Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 4: It's Off To Work We Go

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Money - can't live with it, can't live without it. I've come to appreciate how important it can be after surviving on a decent - but not enough - scholarship allowance for nearly a year now in a country where the currency is at least three times the value of ours. And it wouldn't be presumptuous to think that many of us are aware of money at least when it comes to the cost of education.

It would be sacrilegious to ask for an allowance from my parents, considering I'm on a scholarship now. At any rate, I should be the one paying for them at this point in life. And if students before me could get by with great academic results while working and doing so many other great things, there's no reason why I can't.

To help cover costs, I work a part-time job and also do art commissions and sell art online; I recently got a couple hundred USD for one commission, which I'm very grateful for. But most of this money I won't see for long - it goes to fund my room and board, to compensate for the ridiculous health insurance they have in the States, and to foot the cost for next semester's books.

Hence, the need for work.

Not that I'm complaining. My role as a Student Technology Assistant under the Instructional Technology Group at Brown comes with responsibilities such as creating multimedia content for use in the classroom, like websites and graphics; digitizing films for use by professors in classes; post-production video editing of footage of various events around the University; graphic design for miscellaneous events; uploading content to iTunes U; and good old IT housekeeping chores.

I've learnt a lot in the short time that I've been in this job, and I'm set to learn a lot more. I would still work even if I didn't have to, just for the experience, the relationships, and the values I cultivate through doing so.

Speaking of values, I'd still think that this generation values a strong work ethic, and I'd like to think that it was passed down from our parents' generation. We might expect more reward for less work, but a conscientious worker is still very much appreciated anywhere - well, disregarding the world of television, at least. You don't get something from nothing. I might not say no to it, but I'd still consider a reward for lazing around, for shaking my legs, dishonest - a little tainted, even.

Still, nothing beats having a cool job. I'd define it as a job which I'd admire the person having it for, even if I not necessarily wanted to have it myself. In no way am I elevating these professions above others - I just really, really, like them.

I can think of a few:

(c) John Howe

Freelance artist - more specifically, one working in game design or fiction illustration.
For example, the amazing John Howe. Illustrator and writer; creator of the iconic Gandalf cover painting and most Tolkien art for the past few decades, plus cover art for countless novels, like Robin Hobb's; board game art for Reinier Knizia's War of the Ring sets; trading card art; sculptures; you name it. His blog updates reveal an incredibly inquisitive mind, the driving force behind his vast compendium of knowledge built up over the years.

A totally unrelated photo. Thanks to the interwebs for the Professor Badass meme.

I must confess that at this point I'm a fan of academia. And what better job to have than a (tenured) position as a professor? You get to teach about things you're passionate about, keep researching those topics, have fun discussions with peers and students, and attend weekly cookie-fueled departmental meetings. Well, not *quite*, but you get the idea. And speaking of cookies...

Oooh. Deep. (c)

Fortune cookie writer
Where else can you write outlandish statements that hundreds of thousands of people will read and laugh over with their friends, but secretly think about for the rest of the day?

Sign me up for that.

Charis Loke is a rising sophomore at Brown, concentrating in Biochemistry. Her interests include art and illustration, Tolkien, and procrastination.

1 comment:

  1. Fortune cookie writer? Lol. That's cool man. You should write, "You're love life is about to collapse, if it does, call me at 012345678"
    Okay, stupid joke. =_='