Tuesday, October 27, 2009

...knowing too late is worse than never knowing

I've been in re-training for almost a year now. I picked accounting because my first thought--to be a psychologist, would have taken too long. I'm still hoping I did the right thing. I even went to the counselors and got profiled to see what I was suited for. Funny how they said, "lawyer".

Maybe because I argue.

I wanted to be a lawyer years ago, and sometimes when I think about it, I wonder why people encourage kids to go straight into college. Teenagers have all the foresight of a turtle. I wanted to be a baker, librarian or lawyer. My dad wanted me to go to the University of Hawaii, so I ended up declaring a banking major even though I couldn't stand math.

I dropped out when my English teacher kicked me out of class. I told him to get his head out of the box he was in, and he told me to get out of his class. Guess we didn't hit it off. That whole, "a sentence is five words or more", didn't work for me.

During my last workshop, I felt my brain light up. It was the weirdest feeling, like someone had poured radioactive dye into my thoughts. The more I thought about craft, how it worked and linked together, the more "up" I felt. Like caffeine, chocolate and a runner's high all at the same time.

I'd started struggling through craft books. Not that I've fallen out of love with the art of writing, just that after reading everything I could find, it was starting to get old. The books were changing, from the word-dense tomes of the Dwight Swain era (Techniques of the Selling Writer) to the almost all pictures of A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words prompt books. Then one day I stumbled over a book on literary theory and found my heart-home.

It's the study of craft, how it works, and how to use it. In the abstract, without promoting one thing over the other.

I think--I'd have liked to be an English professor. Not a high school teacher, but a full-fledged, university level professor. One of the most useless majors out there. By the time I got out of school, it'd be time to retire and I'd have more debt that I could handle. Sometimes, it's better to be ignorant.


Alice Audrey said...

Five? Five words? Humph! Idiot.

(Actually, my teachers said a minimum of two.)

Jeanette Murray said...

I had 9 (yes, that's nine) declared, official majors in college.

In hindsight, it would have been a lot cheaper and easier to have just taken a year off after high school and worked.

Which degree did I end up getting? Sociology. Am I using it? ...uh, sure...my daughter loves hearing about social theories while I change her diaper. haha

Great post!

jodi said...

lol Alice. You should have seen us screaming at each other in his office. It's a wonder I didn't get escorted off campus.

Hi Jeanette! *guilty feelings*

Sociology is pretty cool. My husband majored in history, with a minor in the barbarian wars. He wasn't suited to be a teacher, but he could talk about Rome for hours.