The Orange Slate

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Career

What Do You See?

September 28, 2010

This blog has been a little neglected lately. I'm hoping that posts will come with a little more regularity now that school has started up again in full force. (Or is that wishful thinking….?)

The other day, I was talking with a former physics major about that mysterious and elusive degree. I wondered out loud what kind of person would choose to major in physics.

"Everyone sees the world a certain way," she said. "You know someone will make a good physics major when they see the world in patterns."

Now, I'm definitely not a physics major and when I look at the ocean I don't see the patterns of light waves (like my mom, a former physics major, apparently does). But the conversation did make me wonder how I do see the world. I spent the next three days staring at random objects trying to answer the question.

Then, one afternoon, it occurred to me. I see the world in stories. Maybe it's just an English major thing. When I look at a clock or a car or a grain elevator, I wonder about the stories behind it. Who made it? Why is it there?

I saw a harvester working in the fields at sunset last night and wondered about the driver. When would he quit for the evening and go home? What was his family like? What made him choose farming?

When I see students walking through the school parking lots and wonder about their degree, their goals, their relationships. When I see the outline of the buildings of downtown, I wonder about the lives that play out inside their towering steel structures.

And now I'm wondering…..how do you see the world?

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  1. This is what decided me on English instead of music. I was a music major, and, talking to another music major, heard her say that when she looks at the world, she hears music. Well, I see stories, too. And thats how it happened. 🙂

  2. Me too, actually — and I was intending to major in English before I got distracted. 😉 So I asked Marty, an Industrial Designer (an ID person basically reconstructs a product or creates a new product with only value to the user in mind, rather than the seller and their agenda for money-making), just to get a different view. When he sees a van riding especially low on the back axle, he doesnt wonder about the people driving it, what they do for a living, or what kind of family they have at home, he wonders if its a problem with the axle. In short, if hes intrigued by something, it usually has absolutely nothing to do with the people involved. And when people dont act in a professional or even intelligent manner, it doesnt interest him that they are acting like, well, HUMANS–he would just prefer they act intelligent and actually try to make sense, rather than being completely blind to themselves.

  3. BetweenBlueRocks, thats so interesting that you had a similar experience. I hadnt thought about the ways a musical person would perceive the world around them…but its consistent! Monica, thats hilarious. But, again, consistent. So interesting. Now I want to know how *everyone* sees the world….what do doctors see, I wonder?;-)

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