Creative Panic

I’m going to begin a little series today that I’ve always liked, from when Gene was living at home and contemplating his future. When I was a young boy and knew nothing, really, about higher education, I imagined I might go to “art school” someday. This was because my teachers and my parents, especially my mother, gushed approvingly over my childish drawings, which were marginally better than those being produced by my peers. I had a knack for it, which is to say, a little talent. In later grades, it was discovered I had a knack, also, for words and writing. Voilà! A natural-born comic-strip creator. This didn’t come to me immediately, however. I went on to major in journalism, which turned out to be an excellent training ground for my eventual life’s work. However, a little art school wouldn’t have hurt.

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"

16 responses to “Creative Panic”

  1. It’s hard to advise kids on college choices! My eldest daughter decided to change her major just before what would have been her final semester. A revised degree plan AND a master’s degree later she isn’t actually working in the field she chose… :/

  2. On career choices… Having worked in a variety of fields, including 18 years as a technical writer for a series of high-tech companies, by the time I had the college expenses paid off and survived the tech bubble bursting…

    Having recently had a small, pinhole-sized leak in a pipe, I can now see I should have gone into plumbing! Maybe the guy doesn’t make the big bucks, but the plumbing company certainly did.

  3. I imagine my parents went through the same mental anguish when I told them in 1971 that I was changing my major at Auburn from pre-med to visual design! All the money I spent on art supplies at J&M would have probably paid for medical school!

    As one of the friendly J&M employees, it certainly helped pay for my education! — JJ

  4. When I told my grandmother I was going into physics her response was physics wasn’t a field for women and I would never get a job. After completing my degrees in physics, I got a job teaching physics at a private university and will receive my 30 year service award from that institution later this week.

  5. From the department of redundancy department:

    Starving Artist.

    (says the man who’s daughter has a two degrees in art.)

  6. Think I mentioned beginning as a freshman in art and journalism, writing, editing and cartooning, sold my first cartoons (cheap) at 15. Far, far cry from Jimmy who I admire because I never had iniative to seriously pursue just unfulfilled talent which is a waste of something.

    Better go turn off pasta sauce, it smells flavorful and unburned.

  7. As the Doctor told the plumber:
    “I don’t make the money you make”
    The Plumber’s reply:
    I didn’t make this kind of money when I was a Doctor either.”

  8. When I was young, I wanted to be a cowboy. Anyone who has seen me lately could be forgiven for thinking my “want” has come true. Jackie says I now look like a retired rodeo cowboy, only much less beat up.

  9. I am still collecting ideas for leaving a message for my kids, etc. To those who have donated ideas so far, many thanks. I am also checking with other [church] groups around here.
    Keep ’em coming….

  10. You might be disappointed.

    OTOH, we learn, in today’s comic, that Arlo has a lower lip [~ Ludwig has ears]. Have we seen it before?


  11. I began working at a newspaper when I was 14 years old, but the real reason I majored in journalism was that it was as close as I could come to not declaring a major. It gave me an excuse to poke my nose into all aspects of human experience, and that was my real interest.

    After having taught college students for 30 years, I think I can safely say that except for a few fields like engineering and medicine, your major doesn’t really matter. It matters that you HAVE a major, because it’s part of what college is for (which has never had as its primary purpose preparing you for a job). College is about developing ability—learning how to learn, learning how to set long-term goals and put up with discomfort in their pursuit, learning how to delay gratification, learning how to solve problems, learning how to implement and execute a complex long-term plan, learning how to work with other people, learning how to pick the right problem to work on in the first place, etc. That’s what employers actually hire when they seek a college graduate.

    I heard the head of a major tech firm say that although they hire college graduates and seek out computer science majors, it’s not because of what they know. The first thing they have to do is re-teach them programming, because if they learned the language in college it’s already out of date. They don’t hire them because they know programming, but because they have learned how to learn programming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.