Musicians, detective, doctors demystify work world for Brooklyn Park children Youths discover that jobs aren't always glamorous

March 25, 1996|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,SUN STAFF

Police officers are likely to spend more time in the office writing reports than fighting the wheel during a high-speed chase. Sometimes lawyers have to defend people they know are guilty. And not all music careers involve performing on stage.

All of the careers, though, require mastering at least three basic subjects: reading, writing and arithmetic.

That's what kindergartners through sixth-graders at Brooklyn Park Elementary School learned Friday during career day, when they were visited by workers from the community: a detective, a librarian, a carpenter, a veterinarian, a lawyer turned preacher, an emergency room nurse, a paramedic, a musician and others.

The youngsters had a million questions for the speakers who passed through their classrooms.

A group of first-graders wanted to know what kind of animals Dr. Stanley E. Schultz cared for at the Anne Arundel Veterinarian Hospital.

A chorus of "eeeewwwss" rang out when Dr. Schultz added rats to the list of his animal patients.

He told the children veterinarians typically work 12 to 14 hours a day and must go to school for four more years after getting an undergraduate degree.

Some parents took time off from their jobs to speak at the school.

Anne Arundel County Detective William H. Booth's two sons, Corey, a kindergartner, and Christopher, a third-grader, asked him to speak to their classes.

Christopher's class wanted to know if all police officers ate doughnuts (no), if they shot people (rarely) and if they got into high-speed chases (sometimes).

Detective Booth told the children that television shows and movies give a distorted view of an officer's average day.

"On TV, everybody sees police driving from call to call and involved in chases. But in real life the biggest job a police officer has is to take pen to paper and do reports," he said.

David A. Bunn, director of the jazz ensemble at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, and his sister, Gabrielle A. Goodman, a singer and songwriter, took fifth-graders on a tour of musical styles, starting with Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean A Thing" and ending with "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" from "The Wizard of Oz."

The children snapped their fingers and scatted "do wop, do wop, do wop" along with Ms. Goodman.

They told the children that while performing artists may be the most familiar musicians, there are also satisfying behind-the-scenes jobs as lyricists, arrangers and music teachers.

They added that an artistic career isn't all glamour. Artists must master the education basics so they can write songs, understand contracts, manage their money and communicate with others.

The Rev. L. Lyn O'Berry, a minister who used to be a lawyer, told a group of fifth-graders not to limit themselves to one career.

"I've had two callings and it might happen to you," said Mr. O'Berry of First Baptist Church of Brooklyn. "You aren't just limited to one thing in life, and don't ever think you are."

Pub Date: 3/25/96

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