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What's in a name?


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A woman, renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk's office was

asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation. She hesitated,

uncertain how to classify herself. "What I mean is," explained the recorder,

"do you have a job or are you just a...?" "Of course I have a job," snapped

the woman. "I'm a Mom"


> "We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation, "housewife covers it," said the

recorder emphatically.


> I forgot all about her story until one day, I found myself in the same

situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career

woman, poised, efficient and possessed of a high sounding title like,

"Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."


> "What is your occupation?" she probed. What made me say it? I do not know.

The words simply popped out. *"I'm a Research Associate in the field of

Child Development and Human Relations."*


> The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though

she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most

significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written

in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire. "Might I ask," said the

clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?" Coolly, without

any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing

program of research, (what mother doesn't) in the laboratory and in the

field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I'm working for my

Masters, (the whole darned family) and already have four credits (all

daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the

humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day,

(24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most

run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather

than just money."



> There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she

completed the form, stood up and personally ushered me to the door. As I

drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted

by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new

experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program,

testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy!

And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and

indispensable to mankind than "just another Mom." Motherhood! . What a

glorious career! Especially when there's a title on the door.


> Does this make grandmothers "Senior Research associates in the field of

Child Development and Human Relations" and great grandmothers Executive

Senior Research Associates"? I think so!!!

> I also think it makes Aunts "Associate Research Assistants.


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