Today I had a short conversation with a geology professor. We hadn’t talked in a while and began to discuss the weather (classic) before shifting to deeper topics such as post college choices he made and I would be making. He explained that when he was a young adult, after the little square cap had been tossed into the air and the celebration was over, he was quite glad to have immediately sought a job. He chose to take a deviation from the path of continuing education and broaden his horizons. This made me think. What are the benefits and drawbacks to specialization?
Look at any famous athlete, musician, scientist, or entertainer. These people have completely dedicated their lives to their trade and the world wouldn’t be what it is without them. They are respected and known for what they do. The expert is very good at one thing rather than being an amateur at many things.
Personally, I would like to live a life in which I get to engage in a broad spectrum of cultures, trades, and activities. This, to me, ads a spice to life that I think people who specialize in one thing don’t get to see. I may not be famous for what I do, but I am definitely satisfied with where I’m at. If you could be an expert in one discipline but sacrifice others would you?
I have two exams tomorrow. One at 8:00 am and one at 11:00 am. As I type this I am sitting in the basement of the Colorado State University Library. It’s quiet and people have their noses in their books (or phones).
Have I studied? Yes. Have I studied enough? No. Is this the end of the world? No. I got a bite to eat with a friend of mine for dinner. As we caught up and talked about our lives the conversation drifted from topic to topic, but it was great. We each got to share some of our opinions on life with each other.
I could have been studying during that time, but instead I took a nice little hiatus (well, two now with the blog post, but who’s counting?) from the books to spend time with a friend… And you know what? Time well spent. The chill time helped me recenter and now I can focus on studying for the rest of the night. Off to review more PowerPoints…
Here is a little snippet of a short story I started a little over a year ago.
Chapter 1: Vengeance
White. Not white as you would find on this page or the white of a cloud alone in a sea of blue, but an altogether different white. A blinding white that pierces the eye and sends shivers down the spine. This white cut like a ray of lightning through the small window of 33 year old Thomas Montrell. As his eyes slowly adjusted, he could barely make out a landscape of jagged mountains far below. Unlike rolling hills that rose and fell like the waves of a gentle ocean, this land seemed fierce and unwelcoming. The spectacle brought with it a sensation of fear and wonder that forced Thomas to sit back and close his eyes. Planes always seemed to play with his sanity. He thought of his quaint home nestled in a green meadow broken only up by the occasional maple tree. A portion of his conscience exposed the slightest feeling of regret. One split second decision and what was now near memory could become a reality again. He could go home if he desired. His eyebrows narrowed. No. he couldn’t give up after all this planning and preparation. This was it. There was no turning back now. The pain of the near past was too much. He needed vengeance. His thoughts were shattered as a hand with a glass bottle was thrust in front of his face.
“Another swig of scotch to calm the nerves?”
His excitement urged him to reach out and grab the bottle. He shouldn’t. This was a professional excursion of which he was the leader. He lifted his hand. “No, No thank you. We’re nearly there.” Thomas was right. The six seater plane shuddered as it cut through the freezing Himalayan air.
“Al right, fun’s over,” the pilot’s voice crackled over the intercom. “Let’s buckle our seatbelts and pray for a smooth landing. This runway hasn’t been used in years… Hope it’s still there.” Thomas made a lunge for the scotch.
Sure enough, ten minutes later found the bruised but still functioning plane parked at the end of a rutted runway. The cracks had increased over the past couple of years, most likely due to weathering from the snow. Thomas stiffly stepped out of the exit and stared around him. The peaks around him were high and numerous, resembling rugged claws of that now had him and his team tightly within its grip. He felt the familiar crunch of snow beneath his feet and looked down to see the edge of the runway.