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Author Topic:   How did you discover what to do with your life?
macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2036 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 16 of 32 (413906)
08-01-2007 6:06 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by taylor_31
08-01-2007 5:15 PM


Do you research genocide, like a history professor? Or do you help countries to recover from genocide?

i'm in political science. i study how genocides happen politically, international organization and intervention, international law, policy suggestions for recovery, and methodology of prediction and prevention... and so much more.

right now i'm working on a recovery paper for rwanda which is intended to be generalizable to some extent.


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Doddy
Member (Idle past 4017 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 17 of 32 (413912)
08-01-2007 7:34 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by taylor_31
08-01-2007 5:15 PM


taylor_31 writes:

That's really interesting; it sounds like The Matrix. I wonder if that technology would mean the end of school?

Probably. Even the social aspect of school could be gained virtually, as increasingly it is today (with MySpace etc).

Work would still exist though, as would learning. But only learning things that not many people know yet (i.e. research).


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Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 18 of 32 (413917)
08-01-2007 8:12 PM


Ask God
1. Read a portion of the Bible daily.
2. Pray daily each morning in the name of Jesus, mediatior/priest between you and God praying for daily provisions, protectection for the day and wisdom in decisions you make that day, all decisions, large and small, for the day and for the future of your life. Include a lot of the book of Proverbs, written by king Solomon in your reading, wisest man who ever lived according to scripture. The first 9 or 10 chapters of this wisdom book is addressed to the young man.
3. Pick a Biblically fundamental church and attend once a week.
4. Get into natural wholistic alternative health regime where the science is doubling or tripling yearly. I got into this early in life (age 72 now) and the last time I visited a Dr was 40 years ago. Your mind is the most important part of your body. Keep your body at maximum health and your mind will be all the sharper.

If you do all the above you'll find favor with both God and man. You will be phisically and mentally energetic and ,most of all have the blessings of God almighty on your life. Without his blessings and daily guidance you're groping in the dark.

If you follow the above regime, you will not only have supreme guidance for after college, but daily guidance as to what subjects to take in college, guidance as to who you should marry and all the other complex and important decisions and problems that arise as you move on into manhood and adult life.

Cheers and may God's riches blessings be upon you as you follow his leading. The fact that you came here to seek guidance, diverse council from us all from all ideologies, professions and experiences shows that you already have some wisdom. One of Solomon's proverbs reads thus:

Proverbs 11:14: "Where no counsil is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counsllers there is safety." :cool:


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present is forever consuming the eternal future and extending the infinite past.
  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18371
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 19 of 32 (413924)
08-01-2007 9:29 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by taylor_31
07-31-2007 10:42 PM


A lot of great stuff already posted here, so I'll just give some practical short term advice in response to this:

With college looming...

Most colleges have an "undeclared" category for freshmen. This means you don't have to choose a specific major until sophomore or junior year, depending upon the college. So many majors have the same basic course requirements that it is very easy to do this without losing out on any opportunities, and it's a great chance to explore and discover what interests you. Even if you do choose a major right at the start, you can always change it, and most curriculums include a certain amount of elective credits, meaning they can be satisfied by any courses you like.

--Percy


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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 20 of 32 (413947)
08-01-2007 11:41 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by taylor_31
07-31-2007 10:42 PM


Finding your Way
how did you discover what to do for a living?

Well, as Ikkabod said, it may sound cliche, but at some point you're just going to have to dive in to life. I mean, don't get me wrong, a cautious, well thought out plan is good-- but not at the risk of worrying yourself in to stupefaction.

A lot of people say that they "just knew" what their careers would be; others have regrets because they didn't take a risk and study to be a musician or a writer. Yet others search for years in many subjects before they finally realize what they want to do.

I, like you in some regards, was extremely fond of music growing up to the point of near total consumption of my time. So, I formed a band that was on a decent road to quasi-success. But, the ravages of time and more immediate concerns slowly dissolved our endeavors.

At about that same time, I grew utterly fascinated with the US Navy Seals. This now consumed my thoughts. I wanted to test myself to the maximum capacity as well as go far beyond the mediocrity that other people settled for in their lives. So, I went for it.

But that too was temporary. I came to the conclusion that the wise Latin adage, carpe diem (seize the day) was the summation of the quest. In other words, don't let time go by, (and it goes by faster each year) wondering what you should do. Do something you enjoy. Nobody says that you have to be pigeon-holed in to one profession for your whole life.

But if it still brings fire in to your life, then keep doing it. I've changed career paths a few times. Do I sometimes pine over what could have been in other areas? Sure, I think we all do that to some extent. But at the same time, there is another adage that sounds rather cliche, even though its so true.

Life is not a destination, its a journey.

How about you? Any recollections or advice on picking a career?

Lastly, none of us can tell you what career to choose simply because we aren't you. We all have different things that wake us up in the morning. You are going to have to figure that out for yourself. And you know, my uncle changed degrees and careers more often than most people change their underwear. He eventually found his niche and is very well off and living out a quiet life of contentment.

The point is, you aren't unique to this situation. And let me spare you the suspense-- you're gonna falter a few times in your life. You are going to make some bad decisions, and you are going to make some decisions that seem bad but turn out to be a total blessing.

If all else fails, read my quote and take a lesson from our 26th President. If you are going to fail, at least fail while daring greatly.


"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt


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anglagard
Member
Posts: 2185
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 21 of 32 (413959)
08-02-2007 2:25 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by taylor_31
07-31-2007 10:42 PM


What a Long Strange Trip It's Been
Perhaps if I relate my personal narrative, you may be able to find some points worth pondering.

I was primarily interested in philosophy and history in HS and hoped to teach history in HS or higher as a career. However it was the mid 70s and jobs were scarce. Even my teachers said that in order to become a HS history teacher, I would have to be a coach, something I had no interest in. So when it came time to go to college I decided to take that history back a step and major in geology, as the job market in that field at the time was pretty good.

To help with expenses, I worked odd jobs as a construction laborer, mostly with or as a house painter. I also wound up being self-employed part time as a contract janitor entirely by accident. My friend's dad was performing this service for lawyers, accountants, and real estate companies. When he got another job, he left this sideline for his son, who asked me to work with him. Well after six weeks, he split and suddenly, I was my own boss.

When it came time to move on from junior college to the university, I moved from California to New Mexico as I wanted to attend a 'school of mines,' and NMT was cheaper than Colorado and warmer than Montana. Having always had an interest in astronomy, I soon changed my major to astrophysics, but my lack of ability in math sent me back to geology. Yet I still had that physics bug so I switched to geophysics the next semester. Unfortunately this kid was so cocky he thought he could compete with senior level geophysics students while simultaneously taking calc 3 so things were a bit grim on the wrong side of the normal curve.

My sister was at the same school and in the same major but a friend of hers implanted the idea of majoring in metallurgical engineering so she switched majors. Upon seeing the textbooks she was using in engineering I thought why geophysics? this stuff is easier and pays better so I switched my major to geological engineering.

I graduated in time for the 1982 recession so no jobs. Tried doing hydrology in grad school, but between the lack of jobs and a rather disastrous encounter with Laplace equations in a midterm test in the theory class, I lost heart. Toyed with civil engineering for a semester at UNM while awaiting acceptance to Officer Candidate School in the Army.

The army finally came through. Unfortunately they soon figured out I was a spy for the Grateful Dead so I got the boot. The contract said three years so they finally figured out what to do with this spy, stick them in intelligence. Saved money for college during my three years in hades (under Reagan, so thankfully, no major wars).

Went back to college subsidized by veteran status, and after another mistake (computer science), settled on technical communications. Toyed with getting a math degree as it was my worst subject and actually came within four classes but the main proof class gave me a bit of pause. Also came within one class and student teaching of HS teacher certification, but quit when my main reason for such a pursuit, my wife, stated she hated the town we lived in contrary to my former understanding.

Guess what, I graduated in technical communication just in time for the 1991 recession so job market cratered. Since I had worked in their computer lab and the public information office, I wound up being a local newspaper reporter. Eventually, the combination of low pay and the editor's tantrums led to another career change. There was a job posting for public information officer/librarian with the Environmental Evaluation Group (state agency overseeing the Waste Isolation Pilot Project) so I applied. There was also an opening for the night circulation supervisor/assistant Gov. Docs. library worker at the university. Well, even it paid better than newspaper reporting, so I applied for that one as well.

Got the library job, the public services librarian got the EEG job.

Since I was working in the library already, when the opportunity came up to get a Master's in library science going to weekend classes came up, went ahead and piled on even more college units. Got the degree, moved to Texas for the money.

Now I'm a college administrator, my highfalutin' title is 'Dean of Libraries.'

My professional career was completely unplanned and took 20 years to figure out.

So the point of all this is lessons learned:

1. Do what you enjoy most, don't worry about current employment conditions because they unexpectedly change. There is always room at the top.

2. Try to make a decision early if possible. My sister stuck with engineering and now she's makin' the bucks at Los Alamos.

3. It's difficult to double major in physical science and partying unless you really have a knack for one or the other.

4. If you choose an academic career, get that PhD, the quicker the better.

5. Get the job, then get the degree. (at least in my case, I had it backwards)

6. If you keep changing majors and running into economic obstacles, you may not have much retirement savings but you will make one hell of a reference librarian.

{ABE} I thought NJ had some pretty good advice in the previous post. Best not pass up this rare chance to agree with him for a change ;).

Best wishes for your future :)

Edited by anglagard, : Add #4 under lessons learned.

Edited by anglagard, : No reason given.

Edited by anglagard, : forgot another lesson


Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider - Francis Bacon

The more we understand particular things, the more we understand God - Spinoza


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Doddy
Member (Idle past 4017 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 22 of 32 (413970)
08-02-2007 3:50 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by anglagard
08-02-2007 2:25 AM


Re: What a Long Strange Trip It's Been
anglagard writes:

Laplace equations

Oh, I actually know what those are! That was one surface chemistry lecture that made sense to me (I love trigonometry).


Help to inform the public - contribute to the EvoWiki today!

We seek contributors with a knowledge of Intelligent design to expand and review our page on this topic.

Registration not needed for editing most pages (the ID page is an exception), but you can register here!


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Percy
Member
Posts: 18371
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 23 of 32 (413985)
08-02-2007 7:25 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by Hyroglyphx
08-01-2007 11:41 PM


Re: Finding your Way
nemesis_juggernaut writes:

At about that same time, I grew utterly fascinated with the US Navy Seals.

So did my son this spring. He started basic in June and goes out to Coronado for BUD/S in mid-August. Any advice or things he should know to expect? Maybe about hell-week? I loved this from the Navy Seal's BUD/S Training page:

Underwater swims of 50 yards must be accomplished, and the student is usually revived when they pass out.

Usually?

--Percy

PS - Interesting - they've revised that page, it no longer says that, but the cached page at Google has the old version.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Stile
Member
Posts: 3436
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 5.2


Message 24 of 32 (413998)
08-02-2007 9:21 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by macaroniandcheese
08-01-2007 2:40 PM


Re: The important thing is you
brennakimi writes:

nonsense.
that's one of the magical things about the career i've chosen. in academia, it's very easy to incorporate your family into your work life.

Of course it's possible to do both at the same time, I'd never argue otherwise. But, then you're not exactly focusing on either one specifically, are you? :) You're focusing on both.

Which is, of course, equally justified. And leaves us exactly in the same position... to figure out what's important with the individual.

I was just pointing out that there's only 24 hours in a day. You can spend 12 focusing on work, and 12 focusing on family, or 24 focusing on work, or 24 focusing on family... or 24 focusing on wind surfing... it all depends on what's important to you.

What you can't do is spend 24 hours focusing on family and 24 hours focusing on work in the same 24 hour period.

You certainly can split your focus and do both (or 3 or 800 things). But then you have to accept that you're splitting your focus. Your "balance" is another person's "not giving 100% to a single ideal". Of course it works the other way as well, some person's "extremely focused passion" will be your "uselessly narrow vision".

Neither is better or worse, but it's only honest to state that each side exists. And, again, we're back to figuring out what's important to the individual.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by macaroniandcheese, posted 08-01-2007 2:40 PM macaroniandcheese has responded

Replies to this message:
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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2036 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 25 of 32 (414015)
08-02-2007 11:35 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by Percy
08-02-2007 7:25 AM


Re: Finding your Way
oh come on. 50 yards is cake.

also, i swear to god i thought you were 21. wtf percy?


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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2036 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 26 of 32 (414016)
08-02-2007 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Stile
08-02-2007 9:21 AM


Re: The important thing is you
omg. i'm wasting so much of my life sleeping!

actually, what i was suggesting is that as i incorporate my family into my world of learning, by focusing on my studies and taking my family with me, i ensure their education and my best goal for them. so by focusing on my studies i am focusing on my family. when i take my children on research trips, i expose them to the realities of the world and ensure their growth as whole people prepared to tackle big problems, of which the world is always made. by having my family at department and school functions, i promote and teach social networking which will strengthen their ability to make something of themselves. by having my children in my office at work, i impress upon them the vital importance of education and at the same lucky time, show them what women are capable of. and finally, with my work centering on human rights, i demonstrate to my children the importance of working toward noble goals despite any odds and the value of human life and rights. it really couldn't be more ideal.

it just seems to me that by choosing a career in learning, the best thing i can do for my family is to include them in that world.

but i see what you mean. but everyone has to find money somewhere, and i just see no better way than an occupation in which i can include my children.

Edited by brennakimi, : No reason given.


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Stile
Member
Posts: 3436
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 5.2


Message 27 of 32 (414019)
08-02-2007 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by macaroniandcheese
08-02-2007 11:36 AM


Re: The important thing is you
brennakimi writes:

i just see no better way than an occupation in which i can include my children

I didn't mean to imply that your choices were in any way inferior to any others. I agree that the choices you've made have maximized the efficiency for you to focus on what you find important.

i'm wasting so much of my life sleeping!

I was always disturbed by the "10% of your life is spent on the toilet" stat... :)


This message is a reply to:
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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2036 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 28 of 32 (414025)
08-02-2007 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Stile
08-02-2007 11:59 AM


Re: The important thing is you
I didn't mean to imply that your choices were in any way inferior to any others.

no, i never thought that.

maximized the efficiency for you to focus on what you find important.

i'm all about efficiency.

I was always disturbed by the "10% of your life is spent on the toilet" stat...

i think that depends...


This message is a reply to:
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 29 of 32 (414093)
08-02-2007 5:08 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Percy
08-02-2007 7:25 AM


Re: Finding your Way
quote:
At about that same time, I grew utterly fascinated with the US Navy Seals.

So did my son this spring. He started basic in June and goes out to Coronado for BUD/S in mid-August.

Oh man, that's great! I'm very happy for him. And if you don't mind, I'm going to live vicariously through him. :p

Any advice or things he should know to expect? Maybe about hell-week?

That he should start seriously training as of three months ago. Always listen to the Instructors. Don't fluff off on your boat crew. Give your maximum at all times.

Most importantly, tell him to take it one day at a time. Scratch that, one evolution at a time. People tend to be overwhelmed the first week when they start getting their butt handed to them on a silver platter. You can't think too far in advance, because it will all seem too daunting.

I loved this from the Navy Seal's BUD/S Training page

quote:
Underwater swims of 50 yards must be accomplished, and the student is usually revived when they pass out.

Usually?

:laugh:

No, I seriously doubt that no more than 4-10 people per class (out of 90-120 to begin with) fail out because of the 50 Meter underwater swim. But, this is what got me. I suffered shallow water blackout, twice, because I was so hypoxic.

The Discovery channel ran a special where they followed Class 234 around. I was actually in Class 233, and a large percentage of the guys in 234 were medically rolled from my class into theirs.

Edited by nemesis_juggernaut, : No reason given.

Edited by nemesis_juggernaut, : No reason given.


"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt


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taylor_31
Member (Idle past 4031 days)
Posts: 86
From: Oklahoma!
Joined: 05-14-2007


Message 30 of 32 (414145)
08-02-2007 11:24 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by anglagard
08-02-2007 2:25 AM


Re: What a Long Strange Trip It's Been
That's quite a story! It seems like you've studied a little bit of everything. So you feel that the extra time to look for a career was worth it, even when your search seemed to go nowhere?

My sister stuck with engineering and now she's makin' the bucks at Los Alamos.

Yeah, my great-uncle was an electrical engineer and worked at Los Alamos all his life; my mom's side has all the brains in the family. I remember we visited him once, and he said he was working on a camera that took a picture of an atomic bomb while it was exploding (the camera was, like, thirty feet tall.) At least, that what I think it was; I was only nine years old.


This message is a reply to:
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