Career speaker

Today I spoke to two classes of 9th graders at the school in town about careers. I guess the idea was I would tell them how to become a 1) nurseryman and 2) a writer.

I regard neither as a career. In fact, the word career makes me cringe. I don't ever want to have a career unless it involves baseball, and unless I develop a knuckleball in a hurry, that isn't on the agenda.

So, I preached to them about not going to college until they are ready to get good grades, about not going into debt unless they know just how they are going to pay it off soon, about doing something with their lives so that they can look back on their life and say they made the world a little better, and so on.

Wow, it is tough sledding speaking to high school students. They have much else on their mind. They aren't about to violate the rules of cool by asking questions. They are so much different than a bunch of gardeners who start asking questions once you get five minutes into your speech, questions which shape the presentation and enliven the proceedings.

By the second hour of preaching at the students, I felt like I had spent the afternoon trying to blow up a balloon with a big hole in it.