Sometimes I consider how my life would be different if I had chosen another major or interest in life to pursue. I am very happy with my choice, but occasionally my mind drifts toward other occupations that could be interesting for short periods of time. Below, I list some jobs I’d try out (ignoring consequences to career or life) if I had to choose something besides science.
1. TV show recapper/critic: Duh. I watch television and am obsessed with reading Television Without Pity. Love it. I only wish I could be half as snarky and witty as these guys. They’re hilarious.
2. Wildlife/travel/freelance photographer: To be paid to travel, see amazing things and take pictures of them? Awesome. Yes, I realize it’s generic, but that doesn’t diminish its coolness.
3. Chef: It’s like science but doesn’t require measuring liquids to the microliter or solids to the gram. Mostly. Plus, you can eat your experiments.
4a. Radio host: If you get to know me well, you know I’m loud, fairly opinionated, and love to wage discussions on topics about which I’m not an expert. Plus, I love an audience.
4b. Baseball radio announcer: Does this fall under radio host? Shove it. Listening to baseball games on the radio is one of my favorite pastimes. I would need a ton of practice (like learning what some of those stats mean…), but I’d love to give it a shot.
5. Drummer: It’s so obvious I feel lame for putting it down. However, hands down, this would be the occupation I’d choose if I had unlimited money. Beating the shit out of something while creating a rhythm to groove to? You have to try it sometime. Well, I can’t guarantee you’ll have my sense of rhythm or taste for good beats. Sorry.
6. Brewmaster: I’m a beer snob. Seriously. I don’t like drinking anything that reminds me of bad keg parties from freshman year. It makes me feel nauseated. I’ll pay for the good stuff. I would start some home-brewing, but working with tissue culture cells prevents me from doing so. (easy contamination of cultures with yeast)
7. Butcher: As I loved performing dissections in high school and college, I’d enjoy carving some meat. Plus, am I the only one who thinks raw meat looks awesome?
8. Professional New York Times reader: Do you know how many good articles are buried in this newspaper? God, every single day I’m grateful this newspaper exists. Is this your homepage? Why not? From the Op-Ed section to the restaurant reviews (hi Frank Bruni!) and Mark Bittman’s recipes to Gina Kolata’s succinct and accurate science reporting and the weekly Cases article to the reliable, on point reporting and analysis of current events, it’s sublime. I could spend hours a day reading this paper and still not get through everything. Thus, it should be my job.
9. Christopher Guest’s or Amy Sedaris’ personal assistant: Alright, maybe you could just say “personal assistant of any favorite comedian of MK.” (Kathy Griffin? Rosie O’Donnell? the list could go on and on…) But those two would be at the top of the list. I know it would involve a lot of grunt work and perhaps some tasks beneath me, but it could include hanging out with them which would be awesome. We’re talking about the deadpan on steroids. George Mitchell, eat your heart out.
10. Long-range truck driver: Driving long distances soothes me. I love that it gives you time to think alone or that you can groove/sing along to your favorite songs. Unfortunately, I’m too small for this occupation.
Yeah, some of these are cliche, but wouldn’t they be fun? Why do I choose some of these more mundane-seeming jobs? Is it an attraction to apparent simplicity? What would be your occupations of choice? And yes, I reserve the right to change these at any time and possibly copy the ones you suggest.