PARTS OF SPEECH

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN SHELLEY PLETT
“Now Sue, that you are older than two, it’s time for you to choose

something to do.” -Dr. Seuss

As we settle into a new school year, my household is learning to adjust to our daughter moving from half-day kindergarten to all-day first grade. Next May, as she wraps up her year, three of my nieces will graduate from high school and one from college.

Unlike the four of them, our first-grader hasn’t devoted much thought to career options. As of last night, her master plan was to create some artwork, never get married and live in our house forever.

Since she’s 6, I’m OK with that. If things don’t change when she’s 18, we’ll have another sit-down.

But until that time, I will offer one of her Dr. Seuss’s books, “Who Are You Sue Snue?” to my nieces. Even if they aren’t interested in a career of cow-poking or pea-canning, as the book suggests, its message applies: “I’ll just be myself, my whole self, and not you. I’ll be true to myself. That’s just what I’ll do….”

I hope they don’t worry too much about pinpointing their futures. It’s great to have a plan, but personally, I don’t know too many people who have it all figured out. And-from a high school graduate’s perspective-I hang out with a lot of old people.

Most graduates, high school or college, probably won’t walk right into their life’s calling the day after graduation. But hopefully at some point, they, and the rest of us, will stumble onto it.

The only way to keep that path clear is to avoid boxing ourselves in too early, making it much more difficult-if not impossible-to take a chance when the right thing comes along.

For instance, maybe one day, typing away in a cubicle, you will envision giant sea turtles nesting along the Florida coastline. You will say to yourself “Somebody should be guarding those turtles – why not me?”

A month later, there you are-cruising the shore in your Turtle Patrol jeep.

It’s possible.

If saltwater doesn’t appeal to you, take another approach. Use your disadvantages to your advantage.

Does bad luck follow you? Is there a constant thunder cloud over your head? Maybe you could relocate to Vegas and become a “cooler.”

Apparently, coolers are secretly employed by casinos to stroll by winning tables and “cool” the good luck.

It’s said that these people are perpetually unlucky-and paid to spread their doom and gloom to players who have been handed a few too many blackjacks.

Can’t tolerate the smoke and lights of casinos? Well, there are always chickens. With proper training, you could work for a commercial hatchery as a chicken sexer. Brand new baby chicks ride on a conveyor and are physically sorted, one by one-males on one track and females on another.

This is serious business-just ask Junichi Goto, the 2001 Japanese chicken sexer champion, who, at the top of his game during a type of “Chicken Olympics,” sorted 100 chicks in 3 minutes and 34 seconds without a single mistake.

Impressive. Or maybe not.

How about golf? Even if you’re not caddy material, who’s to say you can’t take another route to join the game? Your next business card could say “Celluloid Trimmer.” placing the responsibility of quality golf club handles in your hands.

A Celluloid Trimmer shaves down the club handles and adds celluloid bands to make sure the grips stay where they are supposed to stay.

In a very real way, you could actually contribute to Tiger’s winning putt at the 18th hole.

Not sports-minded? Consider your personal interests. Adore shoes? Despise wrinkles? Combine your passions into one career.

Join a shoe company as a Wrinkle Chaser, inspector and destroyer of wrinkles. As the shoes are created, Wrinkle Chasers examine them and iron away any pesky wrinkles in the fabric.

After researching the plethora of career possibilities posted on the Internet, I’m convinced the job shortage is just a myth…there are a lot of unsorted chickens and naked feet in this world.

Unfortunately, we can’t all be Sue Snue, with an uncle ready to give us a job making left-footed red socks.

If only!

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