Dion's random ramblings

Friday, October 19, 2007

Top 10 degrees you DON'T want your child to study towards!

This list of degrees was drawn up by the folks at ScholarPoint ... There are the 10 degrees that you WOULD NOT want your child to do!

1. Master Ranching - Showing up to college wearing spurs and riding a horse probably isn't the best idea, unless you go to Texas A&M-Kingsville's Institute for Ranch Management. The university is offering the first ever master degree program for ranchers. What was once a profession passed on from generation to generation is now getting sophisticated enough that it may actually require an MBA. Go figure. Graduates can expect salaries in the $50,000-$75,000 range.

2. Astrobiology - ET phone home. The University of Glamorgan in the UK offers a degree in Astrobiology, which is the search for life beyond earth. So if hunting for alien life is your thing consider a career in Astrobiology.

3. Retail Floristry - I bet you never thought working at your local flower shop required a college degree. Well, it probably doesn't, but that doesn?t mean you can't major in Retail Floristry anyway. Career opportunities are a step above working the cash register and include wholesaling, special event designing, and display gardening. This program is offered through Mississippi State University and graduates can expect a 90% job placement rate.

4. Professional Nanny - Sullivan University in Louisville Kentucky offers a professional nanny program, which prepares graduates to work in private residences, day care centers, children's hospitals, and country clubs. This is a perfect career for those girls who grew up babysitting all the neighborhood kids that now want to make more than $2 per hour.

5. Sports Ministry - Graduates from this program are prepared for positions in non-profit organizations seeking to use sports as an avenue for teaching religion. This program is offered through Campbellsville University in Campbellsville Kentucky.

6. Adventure Recreation - Do you like snowboarding, scuba diving, ice climbing, or whitewater rafting? If you answered yes, perhaps you should consider doing what you love for a job and start by making it your college major. Green Mountain College in Vermont is offering major and minor programs in Adventure Recreation, which aims to place graduates in a variety of outdoor recreation careers such as those listed above.

7. Golf & Sports Turf Management - Just because you were never good at football doesn't mean you can't make it your job. Only you'll be repairing the grass they tear apart every week. The course curriculum offered by Mississippi Sate University will prepare you for a career as a golf superintendent or a sports turf manager at city, school, and professional sports arenas. Graduates in this field also enjoy a 90% job placement rate.

8. Comedy: Writing and Performance - Here's a degree program that actually requires "a great sense of humor" as an admission requirement. Humber College in Canada offers this program to help naturally talented students hone their craft and learn the commercial side of the business. Students learn stand-up, improv, scriptwriting, and sketch comedy.

9. Organic Agriculture - Organic foods make up more than 2.5% of all food and drink sales nationwide and have been increasing by 20% per year since 1990. This makes organic farming an attractive career opportunity. This is the first organic agriculture major in the nation and is offered through Washington State University.

10. Fishing Sciences and Management - This masters program is offered by Colorado State University and focuses on fish populations for recreational and commercial fishing purposes to ensure adequate conservation and utilization. If nothing else the courses on fish psychology should at the very least help you catch more fish.

So, anybody heard of, OR GOT, any other strange degrees! I have another hilarious one! Did you know that I actually have TWO PhD's!? Yup, it's true! I have that silly old PhD in Theology and science that took be 4 years to complete at a REAL University... But then I have THIS ONE! No studying needed! Just a copy of Photoshop!!!

You too could have THIS AMAZING [fake] PhD! In fact I know that Gus(working towards a REAL PhD, one step at a time...), Wessel (Wes, also happens to have a REAL PhD, like me...), and Pete (some people don't NEED a PhD... They're just naturally clever!) have the same degree! Why? Well, because I photoshoped their names into it and sent it to them! Impressive isn't it?

Ha ha! Dr [Jedi] Forster.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

The cycle of another year! John Wesley College Graduation 2007, with gratitude and thanks.

One of the great comforts of life is that it moves in cycles. My year is metered and regulated by the various functions and activities that occupy my energy, creativity, and time. Most of these relate to my work as the Dean of John Wesley College, the Seminary of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.

Today was another moment to reflect, give thanks, and remember, the years that have passed since I have been in this responsible post. Please check below for a copy of the little article that I wrote for the EMMU website about this year's graduation (that has the facts, these are the feelings).

Last night I drove my newly painted (Old) Vespa up the hill to our College Chapel to check that everything was in order for the Graduation today. I am in that glorious stone Chapel daily (each morning from 7.30 to 8.30 we have a worship service with our students - it is predominantly worship in the African idiom with drums, a bell, a beat, and almost entirely in the vernacular). However, last night as I entered that same Chapel I was overcome by an entirely different emotion.... I can only describe it as a feeling extreme humility, unworthiness, and gratitude. I entered the Chapel just as the sun was setting, it is truly a magnificent space in just the right light (built in 1927 with large stones and a fantastic stained glass window and polished red floor). I walked in and saw how our students, my colleagues, had meticulously prepared every aspect of the Chapel for the graduation service. It was pristine, everything in its place, the air still filled with the smell of wood polish! And then the feeling I spoke of earlier came upon me, I knelt at the rail, where I kneel every Tuesday morning for the weekly Eucharistic service, and I gave thanks to God! How thankful I am that I have survived another year to be at the Graduation again. How thankful I am for all the growth and incredible experiences I have had in the last 4 years. How thankful I am to the Methodist Church of Southern Africa for entrusting me with this awesome responsibility of training her ministers (a task for which I am ill equipped, and certainly not worthy). How thankful I am for my loving wife, my darling daughter, and my healthy son. How thankful I am for the vain things, like my education, and the silly things, like my Vespa!

How thankful I am indeed! How undeserving, yet grateful that God should shower me with such grace and blessing. I don't understand the privilege I have been given. I often struggle with the responsibility and pressure (those who read Greek will understand when I speak of it as thlipsis more than just pressure), but that too is a gift of God's grace; keeping me reliant on God and the people among whom I have been placed. I am thankful!

I prayed for a while until it was completely dark, and then I climbed onto my Vespa (pushed it down the road because it still doesn't start! I'm thankful for the exercise that gives me!) and enjoyed the evening air as I rode home on a beautiful summer evening in Africa to be with my family. Last night I rested well. Today I celebrated. I am at peace today, and once again I am thankful.

Here is the article about the Graduation from the EMMU website (these are the facts..... Well, sort of):

The Campus of John Wesley College, the seminary of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, has been abuzz with activity for the last number of days. The reason for this heightened activity was all of the preparations that needed to be made for the College's annual Graduation ceremony that was held this morning (Saturday 10 March, 2007).

(Click on a photograph to enlarge it) The photograph above shows a few of the Bible Women who were graduating with Certificates in Theology, having completed their Certificate studies over a period of two years. Below is a picture of some of the Evangelists who had completed the same course.

In total 22 Bible Women and Evangelists received their qualifications from the Reverend Jacob Freemantle, the Warden of the Order of Bible Women and Evangelists in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. Together with these Graduates, a number of awards were given to student ministers for outstanding achievement in their studies in 2006. These included:

  • Rev Chris Mokone - Best results at John Wesley College in 2006
  • Rev Jacob Mokhutso - Best first year student at John Wesley College in 2006
  • Rev Jenny Sprong - Best Progress towards Ordination
  • Rev Michael Lambatjeen - Best student for the ministry outside the borders of South Africa
  • Rev Phatisiwe Mthi - best progress from a student at John Wesley College in 2006
  • Rev Ryan Killian - Best minister in Phase 1 training in 2006
  • Rev Ndikhokele Mtshiselwa - Best honours (post graduate) student at John Wesley College in 2006
A number of senior dignitaries from the Methodist Church of Southern Africa were in attendance.

From Left to Right
Row 1: Rev Professor Neville Richardson (Director of EMMU and Principal of John Wesley College), Rev Vido Nyobole (Connexional Secretary of the MCSA), Rev Dr Gavin Taylor (Bishop of the Limpopo District of the MCSA)
Row 2: Rev Luvuyo Sifo (Chairman of the John Wesley College Student Council in 2007), Rev Sifiso Khuzwayo (Lecturer in Christian Proclamation and Homiletics at John Wesley College), Dr Joan Jackson (Lecturer in Church History at John Wesley College), Rev Dr Dion Forster (Dean John Wesley College).
Row 3: (center) Rev Jacob Freemantle (Warden of the Order of Bible Women and Evangelists), Rev Ruth Jonas (coordinator of training for Lay ministries in the MCSA), Rev M Molale (District Supervisor of Studies for the Central District of the MCSA).
Row 4: Rev Madika Sibeko (coordinator of training for Ordained ministries in the MCSA), Mrs Liz McDougal (English lecturer at John Wesley College), Mrs Audrey Zinde (Zulu lecturer at John Wesley College). Not pictured here, who were also in attendance at the celebration, are Bishop Paul Verryn (Bishop of the Central District), and Rev Sox Leleki (African Church History lecturer at John Wesley College).

The students of John Wesley College need to be thanked and acknowledged for their hard work and superb preparation for this celebration! Thanks also goes to Professor Richardson for his inspiring address on the need for sacrificial and dedicated Christian witnesses (from the Greek word martures - out of which developed the concept of the Christian martyr). It was truly challenging! An MP3 audio copy of the address is available upon request from Dr Dion Forster.

It was a truly wonderful day of celebration and thanksgiving for years of commitment and work by the students.

To view the full set of 50 photographs from the Graduation ceremony please go to the EMMU flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7347784@N08/sets/72157594580272085/

(Dion Forster, John Wesley College, 10 March 2007)

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