Mothers, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Teachers #socs

The word I found in the Great “Point” Challenge is “business,” so that’s my subject and I’m sticking to it.

If you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time, you know I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Surprised me, too, because Business Administration was the last thing on my mind when I started college. I wonder sometimes what I would have majored in had I not discovered that business was where my interests lay.

When I started college, I had a sort of half-assed notion that I was going to get my degree in Math. My grandfather was a math professor, I had been told for years that I was good in it, and absent of any better ideas, I figured that was as good as any major. I had toyed with the idea of getting my degree in Education, and when I told my mother she threatened to disown me. After my first quarter, I thought I might give Sociology a whirl, and halfway through my second quarter I decided that was a stupid idea.

Life as a Math major was fine as I was getting through my calculus classes. In my second year I took two more advanced classes, Real Analysis and Abstract Algebra. It was then that I discovered that, after a certain level, Math no longer has anything to do with numbers. Needless to say, I quite nearly flunked out of school, and frankly at that point I was ready to say “screw it!” and get myself a real job and a real life.

Mom talked me out of that. “John, you are not going to drop out of school.” Yes, Mom.

So now I was stuck. I had to declare a major by the end of the year, and I didn’t have a clue as to what that would be. Desperate, I turned to Helen in the Guidance Counseling office. She had gotten me through the trauma of having to tell Mom I was going to flunk out, and we had gotten close. She asked if I had ever taken any tests to discover what my interests were. I had, in sophomore year of high school, and had figured out how to bluff it so that my interests were where I wanted them to be. I told her this, and she said, “I’ll give you the Strong Campbell Interest Inventory. No way are you going to bullshit your way through that.”

I took it one afternoon, and I walked out thinking, “it’s going to suggest that I might consider becoming a hairdresser.” Don’t ask me why I thought that.

Helen and I got together a week later, and she asked, “Well, what did you think?” I told her about hairdressing, and she laughed, then said, “You know, I can see that. You have a very strong interest in business.”

Suddenly, it all made sense. Why hadn’t I thought of that? Then I realized, it’s probably because they didn’t have a business school…


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word about Pall Mall (pronounced “pell mell”) cigarettes. Outstanding… and they are mild!

23 thoughts on “Mothers, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Teachers #socs

  1. I had a similar experience with math, though I didn’t get as far as you did. Regular algebra 1 and 2 were fun. Regular geometry was a breeze. But when I took advanced algebra and trigonometry, it felt like I had missed a class in between. I barely passed and ended up changing my major from biology to psychology. I believe it was meant to be. I needed to study psychology. It all works out, eventually.

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  2. Kids who go to college today arrive much clearer about what their majors will be. But back in the day no one thought to help me figure that out before college. Hence, I started in Nursing, but graduated in English. As it should be.

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    1. I think the difference is that in our day we (or our parents, as in my case) chose the school first, then figured out what we wanted to do. As expensive as it is now, a kid figures out what they want to do, then chooses the school. This usually results in a lot of backtracking, going back to pick up prerequisites for majors they hadn’t envisioned wanting when they started out. We were told, spend two years weeding through all the crap (IMHO) we make you take, then make your choice. Not sure what the right way is…

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  3. It’s funny how we got where we got, John. I always enjoyed math, but I couldn’t see pursuing a degree. ultimately, I, too ended up in business, although not until graduating with a degree in chemistry and still not knowing where to go. My dad smoked Pall Mall – I credit that (stealing one and sneaking a smoke) with my never having adopted the habit,

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  4. Great post!

    Funny how things work out. I was supposed to be a high school English teacher. Insurance was no where on my radar.

    All’s well that ends well I guess. I’d sort of like to take that inventory test and have a do-over πŸ˜‚

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  5. There wasn’t a business school/college where you were?
    We had one that I went to for a little while…until the tornado came and blew it away (true story) so I never finished.

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  6. I can remember your mother blaming me for your adventures with manufacturing. Don’t remember how it actually went, but you had left your manufacturing job to try something else. Bunny was lamenting the fact that it didn’t work out for you and she suddenly blurted out, ” well it’s your fault.” —My fault!!! I asked her to explain, please. Apparently we had a conversation at one time about opportunities in business and I happened to mention that manufacturing was an over-looked area of business career opportunities. I in no way was suggesting her son drop everything he was doing and jump into a career in manufacturing. —Me and my big mouth I guess.

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    1. I remember the conversation you and I had, which was Mom’s idea. When I told her I was thinking about going to work at Newly Weds, she said “you should give your uncle Jack a call,” no doubt hoping you’d talk me out of it. I had made up my mind I was going to do it, anyway, and talking to you might have firmed that up for me, but I was going to do it regardless. Mom had a little trouble with the concept of letting us make our own life choices…

      Incidentally, thanks for the advice. I’m glad I did it, even if it didn’t turn out the way I thought it would.

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  7. My parents didn’t push me in any particular direction. They were fine with whatever I wanted because they were not paying for it. If I wanted college, I had to do it on my own so I picked nursing but after the first year of junior college I heard about a certification program to be a medical assistant which was just as good as nursing to me and a lot less expensive so I went there and the rest is history. As far as our kids go, we pushed them to finish high school but if they didn’t want to go to college we weren’t going to force it on them. Only our youngest had the drive to do that and she handled everything (except for part of the financing but we lucked out there too and she got some grants). She graduated with a Psych degree but is currently an assistant teacher in an elementary school πŸ™‚

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    1. A college education is a good thing to have, but has gotten so expensive that a lot of kids and their parents are looking at alternatives, and more businesses are beginning to realize that there are a lot of jobs for which a degree is unnecessary. It spells trouble for the universities which have relied on the steady stream of high school seniors to fund a lot of expansion and other spending that isn’t related to academics (e.g. sports programs and facilities and an abundance of non-teaching professors doing “research”).

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    1. I think most people leave school with no idea where they’re going, or leave with a specific idea of what they’re going to do and learn it’s not what they thought it was. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

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    1. A girl I knew in high school started college and dropped out a month later. She decided she had had enough. She went home and took courses to become a travel agent. She had always wanted to be one and it seemed like a good time to do it.

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