Monday, July 27, 2009

The Working Man's Roundtable

Work. As inevitable as death and reality television. In order to survive and prosper, we must first put forth the effort deemed necessary by society. Some of us find positions at which we excel. Others buffet from job to job, finding varying degrees of satisfaction. Here at These Gentlemen, the question has been posed: What is your dream job? What is the station in life you feel is most fulfilling, most worthy of being chased after, that which continually drives you onward in dauntless pursuit? However, the Roundtable is not a place for idle musings. This is a forum of action and decisiveness. Thus in addition to explaining what their ideal position is, the Gentlemen will also go about detailing what it is they have done to make that dream a reality.

I would have put up this response about work earlier, but I spent the last week on vacation. Something in me said the atmosphere was not quite appropriate. As I have returned to my regular labors, so do does the Roundtable once again emerge from the shadowed rooms in which we gather and transcribe these thoughts. From that dark place, a ray of light emerges, one which I hope you enjoy. Without further ado, the Roundtable.

Max Nova

My dream job, unsurprisingly, would be professional music appreciator. John Peel is one of the few people to really have this job, although some days it seems like Chuck Klosterman and Bob Boilen get pretty close.

To attain this job I've already listened to a lot of music, a looooot of music.

John Ozkirbas

My goal is to become a State's Attorney for Baltimore City. Specifically, I want to handle sexual assault cases and help the court apply newer types of evidence and methods in finding evidence for these cases. It's a lot to handle, but I want to take it on.

As far as what I've done to achieve that goal? I graduated from UMD, majoring in Psychology and Criminal Justice, minoring in English, and participated in a sexual assault prevention education group called "SAFER" for two years. In addition to doing the traditional SAFER activities, I paid special attention to the legal application of rape and decided to make it my personal mission to increase accountability for people who commit this atrocious, tortuous crime. I decided that the best way I could do so was to step into the grind myself. So, I went to Law School.

So far, I've been doing fine. I've gotten through my first year and I'll be returning at full time, so, major milestone passed. Currently, I've been clerking for a small firm called "The Law Offices of David Ellin" at 20 South Charles Street, Baltimore. David Ellin used to work for the State's Attorney's office here in Baltimore and he takes me along to court whenever he has a case. He shows me the ropes a little bit and I get to see him in action, which is great. It's been an enriching experience, particularly for a first year law student. I suppose my next step is to return to school in the fall, do well, try out for moot court, and try to set up an internship in the State's Attorney's office the following summer. After that, we'll just have to see where things take me. I'll just try and steer it towards making the world a better place as much as I can.

Birmingham Graham

Dream job(s):
actor, costume designer (film), webdesigner, linguist.

I'm currently freelancing all of the first three (so if you've got a job for me...) and we'll see how I feel about that in another year. School is a maybe and a must at the same time, so I guess that's in the cards somewhere. If I wasn't an artist I would definitely be a linguist, with a focus on regional colloquialisms. I would be fluent in at least five languages. Maybe when I retire.

The thing about it is, in real life I find even 5 year plans
ridiculous, not to mention unrealistic and depressing, so at the moment I'm flying by the seat of my pants in my chosen profession, like the messy artist I can't help but be. I'd love to not be working in food service or retail for the rest of my life (or ever again, if I can help it) and after living on my own for a year my standards for "dream job" are quickly deteriorating. Now pretty much anything with health insurance would fit the bill. From where I stand, stories of "business trips," "power lunches," and "company picnics" sound so awesome and so magically unattainable, and all the while my 9-5 friends envy my freedom and choice/ability to pursue my art. I'm sure I'll agree if I ever get one. It's funny how the grass is always greener. Especially when it comes to dream jobs.

David Pratt

I would think this one is obvious for those who know me. My dream is to become the President of the United States of America. The first election year in which I will be old enough to run is 2020. As for working towards this goal, it's a difficult question. Sometimes I feel like it's all I think about, others I wonder what I've ever done to make anyone pay attention to what I'm saying. It all comes down to making people sit up and take notice. For that to happen, I know I have to be much more proactive about getting the word out there. More than anything, I want to prove that in this age, and in America, a man can rise to the top without a massive political machine and billions of dollars behind him. I want to prove that all it takes is communication, honesty, and a vision of enough strength to unite a country. In this new world of the internet, the instant message, twitter, facebook, and even, dare I say, the blog, I believe this is all possible.

A lot can happen in 11 years, and I'm confident that I'll have this on lockdown when the time comes.

Matt Lindeboom

Dream Job:

I want to be one of those writers from whose work a phrase or a paragraph is stripped and pasted on a website dedicated to inspirational quotes. For example:

On Existence: "The world is an hour glass, floating upside-down in a mercurial ocean of a tepid god's banal imagination; a fossil; a tool rusted and bent. Sigh."

On Love: "My advice is to fall in love often. This will make remarrying much easier."

On Popularity: "Make them laugh, give generously, set a solid moral example, and they'll never ask about those bodies in the basement."

So I want to be Normal Mailer. To further my plans I've begun to drink gin in the morning with my cereal.

Ali Daniels

When I was 5 years old, I decided one day that I would like to be a movie star, please. And that was that. Later I realized that I really like singing as well, so I broadened my goals to 'generic performance career' and I swing back and forth between wanting to be a singer more and wanting to act more, and between stage and film. So really, I have the most stereotypical dream job that America offers, but I'm okay with that. I just wish it didn't meant that there are simultaneously millions of other girls vying for the same thing.

What have I done to attain super-stardom? Not a whole lot, actually. I have a fancy piece of paper that says I received a degree (magna cum laude, no less. Ooooo.) in theatre, which doesn't prove much of anything to future employers. I write songs in my spare time, but I'm not entirely sure what I should do with them once they're written. In the coming year, though, I plan to audition my ass off and look into that little 'What next?' question. I'll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, if you know anyone who needs a vocalist to sing a wedding or a funeral, my fee is very reasonable and I come highly recommended.

Daniel Strauss

My dream job is really in two parts, either writing, or acting for the camera. What am I doing to attain it? Yeesh. That's the hard part. Currently, I'm writing as much as I can (I'm currently working on a screenplay about my camp experiences) and performing improv all around Chicago, most notably with my iO (formerly Improv Olympic) Harold team at the iO Theater. We'll see what happens.

And thus we conclude another Roundtable. I hope all of our readers have taken a bit of inspiration from our own musings. Perhaps this will move others towards reaching for their long-held goals and ultimately obtaining those half-forgotten desires of yesterday. Remember, you get out of life what you put into it. However I am confident that we all have it within us to achieve that which we want in life, and to strive for it is the mark of - what else? - a gentleman.

We'll be back next time with more from our Gentlemen when the Roundtable punches in next.


Alex said...

Ali- what's really weird is when I realize that there are people who DON'T want to do what we want to do... Isn't that kind of mind boggling?

B.Graham said...

I miss the pictures :(

but good responses, guys. way to reach for your (/our?) dreams.

David Pratt said...

I asked people to provide pictures for me. No one responded but Oz.

Jstone said...

fine choices everyone though i give kudos to Oz for fighting the good fight. He has moved to the top of my list for possible batman candidates.

As for David, I recommend you run for local office now. City council, house of delegates, comptroller, something you are age appropriate for. If you make a button, I will wear it. and maybe actually vote in a local election for once, that should be enough to swing the election in your favor

Matt Lindeboom said...

I thought I sent a picture?

Ozkirbas said...

I was hoping there'd be theme pictures for this one. I secretly wanted a photo from the, "I Believe in Harvey Dent" campaign.

@Jstone - In the immortal words of Matthew Perry portraying Michael Keaton: "I am Batman!"