I have asked myself many times what can I do for the rest of my life that will make me happy. Now that I am a college student I have certain decisions to make that will effect the rest of my life. I know that I have to make myself happy, but I also know that I have to be able to provide for myself. As of right now, my major is engineering. I am beginning to discover that engineering will not make me happy. Although I would likely make a lot of money in this field, is sacrificing my happiness worth it? My father is an engineer, and I believe this is the reason why I chose engineering as my major. I have done research on many different types of engineering, and I cannot find a field that brings interest to me. Yet I have discovered that I love working with children. Each year I volunteer at the children s hospital near my home. I also volunteer at The Boy s Club, so I believe I would like to work with children.
My ideal job would be that of an occupational therapist, and I can see myself having this job ten years from now. With this job I would be able to work closely with children in a children s rehabilitation hospital in an urban community. I would lead the ideal life by living in a nice brick house by the water with a handsome husband and a beautiful son and daughter. My husband would also have a good job, and together we would fully be able to provide for ourselves and for our children. My job as an occupational therapist would be very rewarding. As an O.T. I would specialize in working with children in order to help them overcome a proportion of their disability, and this would be rewarding for the child, for his or her family, and also for myself.
On an ideal day I will go to work after preparing my children for school. As I drive to work, I always can only imagine what it will be like on the other side of the large, glass doors, and each day I walk to my office with new expectations. I enter my office which is full of bright colors. In the center, is a small, wooden table surrounded by little chairs. This is where the children will be able to work during our sessions. I usually have paperwork to do in the early morning, and I also have to study each child s handicap. The children in my room have Down s syndrome or autism. My job is to help them at the different stations that are set up in the room. Each station is designed to help each child in his or her learning process and with any everyday ritual (for example, putting on a pair of socks) that might cause them some problems. With these workshops my goals are to help each child overcome a particular area that he or she is having trouble with.
After each child is finished with all of the stations, it is time for lunch. For some children eating lunch is even a learning process because it requires the use of a fork and a spoon. Although lunch is messy each child seems to have a determination to eat the proper way. When lunch is over the children spend the remainder of the day outside, playing games and listening to stories, which I will have to admit, is one of my favorite parts of the day. I fully enjoy working with all of the children. Each child is unique and affectionate.
My sessions with the children would go perfectly. Each child would be showing great signs of improvement. Although I know each day will not occur the same as this ideal day, I believe that there would be a child who achieved a goal making my whole day prosperous. Some days will probably be very hard because some children might not be able to reach their goals, but I hope that each day will be unforgettable. My experience should help me realize that everyday tasks are easy for most people but difficult for others. For some children learning to use a fork is a very important accomplishment. Everyone has different expectations in life. All that can be expected is for everyone to work to his or her fullest potential. For this reason I am better able to enjoy the simplicities of life.
In Theodore Roszak s, Take This Job and Stuff It, he describes the ideal job through his negative description on the different types of work. In Alan Thein Durning s The Conundrum of Consumption, Durning describes the ideal way to live life. Roszak believes that work consumes people s lives, and Durning believes that because of the productive economy in the United States due to Americans work ethics, the American society consumes too many things. Durning and Roszak would have both negative and positive critiques of my job.
Depending on how involved I am with my work Roszak might say that my job consumes too much of my time. He says, our work is more than a pastime. It is our life, but I would try not to let work consume my life by being involved with activities with my family and friends. Roszak would say that I have a good job, though, because it is not like a machine, or routine. I would be working with different children that would require different teachings. Roszak says businesses work us [people] as personnel, not persons, but since my field is small, I would be known by all of my colleagues and by all of the children that I teach. He would also say that my job has redeemable qualities because I would be trying to teach skills to these children which would allow them to have an independent lifestyle. I want to bring out the special gift that each child has within himself or herself.
Although there are many supportive arguments for my job, Roszak would critique negatively on my attitude. Roszak says that people [fake] their lives away. Since I would be working with children, I would need to have a certain persona around them. If I have a bad attitude, it would reflect negatively on how I teach. I would not be teaching these children to the best of my ability, and this would not be fair to the children.
Durning would question the way I live my life. I would be involved with my job because hopefully I will receive fulfillment out of it and also to help support my family. Durning would not approve of my lifestyle because he would say that I spend my money too frivolously. I hope to be a member of the high middle class, which means that my family and I will enjoy nice things. I realize that this is a selfish way of thinking. I have never known what it is like to live without something, and it would be very difficult for me to change my lifestyle even though it would better the world. Durning says, People living in the nineties are on average four-and-a-half times richer than their great-grandparents were at the turn of the century, but they are not four-and-a-half times happier. In this case Durning makes a point against my type of lifestyle because even though my family and I will have nice things, these possessions will not be able to make my family happy. I hope that I can raise my family with the good morals that my family has taught me. If I teach my family good values, then we will be happy, and we will also be able to enjoy our possessions.
Durning asks the question: How much is enough? This is a very difficult question to answer because as Americans we are taught to never settle for less. We always want more than we have that is why Americans have such strong work ethics. We work hard in order to gain more money in order to buy more things.
Roszak and Durning would notice both positive and negative environmental ramifications on my way of life. In my pursuit to gain more money I will cause unnecessary wastefulness. My type of car might cause more fuel to be burned; therefore, causing more pollution. I also have a desire to travel and take vacations, which will also cause unnecessary pollution. However, I will also try to benefit the environment through recycling and becoming involved in carpools. My attempts to better the environment would not be thought too highly of by both Roszak and Durning, but Roszak says, Work that is not good and useful is work that wastes the lives of people and the resources of the Earth. My work can be thought of as both good and useful, so this might yield forgiveness in my wastefulness.
I believe that many of Roszak s critiques are justified with my occupation because it is actually my ideal job, but his critiques are not completely justified in other people s careers. Roszak does not believe that most people can be happy in a job, but I disagree. I think that a person s job, even if the job is not a person s true vocation, will bring out a person s gifts. I think that each person can find certain qualities of a job that drew that he or she likes. When a person looks to create a profession, he or she must be conscious of the lifestyle that it will make for him or her. It is impossible to find a perfect job. There are both positive and negative qualities in any profession, and mostly a person will have to sacrifice some of the good qualities for the bad and some of the bad qualities for the good. Most of Durning s critiques are also justified because I have been proven to be a wasteful person, but I hope by becoming more environmentally aware I will be able to change my ways of wastefulness.
Through Roszak s Take This Job and Stuff It, I have learned to appreciate my job as an O.T. because I am fortunate to have found a job that brings out my gift and that allows me to be happy. I hope that by being an occupational therapist I will be able to better the lives of the children I work with. Through Durning s The Conundrum of Consumption, I have learned to become more environmentally aware of the situations confronting the world. My awareness of lifestyles of people of other nations will hopefully encourage me to act differently when it comes to how much I consume and waste.