <g>


In hearing, there is wisdom. In speaking, repentance.

EMTEK Health Care Systems
Tempe, Arizona

On Wed, 26 Apr 1995, Karla McMaster wrote:

> This whole debate makes me want to state one of my core beliefs. As I see it,
> any one person, given desire and a minimal amount of basic intelligence, can
> learn to do any other person's job.

> Thinking otherwise is elitist.

> If I wanted to be a programmer, I could. If the programmer (or hardware
> engineer) wanted to be a writer, he/she could. The only thing that separates
> is desire. I want to write. He or she wants to "engineer." That puts us on
> equal footing, doesn't it?

> Seems as if the problem comes when we are not paid or otherwise treated
> equally. Then it's tough to maintain a feeling of BEING equal. And then it
> gives us a little boost to put the other group down...

> Karla McMaster, technical writer
> CTI PET Systems, Inc., Knoxville, TN
> mcmaster -at- cti-pet -dot- com

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