Saturday, February 2, 2013

But My Only Math Credit was in Word Problems

I am a person of varying interest. This makes it hard for me to find "my passion". I've been told that finding what I am most passionate about will lead me down the right career path. Sounds great! The problem is I'm a privileged, educated female in my mid-20's who has only been a social worker for about 6 months. In other words I haven't had time to become jaded yet, am still slightly idealistic, and become passionate about almost anything that interests me. My brother would also classify me as an bleeding heart liberal but he's wrong and that's a whole other discussion ;-)

My latest interest comes from a combination of watching the West Wing and a past crush on a former econ professor who got closer than anyone else in convincing me that numbers aren't hard or scary. 

*Side note: I'm a little more than 10 years late to the party but the West Wing is a phenomenal show. If you have Netflix I highly suggest watching the series. Granted I'm only halfway through the first season but I'm a full on senior staffers junkie. Also, the Christmas episode made me cry and I'm someone who only cries about once a year. So yeah*

Back to the story. On the West Wing Martin Sheen's character, President Bartlet, is a Nobel prize winner in economics. Aside from me simply loving his character, I find the economics dialogue fascinating. Yes, I fully understand that it's a television show and probably half of it is not factual. However, it made me think back to the only econ class I ever took in college. Economics and Society with Professor Allen Ryan. Economics and Society was econ for non business majors. Or econ for people majoring in social sciences who are scared of words like math and statistics. Anywho, I professor crushed hard on Mr. Ryan because he was smart, witty and made me like economics. 

All this to say it renewed my interest in econ and how it could be paired with social work to lead me further down this road of professional self discovery. So naturally I started googling (seriously spell check? That not a word yet? I'm even using Google Chrome to write this) everything about economics and social work and making grand plans to start taking online classes this summer. Then I remembered that not all economics courses are taught by Mr. Ryan and numbers are indeed hard and scary. There's also the fact that I can barely pronounce statistics correctly, let alone understand them. The only math credit I earned in undergrad was Finite Math. Basically I got a math credit in word problems. So here's a word problem to ponder:

Question:  If Molly has 2 degrees which she hasn't yet finished paying for and idiotically starts researching a third, what does Molly have? 

Answer:  Molly has a mental disorder that she should have been able to diagnose with her masters in social work. Furthermore, Molly should stop going off on crazy tangents and get some rest.

Finding your passion is tough kids. Paying for your passion is even tougher. I guess I can take comfort in the fact that I'm likely to have another late night revelation within a few months that will lead me to discover yet something else to be passionate about. Perhaps I should start watching Star Trek after West Wing and see what social ills I want to solve for deep space. 

What about you? Have any of you found your true passion professionally? Is it idealistic and naive to believe that I will someday?