Take a Nosy Person to Work Day

I’ve been trying to come up with items for my bucket list since my last post, and what I have discovered in that there are a ton of careers I still want to know about. I’ve watched a show on how fire trucks are built. I’ve read Studs Terkel’s book Work. I’ve done some informational interviews. I’ve done the tours at popular animation studios. I never did get to go on a Take Your Kid to Work Day because my Dad worked at a company where government clearances were needed and access was restricted. So here is what I really want: A chance to shadow people for a day in careers that are really interesting to me. And not just with the PR people who put a positive spin on everything. I want someone with the patience to take a nosy person to work. Heck, why not even make a day of it? It would be a great way to explore careers for everyone, not just kids.

Some Cool Careers

Basically, anything that scientific writer Mary Roach does is cool. From NASA simulation chambers to unveiling a severed head in a plastic surgery class to discovering “real” ectoplasm in an archival box to witnessing sex in an imaging machine, this woman has done it all. I don’t care what her next project is, I would gladly follow her around for one day.

How did they make those new Disney Cruise ships? I know they must have a ginormous blueprint, but which part gets put into the water first? How do you decide where all the staterooms and activity rooms go? How do you know the whole thing will actually float when completed?

Catastrophic failure is when structures such as buildings fall and bridges collapse. How does a forensic engineer go about recreating the catastrophic failure? What criteria do you use for analysis? How do you deal with this job when you know people were hurt or died because of the failure? How do you prevent future accidents, and get the proper authorities to buy into that prevention?

Martin Guitars are some of the best guitars around. I could take the factory tour, but I just want to know more, like what makes these guitars so special that you can identify one by listening to its timbre? If an instrument maker could make one special Martin guitar that stood out from the others, what would it look and sound like, what would that maker change to make it special? How do you repair a Martin guitar that has sustained major damage?

LAIKA animation studio has gotten a lot of attention for its Mr. Peanut and M&M commercials, but they also did an amazing animated film called Coraline. One of the things that made this film so special was the music — the sense of whimsy, of evil-under-the-surface, the duality of the Other-Mother, Other-Father, other everything. This is probably one of the best films I’ve ever seen where the music and story line matched perfectly. How did they do that? What was the collaborative process like? How did the idea for the nighttime garden come about? How did they finally perfect the movement of Coraline’s hair?

This summer, if you are a Harry Potter fan and will be in London, you can take a tour of the studio sets and find out how the props were made. You know, this tour may just be enough for me. How did they shoot the quidditch sequences? How did they create talking, moving pictures in the castle? How did they make Hagrid so big? How did they make the staircases move? How did they, how did they, how did they… I may just not want to leave.

I really do not have the patience to sit through a play these days, but boy, would I like to go behind the stage, climb the catwalks and get my hands on anything I can move. A theatre manager seems to do it all, from keeping the funds flowing to keeping the performances moving. In light of the temporary shutdown of one of the oldest theatres in America, the Pasadena Playhouse, how does a theatre recover and reopen? How do you know which plays to choose to bring in the crowds? What kind of maintenance does an old theatre need? What is stored in all those old dressing rooms, in the wings, behind the stage?

Farmville is one of the most popular games on Facebook, with several million Likes. How do they come up with new events, new objects, new things to keep their “farmers” occupied? Will the new co-farming app give rise to cooperative businesses on Farmville like dairy co-ops? What do the newer generations of farmers in their 20s and 30s think of this game? Is it helpful, or just a fun stress buster?

Design is one of my first loves, even though I cannot draw a straight line or sew something so that it stays together. In cruising Etsy’s website, I found Katwise. This seller is so incredibly cool, from the sweaters and sweater coats she designs to the pics of her amazingly wild house and property featured in her item backgrounds. I would LOVE to spend a day hanging out with her. Where does she get her sweaters? How does she think up the designs? How does she cut up the sweaters so that they don’t unravel? If she knit something from scratch, what would it be and what would it look like? What about an accessory line to go with her sweatered creations?

And on, and on, and on. The more careers I write down, the more it brings me to other careers about which I am curious. Onward…

2 Responses

  1. aw, thanks for including me in this whimsical list of people! anytime you feel like chopping up sweaters w me, stop on by. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: