Author Topic: To be or not to be? Is that the question?  (Read 738 times)

Temporal Knight

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To be or not to be? Is that the question?
« on: September 15, 2008, 11:18:02 pm »
I was thinking (as usual)....about my future. What will become of me? What will I be? I do plan to become an archeologist one day (prompted by my love of history and the past)....but what if the wind blows me somewhere else in life? At times, like I say to many, I will state that, "I will go wherever the wind blows me. I will follow the path that the sea swashes me into. I will travel down a road unknown until I discover what I am meant to do in life."

That is the question though. What am I meant to do? What are we meant to do? What are you meant to do? Think about it really quick, but slow as well. Let it linger in your mind, and then drown upon its intoxicating liquor. Perhaps I myself will end up something like a chronologist? Perhaps a video game producer? Who knows!

*thinks some more*

Tell me. What do you wish to be? What is your career if already so? How have you done so far?

Do tell. Do tell. *chuckles*

ZeaLitY

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Re: To be or not to be? Is that the question?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2008, 12:12:18 am »
If you go where the wind blows, you may have interesting experiences, yes. But it sounds like you're building an external locus of control, where external events largely determine your actions and attitudes. Watch for this; if the wind blows you into misfortune, you will regret not having a more active stance.

I'm all about the springtime of youth, which means boldly setting a distinct path according to one's dreams and pursuing it with an unstoppable burning desire. Admittedly, some of the impetus is because our time on earth is finite, and going where the wind blows is NO guarantee I'll achieve my dreams.

If it were profitable, I would write prose and poetry. Since it is not profitable, I wish to be a businessperson in order to obtain the financial resources and mobility to achieve my dream. I'll have my Master's in Accountancy in December 2009, at which point I depart for Europe according to my grand plan. Some may accuse me of selling my soul to the devil; the jury is still out on that. But business is not particularly difficult, nor will it annoy me such that the unpleasantness of my journey outweighs the importance of the journey's end. And I may switch in the future. I will never engage myself so deeply in one path that I do not examine whether it is right time to time or ignore alternatives.

Daniel Krispin

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Re: To be or not to be? Is that the question?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2008, 02:54:24 am »
I've had several concepts of who I was to be. For a long time I considered it to be an Engineer, to the extent that I took five years of school to receive a degree in the field. However, after that ended, with some advice from my father, I found my true love to be in antiquity, and as such have set my heart and goals on being a Classicist. As such, I am just now beginning my Graduate work in the field (in particular ancient Languages/Literature, with a specialty in Aeschylean tragedy... I'll be one of the few in the world who has a focus on the Seven Against Thebes), and hope to continue to do so until the day that I can teach as a professor of Classics (which, I must add, most everyone that has met me can see me being quite naturally.)

As opposed to what you say, Knight, I have never thought of myself as someone blowing freely in the wind as to my future. Even though it has changed, it has always remained certain, and they were not things that came about unexpectedly but out of my choice and careful consideration. I cannot recall a time when I felt that my future was some airy unknown. I might not know where I'll end up in a few years (where I'll take my PhD, where I will teach, and so on), but those are the specifics. The generality of who I will be (provided I've not died... as a would-be Stoic I simply must take that possibility into account so that, if it were to happen, I shan't lament it as unforeseen!) is certain to a large extent.

I must admit, however, that many people remind me of how much money I could make as an Engineer. And this is far more poignant where I live, as I live in Alberta, right in the middle of the affulent oil sands, and at the moment the need for engineers is extremely high. Even the tradesman make a great deal of money, and if engineers are well payed typically, here and now it is far exceeding what is normal. So I'm always looked at rather strangely that I choose to forego that wealth (as for a bachelour of my years and state to work for 100 grand a year would indeed be wealth) and choose rather to indenture myself for the sake of school. But when one has a purpose and calling, it matters little what the monetary benefit is... no, the thing itself is the reward. That, ZeaLitY, is the Springtime you speak of so highly.

That said, Knight, I would wish to veer you from Archaeology to Literature... but make not mistake, I have a high regard for the archaeological community as well. The variant facets of ancient studies are intrinsically connected, and it is one of the grave errors of the past to treat each in such isolation as was done.

If I may ask, however, what is your ideal focus in archaeology? What era and region?

Radical_Dreamer

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Re: To be or not to be? Is that the question?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2008, 06:12:16 pm »
No one is meant to do anything. Rejoice; for we are free.

ZeaLitY

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Re: To be or not to be? Is that the question?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2008, 06:14:34 pm »
No one is meant to do anything. Rejoice; for we are free.

You should probably start your own set of commandments. I've been trying to do mine, but I worry they may go into the 100s.

Temporal Knight

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Re: To be or not to be? Is that the question?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2008, 08:37:04 pm »
If I may ask, however, what is your ideal focus in archaeology? What era and region?

All of them, my god sir! All of them! I wish to travel and adventure, and learn of the past at the same time! Why not do both? *laughs heartily and branishes a sword into the sky*

And yes...yes. I've been told many times that I should take the path of Literature. Perhaps I will write books on these eras and regions of the past? A dual career! My what a interesting proposal! Interesting...very interesting.

If you go where the wind blows, you may have interesting experiences, yes. But it sounds like you're building an external locus of control, where external events largely determine your actions and attitudes. Watch for this; if the wind blows you into misfortune, you will regret not having a more active stance.

Oh my, the wind has blown me in many directions already. I've been through an event that shattered my world...I'd rather not speak of it though I do not mind telling those willing to listen to the tale of woe and star crossed lovers I have.....but I am willing to dodge these boulders with a brave grimace upon my face! As Magus once said, if I am to die, I must simply laugh! *chuckles heartily*

Of course, there is so much I want to do....so much....so little Time. *chuckles*



Daniel Krispin

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Re: To be or not to be? Is that the question?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2008, 11:57:27 pm »
If I may ask, however, what is your ideal focus in archaeology? What era and region?

All of them, my god sir! All of them! I wish to travel and adventure, and learn of the past at the same time! Why not do both? *laughs heartily and branishes a sword into the sky*

And yes...yes. I've been told many times that I should take the path of Literature. Perhaps I will write books on these eras and regions of the past? A dual career! My what a interesting proposal! Interesting...very interesting.

Well, as it is, I meant the study of literature, a biased comment as that is my field. There just aren't very many philology/literature students about for antiquity. For example, this semester at my university there were 7 new graduate students in Classics, and only two of them were literature/philology (including me.) I will point out that thought it is always laudable to know as much as you can about all fields, it is impossible to professionally study them all, and at some point you will need choose some area of specialization (even if your love is given to many things.) I have elected to do Aeschylean tragedy, but that does not mean I do not have an equal love for Homer and Shakespeare. Indeed, though, you only have so much time, and you cannot be master of everying. So again I ask, where will you focus? Will you be Middle Ages? Classical Greece? Pre-Republican Rome? Egyptian? Chinese? Mesoamerican?

I would like to add, too, that by literature I mean its study, not the writing (and, moreover, writing books upon the past is typically not literature, as literature is more constrained to fiction, rather than technical works.) However, as a scholar, you would be required to write books on the past anyway... it is, in fact, not a dual career, but something almost required in the matter. I wager I myself will write some works here or there on my fields in the years to come.

However, if you mean literature as in fiction, in that I could understand you. I do not know if being a writer or novelist can be considered a dual career, rather that a hobby (as to be a scholar and writer of fiction in full measure to both would be taxing or impossible)... even Tolkien was not a novelist by career, but a philologist. His writing, grand as it was, was hobby. It is difficult or impossible to carry on two careers in the modern world. To be a DaVinci, as it were, would be taxing in this era of specialists. I admit I myself should not disparage that, as I seemingly am attempting the selfsame thing (that is, trying my hand at a myriad of things), but even so... I do not think dual careers are feasable.

Thought

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Re: To be or not to be? Is that the question?
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2008, 10:45:40 am »
Thing is, if you go where the wind blows you, you'll be smashed against the rocks. Success means learning how to tack into the wind. You're still going somewhere, and the wind is still blowing you there, but you are setting the course. For the dedicated mind, there is nothing in the world that is a hinderance to your goals. Even when everything seems to be against it, you can use it to your advantage and make headway towards your dreams.

I love metaphors.

Anywho, since you asked, I wish to be someone who has enough time to do the things that I love.

Now, there are two ways of going about that goal; one is to select a profession that pays you well enough so you can buy the time you need (Zeality seems to be taking this fine path), and the other is to select a profession that gives you the time (the path I am currently working towards).

Which is to say, I am planning on being a teacher/professor of History. But that is a little simplistic to say. My goal isn't just to impart historical knowledge to future generations of college students, it is also to develop the teaching of history itself. Currently the discipline does a shameful job; many of the best parts of it are kept secret except from the initiates of the order, like some fool mystery cult. Imagine going through a science class never performing a single experiments. That is what history classes are primarily like (there are some "experiments," but they are well disguised so as to limit their usefulness).

I want to change that. I have a dream of a world in which employers specifically desire potential employees to have history degrees. I have a dream of a world where the average citizen is able to read a newspaper and easily pick out the unintentional biases of the writer to get to the truth of the matter. I have a dream that the capitals of the nations of the world will be transformed by a populace who, knowing the past and able to see clearly the faults of the present, are yearning for a better future. I have a dream today.

I also love history, because of the great “speech” material.

No one is meant to do anything. Rejoice; for we are free.

One just has to be careful that one doesn't then conclude that "anyone is meant to do nothing." After all, "nothing" is the one thing that no one was meant to do, as it were.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2008, 10:51:53 am by Thought »

Radical_Dreamer

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Re: To be or not to be? Is that the question?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2008, 03:33:02 pm »
No one is meant to do anything. Rejoice; for we are free.
One just has to be careful that one doesn't then conclude that "anyone is meant to do nothing." After all, "nothing" is the one thing that no one was meant to do, as it were.

I'm not sure how one could come to such a conclusion, as it requires a rejection of the premise. If one feels that they are meant to do nothing, that is, reject all open courses of action, then that's still a "meant to", which the statement rejects outright. It's a backwards interpretation, and I shall state explicitly as clarification that it is incorrect.

Thought

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Re: To be or not to be? Is that the question?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2008, 05:26:24 pm »
I am sorry, I wasn't clear. What I meant is that, even though people aren't limited to what they are "meant" to do, one shouldn't then fall into nihilism. If one is not "meant" to do anything, then anything one does is exactly what one is "not meant" to do.

To provide an example, you are not meant to follow in your father's footsteps and take up his profession. Yay, freedom. Yet you are also not meant to find love, find happiness, be successful, be well liked, have any friends, etc. A bit less of a pleasing thought. People do like to think that they are supposed to be happy, to be loved, to have friends, etc.

The danger I was trying to point out was in stopping there. One must continue on from the realization that fate doesn't exist to the realization that, as it doesn't exist, we are capable of achieving all good things ourselves. If we remain passive and remove fate from the equation, then that is a sad state of affairs. In removing fate from the equation, we must become active ourselves. It is a two step process.

Lord J Esq

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Re: To be or not to be? Is that the question?
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2008, 10:58:35 pm »
Quote from: Temporal Knight
That is the question though. What am I meant to do? What are we meant to do? What are you meant to do?

To answer your question in the spirit in which it was intended, we are each “meant” to explore for ourselves who we are, and what the world is, since those who fail to explore will never achieve personal fulfillment, whereas those who do explore will discover countless options and ideas, some of which can and do lead to fulfillment.

I agree with Radical_Dreamer about your use of the word “meant,” but it’s an innocent mistake and I wouldn’t want it to detract from your question.

Now, for myself, I have always liked to write, and I have always liked to inquire, and I have always liked to make stories, and I have always liked to make a difference. Putting those four things together gives me plenty of options to explore, but it also gives me plenty to stay away from. It’s a good life when I know what I want and what I don’t want, and have the wherewithal to pursue at least some of my ambitions.

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Re: To be or not to be? Is that the question?
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2008, 09:26:14 am »
Quote from: Temporal Knight

Now, for myself, I have always liked to write, and I have always liked to inquire, and I have always liked to make stories, and I have always liked to make a difference. Putting those four things together gives me plenty of options to explore, but it also gives me plenty to stay away from. It’s a good life when I know what I want and what I don’t want, and have the wherewithal to pursue at least some of my ambitions.
:lol: And it is I who shall be the light of this world!

I will turn dreams into reality.

Daniel Krispin

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Re: To be or not to be? Is that the question?
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2008, 01:39:49 pm »
I thought his question was solely directed toward careers paths, not dreams and goals per say.