The Waffle Effect


I’ve recently watched my eldest son struggle to choose a college major. Perhaps struggle is the wrong word, because it’s more about his divided passions. He thrives on helping others, and one of his jobs is aiding library patrons-mainly senior citizens-with their technology questions. In my mind, he is every patron’s dream grandson: patient, helpful, knowledgeable and patient. Did I mention how patient he is? He recently had business cards printed up so the folks he helps can contact him in the future instead of having to make an appointment at the library. Apparently, his services have generated a waiting list.

So he’ll follow the early career path that his mom and dad both took, that of help desk technician, right? He’s got the computer savvy, the communication skills and the patience (very important).


When he has free time, which is rare, he will suddenly get a burst of inspiration-either through reading or a visual, such as an art show-and sit down to write. Or draw. The only other time he gets this pumped up is when he’s helping people with their computers.

He is half techno-geek, half artist just like his mom. Left brain and right brain are battling it out for his attention.

It’s not the kind of thing you really outgrow, I’ve learned. My two favorite genres to read and to write are humor and historical fiction. They are separate entities in my mind because, let’s face it, life two hundred years ago was hard. No one ever smiled in photos. Life wasn’t funny; it was about not dying. So I write very different books. But I’ve been told recently that I’ll have to pick one or the other when I head out to look for publication. I’ve gone back and forth between the two, making a decision and then changing my mind, then changing it back. Over and over.

Left brain or right brain? How do you choose?

My high school senior is lucky. There are many new college degree programs these days that combine technology and the arts, so he may not have to choose but only explore to figure out where to hone his efforts.

My journey is a little trickier. I’ll figure it out eventually, but it’s nice to know I have someone in my house, at least for now, who can relate.