Archive for the Introduction Category

Why “treasure map”?

Posted in Introduction on April 17, 2007 by barbararuth

As a teenager introduced to the college admissions and career choice process, I came to believe that achieving success was like following the instructions in a manual: work hard, go to a “good” school, pay dues, and work my way “up.” I believed that every person and every workplace was as fired up about life as I was and took for granted that if I followed my basic interests and values, I would have no trouble finding a way to work on them in earnest.

I’ve realized that my success manual is really a treasure map: Parts of the instructions are written in a language I am still struggling to learn. Some of the pieces have been torn off, burned off, or damaged by water. The treasure I expect may not even be there when I arrive. Dragons, demon lovers, and unseen hands — not cozy coffee klatch buddies — are the traveling companions for this journey.

If I had the choice, though, would I have it any other way? Nah!


“I coulda been a contender!”

Posted in Introduction on April 15, 2007 by barbararuth

Maybe you were, or are, a contender. You had a successful academic career and have held jobs or practiced professions that others admire or envy. People sometimes call you “brilliant.” All of this isn’t enough. You want to change the world — or at least YOUR world. You may be motivated by altruism, by righteous indignation, or by intellectual curiosity; traditional rewards leave you cold.


If you are called to act as a catalyst for change in your community, your workplace, or on a larger scale, join the club.