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At the Helm: When I grow up I want to be ...


When I was kid, people would ask me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

My answer?

“Where do I start?”

There were so many things I wanted to do, and the long list kept changing almost every week.

Firefighter: Check.

Astronaut: Check.

Rock star: Check.

Han Solo: Check.

I was young and the world was new. My parents never laughed at my dreams and were quick to support me in any endeavors I pursued.

I’m 44 years old now and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. 

The firefighter thing, not so much. 

Astronaut? Not much work at NASA these days. 

Rock star? Sure! I play great air guitar. 

Han Solo? You bet! He’s still the coolest.

So, what do kids these days want to be when they grow up?

That question was asked of students in my daughter’s fourth grade class this week. And it just so happens that I was the volunteer tasked with correcting the students’ written answers.

Here’s a peak at their work: “When I grow up I want to be a ... ”

Soldier: “I want to help my country. My great grandpa was in World War II and my great, great grandpa was in World War I and both of them did not die.”

Inventor: “It would be awesome to be an inventor. You have to be smart and creative and you get to go down in history. You have to work hard. You get to work whenever you want.”

Story writer: “You can make people laugh and be happy. You have to go to college.”

Fashion designer:
“You get to provide clothes to people. You get to make things like shoes, gloves and jewelry.”

Firefighter: “You get to save people from dying. You can rescue cats out of trees and you can teach kids what to do if they catch on fire.”

Archaeologist: “You get to dodge traps in temples! You get to study Medieval times, travel around the world and bring back items to museums like swords, scrolls and mummies.”

Wolf biologist: “You get to study wolf anatomy, behavior, carcasses, dung and their killing strategies. You can take photos and videos, teach classes and travel.”

Mechanic: “You get to fix things, wire wires, work on planes and trucks.”

Singer: “I would be known all over America. I could write my owns songs, do concerts, make albums and make people happy through my music.”

Pro football player: “I could make lots of money and buy things. ... I’d get to travel and do things like tackling, play noseguard and bashing through the lines.”

Paranormal investigator: “I’d get to see and talk to ghosts ... make $300 a day ... ask people what they experienced.”

Aquariast: “I love animals and I would get to travel all over the world and feed and help animals. I would get to scuba dive in the tanks.”

Millwright: “I want to be a millwright at the mill because my dad is one. I could make $20 an hour.”

Pilot: “I would get to travel and help people travel. My grandpa is a pilot and get to learn how to fly and work the radio.”

Put that all together and you get a firefighting fashion designer who writes stories about inventors and mechanics who depend on millwrights to make items for soldiers protecting America’s singers, archaeologists, aquariasts, wolf biologists, football players and paranormal investigators who are piloted by Han Solo to a galaxy far, far away to enjoy my next air guitar rock concert.

Dream big, kids!



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