A Little Perspective From Tom Church

Amazingly enough, there is a degree out there officially proclaiming students majors in the world of Pokemon. For some, this is a dream; for others, a conundrum. I like to view it optimistically, for it is a form of specialization that I see has the potential to be a moderately successful job market in the imminent future (the degree can be earned in a variety of colleges, as I’ve been informed, and for those who are very advanced in the skills, techniques, and mechanics of Pokemon video and card games, there is Smogon University, a community of Pokemon knowledge gurus).

I find it honorable to be specialized. My father’s career field offers financial success at only the highest levels, of which he has climbed very laboriously. I believe he enjoys his job, for the most part; otherwise, he’s dug himself into a pretty deep hole.

I admire these people, because instead of versatility, they chose something they believed would yield significant future benefits, something they loved and enjoyed enough to study and practice and learn to the best of their abilities.

Today, Erin and her family (and many others I know) are taking on the daunting, 5k “Warrior Dash,” an obstacle course of sorts. Her father just finished the P90x workout program, and is in top physical condition. Bodybuilding isn’t quite my cup of tea, especially career-wise, but it’s still worth respecting, especially as a hobby, when no one’s telling you to do it.

In terms of music, I know a lot of people try and go nowhere. I know that the music lesson teachers of the world all wanted to be in a record-deal band with tee shirts and mugs with their name on it. The world’s full of those, and a lot aren’t even very original. I don’t plan to make a career in music. I’ve played drums since the sixth grade and I’m still somewhat amateur. I teach myself songs, and not so much the technique. I feel more comfortable using my hands, a sign that I’m destined to play only the bongos. I try teaching myself guitar tablature, and I know how to actually read notes on it, but that doesn’t mean I’m not God-awful at it. And as for other instruments, well… I try. I have a piano keyboard which I use to try playing soft and sad piano songs, on occasion (for example, I can play “Miserable at Best” with the most success).

I think that life is full of critical periods. Mine for reading and understanding words to their extent has come and gone, and I’ve come away from it a smart and literate boy. I think I’ve also had one for learning French, musical notes, and how to paint/draw, and I failed all of them miserably.

I can’t do much except write, but I admire anyone who can do anything and be proud of it. And I do take pride in my… “versatility”… but not so much.

I take pride in writing. And Stephen King takes pride in his writing, as he should, since it took his whole life to get where he is now. And artists who run the New York art exhibitions should be proud of their work, and even entomologists should be proud of the cork boards they’ve got with every bug imaginable tacked to it with utmost precision. These people follow their calling and practice it as they understand how to.

If I had three words to give anybody as advice, but especially those who are majoring in something, they’d be “stick with it.” Because if you don’t, everything you enjoy and everything you’ve worked for is gone, and that sucks. Realize as early as I have that you need to work to create something big that you can be proud of later on in life.

-Thom
aestheism, not atheism.

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