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Friday, November 26, 2010

the reality of dreams.

I recently changed my major. Goodbye International Business, hello English-Professional Writing. God, what a relief. After a lot of thinking, I definitely don't think the corporate world would have been for me. I always thought I would love marketing, but after realizing it was truly just about making a piece-of-shit product look great to get people's money, I decided, ehhh, not for me. Don't get me wrong, human consumption behavior is fascinating, but I enjoy writing much more. Hey, maybe someday I'll write about human behavior!

Dr. Matthew Willen is a professor at Elizabethtown. I was a bit anxious for my first meeting with him, considering several students in the English Department told me he was 'scary' and 'intimidating'. I'm not sure to whom they compared him, but to me, Dr. Willen is one of the most amazing people I have ever met, far from intimidating. Being part of the English Department, he has a great appreciation for the arts, including his love, photography. Once I wiped the sweat off of my palms, shook his hand, and made myself comfortable, settling into a chair on the opposite side of his desk, the first thing I noticed besides his cheery face was a palpable sound coming from the photographs on the wall. The one that struck me the most was that of a great ship, which appeared to be anchored. "Denmark", he said, smiling as if he were recalling an experience of a lifetime, which I'm sure it had been.

Sitting across from him, at that moment, I knew that I had made the right decision. Here I was, sitting in the office of a man whom has accomplished so much, traveled, and yet he is asking me all about myself: what do you like to do? where do you live? have any pets? And what amazed me the most was how I felt when I talked about a possible directed study; I have always wanted to write quotes and take photographs to represent the words. Every time I talk about this goal, I can feel my face light up. Most of the time, the person listening nods and smiles, but there have only been a few times where I have felt like I was looking into a mirror, the inspiration and awe of achieving such a goal staring me back into the face, reflected by the other person's expressions. And that is exactly how I felt when talking with Dr. Willen. He didn't look at me like I was crazy for wanting to achieve such a feat, but smiled like he knew what was going on inside of me; the synapses firing, a bubbling of excitement occurring in my gray matter. I guess the phrase about "everyone just wants to be understood" is true; having someone share my enthusiasm is such a shock of inspiration, like cold showers on hot summer days.

So, I now have Dr. Willen as my advisor (he had asked at the end of the meeting if he could request me; seriously, the next 2 and 1/2 years at E-town will be amazingggg), and I'm in the midst of planning a directed study.

Life is good. :)

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if you mean to have people reading this internalize it, but this one was hard for me to not to. I have been struggling with this kind of decision for a while. I didn't go to college...mainly because I hated going to school and I couldn't imagine another 4 years of it. But another reason was that I had no clue what I would study. But on the other hand, I've done quite a bit since then, mainly in the work force. General contractor, carpenter, mechanic, fireman...all of which have changed who I am. I've learned a lot about myself while doing these things (courage has taken a new definition since I had to make the choice of entering the fully engulfed building or not).
    One thing that I have learned about myself is that I am a hands on person. All of my jobs/hobbies/passions show that. Except for where I am now. March will make it 3 years since I took this job as a paper jockey. I sit behind a desk all day. It's a good job, and it pays pretty well, but at the same time I feel like I should be somewhere else, kind of like a small rock in your shoe that doens't always bother you because it moves around. Dad said something to me last Wednesday that made me think about it again. He and I have the same mechanic. I usually do all my own car work, but for some things, I'll let someone else do it, especially if I have not done it befor. Working on cars has always been a part of my life. Something that I enjoy. Once in a while I would look into it as a career, but I was always afraid of loosing that feeling because it was a job, and not something I did because I liked it. Dad had word done on his car a few days earlier, and while talking to Markus (the owner), they started talking about me. Markus said how he enjoyed talking with me when I was there, and that he appreciated the fact that I helped him work on my car, unlike most people. I learned a lot during that time. That's all well and good, but so what. Then dad said that Markus asked if I was happy with the job I have now, and if I was looking for a new one. Markus was giving me an informal interview, through Dad. That means something. Markus is by himself in a garage that has room for 4 mechanics, and he is asking if I would be interested in working with him. Someone with no professional schooling at all.
    So now, the inner war is waging. A lot of thinking will need to be done.

    I'm proud of you Lauren. Taking that step, making that takes courage.