free to move about the cabin


We’re about to fly to NYC this morning at 5:30am, so wave as we go over. Today’s CODE WORD should be provided by… I dunno, how about our conservative friend Matt? Take it away!

0 thoughts on “free to move about the cabin

  1. Matt

    I feel like I’ve been called on by the teacher without having my homework done.
    Today’s CODE WORD: If you had it to do all over again, what profession would you pursue?

  2. Anne

    Somehow I don’t think you’ll be flying over Rhode Island, Ian, but I’ll wave in your direction anyway! :-)
    Now, Matt’s question: I honestly love what I’ve done in my profession (writing and editing). I suppose I wish I had been more ambitious when young and done some traveling and serious reporting as a freelance correspondent. But I’m both a homebody and a dilletante at heart, and as a fulltime employee doing magazine journalism and PR work, I’ve gotten to do lots of other reasonably cool stuff… like working with Umberto Eco (*before* the Internet! — transAtlantic telephone and Express Mail were our friends) to edit his speech for publication, getting an adulatory phone call from Jackie Kennedy after I’d written about John Jr., spending an amazing week in Sicily covering an archaeological dig, covering Pixar and ILM just before they became big, hanging backstage with Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden (late 70s) before a speech she was giving, etc. It’s been pretty much all good for the last 33 years. And I’m not done yet.

  3. Beth

    When I was a kid, I fell in love with James Herriott’s books and decided that, like him, I wanted to be a vet and a writer. Not too far into school years, I noticed that I was doing far better in English class than in math or science, and everybody said that to be a vet I’d need to excel at math and science, so I dropped the idea of being a vet. But if I really did have it to do over again, and if I were brave enough to play against my natural strengths rather than to them, I’d go to vet school.
    Alternately, I like jewelry an awful lot, and I think it might be fun to be a designer of it. And interior design might be cool too.
    Good question, Matt! Don’t forget to answer it yourself.

  4. scruggs

    I’m curious to know also what one’s current/chosen profession is as well for comparison’s sake.
    I’m a senior analyst in the financial world with degrees in math, a subject I’ve always gravitated towards. But in an alternate world I would love to have stayed on for a PhD and become a college professor. What a cool environment for your daily activities, the campus experience. Yes, there is the pressure to do research, but I love the dynamic of the classroom and the flexibility I think the job can provide. I taught some freshman classes at UNC and UNC-Charlotte and it was always a good time. In grad school I took enough Educ. classes in case I later wanted to at least teach H.S. or community college. However, I sold out to The Man instead…pros and cons! Now, with another rugrat on the way, I’m finding myself drawn back to possibly teaching yet again, so you never know.

  5. Lara

    I started out wanting to be a marine biologist and if I could do it over again, I would probably try that. Although now I live in Chicago. And I’m terrified of sharks. But something involving animal behavior.

  6. Zel M.

    After reading Douglas Brinkley’s “The Great Deluge” about Katrina (which should be required reading for every American with an IQ over 90), I wish I would have worked in emergency management. I always thought my answer to Matt’s question was that I wanted to be a meteorologist, but the physics involved blew me away (no pun intended). So maybe I would like to have worked in the aftermath of such incidents instead.

  7. tregen

    SlobIan…is that you Bad Bob? Sure sounds like it.
    Currently VP of small company and prior litigator. I spent over five years “on the line” in some great kitchens. I would be so happy to be back.

  8. Claudia

    I never thought I’d say this, but the exact same one I chose. Contrary to all reason and logic, it just fits. At least for this phase of my life. But I’m open-minded about the future.

  9. Bud

    A musician…
    or an actor.
    Maybe a musician AND and actor…
    Hell, it’s still not too late!
    [stands up, makes incredible speech, storms out of office leaving door open]
    (no, not really….)

  10. Joanna

    I am a stay at home mom with a law license. I wouldn’t trade this time with my kids for anything, but once kindergarten rolls around for the youngest (she’s only 10mos.)I will again face the question of what to do for a living.
    I consider my decision to go to law school one of my most misguided. Based on factors such as . . . big degree in a short 3 years . . . don’t have to leave Chapel Hill . . . will get family off my back for a long 3 years . . . want a career saving abused children. And you can’t really “do so much with a law degree” if you have no attention to detail, no interest in the corporate world.
    I really wish I had pursued a graduate degree in my undergrad major, psychology. Both friends and strangers confide in me and I enjoy providing my unprofessional counsel.

  11. Tanya

    Ah fun! Current profession: I write speeches and communications plans (and occasionally act as spokesperson) at an electric utility. It’s actually a pretty good gig.
    Dream job: I’d love to narrate Discovery Channel specials and/or be a voice for a cartoon character.
    I get my jollies in the meantime as an announcer at a classical music station on the weekends. (check us out! on the ‘net or 89.7FM locally)

  12. Beth

    To answer Scruggs’s half of the question, I’m a freelance editor and writer, like Anne, except with the emphasis on editing (mostly copyediting). I have a BA in English and an MFA in writing, so you can see how far away from math and science I went. I like where I wound up, too. But it’s fun to think about the parallel universe.

  13. emma

    Joanna – I am getting ready to become a SAHM with a law license. I’ve been practicing for nine years and am ready to spend more time with the kids. Going to law school and practicing, though, was one of the best things that I ever did. Before then, I had not found my niche in school. And to answer Matt’s question, if I had to do it over all again, I’d do the same thing.

  14. Joanna

    emma, how fortunate to have both a great career and the opportunity to take time off with your family. I had just the opposite experience to that you described. I was always quite in my element in academia until I hit law school. Just not for me.
    OK, I know this is off topic, but there are enough NC people on this blog that I must comment on the new Welcome to Chatham County sign.
    Welcome to Chatham County
    Developers’ Paradise
    Isn’t that hilarious and horrible?

  15. GFWD

    If I could do it all over again, I would like to be a musician in a band. That rocked.
    If I weren’t so squeamish, I would have enjoyed being a paramedic or a rescuer of some sort.
    Though it was not Katrina, I did Catastrophic Duty work as an adjuster in New Orleans following a flood and in Dallas following a hail storm. It’s a nice rush to come in and try to provide relief, especially when you see the immediate results from your labor.
    I settled for being an attorney. Parts of the job come to me quite easily. Other parts kick my ass every day of the week . . . and twice on Sundays and require me to tap into skills I don’t like using. Becomes sometimes you have to defend like a bulldog . . . who is hungry and slightly irritable.
    My goal now is to be a daddy.
    Who rocks, rescues, tends to emergencies, is always there with relief and helps to defend when called to duty.
    I’ve enjoyed my life’s journey thus far. We might all change a thing here or there, but I appreciate nearly all of the lessons I’ve learned along the way. And I don’t regret the whole. Except some of those tequila shots.

  16. Neva

    I love being a physician. I would change a lot about the system for sure, but I would still choose the profession. I can’t really imagine doing anything else. I wouldn’t mind being paid to watch movies, listen to music and read good books (but only if I could do it when I felt like it, of course). I guess that would be called retirement!

  17. kate from the DTH front desk

    I can’t very well go back and do it all again since I have yet to do it a first time. And I have absolutely no idea what to go for this time. My major is Media Studies and Production, and while I love the classes I’ve taken, I don’t really see myself doing this kind of thing for a living.

  18. salem's little sister

    I too love what I do (Horse back riding instructor/trainer and riding instructor for people with disabilities) and would do the same thing all over again. I do wish I had known about Recreation Therapy as a college major. That would be a nice addition to my Therapeutic Riding certification.

  19. Greg T.

    I’d be a photographer. It was my dream while at Carolina, but I decided to be more practical and go into the business world. 10 year later and I’m a software developer and project manager. I do enjoy aspects of my current work, but the only aspect of it that is better than a photography career is the paycheck. I hope to take it on as a second career if finances and time management ever allow.

  20. Neva

    SLS – don’t know if you’ll see this, but if you know of places in Chapel Hill area that offer similar therapeutic riding could you recommend one? I’ve been thinking of this for my youngest daughter who may be ready for this shortly. Thanks!

  21. salem's little sister

    Neva- I do know that there are several programs in the triangle area. If you go to the NARHA website at – you can do an area search. It is an amazing “therapy” that seems nothing like therapy. I have seen incredible changes in people with numerous different disabilities. Ian can give you my email address if you want to talk more about it. Good Luck!

  22. Joe

    I couldn’t agree with you more about the Chatham County sign, Joanna – heartbreaking and funny at the same time, and on so many levels.


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