It's Not Just My Job, It's My Career

NCDA Poetry Contest Winners 2003-04

"It's not just a job, it's my career"
First Place Primary Division
Enrique Perez
Miami/Dade, FL

It's not just a job, it's a career
It's what I'll do in the future years
It will take me places I've never known
And provide my family with a new home
It won't be a job, it will be a career
One that I will love, through out all of my years.

A Day in the Life of a Dolphin Trainer
First Place Tie
Intermediate Poetry
By Kiley Gibbs
Brevard County, FL

As morning nears and the sun rise in the east,
My heart begins to race at the thought of taming the savage beast.

My feet hit the floor as I race to the shower to prepare for my day.
For you see, my work is my play.

I grab a bite to eat as I walk through the door,
Thinking only of new ways to teach and explore.

As I draw nearer to my destination, my excitement continues to grow,
Today is the day we get a new student named Eskimo.

My class consists of 15 dolphins of all sizes and shapes,
They learn to work together and for their reward they love to eat grapes.

They jump high in the air and swim deep in the pool.
Just look at them go, aren't they just so cool!

They entertain people three times a day,
Because to them it's just time to play.

I do not wear business suits and fancy shoes,
Mine are wetsuits made with colors of greens and blues.

It is not all fun and games during the day,
Someone must feed the dolphins the stinky fish to make them stay.

As the sun begins to slowly set in the west,
My day is coming to an end but I need no rest.

They say I must go home cause my work is done,
But when I leave, all I do is think of coming back to have more fun!

"It's not just my job, it's my career!"
First Place, Tie, Intermediate Poetry
By Megan Wilbourne
Roanoke, VA

I flip, I flop,
I'm not afraid I'll drop.

I swing, I fly,
I float across the sky.

I jump, I twirl,
My tumbling's out of this world.

I run so very fast,
I hit the vault with a blast.

The bar, the beam, the vault, the floor,
Practicing, perfecting tens hours a week or more.

My coaches inspire, they light my fire,
Gymnastics is my love, Olympics are near,
It's not just my job, it's my career!

It's Not Just a Job, It's My Career
First Place, Middle Division
by Meredith Binns
Newport News, VA

For me,
It's not just my job,
It's my career,
Not a pay by hour,
Or a mere salary.
For me,
It's about helping others,
Finding cures,
Changing lives forever,
Despite race, color, creed-
For me,
It's all about fulfilling my dreams,
Doing what I thought I could not do,
Working to my full capability,
It's my way of life-my career.
For me,
There's no living day by day for nothing,
But living for a purpose,
Benefiting myself and others,
Bringing hope to those who have lost hope-
For me,
Those who thought there was no way out
I'm the scientist who paves a trail,
I'm making a difference,
Not just making time and money
For me,
I'm opening doors that were closed to mankind,
Taking steps to freedom borne from sorrow and pain,
I will make the world a better place,
Because it's not just my job, it's my career.

"A Career in Oceanography"
First Place, Senior Poetry
By Brenton Clamor
Brevard County, FL

Plunging through the curtain of water,
Descending the depths of light and day.
I take notice of what occurs in the ocean,
Recording what goes underway.

The ocean is a box of treasure.
Providing rubies of knowledge as my pay.
For my job is not about the money,
But about the discoveries that are made.

The idea of encountering unknown species
Is a fervor like none other.
The thought that I may be the first,
Stimulates an anxiousness to uncover
What lurks in the ocean's darkness,
And its mysteries.

If no one studied the ocean's enigma,
The pleasure of cars would be no more.
For there would hardly be much oil,
Or natural resources left in store.

What about the ocean's currents?
They too keep the secrets often overlooked by most.
They not only effect our transportation,
But the shape of America's coasts.

The ocean holds many keys
That unlocks the mysteries of our lives.
Some oceanographers even suggests,
That evolution had arise
From the treasure of the ocean's depths.

Oceanography is not just a job,
But a career where one often seeks,
An adventure to more knowledge,
Of what the ocean has to leak.

As I plunge through the curtain of water,
And descend the depths of light and day,
I can't help but take notice,
How much there is left underway.

Career Advising is Circus Flying
First Place,Open Adult Division
By Mo O'Connor
Madison, WI

To embark on this career is to step upon the platform
With enough confidence in your life experience
To hang your body upside-down from a swinging bar.

You swoop in wide arcs, knowledge and background
Hinging you securely above a net of history,
Personal triumphs and failures fastened tight
A springboard of wisdom to fall back upon.

Parallel with the platform, viewed from your inverted vantage point,
You lock eyes with the trapezists before you grasp hands,
Remembering their nervousness, imagining their fear,
Smiling at their bravado, understanding their doubt.

The timing is right. They step to the edge, extend arms forward,
Hop off into the unfamiliar, into your skilled and competent hands.
Past-practiced moves build agility for the future dismount
They have worked for, dreamed of.

You hold tight. Learn the rhythms of momentum
and resistance. Re-grasp if their grip slips.
You guide them from landing to landing
Because this is their flight. You just make it possible.

Coach with a smile when they glance upward, exasperated
From the net; pull yourself upright for a better glimpse
Once they reach the other side.

Click Here for more information about National Career Development Month or to enter the 39th Annual Career Development Poetry and Poster Contest. Or contact NCDA headquarters at 1-866-FOR-NCDA.

Click Here for a complete list of winners.


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