Career Dreams and Reality

Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition

Collegiate Dictionary
Eleventh Edition

Every young person sees himself as the star athlete, the video game designer extraordinaire, or herself as the president or a musical sensation and star of stage and screen. Reality is a little more understated.

Not every writer produces a best seller bound to be a blockbuster movie. Many writers make a decent living by writing instruction manuals, advertisements, sports reports or other everyday productions.

Of course, this is true in any career field. For every Annie Leibovitz there are hundreds of photographers working for newspapers, documenting weddings or making sure that all the sixth graders have their faces appropriately immortalized in the middle school yearbook.

However, today, as I was looking up things in the dictionary, I had to wonder what kind of artist ends up creating the illustrations for Merriam-Webster. Was it their first choice of professions? Do they get to pick which words to illustrate or is there some formula such as every 200th noun gets a picture? Can they negotiate if they’d much rather draw a penguin instead of a platypus? When they get home, do they paint like Norman Rockwell or Salvador Dali for fun?

Of course, they wonder the same things about us writers.

2 responses to “Career Dreams and Reality

  1. Hola Steve. WE all know–but often need to be reminded–teaching is the profession that makes all other professions possible. What is also true yet rather difficult to believe–especially for teachers, themselves–is how they actually touch the future–and affect eternity. They can never tell where their influence stops. Teachers really do turn students into future contributors: Business owners, plumbers, scientists, constructors, lawyers, nurses, doctors, roofers, inventors, entrepreneurs, astronauts, and who knows the next teacher, President, Nobel Prize winner, or perhaps renown writer.

    What freaks me out is that most kids–and adults alike–don’t “dream” anymore as in the past. We neither study or work with a vision or goal in mind. People, generally speaking, don’t believe in dreams–except entrepreneurs and scientists. I see a common theory in these two professionals that explains dreams.

    Both scientist and entrepreneur “must believe something to be true” BEFORE knowing it is true: A scientist believes in a hypothesis, and an entrepreneur believes in a vision. Both scientist and entrepreneur
    are realists, and ironically dreamers…in reality. And, to be a realist, one must believe in one’s dream or vision, for dreams don’t prove what is impossible; they affirm what is possible.

    What’s ironic is science can discover by accident, but nothing is revealed by accident. Successful people are big dreamers in reality.

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