Thursday, April 29, 2010

Don't I Wish!

I am a believer in a liberal arts education. If I was able to, I would have done an arts degree to balance out my science one. Alas, the call of work and career was a mandatory one and I continued on to the "real" world.

Luckily I had been studying art and music on the side privately for a long time so attained some balance that way.

Friends of ours' daughter just finished up their degree in History. As there isn't a huge demand for undergraduates in that field, they have been busy helping their daughter look for job opportunities. Other than some entry level business jobs, they haven't found anything too exciting.

So, the suggestion came up at dinner one night to just take a year off and head off to France to study French. Having French would be a huge bonus in a bilingual country like Canada and would open more doors.

D and I both gasped at this suggestion as we'd give pretty much anything to have an opportunity like this. Now, that would come after a spending a month in Greece as a end of school celebration first. We immediately requested adoption by this couple.

Neither of us came from families who are educated or worldly enough to even come up with suggestions like this. Nor would either of our families be able to afford to send us. Remember D and I both paid for our own educations.

So, being the ever helpful friends we are, we volunteered to chaperon such a trip and promised we'd send daily emails and photos of our adventures.

Isn't it the way sometimes that kids of parents who have travelled around the world twice end up with kids who have no interest in travel? And those of us who came from families who never travel would somehow inherit the bug out of thin air?


  1. Sorry, had some mistakes in my earlier comment...

    What a great opportunity! When my kids go off to college, I'd suggest that they major in whatever they're interested in but also have a 2nd major in something else (more practical) as a backup. I know a person who went to the school of arts and came out with art degree; ended up as a waitress even years later. Another one also received an art degree of some sort but had a 2nd major in English and ended up as a teacher.

    I didn’t love traveling as a child and for awhile just did not enjoy going to different places with my parents. As I grew older, I realize that I do in fact love to travel; I just don’t enjoy traveling the way they do. One example: my dad in particular only eats Chinese food so even when we were in France, he would seek out Chinese restaurants. I, on the other hand, enjoy trying local cuisine…

  2. Hi Sandra!

    Food is a comfort for a lot of people so I can understand why your dad would seek out what he knows. Like you, I like to try the local stuff!

    My parents are uber practical. My advice from my dad about education was pretty straight forward.

    Study whatever will make money. He didn't care if I liked it or not. That has never been part of the equation.

    As you can imagine, with my fairly strong personality, there were a lot of fights over this.

  3. My now-friend, then-former teacher felt so strongly about the need for travel if your heart desires, that he offered to subsidize up to $1k of our travels if my best friend and I would take ourselves hence to Europe and explore.

    I still wonder what the heck was wrong with me that I didn't take him up on that offer! I don't think I understood how dire the family situation would become as the years passed so took it for granted that I'd have more chances to do Europe on my terms, back then. *sigh* The foolishness of youth!

  4. Hi Revanche!

    I have not heard of travel subsidies from teachers before -- that's amazing! He must feel so strongly about the value of it and likely lives by his own code.

    I'm not sure I would have been able to take advantage of his gesture either if this were to happen to me in highschool.

    Now? I'd jump at it!

  5. He was offering money from his own pocket, he DID feel strongly about our having an opportunity and at the time his finances were in good order so he could afford it. But still, what a generous offer, no?

  6. Hi Revanche!

    Absolutely! What a generous and giving man! A very rare person indeed.

    I've never really wanted children but I've always wanted a godchild because I would love to expose them to things and places.

    I'm glad the 2 of you have stayed in touch. Good friends aren't easy to come by.