Archive for the ‘Guest Blogger’ Category

Perhaps I’ll Take The Job Revisit

January 25, 2008

A revisit, so soon? I know! It’s precedent setting. My father sent me an… energetically worded e-mail following my last post about college life. I asked him if I could add it up here (I’m all about discussion!) so here it is:

Just to point out a couple of things

If you quit college and get a job you won’t be building savings because you will be making $10.00 an hour and savings building is not done with that salary. You also wouldn’t be going out to dinner or a movie on $10.00 per hour.

If you have a family, you will be working 3 jobs to support them, so your schedule will be really easy: WORK all day.

Finish school, do a good job, and become a professor or what ever else you want and then you will have time and money to do all those things.

Almost nothing (actually, really nothing) in life is free; you need to put in the time (even if it is doing things that don’t make you real happy right now) to be able to get the things in your life the way you want them.

I know it seems impossible right now, but why do you think almost everyone says that their years in school were the best? Because the demands on your time and efforts and schedule only get worse later on

Your quote:

College has it’s set time period – courses are from then to then – but it also leaks into the rest of your life. Readings, homework assignments, movies to watch, photos to take, and always on extremely short notice. No one would put up with this from a job, yet it’s standard in college.

You must be taking drugs or having a breakdown (Ed.- Thanks, Pop), because every job I have ever taken or hired someone for had in its job description “and other duties as assigned” and just so you know that is because 50% of what everyone does in their job is last minute, not planned, and outside of their typical jobs duties. In that way college is the perfect training for a real job.

Well, I disagree in a few points. I think it’s worthwhile to mention that he has some bias that comes from being self employed; the rewards are greater but so are the demands on time. Whenever the business needs him, it needs him. Which could be the sort of work I want to do, it’s true. However, a more normal 9-5, as the name implies, generally falls between the hours of 9 and 5. True, your duties may change. You also may be asked to pull overtime, but you are offered extra pay, whereas in college, credits are credits.

That being said, I clearly must agree that this college thing is worth it, because I’m still here. And will be, for a while! 

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GUEST POST: A Slap In The Face From The Collective Unconscious

November 13, 2007

(I am swamped in work up to my eyebrows, not to mention dealing with some problems with one of the Threadless designs. Maybe more about that soon. For now, a guest post that has been waiting in the wings for a while. Enjoy!)

The collective unconscious has apparently decided it was time to give me a good slap in the face. A couple of days ago, I was feeling like I was getting sick. I felt like I needed a boost, so went to the Zen calendar for a motivating quote. (You are on your honor with this, just like choosing a fortune cookie. You open the calendar and take what you get. No do-overs.) This is what I got:

“The trouble with you is that you think you have time.” ~Zen master

I kept pondering this, circling the desk like the lion tamer waving his chair at the lion, and wrote nothing all week. So, still feeling sick, I came home last night, Friday, and found the mail had not yet been delivered. I fell asleep waiting for the postman to come (I have to walk across the street to get the mail, so couldn’t change into my pajamas), then went out to find that a book I ordered had arrived days ahead of time, and I thought it would be a good, kinda-sick-but-not-totally weekend for reading.

First, though, I watched television. I cried all through the vampire show, Moonlight, because it was so sad, and because I don’t understand what would be so bad about being immortal and having super powers. (Then I would have time…)

Then, I read the book, “Lean Forward Into Your Life: Begin Each Day As If It Were On Purpose,” by Mary Anne Radmacher. It is an inspirational and motivational book. (You have to understand that I have not been able to settle into any reading since last weekend when I finished the book “Engleby,” by Sebastian Faulks, featuring the male narrator/murderer with the personality disorder, with whom I found myself in total agreement.) Pretty soon the book also had me crying. The author is an artist/writer whose work is featured in a catalog I look at whenever it comes. Though I’ve never bought any of her work, it always catches my eye, and I think often that it would be so great to have that job. I guess I realized while reading her book how hard she has worked to have that job, and how much my own pursuit of a writing life has fizzled since the days when I dropped my son off at school and broke the speed limit getting home.

I suppose it is good for all of us to have a weekend once in awhile for self-interrogation. A time of solitude when we can ask ourselves the hard questions, shed a few tears for old beliefs that we are leaving behind, and begin the work of redefining our truth.

I intend to use the remainder of my time this weekend doing some hard introspection, pen in hand, working on a book review of “Engleby,” and looking for a place where I can have that calendar page laminated.

One Last Time…

July 27, 2007

(Hey everyone! As promised, while I am in Vegas, a guest blogger will write in my stead. For this trip, that will be none other then Moi. Enjoy!)

Tomorrow, Zack will be back updating you guys on his trip. I hear there was a very sweet ceremony today, and a good time was had by all.

More optimistic post today. My current expertise: Children.

I always find it funny when people express amazement at the fact that I work with kids forty hours a week, because to me, usually the working with kids part is the easy part of my job. Yes, they are bratty and no, they never listen to you, but they’re kids. They laugh at skinned knees and need band-aids for bug bites, but even the hardest fall is a fun experience for them. The only part of my job that isn’t pleasant is working with adults sometimes.

You can distract kids when they are making too big of a deal out of something… Try doing that with adults. It doesn’t work. Sometimes, you have to wonder why adults care so much more about a skinned knee than a seven-year-old. I work at an outdoor/environmental camp, and it is refreshing to see that in a world where video games and television sets rule every household, there are still kids who enjoy running around and playing outside. They are so carefree and talking to them, no matter how annoying the conversation, is a reminder of how little is really that important in life. All that they care about are funny stories and having a laugh. Yes, sometimes they laugh at the expense of each other, but if you make them apologize, they actually accept apologies and will play together minutes later. Forgive and forget is an important lesson that even some adults need to learn. No question is too silly of a question, and in asking some of the silliest questions, they really learn a lot. They have no inhibitions. They have no deep, underlying problems. They have little judgment. It’s not hard work to spend the day playing games with them and doing activities with them, no matter how little they listen to you because they remind you of everything that is great about life. Their smile at the end of the day and the hug that they give you in the morning when you see them is the best feeling in the world.

That’s my bit of optimism for today. Spend a day with kids and enjoy yourself and forget about the day’s stressfulness. 🙂

As Promised… [Edited]

July 26, 2007

(Hey everyone! As promised, while I am in Vegas, a guest blogger will write in my stead. For this trip, that will be none other then Moi. Enjoy!)

Hello! It’s the infamous «Moi» speaking. I have been asked to post for Zack while he is out of town, so that’s what I’ll do! As he said, he has no idea what I’m posting about, so this will be a surprise for him too. (For those of you who are curious, he is doing well and having a good time.) Now, onto today’s topic…

Ivy League schools are supposed to be extraordinarily superior to other schools. However, after spending a year at one, I am starting to think that it isn’t really the education itself that is superior; it is more the opportunities that an Ivy League education gives you. The tuition price is definitely “superior” to that of other schools, but for the cost, the professors really don’t seem to care about you as much as they should most of the time, and the topics you cover in class aren’t what you want to study half the time. Moreover, the choice of majors isn’t as all-encompassing as you expect. About 75% of the students you meet will tell you that they are either pre-med (which means chemistry or biology majors) or political-science and economics double majors (poli-sci econ!). The resources of the school are most definitely concentrated on these majors, and so if you want to major in something else, you might want to reconsider the school.

Now, while all of this might sound negative, recall that I said that it isn’t the education that is great, it is the opportunities. The biggest reason for staying at one of these Ivy League schools is that you graduate with a degree that marks you as one of the most accomplished people your age, because the name on the degree does make a huge difference in the end. Going to a school with a huge budget has its perks too, especially when it comes to trying to start new student groups and when looking for financial aid. On top of that, the people you meet at these schools are totally different from those at other schools. They are intelligent, wealthy, and well-connected, and they help you build connections. This is both advantageous, and disadvantageous, because they aren’t the type of people I am used to spending time with, but that really isn’t horrible in and of itself. A lot of the people are the WASP-y people you expect to be at these schools, but I have met some of the nicest and most easy-going people that I have ever met. At the same time, everywhere you turn, it seems like the other students are all trust fund babies who have accomplished more than you, have a longer history of education in their families, and make you feel so inferior. You just want to fit in, even if that is the last thing that you really want. It is easy to want to give up your identity so that you can fit in better with the collective identity there. It is easy to feel like giving in will help you be more successful, not just with friends, but with life.

I know I am intelligent and I know that I worked hard to get to where I am today. However, after being immersed in this high-class, prestigious community for one year, I still don’t know why I should be there. My parents and I can’t contribute to the trust fund, I haven’t made any big contributions to society through science or any other intellectual endeavors, and I don’t even think that I want to follow in the footsteps of most other graduates from these schools. I don’t want to be a CEO of a company that spends more time working than with my family, and I don’t want to follow the often extravagant, wasteful lifestyle that these people have. I like the way I was raised because I like that I had to learn how to work for what I have and not to want things because everyone else has them. When I was younger, it seemed awful, but now that I am older, I like that I have not been spoiled. I don’t want to raise my kids the way my friends have been raised; I’d rather raise them the way I have been raised, but this will contradict the education that I have received and the society that I would belong to if I followed in the footsteps of the majority of my classmates. I feel like if I live my life the way I would really like to live it, I would be letting a lot of people down: the school, my family, my friends. I just want to be a mommy with a couple of kids, a little job that is easy to put on hold, and a housewife, but the general view is that it would be a waste of my intelligence, my education, and the opportunities that I have gotten at my school. It’s a tough decision to make sometimes.

So, here are a few of my thoughts. Hope they keep you guys busy until Zack gets back!