Sunday, December 20, 2009

Whenever I think about careers and occupations in general, I think doctor, lawyer, businessman, or architect. Jobs like that. What I don’t think of are jobs such as professional whistler, ostrich babysitter, and furniture tester. But believe it or not, the last three jobs I just mentioned are actual jobs! And those don’t even begin to cover all the different types of unusual jobs there are out there! The following link has a list of thirty seven weird jobs and a brieg description of each one.

http://www.jobprofiles.org/library/guidance/weird-jobs.htm

Could you imagine being a fortune cookie writer? Well I suppose someone has to come up with the clever little phrases we find inside our fortune cookies, but still, how do people find jobs such as this? I just don’t understand where one would begin to look if they wanted to become a snake milker when they grew up.
It’s the little things in life that we take for granted that actually supply people with unusual jobs. Take gambling for example, when people gamble with dice, if the dice isnt made just so, the outcome of the game could be entirely different. One of the jobs that this website has listed is a dice inspector. These inspectors examine dice to try and find flaws in it’s physical makeup. Who would ever decide to become a dice inspector?
Take braille literature for another example. Blind people don’t just automatically have a library full of books that they can read, they must first be translated from writing into braille. I think this would take a very patient person, because I cannot imagine rewriting all types of literatures using the braille writing system!
Finding this site, with all of these weird and unusual jobs listed, offers kind of a fun reminder that even the tinniest details we find in our society require work. I have never met anyone who has had a job such as the one listed on this site, but when I think about it, it makes complete sense that they must exist!
Glass Blowing is an art that requires much pacience. It sounds like a craft that also requires a lot of trial and error to get the hang of.
The glass used in the process of glass blowing must first heated up so that it is more flexible, and easier to work with. After the glass is hot enough to work with, a blowpipe is used to blow a bubble into the glass. This bubble is the start of the long process of creating a finished glass piece. The artist continues working with the first bubble, changing it’s shape until it is just so. Color is also added to the glass as the artist works. After the artist is satisfied with his final project, the neew glass creation is cooled down to room temperature.
Glass Blowing is an art that shouldn’t be self-taught. Some local studios and colleges offer classes that teach glass blowing. I’ve never heard of glass blowing as a college class before, but I’m sure that some colleges must offer a class such as this!

The website I used to learn a little more about glass blowing can be seen by viewing the following URL: http://www.howtodothings.com/hobbies/a2417-how-to-learn-glass-blowing.html
I have always loved making arts and crafts. I don’t mean arts and crafts as in painting or drawing, what I like doing is making 3-D crafts, like sculptures. I have just always taken an interest in that type of art. One type of art I think would be awesome to learn how to do is glass blowing.
I remember, when I was in third or fourth grade I believe, taking a fieldtrip to watch a glass blower in action. When we got there, we watched a slide show that I remember being very boring, and then we watched the glass blower make a glass creation.
I don’t remember what it was that the glass blower made, but I do remember being very impressed and interested by his obvious talent at shaping the glass. It was fascinating watching him make a beautiful creation out of a once shapless blob of glass.
I’m not sure if glass blowing is a cultural art, because the glass blower we watched was from Germany and didn’t speak English, so maybe glass blowing is more of a European thing, because I had never really heard about this art until we went on this field trip. All I really know about glass blowing is that the artist must have a lot of practice and skill to be able to do what they do!
This is the type of art that I like doing. It’s hands on, creative, and not your typical elementary school craft. I’m not sure how you go about finding an instructure for glass blowing, but it is definantly something that I would love to give a try someday.
Just look at the ease the artist in the video below has when he makes his beautiful creation. I wonder how long he has practiced, and how many times he has made this particular sculpture to get to the level of glass blowing that he is at!


I just think that this art is so cool, and I would really love to be able to make this type of sculpture someday.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I mentioned in the previous post that while at NCYC, I visited a booth advertising Quincy University. After talking briefly to the representative of the school, I became interested in Quincy University, even though I still knew very little about it.
What I know about Quincy University:
-It is a smaller school
-I think it is probably a Christian University
-They have a tennis team!

I decided to look more into Quincy University at this web address: http://www.quincy.edu/.

Whenever I visit a college website, I always feel overwhelmed by all the information vying for my attention. When I go to a website, I like to see a homepage, or at least an “about” page that is directed towards people like me, that just want a brief summary about the school. Some websites don’t appear to offer such a summary, but I did find one for Quincy University, their summary is as follows: “Quincy University is a private, four-year, contemporary liberal arts university grounded in the Franciscan values of respect and social justice. We offer undergraduate and graduate programs designed to prepare you to engage the world around you. Academic success, social connections, leadership opportunities - these are all within reach at QU. Experience our commitment to you and your future. Join the Quincy University community.”
After reading this paragraph, QU sounds like a good college I might potentially apply for.

After looking more at the website, I saw that QU has an average class size of twenty students, is located in Illinois, and has a pretty long list of majors. But even with all the aspects of QU that fit my criteria for what college I want to attend, I don’t get the feeling that QU is the college I should go to. After researching this university, I doubt that I will end up going here.
Maybe I’m being stupid, or too picky, but when I pick a college to apply for, I want to get a feeling that it is the “right” college for me, and I’m really not getting that feeling with QU.
Recently I was able to attend a nation wide conference in Kansas City, Missouri. The conference is called NCYC, which stands for National Catholic Youth Conference, and it is held every two years for high school students throughout the United States. Attending this conference was an awesome experience.
I have never really liked being in large crowds, and going to an event like NCYC was a little intimidating, because there would be more than twenty thousand people gathered together. I was really nervous about going on the trip, but I am very glad that I decided to go, because since it is only every two years, and only for high school youth, this was the last opportunity I would have to go as a participant.
At the conference there were musical performances, nationally known speakers, Mass, activities, booths, and great sense of being in a community with thousands who share your beliefs. At the conference, you meet a lot of people from all over the country, and you trade little souvenirs with them to take home with you. The group I went with brought carabiner key chains as our trade items. I received a bag full of about thirteen carabeners, and I traded most of them for trade items that other groups brought with them. It was a really neat way to meet new people from different states.
Another thing I liked about the conference were the different booths that were set up. These booths were set up to advertise Christian music groups, books, volunteering organizations, vocations opportunities and colleges. One of my favorite booths was one at which I was able to write a letter to a priest who is currently doing missionary work in Jamaica. I thought it was really neat to be able to write to him, especially since I think I might want to do some sort of missionary work after college.
In light of speaking of future plans, I also visited some of the college booths that were present at the conference. There were several universities that had sent representatives to the conference, but the only college I really looked at was Quincy University. I had never heard of Quincy University before this conference, and still don’t know much about it, but I am interested in checking it out after speaking with a representative from the school.
Overall, my trip to NCYC was an awesome experience that I would encourage others to try, because NCYC is an experience that can truly change your life.

Who would have ever thought that one day, man would walk on the moon? Well, history clearly tells us that someone must have, but even with a fully constructed spacecraft, why would Neil Armstrong, as well as other astronauts have been willing to enter into the unknown, with no guarantee of safety? I just don’t understand how someone could be that brave, because I know that I wouldn’t have been able to do anything so terrifying.
The thought of traveling into outer space has never really appealed to me. It’s just too much of a risk, I have always thought, it’s simply not worth it. The thought of spacewalking in a vast space blanketed in an endless darkness makes the job of an astronaut seem lonely and unappealing. And yet, despite the obvious dangers of traveling into outer space, one cannot help but wonder what such a spectacular trip would be like. Don’t get me wrong, I am perfectly content with staying on the planet earth while others leave the atmosphere, but sometimes I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to be among the stars.
Neil Armstrong said of his travel to the moon, “It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”
I wonder, is that how everyone who has been to outer space feels? Do all space travelers get the same sense of awe and appreciation for the universe? Though I don’t have any ambitions to go to the moon, I think that traveling to outer space could be a truly humbling experience that would really make you appreciate the power of God.

Quote from: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/n/neil_armstrong.html

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Like musical instruments, I have also tried more than my fair share of sports. I have done gymnastics, tee-ball, volleyball, basketball, swimming, soccer, and tennis. I found the most success and enjoyment in tennis and basketball.
A few years ago, basketball was first, and foremost my main priority when it came to sports. I loved it. I remember practicing year round, outside on my driveway in the summer, and when is was too cold outside, I would dribble a basketball in my basement, 20 minutes with each hand. I was really good at basketball, but I wasn’t great. When the school team practices would begin each winter, I would be on the highest team, but I was never the best on the team, never a starter. During games, I knew what needed to be done, but I couldn’t handle the pressure, and the stress that accompanies being a part of a team. I found it very hard to be relied on by four other girls on the court. So when my freshman year of high school came around, I quit basketball, and decided to focus my attention on my second love, tennis. It was the best decision I could have made.
I have played tennis for eight or nine years now, and I love it. Nothing compares to the feeling you get when you ace your opponent, or rip a forehand winner, there’s just nothing like it. My goal freshman year was to play on varsity, and with God’s help, I achieved my goal. But achieving my goal was not easy, not by a long shot.
I know I said earlier that I had played tennis for about eight or nine years, but I didn’t really start playing tennis until about three or four years ago. Now before I have you completely confused, let me explain what I mean.
Throughout my tennis career, I have had four different tennis coaches, and though I didn’t know it at the time, the first three coaches were actually hindering my chances of success in the long run. Each tennis coach I have had have been different. I learned different techniques from each of them, and it wasn’t until I started taking lessons form my current coach that I started to get really good at tennis. I have been taking lessons from my current coach for about three or four years now, and that’s what I meant by saying that I haven’t really been playing tennis for eight or nine years, because my current coach had to “fix me.” Starting lessons with him, Joe, was almost like starting to play tennis for the first time. He had to re-teach almost everything to me, and my first year of lessons with him was a rough one.
Through these last few years, I have grown really close to Joe; he is like an older brother to me. I know that I would not have been as successful as I have been in tennis if I had never met Joe*. Now, when I feel too tired, or lazy to go to clinics (group lessons), or go out on my own and practice serving, I don’t feel like I’m just letting myself down, I feel like I’m letting Joe down too.
What I’m trying to relate back to is something I said in a previous post. I said that “I think in a lot of situations, where a person lives, or rather, who lives in their surrounding area, makes one of the biggest contributions to what a person will try out, and how successful that person will be.” This has most certainly been true for me, because had I not met Joe, my life would probably be very different, because tennis wouldn’t have been as big a part of my life as it has turned out to be.

*I would also like to add, that even thought my coach has helped me become the tennis player that I am, this was only possible through the glory of God.

“Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.”
~Leo Buscaglia

Taken from http://www.quotegarden.com/god.html
Among the sports, and musical instruments I have tried out, I have found some form of success in most of them, but it wasn’t until I focused my interests on two things, that I start feeling more passionate about what I do.
I have played six different musical instruments at some point in my life. I didn’t play them all at the same time, in fact, the most I played at one time was probably two, but my career in musical instruments was over by the sixth grade. I have played the piano, violin, guitar, accordion, saxophone, and the snare drum. I think the instrument I played for the longest was the piano for somewhere around five years, and the least amount of time I spent playing an instrument was probably just a few months, and that was with the saxophone. I just never really clicked with musical instruments.
I have however, taken voice lessons off and on since elementary school. While I never really enjoyed playing instruments, I have always loved singing. Today, as a member of my school’s show choir, Happiness Inc., singing is a major part of my life. I sing all the time: at school, at home, in the shower, when I’m driving, I just love to sing.
For me, singing is just one of those things that helps complete my life, because I cant imagine life without song. Don’t misinterpret that last sentence to mean that singing is my life, because its not, it’s just a major part of it. I feel that it is a huge blessing that I am in the high school district that I am in, because the performing arts program at my school is just phenomenal. If I hadn’t been involved in show choir as a freshman, I don’t think I would have every discovered just how much singing means to me, and that for me, is somewhat scary. I almost didn’t try out for show choir freshman year, and had I not tried out, I probably wouldn’t have discovered just how much I love to sing.

I was online looking at quotes about singing at http://www.quotegarden.com/singing.html and I found the following quote,

“Those who wish to sing always find a song.”
~Proverb

This quote absolutely holds true for me, because no matter where I am, I can always find something to sing.
Have you ever wondered if you could be really talented at something you’ve never tried before? I have. Sometimes when I hear about little John Smith winning first place in his accordion competition, or Jane Doe taking the gold in motocross, I cant help but wonder if I might be any good at some of the more different activities our world has to offer. Sure, I’ve tried more than my fair share of musical instruments and sports, before realizing which ones I wanted to pursue with, but in trying out all these different things, most of them were pretty “normal” (for lack of a better word). Sometimes I wonder if there is a world-class speed skater, or kick boxer somewhere inside of me. But really, with all of the different sports and musical instruments and other activities there are out there, it could be very hard to determine which you are meant to be doing.



It’s situations like the one from the video that make me wonder if I might be any good at something I’ve never tried before. But where do people go about finding a teacher to learn how to play the bagpipes? I think in a lot of situations, where a person lives, or rather, who lives in their surrounding area, makes one of the biggest contributions to what a person will try out, and how successful that person will be.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

         I remember one of my friends coming back from a college visit about a year or two ago, and being really excited about one particular college.  My friend is also interested in culinary arts, and we one time fantasized about co-owning a bakery.  My friend said that this particular college is beneficial to those who are interested in business, because the college gives you a job that applies to what type of field you plan to enter.  I believe the name of the college is “The College of the Ozarks” and it sounds like a neat school.

         I looked up College of the Ozarks online, and the first thing I looked at was their sports program.  I found, that this college has only two women’s sports teams, and neither of them involves tennis racquets.  I didn’t examine the site further, because I have already decided that I want to play college tennis, but it seems that every college I am interested in does not have a tennis team!  

http://www.allculinaryschools.com/faqs/culinary.php

 

Above is the link I used to research the job description of a chef.

 

The main thing I looked at when searching this site, is the following list of general tasks that may be faced by the chef of a restaurant.

 

An executive chef job involves many moving parts. The duties of an executive chef may include the following tasks:

0.Creating a menu

0.Deciding on a theme for a restaurant

0.Food preparation

0.Managing employees

0.Establishing and maintaining contacts with vendors

0.Marketing

Overseeing customer relations”

 

         When I think if chefs, I think of people dressed in white uniforms with a ridiculous mushroom-shaped hat adorning their heads.  I think of people hard at work in the kitchen, trying to make dishes as fast as they can.  I never really thought about tasks far beyond preparing food, but this list illustrates how some chefs are in charge of much more than that. 

         As I mentioned earlier, I have been interested in interior design for quite some time.  If I had a restaurant, and had to decide on a theme for the interior of the establishment, I think that I would enjoy doing that, because the decisions I would need to make would reflect my interest in interior design.

         I like being in control of things.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m not one of those power-hungry persons that boss everyone around… most of the time.  I guess I have a tendency to be bossy, but generally, when I am telling people what to do, I know what I’m talking about, and I do listen to the input of others as well.  I am a good leader, and am often put into positions of leadership when others don’t want to make decisions, so I think I would do well with a managerial position.

         I know I haven’t written anything about this, but I have thought about majoring in business in college, and working as an executive chef with a list of tasks such as the one above, it would be very helpful to have business skills.  And since business is something that interests me, I think that I would like business-related aspects of being an executive chef.

         There are however, some aspects of being an executive chef that I don’t think I would like very much.  “Overseeing customer relations” for example, is something I wouldn’t like to do.  I hate awkward confrontations; I am constantly analyzing situations to determine potential awkward confrontations, and at the same time, trying to figure out a way to avoid them.  I wouldn’t like to deal with customers with complaints, but if I were in a position of power, such as an executive chef, I would most likely have to deal with rude people. 

         Another thing I wouldn’t like about being an executive chef is coming up with a menu.  I’m not sure that I would be able to create my own dishes.  I know that saying this may sound ridiculous now, because I have no formal training in culinary arts, but what if, after attending a culinary arts school, I still lack the creativity required to create delicious food? 

         If I were to go into a career involving culinary arts, I think that I would probably enjoy it, though I feel that it could be easy for a job such as an executive chef, to get old fairly quickly.  I want a job that will keep me happy, and interested for as long as I work, and I’m not sure that being a chef would satisfy that desire. 

         So, as with most of the other occupations I have researched, this job doesn’t get a definite “no” or “yes,” but merely a “maybe.” 

         Living in Iowa, there are frequent snow days scattered throughout the winter months.  I remember one particular snow day that really influenced me, and what I wanted to do with my life.  I was in sixth grade, and was watching T.V., trying to pass the time on one of the several unscheduled snow days.  I came across the food network, and I’m not sure why, but I decided to watch.  The show I watched was called “30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray,” and that show, as corny as this will sound, altered the next two years of my life.

         Watching Rachael Ray make everything that she did was incredibly interesting to me.  I wanted to recreate the dishes she made, and so I would take notes on the dishes she prepared on her show.  It gave me something to do, I wrote down everything she did, while trying to decipher the meanings of the various technical terms she used.  I still have the notebook full of recipes I recorded laying around somewhere.

          I remember finding out that I could simply go to the Food Network website in order to find the recipes for her dishes, and this deflated my interest in Rachael Ray’s show.  You see, when I didn’t know about the online recipes, I had to pay attention, catch every detail, copy everything that Rachel did, and it gave me something to do, a purpose, but if the recipe was online, what was the point in watching the show?

         My commitment to watching “30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray” dwindled, but I was still interested in culinary arts.  I think that through out middle school, I had ambitions to one day become a chef.  My interests in cooking however, decreased.  I was busy, I didn’t have much time to try out new recipes, and I accepted it. 

         “Chefs have long hours” my mom told me, “they are always on their feet.”  This was another reason for me losing interest in becoming a chef, my mom made it sound like I would quickly lose interest in it.

         I didn’t cook nearly as much as I used to after entering high school.  It just wasn’t as much of a priority anymore.  I have decided however, that since it did, at one point interest me greatly, I am going to research culinary arts for more insight on the matter.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

         I asked my dad about the whole military academy thing (whether there are a bunch of them, or if it’s just one academy) and he told me that there are actually three military academies, an army academy, a naval academy, and an air force academy.  The army academy is referred to as “The United States Military Academy at West Point” and is the first academy I researched.  (Below is the website address I used to research The United States Military Academy at West Point).

 

http://admissions.usma.edu/prospectus/wpe_military.cfm

 

         Because I had really only heard of “The Unites State Military Academy at West Point” today, I didn’t know what to expect as I researched the academy.  I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to learn anything from a website, or if it was just expected that everyone knows something about the academy.  As it turned out, I learned quite a bit about the academy, and how things work there.

         The website I used mentioned that “The United States Military Academy at West Point” is a competitive school.  This statement made me a little skeptical, but at the same time interested me.  I am, and have been for as long as I can remember, a very competitive person.  So when I read that this academy is competitive, in a sense, it made me want to apply, just so that I could try and beat out others (I am a fun person to play Monopoly with I assure you!).  After reading this statement too, however, I felt concerned that maybe I wouldn’t get accepted into the academy, and so maybe I shouldn’t even bother applying.  I looked into the matter further, and found that a competitive score on the ACT at “The United States Military at West Point” was a 23.  I scored higher than a 23 on the ACT so I feel as if I might be able to get accepted at the academy at an academic point of view.

         Setting aside the matter of whether or not I’d be able to get in, and looking more into what the academy is all about, I learned some very interesting things from this website.  For one thing, there technically isn’t an admissions fee, but an “initial deposit”. In fact, the government pays students to attend this academy.  Of course this money is then spent on necessities such as books, and uniforms. 

         Another thing I found interesting was that those who attend the academy are considered part of the United States army, and “you are obligated to serve five years on active duty in the U.S. Army, and three years in an inactive reserve status.”  After reading this last statement, I started doubting the likelihood that I am meant to attend a military academy.  I hate being required to do certain things.  I hate being in situations that require me to do certain things.  As of now, I really don’t think that I would be willing to sacrifice five years of my life to active service in the army.  I know I said that I would try to get past my fears, but this is truly terrifying to me.  I feel that if I attend the “United States Military Academy at West Point,” it is very possible that I might decide that life in the military isn’t for me, but as a requirement, I would have to serve five years of active duty.  That really isn’t something I’m willing to consider at this point in my life.

         The reason in the above paragraph being my biggest reason, I don’t think I will end up attending a military academy after high school, so I may or may not decide to look into the other two military academies, but for right now, I think I will stick with looking into colleges and universities that don’t require military service.

         Today my mom was talking about a senior student who has been apart of a family that we have been close friends with for many years.  My mom mentioned that he was looking into attending the military academy after high school, and asked me if I had given this academy any thought.  I didn’t even know there was a military academy, I’m not even sure how to refer to it, is its name “The Military Academy?” or are there many military academies across the nation, and is our friend just considering attending the nearest one?

         I mentioned in my last post that I had started to reconsider entering the military as an option after high school.  The reason I have started to reconsider this is because my mom asked me if I was considering attending the military academy/ “The Military Academy.”  So I have decided to research military academies/ “The Military Academy” for my next blog post.

         I have considered joining the military after high school, but I never really thought that I would actually follow through with enlisting.  Something about joining the military seems terrifying and interesting to me at the same time.  Joining the military has always sort of been something to think about, but to never actually consider

         Both of my parents were in the military, my dad was a Spanish translator in the army for two years before working as a doctor for the air force.  And my mom was a nurse in the air force.  My parents met each other while serving in the air force, and well, the rest is history.

         I told myself a while ago that I wouldn’t join the military, but my main reason for making this decision was because I was afraid.  Entering the military, in my mind, is beyond terrifying, but I don’t want to not do something merely because I am afraid.  With this thought, I have decided to reconsider the military as a post-high school plan, because I would hate to end up later in life wondering if I should have forgotten my fears and joined the military.

           

 

            I think it is worth mentioning that my research on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has made me twenty-five cents richer.

         I was hanging out with some friends one night, and we were discussing college football, and I asked “UNL is part of the big twelve (conference), right?”  There was a pause in the conversation, and then I was informed that UNL stood for the University of Northern Louisiana, or at the very least, did not refer to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

         Now, this made me a little confused, because while blogging about the University of Nebraska, I had referred to the university as UNL.  “No, UNL refers to University of Nebraska-Lincoln” I persisted, but no one wanted to agree with me.  It eventually came down to a bet between myself, and a friend of mine, over who was correct, winner would get a quarter.

         The next day, I googled “UNL” and the first results that came up as a part of my search were in reference to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Needless to say, whether my friend has realized it yet or not, I have won our bet, and will be (as soon as he fulfills his end of the bargain) twenty-five cents richer. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

         I could list on one hand everything that I know about Hillsdale College.

                  1) Liberal arts school

                  2) It’s located in Michigan

                  3) A conservative school

 

         I hadn’t even heard of Hillsdale until last year, when I received an introductory letter from them, amongst many others letters from many other colleges and universities.  I asked my mom if she had any background knowledge about Hillsdale, to see if opening the letter was worth my time, and she said that Hillsdale is a very conservative school, so yes, I opened the letter, and Hillsdale has been on my list of potential colleges ever since.

         But I think I need to know a little bit more about Hillsdale than I already do, to determine whether or not I want to go there.

 

http://www.hillsdale.edu/

 

         When I first started looking at the Hillsdale website, I had the opposite reaction than I did when I was looking at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln website- I got a positive vibe from the Hillsdale site. 

         I know this will probably sound like a stupid thing to notice, and to take into consideration, but the Hillsdale website was a lot easier to maneuver around and understand.

         As I started looking through the website however, I started to feel uncertain that I wanted to go to Hillsdale.  I found that the number of students at Hillsdale is around 1,300.  I know that I said I wanted to go to a smaller college, but I was thinking that somewhere around 5,000 students would be a good number, 1,300 seems like it would be a little small.

         Another thing that bothers me is their athletics program.  I have been playing varsity tennis since my freshman year, and I feel like if I don’t play in college, every hour of practice I have put into becoming the player I am today, would seem a little pointless.  Hillsdale has tennis courts, but no team. 

         One thing I did like about Hillsdale was that they seem to have a pretty extensive selection of majors for a school of that size.  Another thing I like about Hillsdale is that the faculty-to-student ratio is about 1:10, so this enables students to get to know their teachers better.

 

         After researching the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Hillsdale College, I still don’t know if either college would be a school that I’d want to attend.  The University of Nebraska is a little bigger than what I had in mind, but Hillsdale is a little bit smaller than what I want, so like my plans for what I want to major in, I have very little idea of what college I want to go to. 

         The only reason I am even considering attending the University of Nebraska, is that one of my best friend’s brother is planning on attending the University next year.  Our families have been close friends for many years, so his mom talked to my mom, and of course she talked to me, and now, the University of Nebraska is amongst my narrow list of potential colleges and universities. 

        

The first website I used to research UNL

http://www.unl.edu/

 

         As I looked through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s website, I started to feel frustrated.  I didn’t think the site had a good layout, because I couldn’t find much of what I wanted to learn about UNL.  I eventually had to look at another website.

 

The second website I used to research UNL.

http://www.majorsexplored.com/engineering/details_school.cfm?ID=2109191616

        

From looking at the second website, I was able to see that UNL probably has a pretty good science program.  Now, I’m not sure that I want to major in science, because doing all of this research on biological professions has made me feel a little burnt out on the study of life, but if I do ever pick a major, and it is science-related, UNL would be a good school to consider attending.

         One of the main things I wanted to learn about UNL, was its faculty/staff to student ratio.  I was unsuccessful in finding this information, but did however, come across the approximate number of students in attendance at UNL.  The second website I used said that about 22,000 students attend UNL.  22,000 can be a very scary number. 

         When I picture myself as a college student, I have had a few basic expectations (for lack of a better word) that I want that college to meet.  I have tended to picture myself going to a smaller college.  I don’t like to be in large crowds of people; so finding out that UNL has about 22,000 students is a little scary.  I think I could get over the large amount of people at the University though, if I really felt that I am called to go there.

         I didn’t however, get a positive feeling about UNL when I was researching their website.  It could have just been that researching UNL makes the thought of me leaving high school in another year more realistic, or it could be that UNL is not the right school for me.  They say that when a bride tries on her wedding dress, that she’ll know it’s the right one.  Not to make a dorky comparison, but that’s how I want to feel about the college I choose, I want to Know that it’s the right school for me.   

         I’m going to put UNL on a shelf for awhile, or at least until I have looked into a couple more colleges, to see if I get the same feeling about them as I did when researching UNL.

 

P.S. I think it’s worth mentioning that my grandpa went to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and became an engineer.

         As I think more about various occupations I have started to feel a little bit panicked about the fact that I don’t have a good idea of what college I wish to attend.  I have a couple of colleges in mind, The University of Nebraska, Hillsdale College, College of the Ozarks or maybe the University of Dallas, but these colleges are nothing more than ideas, I am no where close to deciding on a college to attend after high school.

         So, rather than writing about different job opportunities, I’ve decided to do a little research on the colleges that I am interested in.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

http://www.degreesource.com/articles/82/1/Personal-Fitness-Trainer-Job-Description/1.html

Above is the link I used to research a physical trainer’s occupation.

            Physical trainers work for their clients, which are either a group of people or individuals.  They are responsible for looking out for the physical well being of their client or clients, and should be able to assess several different things about their clients.  Physical trainers must be versatile, and capable of successfully completing tasks.  This article has a good list of job requirements of a physical trainer, the list is as follows,

“A few things personal fitness trainers do include:

      Motivating clients and team members

      Assisting clients in breathing exercises

      Identifying specific training needs

      Applying first aid procedures

      Constructing instructional programs

      Leading various recreational activities

      Monitoring and communicating client progress

Demonstrating each physical activity”

“Motivating clients and team members”                                                           When I want to be, I can be a really positive person, but I know that it is just as easy to have a negative attitude when it comes to sports.  The years of experience I have had with sports have taught me how important confidence is to the success of the athlete.  I am by no means a master of confidence.  I can get really down on myself very easily when I play tennis.  I do recognize the importance of being motivated to play well though, and think that I could do a good job at motivating others to do their best.

“Identifying specific training needs”                                                      I am, and have been for as long as I can remember, a very analytical person.  I am constantly over thinking situations that require far less thought than I tend to give them.  I think that I could be good at “identifying specific training needs” because I could put my analytical mind to work at discovering special needs a client, or clients might have.

“Applying first aid procedures”                                                               This is where some science would come into the job.  Now I know that the first aid knowledge required by a trainer probably varies from job to job, and that in many cases, first aid knowledge requirements is probably minimal.  But it does incorporate some science into the job, and probably wouldn’t require me to be able to do a whole lot more than basic first aid procedures, which would be good, because I am not very interested in being a doctor because I am a squeamish person.

“Constructing instructional programs”                                                      This aspect of the job would let me, again, use my analytical nature to be successful.  I think that I would like making personal instructional programs for others because I would feel good about helping people make and achieve goals that could be reached through personalized training programs that I would make.  I also think that making personal programs would be interesting for me because I like being organized, and if I had a different program for each client, being organized would be an absolute necessity that I could feel good about maintaining.

“Leading various recreational activities”                                                      In many cases I like taking leadership roles.  I don’t foresee a problem with this aspect of the job, because I am able to take charge of certain situations, and set things in motion.

“Monitoring and communicating client progress”                                             I think that this relates to the “constructing instructional programs” part of being a physical trainer.  This part of the job would allow me to be organized and feel good about the goals I am helping clients reach.

“Demonstrating each physical activity”                                                       I don’t think that I would have a problem with this part of the job, because I like physical activity.

 After reviewing the job requirements of being a physical trainer, I find myself still genuinely interested in pursuing something of this nature.  One thing about being a physical trainer that appeals to me is the fact that this job would allow and even require me to be active.  I think this job could be really good job for me, and as of now, being a physical trainer is close to the top of my list of potential occupations.

            When I was younger, I was really involved in several different sports.  I competed competitively in volleyball, basketball, swimming and tennis.  When it came to sports, basketball was always my first love, though I really liked tennis too.  After reaching high school though, I decided to limit myself to one sport, and I decided to focus on tennis, rather than basketball.  My main reason for quitting basketball was because I felt too pressured when I played on a team where four other girls are depending on me to constantly perform to the best of my ability, whereas tennis is more of an independent sport, so if I don’t play my best, in many cases, I only let myself down. 

            My experiences with both basketball and tennis have left an impact on my life in many ways.  I remember my mom telling me once that she thought I would make a good coach someday, I am fairly sure that she thought this because of my sports background, and my interest in athletics.  I can see myself as being some sort of coach someday, however, being a coach doesn’t really sound all that interesting to me.  Something along the same lines as a coaching job that does interest me is being a physical trainer.  I think that being a physical trainer sounds interesting because it would encompass my interests in both science and sports into the same job.  It may or may not have been my mom’s comment on me being a coach someday that has sparked my interest in becoming a physical trainer, but whatever the reason for my interest in this job area, I have decided to research being a physical trainer for my next potential job.

As I have mentioned many many times before, science is one of my biggest interests, specifically biology. Because my biggest interest is in biology, it seems kind of stupid that I didn’t research being a biologist sooner than this, but better late then never I guess!

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos047.htm                                                    (the website I used to research being a biologist)

 

            Biology is the study of life, and the relationship of living organisms with the environment.  In many cases, biologists specialize in a specific area of research, such as zoo biology, microbiology, or marine biology. Some biologists work on improving medicinal treatments, making new drugs, or modifying crops.  But the work that a biologist does is largely affected by what type of biologist they are.  I don’t feel that I can do an efficient job analysis about biology as a profession, simply because biology is too broad a category to write about, so eventually I may get around to researching more specific biology majors, but for now I’m going to take a break from biology, and write about something I have been thinking more about lately.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

         As a way of helping myself stay organized, and also as a way of re-gathering my thoughts, I am going to do a recap on the jobs I have already researched, and also make a list of more jobs I might want to check out.

 

Been there done that:

         (List of the jobs I have already researched, and evaluated)

 

-Computer Software Engineer

         -I don’t want to be sitting in front of a computer all day

 

-Medical Lab Technician

         -I thought that this occupation sounded like it could get a little repetitive, and I wanted to work as a more specialized scientist

 

-Medical Lab Technologist

         -I thought the procedures could get boring, but still haven’t entirely ruled this occupation out of my options

 

-Forensic Scientist

         -This job sounded interesting, but I thought this job could get too emotionally draining, or that it wouldn’t be as exciting as it appears to be on shows like CSI

 

-Interior Designer

         -I didn’t think that this job would be very reliable, and I think that it would cause too much stress

 

 

Looking to the future

         (List of the jobs and majors I still want to look into)

 

-Chef

-Biologist

-Business

-Doctor (I don’t know what kind yet, TBA)

 

 

         I am a little disappointed in how short that last list is.  I guess I have an idea of what type of job I want, I just don’t know what jobs fit that job description.

 

My job description:

         An occupation that will keep me interested, keep me involved, allows/requires me to do some moving around, but not necessarily all the time, a job that makes me feel unique.

 

Now, I just have to find the job that fits that description, and I’ll be good.

 

~S.M.

         After completing the online job survey, and receiving my ACT results in the mail, I feel as though I have reached a dead end.  I was hoping that the online survey would give me a brilliant job suggestion, and I would find myself saying, “Of course! that is the perfect job for me! I can’t believe I didn’t come up with it myself!”  But after looking through my results, no such thought came to mind.  And even though I said I wouldn’t let my ACT scores effect what I majored in, I can’t help but wonder whether or not I should do something with science. 

         Recently, I have been thinking about becoming an engineer.  I hadn’t decided what kind of engineer; I just thought that maybe being an engineer would be interesting.  The Online survey I took even gave me a few specific suggestions on different types of engineers I might be interested in becoming.  I thought about looking up an article about engineering for a new post, (and I probably will, eventually) but I was talking to someone about the engineering field, and they told me that engineering can be risky occupation, because you are at the hands of the company you work for, so being laid off as an engineer, they made it sound, is not entirely uncommon.  I haven’t completely decided against becoming an engineer; I just don’t feel too optimistic about this particular work field at the moment.

         I kind of think, that as I eliminate more careers from my mental list of job options, I don’t seem to be adding any more jobs to that same list.  Wow.  I cant believe how undecided I am about what I want to do with my life.

 

~S.M.

         I took the ACT test on September 12 of this year.  They said that I could expect my results to come anywhere from five-eight weeks, so when they arrived two days ago, I really wasn’t expecting it.  After looking at my overall score, and then looking at the breakdown of my score into different subject areas, I was a little surprised about which subjects I scored highest on.  The subject areas I scored highest on were Reading, and the combined score of English/Writing.  I have a good foundation in reading, I have my mom and “Hooked-on-Phonics” to thank for that, but I guess that in the past couple of years, I’ve felt more interest in, and have done better on science portions of most standardized tests that I have taken, so having a higher score in reading and writing came as a bit of a surprise to me.

         Even though I scored the highest on English related subjects, I still think that I will probably go into some sort of science or math occupation; because those are the areas of study that I have more interest in.  I also figure that just because my highest score on the ACT wasn’t in science, that I shouldn’t use this to help indicate whether or not I pursue with a science-related career, because after all, my science interests lie mainly in biology, whereas the ACT tests you over several fields of science such as physics and chemistry. 

         Obviously, taking the ACT has forced me to think a little more about a college to attend.  My mom and I had my ACT score sent to five colleges: University of Nebraska, Benedictine College, Hillsdale College, Franciscan University, and the University of Dallas (where my sister is currently attending).  Though I am also thinking about College of the Ozarks, because I have heard some interesting, and good things about it from a friend that is going through the acceptance process there.  In my mind though, as of now, my top two college choices are Hillsdale, and the University of Nebraska.  I don’t know much about either of these two colleges, the only reason I hold these two schools in a positive point of view is because I have heard good things about each of them.  I have also heard that the University of Nebraska has a pretty broad science program, so If I do decide to major in something science-related, I could very well end up going to the University of Nebraska.  But for now, I am still undecided on, and still open to checking out more colleges and universities.

 

S.M.

         Sometime over the 2009 summer vacation, which ended a little more than a month ago, my mom registered me to take an online survey, which asks a lot of different questions with the purpose of making a list of jobs that are compatible with the answers expressed on the survey.  Well, I started the survey about a month ago, but found it very boring and tedious, so I didn’t end up finishing all of the questions until today.  I am glad that I have the survey out of the way, but find myself disappointed in the jobs that the survey suggested for me.  The survey took a list of a lot of different jobs and put a “job fit” percentage next to each job, indicating how compatible I was with that particular job.  The following is a list of some of the jobs I scored the highest on, though my highest “job fit” percentage was an 84%.

         Architect,

         Chemical Engineer

         Civil Engineer

         Graphics Designer

         Biologist

         Purchasing Manager

         Systems Administrator

         Database Developer         

         Optometrist         

         Podiatrist         

         Business Manager

 

         Some of these job recommendations came as a surprise to me, others seem to fit some of my current interests, and as for some of the other suggestions on this list, I have no idea what some of them even are!  Biologist for example doesn’t really come as a surprising suggestion, because biology is on of my favorite subjects.  Podiatrist came as a little bit of a surprise because I really really really dislike feet! And a systems administrator? What IS that?

         I don’t really feel led in any particular direction after taking this survey, so I am not convinced that it has helped me much if at all in narrowing down my interests, but I’m glad I finished the survey, because otherwise, I would always be wondering if taking the survey would have pointed out the perfect job for me.

 

~S.M.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

http://careers.stateuniversity.com/pages/348/Interior-Designer.html

(Above is the link that I used to research interior design)

As one would probably expect, it doesn’t take a lot of research to learn about what an interior designer does for a living. Interior designers can work for themselves, or for more experienced designers, and are usually responsible for the structure, and/or d├ęcor of a room. Interior designers help clients decide on color palettes, paint, furniture, accessories, and arrangement of the components within a space so that the space can function to fit the needs of the person/people using it.

Often times, interior designers work with architects when designing a room. This collaborative work between the architect and interior designer is done to make sure that the layout of the room will be functional, and meet the needs of a client. I had never really thought about this, but interior designers working with architects makes a lot of sense, because together, they can both plan a room that will be functional, and will match the purpose the room or space needs to serve.

This article also mentioned how interior designers can be specialized in designing a certain type of space, interior designers may specialize in restaurant interiors, lobbies, bedrooms, living rooms, etc. I found this specialization of interior design interesting. I think that if I were to choose a specific type of interior design right now, I’d probably go with designing restaurants, living rooms or lobbies. I’d want to do this type of design because I think these spaces often require more formal and sophisticated designs, and that type of design is more of the type that I am interested in doing.

Though I am an artistic person, I don’t think that I would want to be an interior designer full time. If I was working for a client, I think that I would feel too pressured to create a room that they would absolutely love, and would feel terrible if they ended up disliking the final product. I also hate painting walls. I think that painting rooms is really boring, and I hate painting close to the ceiling, counter tops, cabinets, or close to any crown molding that may be around the room. I am also a very indecisive person, so I don’t think I’d consistently be able to help clients make decisions on color choices, furniture, and accessories for their rooms.

Overall, I think that being an interior designer would be an enjoyable job. I don’t think that this occupation is right for me though, for several reasons. For one thing, as I mentioned above, I am a very indecisive person, and I just wouldn’t want to deal with the stress of picking out a design scheme that is perfect for whomever I am designing for. Another reason I wouldn’t want to be an interior designer is that I want a job that is more reliable. The article said that the demand for interior designers would go up through the year 2014, but I have a hard time convincing myself that this job would provide sufficient security during occasions that present economic hardships. I’m not saying however, that I don’t want to do any interior design, on the contrary, I would really love the opportunity to design and decorate some rooms. I just think that I’ll have to stick with coming up with design plans for my own home, and not worry about helping others design theirs.

~S.M.

This weekend I finally got around to watching the season finale of the HGTV reality T.V. show, “Design Star.” This T.V. show follows a group of selected interior designers as they compete against each other to win an interior designer’s ultimate prize: to be the host of their own interior design T.V. show. “Design Star” airs once a week, and each week the designers compete in teams, or as individuals, on an assigned design project. Most often, the assignment is to redo a room in someone’s house. At the end of each episode, a panel of judges eliminates at least one designer from the competition based on their performance during the design challenge. This elimination process repeats itself until there are only two designers left standing, and in the season finale, the two designers go head-to-head against each other, competing to see who will be determined the winner of “Design Star.”

“Design Star” is one of my all time favorite T.V. shows! I was really into interior design a year or two ago, and would watch HGTV design shows a lot more than I do now, and I think that “Design Star” is one of the reasons I have considered becoming an interior designer. Though I have sort of put my ambitions to be an interior designer up on a shelf, in the spirit of this season’s “Design Star” I have decided to research the interior design profession as my next potential occupation.

~S.M.