Thank You, Mr. Roboto: How My Son Found His “Thing”


Em Carpenter

Em was one of those argumentative children who was sarcastically encouraged to become a lawyer, so she did. She is a proud life-long West Virginian, and, paradoxically, a liberal. In addition to writing about society, politics and culture, she enjoys cooking, podcasts, reading, and pretending to be a runner. She will correct your grammar. You can find her on Twitter.

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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Is this affiliated with FIRST, like Lego League?Report

  2. I forced my son into a theater program against his will at about that age (he was so furious with me) and he ended up really liking it – got active in improv and even went to an improv competition once. It’s best not to resort to such drastic measures though! Very cool yours found something he likes so well.Report

  3. Avatar Aaron David says:

    It was guitar for my son. He is physically inept with most things, but give him a bottleneck slide and he will go to town. This bled into music in all forms (he also plays cello, keyboards and a few other instruments.) I talked him into going to the college in my hometown because there was an excellent college radio station. Which he ended up becoming the musical director for three years running. None of this is to brag, well, no too much, but to show how one little thing can lead to a whole life.

    One of my best friends daughters does robotics also, competing across the state. I think I am going to donate my old Fluke 179 to her if she keeps going with it.Report

  4. Avatar Wayne says:

    My son’s main interest was video games and motorsports and to be a professional race car driver. So he raced go karts and cars with great success at national levels but never would get to a pro level. But the life skills he learned about dealing with winning and losing, talking to adults, about earning the next race weekend were invaluable. The critical thing he learned was working under pressure and multi-tasking. If you ever sat in a race seat you know what I mean. So one day he was in jr. college and he walked by the air traffic controller class and as they say the rest is history. Everyone of those skills and desires he picked up were ticked off. As a parent you just have to keep searching. Good job Em.Report

    • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Wayne says:

      Thank you!
      My pediatrician says “video game designer” is the most common answer he gets when he asks kids what they want to be when they grow up.
      My son, however, has actually made a few simplistic video games. He’s completely self-taught through YouTube video tutorials. So I feel like he’s ahead of the curve :).Report

      • Avatar Wayne in reply to Em Carpenter says:

        My nephew went to college for that and now works for a major game company in Orlando. It’s all he wanted to do. One of the items he brought to the interview table were the games he designed on his own. So keep it up!Report

  5. Avatar bookdragon says:

    My daughter is a coder on her HS robotics team. It’s not entirely her ‘thing’ but she’s enjoying it (she has a lot of ‘things’ though – very much Jill-of-all-trades at this point). I’m hoping her brother will join next year (once he’d no longer have to be on a team with – gasp! – *his sister*) because he enjoys coding and CAD design, so I think he’d like it.Report