2007-10-04: Career Counseling

Starring:

Cam_icon.gif Joule_icon.gif

Joule takes a break in her job hunting. She runs into Cam and they talk of the future, sort of.

October 4, 2007

Career Counseling


Somewhere in Central Park

It's a bit later than one might normally find kids wandering the park on their own, though not so late that it's any more dangerous than the rest of the city yet. Cam is making his way up the path carrying a bag from McDonalds, quickly making his way over to a park bench, where he sits down and starts opening up the bag, digging to get to one of the burgers inside.

Joule enters the park from one of the subway entrances, and sizes up the park. She spots the kid with the burgers, and approaches him. "You mind if I take your photo?" she asks him, without preamble.

Cam blinks, looking up just as he's about to bite into his burger. He then smiles, "Oh, hi! You were visiting Mr. Jones at the comic store, right?" Then he shakes his head quickly, "I don't mind!"

Joule arches a brow. "Oh, right. The Spider-Man kid, you are," she declares, realizing she recognizes him. "Good. You're a good subject. And the park is pretty boring when it's just grass and leaves and trees. Only so many pictures of falling leaves before you're ready to tear your hair out." She fishes a professional level digital camera out of her bag, and begins to circle the bench slowly, finding the right angle, the right lighting.

Cam nods to that with a smile, "Yep, that's me." He looks a bit awkward as she starts to circle him, and asks, "You want me to do anythin'? Or just keep eatin' or what?"

"Just do what you'd normally do," Joule tells him. "Eat if you were eatin'. I'm just gettin' some practice in. Photography for fun, rather than for work. To clear my head, y'know." She snaps a shot from in front of Cam and to his left, at an angle. Then she moves to hop on a bench a few feet away, and take a picture from not-quite-above him.

Cam nods a little again and smiles, "Ok." Glad of that, he's obviously very hungry as he takes a big bite of his burger, though careful not to slop any while his picture's being taken. After swallowing, he comments, "Don't think anybody's ever wanted to take pictures of me before."

"No?" Joule seems surprised. "You're a good subject. Animated." She hops down and tucks the camera away again, for the moment. "Real. And not, thank God, a squalling tot." She leans her elbows up on the back of the bench, at shoulder height, letting the cool evening air brush her face.

Cam shakes his head quickly and says, "Nope, never. Well, except my mom, but think that's something all moms do." He takes another bite of burger and looks back up to Joule, "You gotta take pictures of lots of babies?"

"Sometimes," Joule tells him. "It pays the bills, until I can find a newpaper, or a gallery, that'll take my work." She closes her eyes and grimaces. "That, and weddings, and parties. Anything people want to remember at length and put on a DVD."

Cam makes a face, "Sounds boring. But, guess it's like school, huh? Gotta get through the boring classes to get the good classes. Think it's the same every job?"

"Not every job," Joule says, after some thought. "Some people are lucky enough that they get the jobs they love." She pauses, and smiles crookedly at the boy. "I actually love this job when it's got a bit more variety. It's just you're right. Too much of any one thing does get tedious."

Cam ohs, nodding a bit. Another bite of burger disappears, he's almost done his first. Then he thinks to offer, "Want some fries?" Then he comments, "Dunno what kinda job I wanna get when I'm older."

"Nah, you go ahead," Joule tells him. She smiles at his kindness; obviously he was hungry as fast as he was tucking away that burger. "Well, what d'you like doing? That's the kind of thing you'll want to do when you get grown."

Cam finishes off the last bite of his burger, and then reaches in for a couple of fries. He's polite enough to swallow before talking every time, at least. "I dunno. I like history, but don't like just reading from books. If I could do it like Indiana Jones, I'd wanna be an archeologist, but everybody says it's just boring digging."

"Pretty much, yeah," Joule agrees. "The exciting stuff Dr. Jones does? Alas, only in the movies. But even research is interesting if you apply it right. You could do research for the movies. Look up stuff so the scriptwriter's story is accurate and the audience doesn't groan at easy stuff he got wrong."

Cam nods a bit to that and says, "Yeah, that'd be ok I guess. I dunno. Just wanna do something exciting. Wanna see new things and stuff." He takes out the carton of fries to set against his leg, and then digs out a second burger from the bag, which from how the bag looks is the last thing in it. Not exactly a healthy dinner, but he's skinny enough it's obvious he doesn't eat like that regularly.

Joule doesn't comment on his choice of meal. He's a kid. Kids like McDonald's. "Ah, something involving travel. Well, you could always be some sort of seafarer. Boat across the ocean to distant ports. An airline pilot. A cruise ship pilot. You got choices, but those take a lot of studying to get into. Math. Science." She isn't giving him any sort of condescending look, just the hard truth as she sees it. Her expression is calm.

Cam considers that through another bite of burger, and then grins, "Yeah, that'd be awesome! Especially a cruise ship pilot. Get to see new places *and* get to hang around rich people, probably get paid a bunch too!" At the mention of studying hard he deflates a little, but still seems to be thinking of it. "I like science, but math is hard."

"It is," Joule agrees. "And dead boring, too! My dad and I used to have such rows about me doing my math homework. I saw no reason to do the thing if I wasn't going to use it in my real life. I mean, honestly. Figuring the degrees on the angle of a triangle! When is that ever going to be useful?!"

Cam nods quickly, starting to say something obviously in agreement, but then he pauses, looking to Joule a moment. "Don't'cha gotta know shapes and stuff to take pictures good?"

"Shapes, yeah. But there's kind of an instinct for that. You feel it." Joule gestures to her head. "Here." Then to her heart. "And here. Yeah, the composition stuff, you learn it. But it's not as much math as it is space management. And you only learn the rules so you know how best to break 'em to great effect later." She gives him a cheerful wink.

Cam ohs, nodding quickly. "Makes sense." Another bite and he agrees, "It is real boring! My dad, he worked on security systems, he hadta do math all the time and got mad at me too. But mom taught me at home back then, so didn't get to sneak outta it or anything."

Joule quirks a brow, but doesn't press the question. She doesn't know this kid well enough to intrude. "Yeah, but at least you know now where you're likely to need it, and what careers you're likely to be able to blow it off, right?" She stretches, wiggling her feet, and then settles in, relaxed again. "D'you like the math enough, then?"

Cam considers, then shakes his head quickly, "No, not 'nough to keep takin' it when I don't gotta." He considers, then asks, "What about being a reporter? That's exciting, right? And don't need math?"
"Exciting," Joule agrees. "Dangerous, too." But she smiles. It's a manic smile. Like the danger is an attractor for her. "And yeah, you don't need the math so much, because you have people to do the research for ya!"

Cam grins at the mention of danger, nodding quickly, "Yeah, that's what I wanna do." He considers as he finishes up the last of his second and final burger, and says after, "Bet I gotta take more classes like Mr. Jones' class, huh? Civics and stuff. But that's ok… it's kinda boring, but not as bad as math."

"Yup," Joule confirms. "Civics, history, and English. It's only cute when a reporter can't spell properly if you're watching it in a movie." She shakes her head, and shoves her hair back. The wind's caught it and blown it into her face. "And it's not always boring. Some history stuff is actually pretty interesting. You need a teacher who makes it fun, is all. Your Mr. Jones is gonna try to find ways to make it fun. I might even help if he asks nicely."

Cam blinks, "Civics is part of history? That's cool, I really like history, hearing about old places like Greece and Egypt and Japan." Then he blinks, "Really? What's he gonna do?"

"Sure," Joule grins. "Laws and the rules we live by are constantly evolving. We learn from the things people before us did, right or wrong, and we adjust our course accordingly." She shakes her head. "Cor, listen t'me, will you? I sound like a teacher myself." She grins at Cam's question, and gives him a mysterious look. "That," she informs him, "Would spoil the surprise."

Cam grins and says, "Think ya'd make an awesome teacher. Maybe that's how ya can get extra money, instead of parties and stuff. Teach people how to take pictures?" Then he looks, momentarily, a bit disappointed at Joule's answer, but then he grins, "Can't wait to see."

Joule quirks an eyebrow at Cam's suggestion. "Your teacher suggested the same thing. Perhaps I'll take it into consideration." She flips the camera out again, quickly, and catches Cam's curious grin. "Guarantee it'll be worth the wait."

Cam blinks at the picture, (after it's gone off), but smiles still and says, "Now I'm gonna be like waiting all the time. Think it'll happen before Halloween? Or before Christmas?"

"I think it's gonna happen when it happens," Joule says, mysteriously. "But only because we have some stuff to get together for it first. So it'll take as long as it takes to get ready. And we don't wanna rush, because rushing gets you shoddy work. And when you're building young minds, and encouraging their interests, shoddy work gets you bored students, and bad grades, no doubt."

Cam ohs, nodding a little again as he says, "Yeah, I know that. My dad was always goin' on and on about being patient and working things right and not rushin' and stuff."

"I know, it's hard to be patient when you're a kid," Joule says, a bit more gently. "I was the same way. In some ways, I still am. Not all us adults give up on the fun part of being a kid, see." She pauses, and then asks, "Y'want me to leave you a couple copies of these photos, then? At the Lair?" She doesn't ask for his address. That way lies people thinking she's a freaky adult, y'know.

Cam nods and smiles again, "Yeah." Then he considers the offer as he finishes the last of his fries, and says, "Yeah, I guess. If anybody sees me with pictures of myself I'll never hear the end of it, but wanna see what they're like I guess."

You say, "What, they'll poke fun at you for bein' a supermodel?" Joule tosses her head back and laughs. "You tell 'em you felt sorry for me if they do." She offers him another wink. "I'll be sure your Mr. Jones gets them, then. And if your friends want their photo taken, you know who to call.""

Cam laughs at that, nodding quickly again. "Ok!" Then he hops to his feet and says, "I better go, wanna get back to the shelter 'fore they're full. Bye!"

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