Follow Your Passion When Choosing Your College Degree

I often ask children what they want to be when they grow up, because I am still looking for ideas.

Much has changed in the life of a young adult. In the past the career that an individual chose as a young adult was what they did everyday until they were able to retired. Today often what a student goes to school for does not always end up being what they choose as their career.

I think young adults are influenced with what their parents want them to do in life. This is usually because the parents did not follow through with their own dreams. They want their children to step into the dreams they gave up on years ago. So they can vicariously live though their children’s accomplishments.

Then you have the questions of will you make enough money to support yourself, make yourself a name, what will people think and other status qualifying thoughts. But it is very rare that you are asked what is your passion? What do you like and want to do? You are to go to college and learn a skill to make money to compete with the rest of the world as you start that climb up the imaginary ladder to the “better” life. What happen to going to school to learn something for the sake of learning and to become a better person?

When I was at the age to go to college I wanted to go to school for Art, My family gave me the “speech” that people with art degrees do not make money and I was wasting my breath setting myself up for a horrible life of being sad and poor. If I was to make it in the world I had to go to school for Business. (So as a side note I took three years of Art classes in high school and received an “A” in each class. I took one semester of Accounting and failed horribly.) They were certain that the only ways I would ever make it was with a Business Degree. My folks never had the chance to attend college and I know they were proud that I was the first to go, but Business College was not the fire to push me into.

I moved away and went to college for Psychology and Journalism; it seemed a good compromise. Two years later I dropped out because I ran out of money, and I was not eligible for finical aid.

Twenty years later I went back and got my degree in Art and passed with high honors and a GPA of 3.85. I have been doing art ever since. I admit it does not pay all of my bills but it feeds my soul and makes me happy. Money does not buy happiness, but following your dreams does. When you are given a choice always follow your heart, embrace what you are most passionate about. You will never be navigated wrong.

Even thought I have known since I was young that art is where my passion lies. I still want to continue to learn all that I can. I am always looking for other things to learn. Children know that you can achieve anything you put your mind too. I would rather learn their dreams. What do you want to be when you grow up?

10 Reasons to Read Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Over the four years since I first read this book, I have recommended Ender’s Game to nearly a dozen people, and no one who has read it has been disappointed. No matter your age or taste in books, you’ll find something to like in Orson Scott Card’s classic.

10 Reasons to Read Ender’s Game

1. Read the Book Before Seeing the Movie

The movie adaptation of Ender’s Game is set to open on November 1, 2013. As any slightly-uppity critic will tell you, you want to read the book before you see the movie.

2. Consider This Your Intro to Science Fiction

Even though good science fiction is one of my favorite genres, I don’t recommend sci-fi to almost anyone. I recognize that it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Ender, however, is not your typical sci-fi novel. When she married me, Rachel had a very negative opinion of science fiction, and I can’t say that’s changed just yet. But she greatly appreciated Ender’s Game and plans to read the sequels some day.

Even if you don’t love science fiction, you’ll appreciate Orson Scott Card’s masterful writing, and the characters will keep you intrigued throughout.

3. This Book is Far More Than Young Adult Lit

Before “young adult” existed as a genre, Card popularized the child hero. Now, adolescent protagonists like Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen are seen as the norm; think about it – how many enormously-popular best sellers have adult main characters?

As a predecessor to young adult lit, Ender’s Game does not suffer from the genre’s weaknesses. Its characters are more realistic than most in the genre, and the writing does not pander to the uneducated. This is a book about children, but it is written for adults.

4. This Book Has an Enormous Depth of Thought

Speaking of this book as a contrast to most young adult lit, how many young adult novels have spawned dozens of books and essays analyzing the philosophical, military, and life lessons in their pages? Ender’s Game has that distinction, with Ender’s World the latest in a series of books analyzing Card’s masterpiece.

In Ender’s World, well-known authors and thinkers take the reader in-depth into how Ender’s Game influenced their thinking. The authors who credit Card with influencing their development include military commanders, television producers, and best-selling writers. That diversity speaks to how much Ender’s Game has to offer in terms of food for thought.

5. You Will Return to this Book Time and Again

Believe me, as soon as you finish this book, you’ll begin to consider reading it again. This story is that good, and your first reading won’t be enough. The common experience of Ender readers is a deep itch to reread this book, and often on more than one occasion.

6. Reading This Book Will Open a Whole New Series to You

If you end up liking Ender’s Game, you will be happy to learn that nearly a dozen sequels are out there. In my study, I have an entire shelf devoted to Orson Scott Card’s novels, and there are still times when visiting book stores that I find new books or collections of his essays. Unlike series that begin and end far too quickly, Ender’s Game is the beginning of a substantially-long series.

7. This Story is a Great Metaphor for Life

This point is a topic for another post, but Ender’s Game is a story that serves as a perfect analogy for so many aspects of life. I don’t think Card wrote this book to be a metaphor for anything, but nearly everyone can see parts of their life reflected in the story. After you’ve read Ender, you’ll find your mind returning to it time and again.

8. This is a Great Conversation Starter

As I mentioned above, Ender’s Game is a story that appeals across ages, sexes, and backgrounds. So whenever the topic of books comes up in conversation, you’ll be amazed at how many people know and love this book. I place Ender on a short list of books I think everyone should read for cultural literacy if no other reason.

9. Check Out the Amazon Rating

In case you doubt me, take a look at the user ratings on Amazon. At the time of this writing, Ender’s Game has 3,868 reviews on Amazon, and 2,976 of those are 5-star ratings. Overall, the book enjoys a 4.6-star rating – an astounding average. (For a comparison, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone has a 4.7 rating.)

10. Everyone Likes a Good Novel

No matter how rarely you read and no matter how little free time you have, you can always find a few minutes where a quick fiction story is a welcome treat. Whether it’s waiting for a doctor’s appointment or those few minutes before you fall asleep at night, you can always find time to read.

Even if you’re not persuaded by all nine other reasons, read Ender’s Game for fun. Read it for pleasure. Take this book on your next vacation, or read it during your lunch break to feel like you’re on vacation. You’ll thank me.

So there you have it, my 10 reasons to read Ender’s Game. What would you add to my list?

Dads, Give them Household Chores

You have a chore to do around the house, and your

kids want to help out. You know it might be nice

for them to help, but you’re feeling a bit impatient.

And you know it might turn into a two hour project,

with a big mess to clean up. A mess that could be

avoided if you did it yourself.

We’ve all been there, haven’t we?

It can be so much easier to do the household chores and

projects without the assistance from your little friends.

After all, who’s got the time in today’s world to make a

project longer than it needs to be?

You do.

Why is it important to include your kids in household tasks?

Once in a while, there’s some research that unveils

something so important and relevant that it screams for

parents to hear it.

Researcher Marty Rossman, at the University of Minnesota,

studied a group of young adults from the time they were

young children. The startling results of the study were

that the young adults who’d participated in household

chores when they were age 3 and 4, were more successful as

adults than those who didn’t.

Specifically, these young adults were more likely to

complete their education, get a good start on a career,

develop adult relationships, and avoid the use of drugs.

The early participation in household chores was deemed

more important in their success than any other factor,

including IQ.

On the other hand, if children didn’t begin participating

in household chores until they were teenagers, the

experience seemed to backfire, and had a negative effect

on their success as young adults, using those same

measures.

What does this really mean?

When your young kids feel as though their dad (or mom)

believes they’re capable of handling simple chores

around the house, it’s an incredibly powerful message

to them.

Dad believes I can do it!

If your kids believe that’s how you feel about them as they

go through life, you’ll also be the parent of confident,

responsible, and happy kids. That’s what’s created when

you choose to see your kids as capable, and you show them

you believe in them.

But it’s not as easy as just seeing them as capable. You

also have to show patience when they tackle these chores.

You can’t take over for them when they struggle, or “correct”

what they did. Often, it’s what you don’t do that

communicates you believe in them.

Imagine the difference you can make with your kids by

allowing their participation in the family chores.

Imagine the difference in your kids esteem when they

feel like a productive participant in the family from a

young age.

You do have time to include your kids in chores and

projects at home. Tell every other father and mother you

know that they have time, too.

It’s too important not to.