Mountaineer Buc wrote:Bear, I want to take issue with the last paragraph of your long post and how you would push your kids away from an art/music program unless they were savants.
I'll first point to my hippie uncle. And I'm not taking about a paleo-vegan-live in a yurt hippie. I'm talking about a Woodstock hippie. Hippie version 1.0.
Anyway, he enrolled in college like most of them in order to get a draft deferment in 1970 and plunged into all that debauchery you would expect at the time. His major? Ceramics and pottery. Fewer majors I can think of that are more worthless than that but he absolutely loved it and had a good aptitude for it.
Like any hippie, he figured he could sell his pottery to keep gas in his microbus and grass in his pocket forever and damned if he didn't try. Some time in the late seventies he decided that wasn't cutting the mustard and became a plumber's apprentice. Fast forward twenty years and he's a master plumber with his own business and still making pottery because he loves it.
He has since retired, not wealthy, but retired enough to be retired and guess what he still does? He makes and sells pottery.
My two daughters who are just getting going into high school have an aptitude for art and music. I have, and will continue to encourage that they continue with their passion because as Zarni said, there are paths to the middle class that don't require a business or STEM degree. When they ask about jobs and careers, I ask them what is a job other than what you do to get the money to do what you want to in your spare time?
Not everyone will paint like Rockwell or perform at the metropolitan Opera House. But not everyone has to. Study the thing you love so you can do that thing and master that thing. Whether or not you can make money at it is irrelevant. Big box Retail managers make a nice living and there ain't no degree required for that.
Well yeah, but your uncle was doing that in the 70s, when you could relatively do that. You didn't have to worry about building credit to buy a house, you didn't have a cell phone payment, the price of essential goods were far cheaper (related to average income), you could literally walk up to places, shake a hand and get a job, there wasnt the Internet and an inventory of workers available for every employer. Your uncle could actually survive on meager pay and the good graces of others. You literally cannot do that in 2017, and if you try it, you will pay the price heavier when you try to come back. And what did you uncle ultimately do? Got a "real" job to pay the bills. That's what I'm saying; I'm talking about discouraging my son from MAJORING in the arts, not telling him to hate them. Maybe I miscommunicated that. If he likes playing music, by all means, he can go to college, join a band, play local bars with his buddies while majors in a field that he finds, hopefully, at least mildly interesting, but most importantly, provides him a solid chance at landing a solid-paying job when he gets out of college. That way he can afford
to enjoy music or the arts at his pleasure, and not spend his life working 3 jobs to just make ends meet because he majored in music theory and didn't "make it". I mean I don't know you uncle, but it sounds like pottery is a genuine passion of his, which means I'm sure he probably would have kept in his life regardless of whether he majored in it in college. That's all I'm saying - get your safety net set first, and have a blast with the things you love 6-10pm and all day sat/Sunday