Dr Ryan Stone Comes to Career Day

Hello. My name is Dr. Ryan Stone and I'm here to talk to you about careers. Okay, wow. Right off the bat I see we've got an aspiring astronaut. What's your name - Gregory? Greg, could you please stand up? Kids, this is Gregory. You may already know him as that kid who asks you to pool money for magnet kits on his birthday party invitations but I know him by something else: his obituary. That's right, Greg, this is an intervention. Because you think it's fine now but I'm here to tell you how this ends. One day you're safely tethered to Earth, snacking on some Oreo's and barking out facts about Jupiter's moons, the next you're being barraged by burning metal, hurtling towards death faster than you can say, "but of course Pluto isn't a planet." Let me ask you a question, Gregory, do you value your life? Don't look to your classmates, they don't know the first thing about Bill Nye and they sure as hell can't tell you if he makes your life worth living. You do? Then do yourself a favor and don't throw it away. Say it with me, "I will go into accounting." Good job, Gregory, sit down.

Now to answer your patronizing question, Sharon, yes in fact, I am fine. But I would be better if your students had a better grasp of their own mortality when making major life decisions.

Like this one. What are you supposed to be, a pilot? That's cute. You like flying? Of course you do. You clap at the end of two-hour flights like it's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Cirque Du Soleil all in one. Like it's a spectacle. Let me ask you, why did you decide to dress up as a pilot this morning? Is it the lifestyle that appeals to you? Gliding from one place to another like a phoenix, letting autopilot do the work while you sit back in your cabin sipping coffee and objectifying the hostesses. That's the life, isn't it, Ethan? Except guess what. One of those days you'll be shooting the breeze with your co-pilot 33,000 feet above the planet and all of a sudden, oh! What's that! All of your engines burst into flames? Oh! And your connection to air traffic control is on the fritz? And now everything is on fire and the buttons are in a different language?!? You'll be sitting in the cockpit and all of a sudden you'll realize: you aren't a bird. This is bird stuff. You can't handle this. You don't have feathers or sternums shaped like keels and guess what? You never did. Let's say it together, class: "We are humans, Ethan, we aren't birds."

You, in the labcoat and snorkel. Are you a scientist or a scuba diver? Let's hope that little getup was thrown together last minute, Caroline, because if you tell me you want to be a marine biologist, if you seriously tell me you want to... Get out. Get out of this class. And until you understand that humans belong on land, do not come back. Sharon do not challenge me on this one.

Now what else do we have: I see some policemen, some firemen, a handful of CIA agents...  look, kids. I don't know what kind of death-worshipping, Wiccan culture Ms. Sharon and the others are pushing on you here but it has to stop. Your lives are worth something. There are other options: businessmen, bookkeepers, consultants... Donald, I see you want to be a paralegal, that's very practical. Everyone look at Donald. Here's a kid who knows when to say no to outlandish pursuits, a kid who knows his limits. Thank you, Donald, you are a beacon of inspiration for the others. Now. I'll ask one more time. What do you want to be when you grow up? Everyone together now: "Alive." Great. Well done, guys. My work here is done.