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Culture Observations

I should have been a writer…

Recently a friend of mine posted a scanned copy of our 6th grade class newsletter. I was tagged in the image and when I looked at it I saw that there was a short story that I had written about a Russian named Vladimir and a really large donut the size of a sheet cake.

Wow, 23 years ago at the age of 10 I was already writing about food! As I read through the story it was obvious that I didn’t have any real creative writing style, but, the story had a beginning, a body, and a conclusion and the grammar was awesome for a 10 year old.

I remember growing up I was always writing poetry, some of it inflammatory, but mostly it was simple rhymes and short stories.

Why didn’t anyone ever tell me back then that I should be a writer when I grow up?

There are a few things in life that come easily to me, the most natural thing I do is dance. It is something I do well without any thought or practice. For me “dancing by ear” is similar to the way people play music by ear. You don’t understand how you do it, you just do.

Later in life I realized I was pretty decent at spatial concepts and understanding balance in design. I’m no artist, but I can sense when something is right.

I think that in our culture we often direct our children down a path that seems to fit something that is accepted by society as great: Doctors, Lawyers, Fireman. We ask “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Instead of asking, “What do you LIKE to do the most?”

Perhaps if we asked the latter question we would better be able to direct our children down a path that they will not only excel in, but they will also find satisfying.

I think our society and culture is wasteful. We spend hours of time and thousands of dollars forcing students to take years of math and science. Instead we should probably have our students get a general grasp of the math and science they need to relate to all parts of society as a whole, however, I have never needed to use Algebra and I’m not sure the 4 years of my life spent in Algebra classes was time well spent. What if instead I was thrust into a creative writing class, dance, art? What if once we got to high school we spent those 4 years finding out what we excelled in and then by the time we got to college we could really intensify those areas of study and then we would be awesome at our careers.Instead we force high school students to endure 2 more years of information that we should have already learned in the previous 12 years of our education and then, once we’ve spent thousands of dollars learning these “basics” we finally get to the meaty subject of what we are going to be doing for the rest of our lives and we spend just 2 years on that. It doesn’t make sense.

Now here I am at 33 years of age and I just now fully understand the areas that I am good at and I’ve spent years and thousands of dollars acquiring skills in an area that I only sort of enjoy and I will never seriously excel in without a lot of work and effort.

So my choice is to either throw away the investment that I have made in my education, or to live a life doing something that I only partly enjoy doing.

I, personally, should have been a writer, or a dancer, or possibly an interior designer. What should you have been?

By Evan Stark

Eddie Renz is an avid fan of Egyptology, Wilbur Smith and bacon. Not a fan of humility but often finds himself humbled when he is around people who understand numbers like the Fibonacci sequence and Pi.

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