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Career day gives 7th graders glimpse at real ife
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Firefighter and EMT Tim Cameron visits Riverview Middle School to talk to seventh graders about career choices. - photo by For the Dawson County News

"How do you drill a bone?"

It seemed a logical question during a presentation by Marietta and Dawson County firefighter and paramedic Tim Cameron on career day for seventh graders last week at Riverview Middle School.

Cameron quickly worked on a response as he continued the explanation of what happens if he can't get an IV inserted in a patient during an emergency situation. He told the students it would require an IV into the bone.

"We have this thing called EZ-IO. It's very vascular in there. If we put the medication in your bone, it picks it up into your blood vessels and takes it right to your heart," Cameron said.

Students in Benjy Edwards' classroom visibly bristled at the thought, while Cameron continued describing the process. Multiple students proclaimed they would never want a bone drilled.

Cameron countered that if their life were on the line, they might reconsider.

Every year Riverview Middle School hosts career day for its seventh graders. This year's event was March 31 and was in a new format according to school counselor Kate Jarrard.

Students remained in their Connections classrooms while five professionals made their way around to each of the five rooms for 15 minute presentations.

"I hope that the kids are able to get a glimpse of real life professions and not just what they see on TV," Jarrard said.

They heard from a firefighter, dentist, lawyer and city councilman, cosmetologist and chiropractor.

"It was very fun to learn about new jobs and why they are important to us," said seventh grader Sidney Baker. "I personally want to start my own business. So career day prepared me for what I need to expect in life."

Chiropractor Stephen Parsons addressed the waiting students with startling numbers about life and careers.

"A Gallup poll in 2013 said that 87 percent of the work force is disengaged. Disengaged means they don't care, they don't really want to be at work...Eighty seven percent of the population means only 13 percent of the population love what they do. We are going to talk about a few things so that we can make sure that you pick a career that you love," he said.

Presenters emphasized the importance of career choice, as well as how an education influences it.

Cameron told exciting stories but quickly related the day in and day out of a firefighter's work to the work students are doing now.

"When will I ever use that? When will I use algebra or chemistry or dangling participles? Have ya'll ever asked that?" he said.

Students nodded in agreement.

"When I do reports, every fire I go on, I have to do a report. I have to basically type a book about the incident because sometimes insurance companies need those reports, the court system needs those reports."

Cameron went on to explain how math formulas help him every day to determine things like friction loss in firehoses and how many gallons of water are flowing through a nozzle.

"I loved hearing the students talking about the different speakers and their various careers throughout the day. They were able to find out what is required to become a medic or a chiropractor or a cosmetologist or a dentist. Anytime students can get a taste of positive real world experience it helps what they might want to pursue in the future," said seventh grade science teacher Rhonda Sillesky.

Jarrard said they plan to expand the event next year to include sixth graders.

"The volunteers wanted to present more," Jarrard said about the new format.

"We wanted to see how it went with the seventh grade and then we might expand it."