Saturday, May 22, 2010

Occupied by a cold, our protaganist finds ways to spend his time.

Well, my cold from yesterday has not abated, rather, it gathered force overnight and broke over me like an ocean wave this morning. I decided to take the day easy and rest...which will probably be what I do for the next two days as well.

I feel like mentioning a little musing of mine, on what we call the means whereby we earn a living. This is totally unoriginal, as it comes from the essay I had for my English 1A final 3 years ago (at least I think it was the final, it might have been a midterm). Basically, it talked about the rather dark shading of most terms we use to describe what we do. Take the word "job", for instance. The word job originally referred to an illegal activity, a usage that still survives in the phrase "a bank job". In fact, many of its uses as a verb are rather dark:  "to get rid of or dispose of"; "to swindle or trick "; and "to carry on (public or official business) for improper private gain". Well, how about the word "occupation"? Wait, isn't that what a foreign army does? Do you really want to imply that your work "occupies" your life like an invading army (rather like the cold I have now)? (and yes, occupation does come from the Latin occupare, which essentially means military occupation.) Finally, many people at my age in life are interested in getting their career going. Yet "career" means "to move or charge at full speed", not the most controllable or safe operation (career is quite similar to careen, which means to veer, tip, or sway, again implying nonstellar balance or control).

Contrasted to those rather negative portrayals of how we make our livings, are two positive ones: "vocation" and "profession". Vocation comes from the Latin vocare, which means "to call". Although it is typically used of someone going into some form of ministry, it can mean anyone who's found their calling in life.
Similarly, the act of profession means "to make an avowal, or declaration". Putting them together, once you've found your "calling" (your vocation), you "profess" or declare it

Since I really like what I'm doing with Dr. Takamiya so far, I will take a friend's advice and profess that I now have a vocation. Whether or not it is my ultimate vocation remains to be seen, but it will certainly do for now (and probably anything I do in cosmology will involve at least some computer programming, so it's not like I'm going to stop doing it in the future).

Hope that gave you something to muse over. A hui hou!

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