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In honor of Labor Day in North America, tell us what’s the one job you could never imagine yourself doing.

Astronomy is fascinating, and I can recognize the sun, the moon, and the big dipper, and the north star usually. If I ask my husband what a particularly bright object is in the sky, he always knows — obviously enjoyed and learned it well at some time in the past. I, on the other hand, never remember what he has told me. It’s like there’s a void in my brain where that kind of information is stored. I ask the same questions time after time, and get the same answers (he’s patient). So I think astronomy is out for me. I can’t imagine the mysteries of deep space, black holes, other galaxies — and the incredible distances and big numbers involved.

Auto mechanics is probably not something I would choose either. Engines are dirty, confusing, and uncompromising. And as for getting under a car on a little sled (or whatever they are) is beyond my imagining. (I’m a bit claustrophobic, too). I don’t really understand how engines work, and no amount of information I’ve gained seems to help. It’s also hard work; one has to be pretty strong to do some of the repair work a car or truck requires.

Cotton picker, or perhaps worse, potato digger and gatherer. All of the picking of things you have to bend over to get, in the hot sun, and then carry away, would be back-breaking and scorching. I don’t think there’s enough Icy Hot or Bengay, or water, to enable me to withstand that physical effort and heat. I obviously admire people who do it — many have little choice, but I think picking oranges or grapes (despite the wasps) would be a bit easier because of shade and being able to stand upright. Even climbing a ladder would break the monotony.

When I was 14 my dad died, and the job of cutting our one acre of grass (nothing but grass) fell to me. Five hours in the hot Ohio sun cutting and sneezing. But I actually don’t mind that and other gardening, though it’s not a hobby or passion. I’m also good with tools, but do only basic stuff. Some physical jobs within my ability level don’t put me off — but some are much harder than others — imagine roofing in the hot sun, or laying asphalt. Those workers deserve a yell-out of thanks as we drive by. I couldn’t fill their shoes.

But, I think the job I would dread most is driving a school bus. God bless bus drivers, especially the ones who appear year after year and get kids safely to school. Some even have a smile and hello for the kids getting on the bus. As I’ve said, I’m a retired teacher, so I know kids, and middle grades were my favorites to teach. I also know how hard classroom management is and what a fine line there is between creative energy in a classroom and total chaos.

Magic-School-Bus

God bless you Miss Frizzle!

I’m a careful driver, but I’ve had a few scrapes — no accidents, thank God literally. I know that taking my eyes off the road for two seconds can find me over the middle line or too close to the edge. Two seconds. How distracting can a horde of children on a bus be? I just don’t know how you’d control them. The little ones would be okay, but once they get to second grade they love to talk, and talking becomes yelling, and jokes get sillier, so even if they’re not being “bad” it’s a lot to endure for 45 minutes to an hour, and then taking them home again later in the day. I’d also feel such a responsibility for their safety that I think I’d be overcautious and jumpy; and if the weather were bad, I’d be a basket case. I bless the people who do it, but you won’t find me behind the wheel of a school bus in this lifetime.

 

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