American Experience
Early Years: Pivotal Decisions
Pivotal Decisions: Should Thomas And Blalock Work Together?

You chose Choice Two, which is what actually happened. Thomas took the job.

"Although very much impressed by what he was showing me and telling me about his work, I was reluctant to accept the starting pay of $12 a week. To me, the job was a stop gap measure to get me through the cold winter months. When warm weather arrived in the spring, I intended to go back to the Fisk maintenance crew or out on my own to earn enough money to start school in the fall."
                    -- Vivien Thomas, in his autobiography


Thomas can acquire valuable experience toward his desired medical career.
He will be intellectually stimulated and challenged by the work.
Thomas will have a steady position and earn some money for his savings.
His dexterity can become a valuable asset to Blalock in the lab.


Thomas will make one-third of his potential carpenter's salary. He will save money at a slower rate.
Many of his duties as a lab assistant will be menial or custodial in nature.
If he fulfills Blalock's considerable expectations, he may not have time to attend classes the next semester.

See choices again