I recently answered a call from someone conducting a poll for Gallup. After ignoring their first couple attempts at calling, I eventually picked up while walking the dogs, an activity that passes for my “free” time. Anticipating simple “who will you vote for” questioning, I was surprised to find myself engaged in a detailed questionnaire about my education, career and future. It started out pretty simply, with where I attended college and graduate school, and what I studied. Soon however, things took a turn. How did these degrees help with my current occupation? As I don’t think that a Master’s degree assisted in my having twins, I tried to explain my current situation as a stay at home mother/sometimes freelance writer to the likely college intern.
Apparently, this was not a “choose your own adventure” type of questioning, so my new friend Blake trudged on. Did the skills I learned in school contribute to my success in my current job? While the communications skills I learned certainly are useful in the writing I do, that is a very small part of what I consider to be my work. Do the hours I spent working on my thesis on the Food Network translate into the hours I now spend trying convince a tiny terrorist that apples are not poison? Unlikely. And, while I did learn both Calvin and Abel’s current favorite song (Skin a ma rink a dink a dink) in school, it was for a Kindergarten play.
So, no? Okay, then would I consider getting an additional advanced degree that better suited my current career? Not sure that exists, and, much like my child’s neglected tray, my plate is quite full.
In the end, I feel like the poll results would in no way reflect my experience, life, and my choices. That what you choose to study when you are 18 may not directly reflect what you will be doing when you are in your thirties. This is likely something my pollster will not understand until he is older, when he may realize the hours he spent trying to convince people to take a poll doesn’t seem to make a difference as he tries to get a stubborn child to eat their dinner. Of course, it may help that he will have experience with the word “no”.