Re: Math vs. writing

Subject: Re: Math vs. writing
From: Barb Miller <millerb -at- TCPLINK -dot- NREL -dot- GOV>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 1994 08:15:19 MST

I had to get in on this one. I was a math major in college and have
been in communications for 20 years. I had a two-year degree from a
junior college (that's what we called them back then) then worked five
years as an editor--one doing technical editing for an electronics

I quit work when my first child was born (we did that back then). When
I went back to get my bachelors, I thought I would like to teach. I
looked at 52 hours of English versus 30 hours of math and made my
choice. Since my SAT math and verbal scores back in high school were
only a percentage point apart, it wasn't a hard choice.

While waiting for a teaching job, I took a temporary job as technical
editor here at NREL (known as the Solar Energy Research Institute
[SERI] back then). And I've been here ever since. I could really edit
those equations!

My son recently graduated as a mechanical engineer and had no writing
courses other than Freshman comp. I tried to get him to take a
technical writing class, but engineering majors have little choice of
electives (plus his high school English teacher had convinced him he
couldn't write!). I wish him well. The engineers I work with here do
almost as much writing as I do (proposals, conference papers,
technical reports, etc.)

Barbara Miller
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
millerb -at- tcplink -dot- nrel -dot- gov

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