Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Into the Ordinary

Deseo Sculpture

The High Callling people have memed me. I am feeling oddly compliant today and will break LL Meme Tradition and simply do what I've been asked to do. (Footnote to all would-be LL memers; wait until LL has been to a six-day conference and is suffering from jetlag and post-conference blues; you will get your meme as you assigned it!)

I'm supposed to:

1. Write about the Strangest Job I Ever Had and tell what I learned from it.

2. Link to other "Lessons from Odd Jobs" posts.

3. Tag my post "Lessons from Odd Jobs".

4. Tag other bloggers, in or out of the HC network.

5. Link back to the Lessons from Odd Jobs page and and email this month’s host at “Marcus AT highcallingblogs DOT com”.

As I considered my task and my promise to be compliant, I realized right away I had issues. I've never really had an odd job. Flipping burgers didn't seem to count. Nor did cleaning rooms at a country club (though perhaps being asked to scrub the corner of one particular shower with a toothbrush and acid might count for something... um, I refused on the basis of my youthful skin and the absence of gloves.)

Teaching school wasn't really odd, though maybe the way I sometimes taught could be considered other than standard. Being made to pick stones from the garden wasn't really too weird for a country kid. Maybe it was odd that I had to clean out the deer-hanging cellar to satisfy my hunter stepfather.

Being an artist for an ad agency wasn't odd; refusing to do beer ads with the air-brushed promise of attractive women didn't get me fired (which I guess is kind of odd). Counseling drug addicts and supervising schizophrenics (oops, there was that time one got away) was also not particularly odd.

So at the end of it all, I find that I am rather ordinary. I have never been a guinea pig, nor a magician's assistant. I haven't even sold yo-yos.

What can I say, except that maybe there is hope for the ordinary person. He, or she, can also be memed and pass along a little meme love. The world has a place for the ordinary too.

(Meme love now goes to Rebecca Miller, Dave Zimmerman, Nikki, Lynet, Jim Martin, and Brandon Satrom.)

Extra-Ordinary Sculpture for the J-Lo "Deseo" opening at Macy's, by designer Andy Chui. I met Andy on a plane from San Jose to Chicago, and we talked for the whole 4 hours and 20 minutes. We were shocked when they announced it was time to land.


Some Newbies...

The lively, wonderful Mount Hermon blogosphere newcomer Long Island Express Girl, A. Anjeanette Brown

Sweet and humorous MH newcomer The Oho Report, Otto Haugland

Other MH new friends...

Spilt Milk, by Linda Vujnov


Thanks to Michelle Gregory for sharing these pics, including one of the two of us (of course my back is to the camera).

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Blogger Merrie Destefano said...

Congrats on being so Meme-compliant! And you did yours so quickly, too. I'm not sure when I'll get mine done. (I feel like I have an assignment . . .)

I understand your weariness after returning from MH. However, I must say it was good to hear that I'm not the only one suffering from conference blues. I was beginning to think that everyone else had just danced home on top of the clouds.

Sigh. Back to reality for me.

By the way, I think that job when you counseled drug addicts and schizophrenics definitely qualifies.

Blessings on your homebound journey,
Merrie Destefano

4:38 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh I think you've had your share of odd--or at least interesting--jobs. Yes, memes are great when you are jet and brain-lagged, and they invite us to share things that we wouldn't otherwise share.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Anne Mateer said...

Your jobs make my ordinary sound ultraordinary! I've worked in a Hallmark store, a library and a bookstore. Oh, and answered phones in an insurance agent's office.

No wonder I didn't have any material for writing until after I had kids and my experience broadened a bit with my job as Mom.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Scott R. Davis said...

I had the odd job of filling up a bucket at Duchess, my first paying job into social security. Even worked on the 4th of July from 4 to 11pm. Plenty of onion skins on my shoes. cleaned out camera shop with chemicals under my fingers. and even cleaned out ferret cages. all the way up to being in charge of billing.

10:51 PM  
Blogger Llama Momma said...

Great jobs, LL. Really. Counseling the mentally ill ranks right up there!

You're going to Calvin this year, yes? Are you doing any of the "circles"? I'm looking forward to seeing you there. :-)

8:18 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Merrie... this is not my ordinary response to memes. Usually I turn them upside and sideways. I guess I'm just tired! :) And thank you for that note about how you feel post-conference. It is good to know I am sort of normal.

Jennifer... good point about memes. It's true that we may share new things through them, which is partly why I go ahead and do them.

One More... kids'll do it. Now you're a writer for life!

Scott... very interesting. Especially the onion skins. What do you do now?

Llama... so hopefully you'll get this meme soon too, so I can hear some of your stories. As for Calvin, I was thinking of going to the blogging circle but it looks very "beginner". So now I'm not sure. How about you? Anything you're going to try?

10:37 AM  
Blogger Marcus Goodyear said...

Wait a minute. You said you followed the rules, but you wrote about ordinary jobs! As if you could learn about God through ordinary work. Pshaw.

(This is sarcasm.)

I love your comment that "maybe there is hope for the ordinary person." Amen. I sure hope so.

Though I'd hardly call you ordinary.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

I just wanted to let you know I'm not ignoring the tag, L.L. I am so meme-compliant (you mean we have a choice??), but we're finishing up a tour today. Not to mention that I opened a can of creepy crawlers yesterday. Not by accident, I must admit. I love a good discussion! ;-)


3:00 PM  
Blogger Craver Vii said...

Of course you had odd jobs, LL...
Your 1st job,
your 3rd job,
your 5th job...

5:03 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Mark... oh, now, you've been too perceptive! I thought maybe I could get that by you. Craver seems to be vouching for me though.

Rebecca... no problem. I saw that you were currently otherwise involved. I'll enjoy it when you get to it.

Craver... oh, leave it to you to defend me! Thank you kindly. (And this after I told you about my first dandelion sighting. You are the better person. :)

5:39 PM  
Blogger Scott R. Davis said...

for now, I work in a wholesale company doing accounts receivable, issuing credits and run reports. the onion job was when I was a teenager. Glad that I don't do that one anymore.
but It taught me perseverence and as my folks put it, it was good incentive to stay in college to have a better paying job.
definitely gives appreciation to those who have to work tough jobs.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Llama Momma said...

I signed up for the blogging circle. It looks beginner? How so? (I missed that whole "beginner" thing entirely. See? Maybe I NEED a beginning blogging circle!!)

And as far as jobs go, I'm as ordinary as they get. Ice cream scooper. Florist. Copyeditor. Technical writer. The whole Mom thing is as interesting as it gets! ;-)

9:22 PM  
Blogger Linda Vujnov said...

I am ready for my "welcome." Thanks! And, as far as odd jobs go, I am pretty ordinary too. I won't be starring in any reality shows any time soon.

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laura--THANK YOU again for your help and for the plug!! I want to be like you when I grow up. :-)
As for odd jobs...when I was in college I worked for the school's audio/video department for a while. My assignment one semester was to operate the auditorium's projector for a Film Studies class. I basically got paid to watch the classics. To this day when I'm in a theater I can't help noting when the film reels are being changed during a movie. Looking back, this was actually one of the better jobs I've had in life. Not just because of the sweetness of the gig itself, but because the people in the A/V department were slightly different and cooler than the rest of us average college joes. They were like blue M&Ms. Happy makers.

12:04 AM  
Blogger The Oho Report said...

I am glad to hear that I am not alone on the MH blues.

For me it was delayed for I didn't leave SJ, (visited cousins) until Wednesday morning. Wednesday night I had 20 people over for a NSA-National speakers association meeting. Thursday I celebrated my birthday and then family and birthday events over the weekend.

Not to mention the setting up a blog blew a few mental fuses.

The blues really didn't hit until this morning. I couldn't figure out what was going on. I was lethargic and upset at things I haven't thought about for years.

In H.S I sold popsicles for two summers in a former three wheel meter-maid scooter.

I soon learned that you sell more to poor people than you do the well to do.

Also selling to men at construction sites was more profitable than neighborhoods.

I should have known then that I should have gone drectly into sales and not wasted eight years in accounting

2:43 AM  
Blogger The Oho Report said...

Odd job continued,
You sell more in the first week of the month than the three remaining weeks combined. Sadly it had to do that welfare checks came out the first of the month

You get a fabulous “farmer’s tan”

You sell more on a sunny moderate Spring Saturday than you do on a hot August day(summer anticipation)

You sell more in the last hours of the day(toward dusk-10 PM in Seattle in June)than during the heat of the day (both parents and most kids are closer to home)

3:11 AM  
Blogger kirsten said...

hmm ... i can't think of any particular odd jobs either. odd moments there are aplenty, but the jobs themselves were pretty darn normal.

sigh. i am just now beginning to feel like i'm back in the swing of my life after MH. crazy.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what in the world did they do to you all in mount hermon?!? didn't they feed you any protein? i am starting to wonder about their california methods!

that sculpture is wow! looks great with the fab ceiling.

8:30 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Scott... odd jobs as incentive. That's good.

Llama... technical writer. My sister used to be one. And I used to work in a technical writing department. :) The blogger's circle as beginner. Yes. They're talking about what people should talk about on a blog and how. I figure if I haven't established that yet I'm in trouble!

Linda... welcome to Seedlings! I got a little laugh over that reality show comment.

A.An... or maybe I'll just be like you when I grow up. :) I loved that bit about the blue M&Ms. I think you are blue M&Ms in my life right now. A happy maker.

Oho... delayed blues. Well, sounds like a documentable syndrome! :) I liked reading about your odd job.

Kirsten... it takes a while to return to real life. Mount Hermon is, as A. Anjeanette quips over on her blog, kind of like a speed dating experience. A bit whirlwind and unsettling to say the least!

Nancy... SO FUNNY. Come to think of it, I kind of survived on salad.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Mine is up at A Christian Worldview of Fiction at last.


4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't know you had a blog. Glad to discover it ;)

10:11 AM  

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