May 2007 Mentor of the Month Q&A Session: Michael Astion
Welcome to SYCL's Mentor of the Month.  Questions and Answers will be displayed below...

I love your educational software. How did you get into that in the first place? What new products do you plan?
St. Louis, MO

Michael Astion
I got into it because I was interested in education and at the time (1991), people were just starting to talk about digital imaging (for microscope images) and putting software onto CDs. The whole list of current products are at, and my current focus is on updating some of the older pieces of software.

I heard that you started a homeless sheler. If this is true, what got you interested in starting it and does that help give you balance in your life or only make things more crazy?
Chicago, IL

Michael Astion
I am interested in charitable service for mostly religious reasons. Charitable service helps balance selfish ambition, and certainly leads to less craziness and more focus. I know that many think that our careers are charitable because they are in medical service. I don't see it that way because we are well compensated in terms of both money and status.

Why do you say that you would not reccommend your "extremely inflexible" approach to work-life balance? It seems like it works.
Des Mones, IA

Michael Astion
My approach would only work for people who enjoy leading a conventional life. It is probably a better fit for a Type A personality, and prevents a Type A from giving in to the lesser parts of his or her nature, like the tendency to overwork.

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