As Neumont University Computer Science Program Chair, Steve Halladay's responsibilities are far reaching. With 25 years of industry experience as both an individual contributor and manager of start-ups and larger organizations, he's played key roles in tech for most of his life. He has been teaching at Neumont for nearly a decade.
Besides owning a few patents and participating in numerous public speaking opportunities, Hallady is also a prolific writer–he has several texts regarding programming published. His “Turkeys and Eagles” piece found below, was written from a deep concern and as a warning for his students wasting their time and talents on gaming verses putting in the hard work and time it takes to succeed.
Turkeys and Eagles
There are two kinds of birds; turkeys and eagles. Both are birds, but they are very different. What is the difference between turkeys and eagles? A turkey is a woeful, smelly and disgusting creature. It exists by scratching out a living from the dirt every day. Turkeys are stupid. I've been told that they can literally drown in the rain.
Eagles, on the other hand, are noble symbols. They live in rocky cathedrals. They soar over shimmering lakes, desert valleys and majestic peaks. Each day eagles have vistas before them that turkeys can't even dream about.
So what makes the difference between turkeys and eagles? Well, the difference is one of capability. An eagle knows how to soar while a turkey can only scratch in the dirt.
Birds are different than people. Birds are born as turkeys or eagles and they will never change. Try though they might, a turkey will always be just a turkey and will never experience the exhilarations of the eagle.
People are not birds and the big difference between birds and people is that people can choose to be either turkeys or eagles. This choice is not a one-time thing where you raise your hand in class when the teacher asks you if you want to be an eagle, an active learner or a self-directing individual. This choice is made moment by moment as you decide how you will spend your time. You can tell a lot about a person by what he or she does when he or she doesn't have to do anything and what he or she thinks about when he or she doesn't have to think. Eventually the law of the harvest will kick in and you will reap what you sew. One day you may wake up and say to yourself - I'm glad I struggled and took the high-road, for it has led me to become an eagle. Or, you may wake up one day and say to yourself - I wonder what it would be like to be soaring up there with the eagles.
But you are lucky - you are a person and not a bird, so the choice is yours.