Frances O. Thomas is a native of Pittsburgh, PA, who now makes her home in southwest FL. She earned a B.A. in English from the University of Pittsburgh and an M. Ed. in educational psychology from the same school. She is also a National Certified Counselor.
Fran is interested in positive psychology, emotional intelligence, and career development.
The words above tell you what I am interested in. The words below explain why.
I was brought up in a working class family who knew very little about higher education. Unfortunately, I received no help in negotiating the ins and outs of college from my high school guidance counselors. Going on emotion instead of rational thought, I became a music major. I dropped out of school before the end of my first semester.
I soon found a job in the insurance industry. After a few years in a clerical poisiton, I realized I wasn’t going to advance without a degree. I took night classes at the local community college until I had earned an associate’s degree in social science. This was not the result of any kind of plan. I just started taking whatever classes appealed to me. Then I transferred to Pitt’s night school and eventually earned my bachelor’s in English. Again, not according to planning. I liked to read, so the English Departmen’s classes caught my eye. Throughout, I was still struggling to work my way up the insurance ladder.
More than a decade later, having been fired from three different jobs, I had to face facts. No matter what I did, I was never going to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. Jobs in insurance were no more suited to me than that music major. After a lot of soul searching, I enrolled in grad school in Pitt’s School of Education. At last I had found my “tribe.” Two years later, I graduated with a 3.98 GPA.
As you can see by the books I have written, I want to help kids who are as clueless as I was about what to be when they grow up. I also want to share my hard-earned wisdon about the workplace.