I was so pleased to have the opportunity to talk to area 10th-graders at Mankato’s Career Expo. Three of us in the arts had a table from which we tried to lure in students to convince them to pursue artistic careers. Thank goodness Jen Potocnik thought to bring a couple of guitars–students enjoyed picking up the instruments and trying them out. Matt Marka was on hand to help out the budding musicians and answer their questions, while Jen talked up theater with other students.
Several students showed interest in arts careers and asked us a lot of questions (despite the fact we were competing with a nearby puppy). I tried to emphasize the fact that an arts education can be broadly applied to many jobs (one student mentioned that her parents would like her to pursue something “practical”).
I was struck by how many students are already writing. I guess I was writing, too, in high school, but I was already pretty focused on having a journalism career–I wasn’t doing any creative writing. These students are writing fiction, poetry, and play scripts. They have clear ideas on what they want to write and what they want to do in the future.
I just hope that students who are interested in writing, theater, art, music, etc., now in high school continue to follow their passions. Too often that gets set aside in favor of “practicalities.” I like to tell students that even if they end up majoring in business or engineering or science or something like that, they should think of pairing it with a liberal arts major or minor. I think a focus on two disparate career fields can make a graduate a very attractive job candidate.
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Carol A. Wobschall said:
Congratulations on the great media timing as in Sun. Mpls Trib Book section.
The hauntingly loving photo of the “laid to rest” monument is unforgettable. Where does she rest?
Looking forward to meeting you May 2 at the Waseca Art Center reading.
I love your creativity, Rachel!
Carol A. Wobschall
Thanks for the kind words, Carol! I also loved the photo that ran with my review, but I’m not sure where it was taken. It is beautiful.
Richard Gilbert said:
Great photos, love the dog of course, and well said, Rachael. I am blown away by the artistic kids I teach, their maturity and insight, their art, and some of the best writers are those who identify as visual artists. One was a math major.
Minnesota Prairie Roots said:
Great advice to encourage youth to follow their passions. All too many people go through life unhappy in what they are doing. I wish it was easier “to make a living” in the arts, but…
Congratulations to you upon publication of “Tales from a gravedigger’s daughter.” I’m interested in considering it for review on my Minnesota Prairie Roots blog. Check your email in-box for a message I sent several days ago.
I could tell a lot of students that day were interested in music and writing, but I worried that they still thought of the arts as a “hobby” rather than a viable career option. I told them that employers like applicants who can think creatively!
Lisa Simons said: