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franklin county times

My career path was interesting journey

Tuesday afternoon a group of Boy Scouts came to The Franklin County Times to see how the newspaper is produced.

As they toured the building I wondered how many of them would take interest in journalism and consider pursuing it as a career. Then I thought they might not be thinking about their future careers and I began to remember back to when I was that age and considering what I wanted to do when I grew up.

I had to laugh when I thought about the first job I wanted and why I wanted that job. Then I began to think about my career ambitions through the years.

Before I started school I remember telling my sister one day that I wanted to be a garbage man when I grew up. It is not that I wanted to help keep trash from piling up in people’s homes — I just thought it would be fun to ride on the back of the truck.

I did consider the smell if you were wondering, but I figured it was the price I had to pay to ride on the truck.

A few years later my ambitions changed to more adventurous endeavors as I began contemplating a career as an astronaut. The idea of riding in a space shuttle was much more exciting then the thought of riding the garbage truck and the thought of drifting among the stars was too much to pass up.

Eventually I considered obvious choices such as being a doctor, lawyer or politician.

I decided against being a doctor because I don’t like being around a bunch of sick people.

I decided against being a lawyer because I picked up a legal dictionary, read three pages and was bored to death.

I decided against being a politician because I decided I didn’t like politicians and didn’t want to spend every day surrounded by them.

By the time I headed off to college I did not know what I wanted to do and entered Auburn University as an undeclared freshman with the intent of heading to law school if I could not find something else.

I took a variety of classes that excited me — introduction to aviation, world history and introductory German. I did not pursue careers in those areas because they were either too expensive (would have loved to have been a pilot), not many career options (l love history, but I didn’t want to teach or do research) or lack of talent in foreign languages (my tongue and throat do not want to do the things required to master a foreign language).

Surprisingly one of the classes I was least looking forward to turned out to set me on my career path – freshman composition.

I couldn’t stand English classes through the eighth grade because they always consisted of grammar, but when I got to high school they were more literature based, which I enjoyed. When I got to Auburn the classes were all about writing, which I loved.

I got some great encouragement from my instructor, who told me my talents would be wasted on legal briefs.

When I transferred to the University of North Alabama I knew I would major in communications with a concentration in journalism. I have enjoyed the choice ever since.

Unfortunately I never did get the opportunity to ride on the back of a garbage truck or in a space shuttle, but I’m OK with that. At least I’m not surround by sick people or going crazy reading legal briefs.

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