The thoughts, ideas, findings, and fancies of a Catholic student at Our Lady's University.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Sure, you can have my Social Security Number, but come on, some stuff is personal

About a month ago, I signed up to take the ACT. When I registered, I had to go through 400+ questions about various aspects of myself. I had to cover my family background, educational record, and future plans. And then there was the "Interest Inventory." I read it aloud as I completed it, and all of us in the room were breathless with laughter. Some of these I can picture as having some bearing on career plans ("Study Chemistry", for example), but others just had such strange job options associated with them...
So now, for your reading pleasure, is the ACT Interest Inventory (with snarky comments interspersed because, after all, what else would you expect?)

Do you like to:

1. Learn about star formations

2. Sketch and draw pictures

3. Help someone make an important decision (‘You know, it’s only an extra $1.50 to get fries with that…’)

4. Conduct a meeting

5. Count and sort money

6. Build a picture frame

7. Learn how the brain works

8. Compose or arrange music

9. Give first aid to an injured person

10. Develop new rules or policies

11. Take inventory in a store

12. Fix a toy

13. Explore a science museum

14. Make creative photographs

15. Show children how to play a game or sport

16. Work in a political campaign

17. Write payroll checks

18. Run a lawn mower

19. Attend the lecture of a well-known scientist

20. Write short stories

21. Work on a community improvement project (Is that the same as Community Service?)

22. Present information before a group

23. Set up a bookkeeping system

24. Watch for forest fires (Ranger Gord, anyone?)

25. Study biology

26. Read about the writing style of modern authors

27. Help a newcomer meet people

28. Discuss a misleading advertisement with a salesperson

29. Prepare a budget for a club or group

30. Build furniture

31. Measure chemicals in a test tube (I always thought the mixing of the chemicals was more fun than the measuring, but that’s just me)

32. Prepare drawings to illustrate a magazine story

33. Take part in a small group discussion

34. Plan work for other people (This is the question with which they sort out the oldest children)

35. Balance a checkbook

36. Learn to cut and polish gemstones

37. Read about a new surgical procedure (“37.5: Perform a new surgical procedure”)

38. Write a movie script

39. Find out how others believe a problem can be solved

40. Explain legal rights to people

41. Sort, count, and store supplies

42. Repair damage to a tree after a storm (…And have a large bonfire that night)

43. Study plant diseases

44. Select music to play for a local radio station

45. Help rescue someone in danger

46. Demonstrate a new product (“Say, ma’am, this is a lovely home you have here. I’m here as a representative of the Acme Vacuum Cleaner Corporation. Do you mind if I come in for a moment?…”)

47. Plan a monthly budget

48. Design a bird feeder

49. Read books or magazines about new scientific findings

50. Play jazz in a combo

51. Help settle an argument between friends

52. Campaign for a political office

53. Find errors in a financial account

54. Engrave lettering or designs on a trophy or plaque (…And the natural follow-up: “Create license plates”)

55. Study chemistry

56. Draw cartoons

57. Give directions to visitors

58. Publicize a show or athletic event

59. Figure shipping costs for catalog orders

60. Assemble a cabinet from written instructions

61. Use a microscope or other lab equipment

62. Design a metal sculpture

63. Help friends with their problems

64. Conduct business by phone (“How happy are you with your current long-distance service?”)

65. Make charts or graphs

66. Pack things into boxes

67. Read about the origin of the earth, sun, and stars

68. Play in a band

69. Teach people a new hobby

70. Interview workers about company complaints

71. Calculate the interest on a loan (This has to lead to the financial aid section)

72. Watch a technician repair a television

73. Observe and classify butterflies

74. Write reviews of Broadway plays

75. Help people during emergencies

76. Hire a person for a job

77. Keep expense account records

78. Prune plants and shrubs

79. Study the effects of vitamins on animals (“One day I will work with animals/All the tests I’m gonna do/All my stuff’s completely natural/and when we’re done we’ll boil them down for glue”)

80. Design a poster for an event

81. Entertain others by telling jokes or stories

82. Manage a small business

83. Look for errors in the draft of a report

84. Shelve books in a library

85. Learn how birds migrate

86. Play a musical instrument

87. Give a tour of an exhibit

88. Conduct a door-to-door opinion poll

89. Operate office machines

90. Inspect products for defects

Oh, and if I wondered what kind of person's career path would be chosen by their love of box-packing, I found out when I actually took the test at a more inner-city high school than I'm used to (yes, I know I'm homeschooled, but I do have some experience in public high schools, if only from past test-taking experiences). Nothing against inner-city schools (or box-packers, for that matter), but it was the most stereotypical, Breakfast Club-esque, Saturday-Morning-Detention group of people you could imagine.

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