Friday, March 21, 2014

Career Aspirations

The subject with his science fair project about
the impact of introducing drag on paper airplanes
Charlie (11) has long planned to be a professional athlete.  As solid as this plan sounds, we have been a little concerned that a child as, ahem, bulk-challenged as he is may not be NFL wide receiver material.  We've talked to him about having a backup plan, and to keep us quiet, he has settled on mechanical engineering.

Concurrently, he has angled for sports announcing jobs at school.  We were surprised at the very tail end of his fifth grade year to discover that he'd been standing up at morning assembly and giving a Pirates report for weeks, maybe since the season started in April of that year.  We don't know how it began; his principal happened to love him and to encourage bold students.  Now in sixth grade, he has become the backup announcements guy over the PA system in the morning.  When the assigned eighth grader cannot fulfill his duties, our guy makes the morning student announcements.  Naturally.  A sixth grader in a 400-student middle school.

Emboldened by his substitute spot, he pitched giving a Pirates update at his middle school.  His principal accepted his proposal, and he's chomping at the bit for the season to start so he can take to the airwaves.

The other day, he mentioned sports announcing as a fallback in case he's not drafted by the Steelers.  In ten years, I'll probably pull strongly for mechanical engineering, but from the safe vantage point of his (and my) relative youth, I love the idea.  He's particularly well-suited to it.  He loves sports and has narrated his way through his imaginary games for as long as we can remember.  He loves people and the storylines of teams and players.  He has a "Dad, remember the second spring training game we went to in 2007 when David Ortiz came to the plate..." kind of sports memory. He also reveres the history of sports.  For fun, he has watched DVDs of the Pirates 1971 and 1979 World Series games.  Ask him what the weather was like for game 2 in Baltimore in 1979; he might know. 

So, it's important for a young man to have choices.  So far, we have A) 6'1", 160 lb. wide receiver, B) sports announcer and C) mechanical engineer.

1 comment:

Lauren Jackson said...

I'm so impressed with Charlie's initiative and self-awareness. His teachers must love him.