Throughout elementary school and into high school, there was always a full day set aside in which working professionals would come in and tell us all about their jobs.
Attendance at these Career Day events was mandatory and intended to inspire us to think about what we wanted to do for gainful employment following graduation. To no great surprise, the speakers who spent their 9-5’s sitting in a cubicle (i.e., accountants) weren’t nearly as riveting to us as those with daring occupations that courted danger on a daily basis.
I can’t recall if there was ever an author in the line-up, no doubt because parents and teachers didn’t want to encourage any “artsy” vocations with potentially wobbly incomes. Becoming an author, however, allows you and your characters to vicariously try on as many hats as possible without risk to life or limb.
For these exercises, you’ll be constructing 3-6 page scenes which utilize a single setting and a small number of characters.
IF I HAD A HAMMER
In mythology, Thor was a mighty Norse god whose signature hammer struck instant fear in the hearts of his enemies and allowed him to control such elements as storms, thunder and lightning. He’ll obviously show well on Career Day…except for the fact he seems to have misplaced his hammer after breakfast and no one in the family is interested in helping him look for it.
Is there any better gig than being a fairy godmother? A simple wave of your wand and you can instantly turn drekky duds into a designer ball gown, a pumpkin into a sweet ride, and mice into attentive footmen. Obviously for starters one needs to be born as a magical being but how do you go forth and find clients? Is there a downside to being a spreader of sparkly joy? Are you on call 24/7 or do you only work certain hours? Inquiring minds want to know the particulars.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
After she returned from Oz, Dorothy Gale went on to become a psychologist. On Career Day, she taps her own experience regarding the personal reward of helping others become their most brainy, lovable and brave selves. Unfortunately, her audience is more interested in texting each other than in listening to her speech. What can she do to get their attention?
SNAKES ON A PLAIN
St. Patrick has always been chuffed about getting credit for driving all the snakes out of Ireland. But what happens when a junior science nerd challenges him that the snakes were never on the Emerald Isle to begin with because the melting ice cap which created the Irish Sea blocked their migration from Britain?
A PIRATE’S LIFE FOR ME
Once upon a long ago time, it was considered bad luck for women to be on board a ship. Those that were enterprising and questing for globetrekking escapades got around this rule by cutting their hair, lowering their voices and donning men’s apparel. Some—like Mary Read and Anne Bonny—even seized the opportunity to go plundering and pillaging their way across the Caribbean. So what’s it like to not only function in a predominantly male field but also excel with swashbuckling gusto?
IF THE SHOE FITS
Once her last child went off to college, the old woman who lived in the shoe decided to become a realtor in well-heeled neighborhoods around town. For Career Day, she fields questions about open space floorplans (sandals), sleeping porches (trendy slings), smart insulation (fur-lined boots) and the importance of high-rises (platforms) in flood zones.
Viking warrior Astrid Hofferson is a firm believer that girls should have just as many adventures as guys. She’s also one of the top dragon-trainers in the land and talks about useful skill sets and training one should have in order to pursue this lucrative, fire-breathing field.
As part of my ongoing commitment to supply great lesson plans for today’s classrooms, I always enjoy getting feedback on how the material is used and what kind of new content you’d like to see in future columns. I’m also happy to answer any questions related to specific problems your students may be struggling with. Just drop me a note at [email protected] or through my website at http://www.authorhamlett.com.
Former actress/director Christina Hamlett is an award winning author, professional script consultant, and ghostwriter. Her credits to date include 36 books (among them, Screenwriting for Teens and Could It Be a Movie), 163 plays for young actors, and 5 optioned feature films.