Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

Home · Articles · News · Features · Choosing a major
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Choosing a major

Robert Downes - August 11th, 2008
Going to college? Then obviously, you’re going to leap some major hurdles. Which school should you attend? Which school will accept you? How will you pay for college? What will dorm life be like? Will you like your fellow students?
But perhaps the greatest challenge of all is deciding on a major. After
all, this is the one decision that is likely to affect your entire life, and it often comes down to making up your mind on the spot in your junior year. Or, at the beginning of a two-year program, if you’ve chosen to specialize in a trade.
Unless you’ve known from childhood what you want to do in life, rest assured, most undergrads get the jitters as their junior year looms, along with the need to pick a major.
Will it be English or economics? Accounting or engineering? Anthro-pology or comparative literature? International affairs or forensic science?

FINDING A DIRECTION
If you haven’t got a clue as to what you want to do in life, relax: being forced to choose a major is probably the best thing that could possibly happen to you during your young adulthood.
Why? Because many people never figure out what they want to do with their lives. They end up working a series of unrelated jobs, heading into their 30s without a clue... and often, without a profession.
That’s why being forced to choose a major is a way to find a direction in life. Suddenly, you’re on a path with a destination in mind.
Ah, but how to choose?
For starters, a good way to choose a major is simply to analyze what you’re good at.
Do you have the gift of gab and excel at public speaking? Then a marketing major may be your ticket.
Have you always been a whiz at math? Then engineering, software design, or the hard sciences are obvious avenues.
Do you love helping people? Nursing and social work come to mind.
In my case, I grew up with a love of books and history, and always loved being the first to know the latest news about my classmates. I also loved photography. These interests made journalism an easy choice for my major in college, along with a minor in photography.

SELF-DISCOVERY
You may not even know that you have a talent until it reveals itself in college.
One friend, for instance, was
uncertain as to what major to choose until he did unexpectedly well on an
accounting test. Although he never
imagined a career in accounting, he chose the subject as
his major and it resulted in a great career.
Then too, sometimes it’s a good idea to pick more than one major in the hope of finding a direction. If your interest in music theory doesn’t pan out, then perhaps your alternative major in Spanish or economics will prove more fruitful. Or, perhaps you’ll find a job that requires a multitude of skills made possible by two majors.
Going with what’s the most popular subject on campus is not always the
best route to success. In the ’80s, for instance, exercise physiology was a popular major that coincided with the running boom. But there weren’t necessarily a lot of great-paying jobs for the grads who piled on.
But still, those grads were
doing what they loved, and there’s
always a measure of wisdom in that
approach. The Chinese phil-osopher Confucius was one of a long list of commentators who noted that if you do what you
love in life, it will never seem like work.
And know this: even with a major under one’s belt and a sure sense of direction, no one knows where life
will take them. I have a friend who majored in zoology and conducted bird surveys on a remote island after graduating; today, he is the administrator of a social work agency, a job which has little or nothing to do with
studying animal behavior. So, think of your major as a starting point, rather than a destination, and enjoy the ride.



 
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