Friday 5: Expertise

  1. What are you skilled enough at to get paid for, but do for your friends for no charge? I don’t do it as much anymore since we’re all in the workforce now, but I used to proofread all of my best friend’s papers in college and I take a look at her résumé whens she’s job hunting. She had one professor who was really difficult, like worse than any I ever had in a damn English program, so I really combed over the ones for him. Part of me regrets never trying for a job in my university’s Writing Center, but at the same time, I don’t know that I would’ve had the time.
  2. What did you used to be very knowledgeable about but aren’t anymore, because you didn’t keep up with latest developments? Web design, and I just happened to be talking about this in the last week! I taught myself web design, but after I let the blog(s) from my late teens die, I stopped keeping up with it. I wouldn’t mind getting back into it if I had the time, and by that I mostly mean if I wasn’t prioritizing, say, writing and side hustles. Oh, and a kid. And speaking of college, I actually took a basic web design class because it counted towards science credits and I knew I could get an A.
  3. What are you skilled enough at to get paid for, except nobody actually pays anyone to do it? One could argue the same as my answer to #1. I’ll be the first to defend English degrees and talk about how I absolutely have no regrets, but its skill set is undervalued. People want it but are unwilling to pay for it.
  4. What have you become super interested in only recently, and what’s something you know about it? Parenting, I guess? I recently learned that babies shouldn’t be in a car seat for more than two hours, which somehow never comes up in all the car-seat safety literature.
  5. Who do you admire for his or her vast knowledge about a topic you care about? One of my sisters-in-law is a vet tech. I always had an interest in animals but ruled out being a vet mostly because I didn’t want to have to put them down. She’s obviously good to go to with questions if one of the cats is acting weird or about behavioral things, but there are other things she knows from other related classes I’ve been known to ask her about. For example, she’s the reason I don’t buy organic milk anymore, and while I was never against antibiotic use in farm animals, she did tell me about how from the viewpoint of animal welfare, not using antibiotics is often sentencing animals to a rough death. She’s told me a few things that as a vegetarian, I want to know to make informed decisions about what to avoid, especially with lots of food-related buzzwords. I want to know if something that’s marketing itself as being a more ethical alternative is bullshit. But my favorite is probably the time I asked about eggs. I know egg color just depends on the type of chicken, but I asked why organic and cage-free eggs are brown and others white. The reason? People just think there’s something more “natural” about brown eggs. It’s probably the single dumbest tidbit I ever got from her.

From Friday 5.

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