Archive for March, 2008

Pit Stop

Click for a live image of The Pit.

Girl: Is that song from the 80’s?
Boy: Yeah I think so, like the band with the seagulls.
Girl: Seagulls? Like a song about birds?
Boy: No, like the band.
Girl: A band that has seagulls?
Boy: No, the band is called Flock of Seagulls.
Boy 2: Dude, that’s the 70’s.

Girl 1: So my English professor is really hot.
Girl 2: Like how hot?
Girl 1: Harry Potter hot.
Girl 2: Oh, like wizard hot.

Girl 1: How do you think y’all came into being?
Girl 2: I’m not sure, maybe God had something to do with it.
Girl 1: No I meant the phrase y’all, like did some farmer pick it up one day?
Girl 2: I don’t know but the farmer’s market has cool stuff.
Girl 1: Yeah like granola.

By Karen Kleimann

Pit Stop

Click for a live image of The Pit.

Girl 1: I’m making brownies tomorrow.
Girl 2: Hash brownies!?
Girl 1: No…
Girl 2: Oh, I just assumed.

Girl 1: What are you doing this afternoon?
Girl 2: Not much. Varun is picking me up later and driving me to Southpoint.
Girl 1: ‘Cause he’s your bitch?
Girl 2: Or it could be love, you dumbass.

Girl 1: Can I tell you a secret?
Girl 2: Sure.
Girl 1: I like to eat baby food

Girl 1: I was watching COPS the other day, and I realized people on that show are RIDICULOUS.
Girl 2: Yeah. Fighting cops in tube tops and barely any clothing.
Girl 1: Like, evolve, please.

A couple of weeks ago, thanks to the University Career Services Strong Interest Inventory, a friend of mine discovered that her true calling lies in floristry. After an hour devoted to the online survey, her career path was laid out before her.

When I first heard about the survey, I too was intrigued. Who wouldn’t want some insight into what to do with the rest of their lives? I lost faith, though, when my roommate, interested in PR, also found ‘florist’ near the top of her career list. An hour with a palm reader could have yielded similar results for a girl who would go stir crazy working among carnations day after day. Maybe the consumer demand for flower arrangements is growing or maybe it’s just a coincidence, but I decided to take my career choices into my own hands.

Which leads me to the inspiration for this post. It’s almost time to register for classes again. While on campus showers and warm wind barely hint of coming spring, we must dust off the faithful undergraduate bulletin and think about our futures. Registering for classes leads us to consider the “foundations” and “approaches” to a solid undergraduate education, to reflect on possible majors, and to imagine our futures beyond college. What major would lead to an occupation, a paycheck and preferably something we would enjoy? It’s enough to make any undergraduate shudder and yearn for the days when the day’s biggest dilemma was what to pack in a brown lunch sack.

Facing reality, and the fact that our working age lives are on the near horizon, we try to narrow down our interests by tossing ideas around in our heads and with family members, professors, and friends. We test drive our options in psychology classes or internships at the UNC hospitals. We daydream in class as Professor Byrns warns weekly that failing to pass Econ will leave us asking for spare change on Franklin Street. We deliberate on whether nine to five in a cubicle would really be so bad, and we dream about the ideal job where we would be paid to do exactly what we love.

But maybe I’m on the right track and maybe we all are. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way when I’m filling out every academic worksheet that catches my fancy and I meet someone who has known since grade school what they want to do with their lives. It makes me want to escape formalized education that forces me to chart every step of my life, when I hesitate on the choice of what to eat for lunch. It’s enough to make me want to quit school and embark into the wild, or jump on Ken Kesey’s hippie bus and ride across the universe.

Unfortunately we can’t run away in the movies. Fortunately, it’s comforting to know that thousands of other UNC-CH students are drifting in the same boat without a compass. We’ve all made it to UNC and, undecided or not, that’s the first huge step.

On April 5th when registration opens, take the advice that I am trying to accept myself: fret less over how each class will directly inform your concrete goals for the future and allow some space for spontaneity to seep in. Who knows? Floristry may be the forte you never expected. Run with it.

By Hannah Taylor

Retail Therapy

Like many college students I have to earn my keep by working a part-time job. I travel 10 minutes to Streets at Southpoint Mall from my dorm on South campus four school days a week plus weekends.

I will fight with other people for a parking spot near the mall entrance by the Barnes & Noble only to discover I’ve parked in the valet section.

My day rarely changes; I walk past children playing in the fountain across from Bose, and will not care when I use the handicapped door to get past dawdling couples—I only have three minutes to clock in before the snarl of my boss reminds me that I am once again in break violation.

As soon as the beep of the time decoding machine ripples through the atmosphere, manager number two slinks toward me, and in an insincere, condescending voice will give me my one minute about how to make them more money through my devilish charm and impressive skills at getting reward cards. I will grunt ‘ahuhs and right’ a few times before she catches on that I either don’t care or don’t like her, which is both.

I will sneak past people hoping no one will call upon me for assistance. I will stare straight ahead, forcing myself to believe it will all be over in six hours and walk toward my sanctuary — the fitting room, where I can fold clothes, hum to myself out of tune and occasionally open doors for disinterested customers for whom some will glare, and throw unwanted clothes in my direction. I will demand they have a great day with a sweet smile, and remind myself that paychecks come that day.

Time will pass slowly, co-workers will walk in late and others will leave early never to return to Dante’s third circle.

I will get a break 30 minutes before I leave and in a haze will walk to the E-bar at Nordstrom for my usual iced chai latte with skim milk. My feet will crack with reluctance as I enter through the side door of our store. One of my managers will playfully try to trip me and welcome me back. Seal and Madonna will wail from speakers and syncronizers from one hit wonders unleash ‘80s dance moves from customers and associates alike. One of my co-workers will play air guitar, inviting me to join and for the first time that day I will smile.

By Karen Kleimann