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When I went back to my hometown for the holidays, I spent a lot of time typing away at the local coffee shop. My companions included a man in his 40s who came to play online poker every day, and a whole lot of kids from my former high school who were armed with graphing calculators and visited by serious-looking tutors.
It was winter break and these kids were studying? I couldn't help thinking back on how even though I had to repeat algebra and take geometry in summer school, I would have died before I spent a precious day of winter break sitting around drinking lattes with a geeky math tutor. (Yes, the kids from my alma mater drink lattes.)
As I observed this next generation from behind my laptop, I couldn't help feel the urge to approach these youngsters, like a ghost of winter break future, and tell them that they were on the right track and just might find their dream job some day. But I didn't, because I'm still scarred from watching "Mean Girls," which coincidentally, featured Lindsay Lohan joining a club for "mathletes." It turns out I would have been offering them some valid advice.
Today the Wall Street Journal published a list of the best jobs in America based on the criteria of environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands and stress. Guess which job came in first place? The mathematician, which was followed by actuary, statistician and biologist – all of which, I'm assuming, require some kind of fancy calculator. -Joy Hepp