Saturday, June 18, 2016

Stills from "Mysteries at the Museum" episode 912, "Pigeon Bra" segment

This episode first aired 6/17/16 on The Travel Channel at 9pm/8c.  I got to see it at the bar at The Albany Pump Station, because I was up there visiting the Falati firm, where I am of counsel.

It's now available on YouTube for a fee at Mysteries at the Museum, episode 912, Pigeon Bra

Reviews of the show

Just watched the pigeon bra piece and really enjoyed it.  Important history lesson and you looked very authentic.  Congratulations! -- Sheila Furjanic

Stills of me

NB: the stills below can be enlarged by clicking on them.

I decided to go back and capture some more stills.  I think some of these might be duplicates. I'll have to weed them out later.

Other times when the show aired (summer 2016)

June 23
11 pm/10c

June 24
2am | 1c
June 30
7pm | 6c
July 17
11am | 10c
July 22
7pm | 6c

September 4

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Observations after visiting a @dartmouthalumni alumnae networking event

I'm a patent attorney. I'm also an alumna of Dartmouth College. I got a flyer for an alumnae networking event about jobs in "tech." I signed up. It wasn't expensive. I hoped I might meet potential clients at this event.

It was held at the offices of twitter in NYC.  I had no clue that twitter had offices in NYC.  My imagination was having a bit of trouble even grasping the concept of twitter having offices at all.  I’m so used to thinking of them as a website, but, of course, behind websites there are physical people in physical places: reality check.

There was very nice food there.  They have wine on tap.  I never saw that anywhere before.  By contrast, I had to go to another room to get water.

I also had some nice conversations.

Other aspects of the event were disappointing.

First, the speakers all had non tech jobs in the tech industry. Two of them -- a minority -- had some tech education, but that wasn't their current work. The others didn't even have a tech background. Some of these women had impressive management titles, which was nice, but they weren’t doing research or development.

Second, the attendees were predominantly young and childless.

This gave rise to a lot of thoughts on my part.

One thread of thinking had to do with the absence of actual tech people – and hence the absence of anyone who needed a patent. 

There was a representative of Dartmouth there.  She pointed out brightly that more women had graduated from the Thayer School of Engineering than men.  Really? Why weren’t they at this conference?  Curious.

On the one hand, I thought the conference tended to confirm the general prejudice that women just don’t go into tech, not really.  These women might say they are in “tech,” but they’re not tech people.

On the other hand, I remember going to a Princeton Reunion with my ex husband many years before and sitting at a table with a bunch of men who had had tech majors and none of them had a tech job any more.

The powers that be declaim loudly that there is a shortage of people with scientific and engineering education in this country, but, in fact, people with this type of education tend to lose out in the work place.  Managers and sales people are paid more and have more job security.  That’s not very attractive for intelligent and ambitious people.

Another thread in my thoughts was the focus of discussion.  This focus was getting a job and then getting promoted. There were definitely some interesting remarks there, about getting a job through loose connections and how women don't ask for promotions, but men do. But there was no mention of the fact that the speakers did not actually have tech jobs.

It's true that I was never the sort of person that asks for promotions. It's probably true that men ask for them more. I suppose that's a high-risk strategy, because if your boss really doesn't like you that could precipitate them firing you, but if the boss does like you, it might prod them to dole out that promotion or raise sooner.

Of course, this young woman who asked for and got promotions was also exceptionally beautiful and charming, which might have had a lot to do with the success of her promotion seeking endeavor.   If she had been ugly and socially awkward, things might have gone differently – or, as in my case, if she were older.  It seems to me that we live in a society where older women are just thrown away.

Somehow, though, I just don’t want to be in that rat race, trying to become CEO of a tech company.  It doesn’t call me.  I wonder how this young woman would feel if she had children.  Having children gives one a different perspective.  Neurologists have shown that a woman’s brain undergoes substantial physiological changes as a result of pregnancy and rearing children.  Areas relating to nurturing grow, presumably at the expense of other. 

There is a saying that at some point you stop living for yourself and start living for your children. 

I remember being at Dartmouth and seeing people my age wandering around the campus reminiscing and wondering “Don’t they have a life?”  What I didn’t know was how, after your kids are grown, it’s disorienting.  You stop and wonder, “Gee, what was I doing before?”  You go back through previous decisions.  You wonder what might have been different if you had gone in a different direction. 

The whole rat race thing just didn’t appeal – maybe it never did.  Maybe it didn’t even when I was at Dartmouth, though perhaps more so than now.  Granted the wolf isn’t at the door here, but then it isn’t the wolf at the door that makes you seek to be a CEO.  You seek to be a CEO because of some other drive.

Then again that’s what men claim, when they look at women’s lower incomes, that women make a lifestyle choice not to go into top jobs.


Though I still think that women’s work is just not valued.  Traditional women’s jobs, like administrative support, are not truly any less valuable than those of management. It’s just that managers have bigger egos and more aggressive personalities, so they think they deserve more – a lot more. 

And maybe men somehow feel that if women are like that they are making advances in society … that whole concept that if women are junior men then perhaps they can be paid more nearly like men.  But that seems like a fundamentally anti-feminist concept to me.

Then again Dartmouth has a lot of motivation to encourage people to seek very high paying jobs, because it makes it easier for them to keep hiking tuition.  It seems to me that tuition has been going up at at least twice the rate of inflation ever since I graduated.

OK, I see myself starting to write a book here.  More later.