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Friday, November 18, 2005

Switching Gears

Swallows return to Capistrano; college students return home for the holidays. Students who left as French majors may come back with a newfound zeal for forestry; next year it might be forensics. "About 80 percent of students who start college switch their major at least one time," Career World magazine reported. "Many students will change their major three or four times over the course of a college career."

It's good preparation for the estimated seven career changes they'll make later in life. Check out what the college graduates below did before they became best-selling authors:

Maya Angelou -- reporter for The Arab Observer in Egypt.

Jeffrey Archer -- member of the British Parliament.

Jean Auel -- circuit board designer.

Terry Brooks -- attorney, as were John Grisham and Richard North Patterson.

Tom Clancy -- insurance agent.

Clive Cussler -- worked at a supermarket and a gas station; aircraft mechanic,
advertising executive.

Robert Fulghum -- IBM salesperson, rodeo performer, minister, prison counselor, bartender.

Sue Grafton -- hospital admissions clerk, cashier, clerical/medical secretary.

Ursula Hegi -- English teacher, as were Dean Koontz, Wally Lamb, Larry McMurtry and Toni Morrison.

Jan Karon -- advertising executive, as were Elmore Leonard, Robert Parker and James Patterson.

Stephen King -- janitor, laborer in an industrial laundry, English teacher.

Jon Krakauer -- carpenter, fisherman.

John Le Carré -- "military intelligence."

Anne Rice -- waitress, cook, theater usher, insurance claims examiner.

Amy Tan -- language consultant to programs for disabled children.

Joseph Wambaugh -- U.S. Marine, Los Angeles police officer.


Anonymous said...

I re-entered college when I was almost 40. I found it amusing that 19-year-olds were bemoaning the fact that they had to decide what they would do for the rest of their lives.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody EVER know what they're going to do for the rest of their lives?