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.

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:
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:

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:

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
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 and I found the following quote,

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

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.