Jobs and Occupations

Published February 3, 2021

Happy early February and belated New Year, everyone!

We hope everyone had a happy holiday, and was able to do something fun despite the pandemic. We enjoyed distributing the magazines last month and getting to meet some family members!

We also wanted to let everyone know we have put together a newsletter for those looking at the magazine online. Please tell your friends about our website: so they can read the magazine!

Lastly, we would like to talk about our writing contest. This will be taking place from now until March 13th (the deadline for submitting stories). The prompt of this to submit a short story explaining the memory that impacted your life most. This memory can be positive or negative. Go to and click on the button on the top of the screen for a digital copy of the information and links to the forms. Everyone in the neighborhood should have received a copy of the writing contest info sheet. Please do participate and tell your friends and family too! 

-Leeya and Adalia

P.S. Thank you Mr. Harold for the GENEROUS donation!!

Jobs and Occupations: Nine Interviews About Unique Occupations And Fascinating Jobs

by Leeya and Adalia

“My job is a fun thing to do!” -Ben Taylor

People who were interviewed (in order)

  • Fashion Designer – Emma Craig
  • Hypnosis Therapist – Amanda Hardenbrook
  • Self-Employed Yoga Instructor – Lumina Kemp
  • Orienteering Map Drafter – Dave Waller
  • CoOwner of Raleigh Reclaimed – Billy Keck
  • Neuroscientist – Darshana Narayanan
  • Architect – Ben Taylor
  • Diamond Merchant – Ramesh Mehta
  • Software Engineer – Matt Craig

We interviewed a variety of people to learn about different jobs and occupations. For this project, we tried to find some of the most unique ones that might inspire our readers. Don’t forget to check out the websites and social media pages of those listed below to find out more!

Fashion Design and Pattern Drafting – Emma Craig

*Search for @emmacraigdesigns on Instagram for even more pictures and information about Emma and her designs!

Emma Craig studied fashion design and pattern drafting at ESMOD in Lyon, France. Below we have a collection of gorgeous outfits she designed:

Photographer: Timothy Craig; Models: Léa Martin, Claudie Baruzzi, Alix Gelly, Gabriela Sturgis, Anouck Perrichon

This collection is based on modern-jazz and its beginnings in the 1950s in New York. To create these masterpieces, Emma found inspiration from the 1950s in France, which was when jazz music was developing and growing. This is why the silhouette is long with either a thin waist, called the ‘taille de guêpe’ or jacket. This was the typical aesthetic imposed on women at the time. In spite of these norms, Emma wanted to incorporate a modern jazz feel, which freed women from those “dress codes.” You can see the expressive, yet controlled jazz dance movements in the sewing lines. Emma said these undefined lines show the “dance slowly going through the clothing to take possession of the person beneath.” Emma also found inspiration for the round wave shapes from vinyl records, which became popular in 1951 and helped spread jazz. These parts of the outfits were difficult to make but the results turned out amazing! Some of the accessories, such as the hats and bags, were actually 3D printed! The sporty look adds to the imagery of jazz movement. Most of this collection is made of different shades of grey but the bits of pink in the lining and makeup express more jazz.

What does fashion design mean? Fashion design means searching for inspiration from all kinds of sources. Inspiration can come from art, social experiences or music. You use this inspiration and express it throughout your drawings: the colors, details and shape of the cloth. When doing fashion design, you also have to think about what fabric you are going to use and ways to make it interesting. When drafting patterns, you take the fashion drawings and make them come alive. You can mold them onto the mannequin or do it on paper. Generally, pattern drafters sew a first draft with cotton fabric, so they can see the flaws that need to be fixed. Then, you make the actual patterns, making sure that every sewing line is aligned and correct. Lastly, this is passed to the person in charge of sewing the clothing with the right fabric.

What is your favorite part about your job? My favorite part about fashion is that it expresses society. You can explain fashion through different historical moments, social events and more. I also love the research aspect of fashion. You can dig as deep as possible into the subject you’re working on to extract the most interesting information out of it. Pattern drafting is sewing clothing with the right fabric. I very much enjoy this whole process; going from a simple drawing to something more materialistic: the cloth itself.

What is your least favorite part about your job? My least favorite part about fashion is how it’s changing now-a-day. In my opinion, fashion is losing its point by slowly becoming identical. Most fashion designers want to be famous rather than good at what they do. It is also really sad to see the ecological and ethical effects of fashion are becoming worse each day. Sometimes, fabric research can be difficult because it takes a long time to find the right fabric, in the right color, at the right price. Lastly, I don’t enjoy cutting the fabric when pattern drafting. This takes a while and isn’t that exciting.

Where do you find inspiration? I usually find inspiration through architecture. Interesting shapes and details seen in architecture are neat to try and recreate. I also find inspiration through art. I really enjoy contemporary art. To me, it tells a story about society in a pure way. Finally, I find inspiration through things I have experienced that move me, such as modern-jazz dance, which I have practiced for ten years and inspired me for my graduating collection (collection see above).

Hypnosis Therapist – Amanda Hardenbrook

Go to and search for “Amanda Hardenbrook” or go to to learn more about Ms. Amanda!

Amanda Hardenbrook is a licensed clinical mental health counselor who specializes in hypnosis therapy. She has a full-time private practice which she has been in for seven years.

What is hypnosis therapy and how does it work? Generally, hypnosis is meditation with a goal. You are relaxing your mind and allowing it go into a more suggestive state. When people meditate, they do this…when people pray they do this. We might do it through a visualization, using a focal point or stories. For a client who was afraid of driving at night, we used the Dr. Seuss book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go. Ultimately, you give a suggestion. It’s not as woowoo as stage hypnosis. I don’t use hypnosis with every single client. Some people who come for hypnosis are getting counseling and some people are only coming for hypnosis.

What is your favorite part of your job? In general, for counseling, my favorite part is helping people feel better and accomplish their goals. For the hypnosis part of it, I still love helping people accomplish their goals, but I also love how creative I can be with that. The way you can weave in stories and the way that you can include things that really speak to each individual client. When I first meet with clients, I get a list of all the things they really love to do, all their favorite things. You can be really creative!

What is your least favorite part of your job? Paperwork. That is my least favorite part. I have to do charting (records on each client) and that can be time consuming. For therapy, if a person has insurance, then, of course, that’s more paperwork.

How does your job affect the people around you? For clients, I definitely think people appreciate having a safe place to talk about things that have been stressful or upsetting to them. I think people also like being able to learn skills to navigate some of those challenges. We have our own inner wisdom and it’s just a question of making some space to sort out what it is that’s bothering someone and what is the thing that feels right. I really love that I can create a space for people to feel better; when people come, they may be in a really bad spot but I get to see things get better for them. I feel lucky to have worked with people that I really could feel like I was making an impact. For my family, it is probably hugely to their advantage that I do this; before I became a therapist, I did not have good communication skills. It helped my marriage be better. I think very often, parents have ideas of how they want their kids to be and being a therapist, I don’t get to decide that for people. Everybody has their own path and I’m there to help them go where they want to go. This has helped me being a mother. I think, is this something I’m trying to make happen or something my daughter wants?

What got you into your job? When I was in college, I thought I would work on Capitol Hill. I decided after college that I didn’t want to work on the Hill. I had done arts administrative work all through college, worked for Boston Ballet and the theater. I ended up doing arts administration for several years. I had to do a lot of education and outreach things and thought I could get my art teaching certificate. I taught for almost five years, but I didn’t love working for the school system. My father is a psychiatrist, so I had always grown up with therapy being around me. One of the things I really liked about teaching was if one of the kids was having a hard time with something, they might come and talk to me. I had a boyfriend at the time, who had a really hard breakdown and I was with him during that. After he was better, my mother suggested working with people who were having a hard time might be something I would want to look into. And I did.

Do you have an instrument for hypnotherapy? I do sometimes use a pendant. There are two things you can do with it. You can use it as a focal point during hypnosis. You have someone watch the pendant, focusing on it and letting their eyes get heavy. I don’t do this most often. The thing I teach my clients to do is to put the chain between your thumb and ring finger, thinking to yourself, back and forth, back and forth; bigger, bigger and bigger. You just focus on that, not moving your arm. The movement of the pendant is the micro-muscles in your fingers, hearing the message from your brain. The reality is that as you sit and breathe and concentrate, you’re focusing. You are really calm in your body, getting to that alpha state. When I learned how to do it, we were all amazed. The teacher kept telling us, “Oh, you’re so good at this!” Later, we were separated to practice, and I was going to be hypnotized first. I was thinking, pooh! Why can’t I do the hypnotizing first to get it out of the way and just relax while I’m getting hypnotized? I was stressed. All of a sudden, I thought why am I worried? I’m good at this! It was the teacher’s words. And that is the power of suggestion. You’re accessing that more sensitive space in your mind…the subconscious, getting around the critical factors and accessing the more suggestable state. If you get people here, then they will absorb the suggestion and those suggestions make a big difference in how we move forward in our life.

Self-Employed Yoga Instructor – Lumina Kemp

Go to for more information about Lumina’s classes or search “Lumina yoga” on YouTube, Instagram or Facebook. We have linked Lumina’s Youtube channel to our own for ease of search.

Lumina Kemp has been teaching Hatha Flow Yoga classes since 2009. Her classes can be low and slow or uplifting and fiery, alway carrying an emphasis on cultivating awareness by aligning movement with breath and mind with yogic teachings. Lumina “strives to organize sequences that are available to all levels; challenging students to explore, express and experience their own body and mind connection in the present moment.”

What is your favorite part about yoga? My favorite part about yoga is that it combines three things I love: learning, exploring, and sharing. Even though I did my initial yoga teacher training in 2009, I have continued to do more training, workshops and classes in other styles (both online and in different countries). Yoga is a treasure trove of information from history and philosophy to biomechanics, anatomy and physiology. Yoga truly has something for everyone! My favorite part of my job as a teacher is being able to share something that has so many benefits. I try to create a space for my students so that they feel safe to connect with their breath and bodies and find ease and strength through being present. It’s most rewarding to hear from a student that something I said helped them through something or let go of negative thoughts!

What is your least favorite part about your job? My least favorite part of the job is being self-employed! There’s a lot of spreadsheets, class rosters, tax assessments and planning involved. Marketing with photo shoots, promotional materials, updates on the website and social media promotions just add to it!

How does this job help/affect people? I wanted to become a yoga instructor because I wanted to help other people feel as good as I felt when I practiced. My job helps care for people’s mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.

What tips do you have about yoga? First slow down! We’re so busy being busy that many of us are consumed with worries about the past or future. Connecting with your breath can help you find a balanced breath. A lot of people think that yoga is all about stretching and, yes, flexibility and a greater range of motion is a part of it, but a balanced practice also means tapping into your strength and vitality. I always encourage strengthening and stretching as part of a balanced practice. I also encourage everyone to value themselves enough to commit to their well-being with whatever practice serves them best. It doesn’t have to be a full hour. It doesn’t have to be on a mat. It can just be a few minutes, but if you practice consistently you’ll feel a difference, perhaps in ways you didn’t expect. It is part of the exploration. A great teacher of mine always says, “We don’t practice yoga to get better at yoga, we practice yoga to get better at life.”

Orienteering Map Drafter – Dave Waller

Dave Waller is an orienteering map drafter. He got interested in map drafting after spending many years competing and participating in orienteering. He realized that if he learned the principles of map construction he would be able to improve and this turned out to be true!

This is a section of the map of Shackleford Banks that Dave is currently drafting. Shackleford Banks is a part of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, near Beaufort and Morehead City. According to Dave, this is “an incredible area with a very complex pattern of dunes and vegetation…Every once in a while you even come upon a wild horse!”

What is your favorite part about map drafting? I really like that it integrates a lot of basic human experiences – it uses both sides of the brain. On one hand, there are a lot of rules, guidelines and fine-grained technical knowledge and procedures that one needs to master. But on the other hand, the way that the map gets produced (i.e., field-checking) involves a whole lot of immediate, unmediated experience with my environment. Finally, the goal of the process is to create something that is aesthetically pleasing and that, if done well, can be considered a true work of art. So, on the whole, the process of mapmaking exercises both rational and artistic abilities, and is embedded in an endeavor that allows me to experience nature in an immediate way.

What is your least favorite part about map drafting? Depending on what area I’m mapping, there is frequently a lot of time spent in the car, just driving there to do my field-checking. Sometimes, these commutes get pretty tedious.

Co-owner of Raleigh Reclaimed – Billy Keck

Go to for more information about Raleigh Reclaimed or buy one of your own custom pieces!

Raleigh Reclaimed makes custom furniture and sells specialty lumber using reclaimed wood, which is wood from trees that would otherwise be destined for the landfill. They also have a metal fabrication shop in-house, which means they make a lot of beautiful pieces that incorporate steel. Below are some pictures of their beautiful woodwork:

What is your favorite part of your job? I like the fact that my job allows me to be creative and that every day and every project is different. I also love that Raleigh Reclaimed is a family owned and operated business. We invite everyone to come by and see what’s being made in their community!

What is your least favorite part of your job? I like most everything about my job but my least favorite part is probably the struggle to find young people who appreciate the value of learning a trade. 

How does this job affect people or customers? Our business is built upon the idea of repurposing and reusing so what we do is truly environmentally conscious work. All of our wood and metal products are taken from raw materials to finished products right here in Raleigh. Also, we employ a large number of talented people in our community that are making high-quality, American-made products. As a local business, we have the opportunity to give back to our community beyond building items for local homes and businesses – we do everything from make desks for local elementary students to sponsor community sports teams.

Neuroscientist – Darshana Narayanan

Darshana Narayanan is a trained neuroscientist. She works with monkeys and studies them to understand why monkeys don’t talk and humans do. 

What is your favorite part of your job? The monkeys are definitely my favorite part. I work with a species of monkey called the marmoset, they are a small, new world monkey native to Brazil. They are very cute and I get to play with their babies!!

What is your least favorite part of your job? The monkeys can sometimes get very naughty. They fight with each other or make a big mess. When they are naughty I have to do extra work. It’s like having 20 bratty children!

How does your job affect people around you? I hope my research will help us understand ourselves better. How did humans evolve? In which ways are we related to other primates? How do our brains, bodies and environments work in concert to make us who we are?

Monkeys named Lolita and Humbert Humbert

Tell us about a study you have participated in or conducted. My lab mates and I studied how baby monkeys learn how to “speak.” We uncovered that parent monkeys teach their babies how to speak in the same way that our parents teach us how to speak. Monkey parents will respond to their babbling babies and encourage them to make the right sounds; monkey babies that have more attentive parents learn to speak faster than those that have inattentive parents.

Architect – Ben Taylor

*Go to to learn more about Integrated Design.

Ben Taylor’s job is mostly about designing buildings at Integrated Design. He meets with the client, who comes to him (or his company) because they think they can do a good job. The client talks about their needs, which generally depend on the company and what they are using the building for. According to Mr. Ben, “it is not always easy to clarify what the client needs: some know a lot, some don’t.” Many people have a certain style (modern, more conventional, etc.) in mind. Now, Mr. Ben does a schematic drawing, which is basically a sketch. Then, comes the design development and construction documents, or blueprints. Did you know that blueprints used to be printed blue with white lines long ago? This isn’t the process anymore because our printing capabilities have grown. In addition, this process has become much more computerized. The last step is to build the structure. Below are some pictures of Mr. Ben’s work:

What is your favorite part of your job? Seeing the piece built and coming to life.

What’s your least favorite part of your job? Mistakes you don’t like. We designed a building in Rocky Mount. We were using tilt-up concrete, which is where boards are put down and the concrete slab is laid before being tilted up. The panel of the building broke and when we looked back at the drawing we saw that we had left the reinforcing steel out! That wasn’t fun!

How does architecture affect the environment? Buildings can be energy efficient or not. If you do have insulation, air conditioning or even solar panels, you can make a building very green. It costs a little more but many times it saves enough money over time to pay for that. This is known as life cycle cost.

How does architecture affect people or customers? The temperature and light of the building affect people. So, you design things considering the people who are using the space.

Diamond Merchant – Ramesh Mehta

Ramesh Mehta is a retired diamond merchant who used to own the Bombay Diamond Corporation. His company imported small diamonds from Indian diamond manufacturers and sold them to jewelry makers in the US. They then set those diamonds into jewelry that was made in the east coast.

What is your favorite part of your job? My favorite part of the job was visualizing different designs that the American consumer would enjoy wearing. My company would sell to big stores like Macy’s or Tiffany’s so getting the right kind of diamonds was crucial.

What is your least favorite part of your job? My least favorite part was collecting money from customers and stores. This was because some stores would go bankrupt and not pay them. It was disappointing to get a letter of bankruptcy rather than a check from the stores.

How does this job help/affect people? It has made diamond jewelry affordable for the American consumer. In the past, the consumer had to pay lots for diamonds outside of Indian and could not afford the jewelry. However, when the diamonds came to India, the jewelry became a little bit more affordable to the American consumers and therefore they could buy it.

Software Engineer – Matt Craig

Matt Craig works for Above and Beyond-Business Tools and Services for Entrepreneurs, which is a company that makes things like payment processing software. This means they may have sold the box you swipe your credit card in to your favorite restaurant!

What skills does a software engineer need? A software engineer must understand how to translate user/business needs into working software. They use the knowledge of one or more programming languages and how to turn code into working programs to meet those needs. A good software engineer constantly learns and teaches others because the technology they work with changes quickly.

What is your favorite part about your job? The extremely fast turnaround time from idea to working model makes being a software engineer exciting. In contrast to physical manufacturing, where concept-to-product is slow, software gives the opportunity to start with a small idea and grow it into a robust product in a small amount of time, even working alone on the project.

What is your least favorite part about your job? Bugs in software and time spent debugging them annoy most software engineers. The complexity of business products leads to very complex hard-to-build and hard-to-debug software. Having to focus a lot of effort fixing problems that arise from this complexity takes away from the fun of creating new things because you sit there all day staring at one piece of code trying to find a tiny bug or the reason it is so slow.

How does this job help/affect people? My job affects not just the people who sit in the (virtual) cubicle next to me, but lets me and the product owners I work with affect almost anyone on the planet (who has an Internet connection). Our software improves efficiency of restaurants and retail establishments by helping them deal with administrative tasks via the Internet. In this way anyone in the world with a tablet and an Internet connection could work with our software to get their job done better.

We hope you enjoyed reading these interviews. Thank you to everyone who participated and let us interview them/answered the questions!

Still Life Drawing of a Fruit Bowl

By Neel


Poem by Adalia

Earth like a ball spinning through air

Planet like a home full of life and death

World like a community loving and caring

Family like one organism thriving existence

We like two friends loving and hating

I like one atom in all of the air

Life like human becoming God

Death like a family member leaving the others

Peace like two hands holding the world

Power like fox fighting for eagle

Truth like pain of loved one’s decay

Community like one body with all of its parts

Until they are torn apart with lives of their own

Love like a need so dire you would perish for it

Hate like a loyal friend leaving forever

Friendship like a twin who knows you all

Fear like every secret becoming known

Pure emotion something rare

The Wizard of Oz: A Classic Worth Watching

A Movie Review Special by Leeya


I’ve just finished watching the classic film “The Wizard of Oz” for the second time now. And, despite the problems that the film encountered during the production, this movie is well ahead of its time. However, viewers will be watching this film from a modern-day perspective making the technicolor and then exciting technology, almost blunt and not exciting. I will say, this dampens the excitement and feel of the movie a little bit. Nevertheless, this fun family movie that centers around a young girls’ experience in a new, magical world is perfect for kids and parents alike.

What is the movie about, you may be wondering? Well, the Wizard of Oz is about a girl named Dorothy who gets whisked away in a tornado to a land called Oz. In the world, she meets three friends: Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion. They all want something: a brain, heart, and courage. Dorothy’s wish is to get back to Kansas (her home), but in order to do that, they have to get to the Wizard of Oz. So, they follow the yellow brick road. Along the way, Dorothy meets her friends but runs into some trouble with the Wicked Witch. The witch wants her ruby shoes but Dorothy manages to avoid several encounters with her. Finally, they arrive at the Wizard of Oz but he says that they have to kill the Wicked Witch before he can grant their wishes. So, they try to do that but Dorothy and her dog end up getting captured…What happens next? You have to watch the movie to find out!

Judy Garland plays Dorothy, the main character, and let me just say that this is what makes the movie so good. She is the perfect Dorothy and plays a small-town girl with a dog perfectly. Her singing and acting skills are amazing and her personality really comes through on-screen. It is heartbreaking to know what she went through during filming. Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, and Bert Lahr play Dorothy’s friends: The Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion. They also do a special job and are so vibrant and friendly. Of course, you can’t ignore Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch. Even if you watch this as an adult, she will still scare you and make you feel like she is coming for you. So, “watch out my pretty!” 

Personally, I liked this movie. I think it had a good plot and fun songs and would be suitable for every age. However, teenagers and young-adults would most likely find this boring and too kid-oriented when watching it by themselves. The actors were very good and played their parts pretty well. It is definitely a classic. Although there were many problems during production with this movie, they managed to pull it off and make the Land of Oz look magical and whimsical. 

While watching this movie, I learned that things are not always as they seem and you might have something that you think you don’t have. For example: The Scarecrow (one of Dorothy’s friends) wanted a brain but he had it all along. After watching the movie, this will make more sense however kids will learn valuable things from this. 

Overall, I think kids and adults who have seen this in their childhood would like this because it is a fun story with lots of colors and everything is kid-friendly. The rating of this movie is PG. I would recommend it for people 6+ because little kids might find the Wicked Witch a little bit scary. Parents: You definitely have to see this classic with your kids and it is worth watching.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

The red tent is where womanhood begins. Told through the lens of Dinah, a character hinted at in the Bible, this book shows us what the women experienced in ancient times. The book opens up by describing Dinah’s three aunties and her mother. She describes how her father, Jacob, came and brought prosperity to their farmlands. Dinah remembers sitting in the red tent, listening to the gossip of her aunties when she was young. As she grows older, she finds her calling in midwifery when her household must travel to find a new farmland. There she also meets her love. This prince offers a royal bride price but after his murder, Dinah is heartbroken and leaves for the lands of Egypt. Here her life changes and we see the way she grows from all of her experiences in life, each one building onto what she learned in the red tent.

Fun Facts

Why So Close? 

Did you know, Earth is closest to the Sun during the winter?

In January, when winter starts in the Northern hemisphere (we live here!), the Earth has reached the point of its orbit closest to the Sun! You may think this would cause the temperatures to rise not fall, however the closeness of the Earth to the Sun doesn’t actually have very much to do with the temperature of the planet…It is the titling of Earth on its axis that causes the different hemispheres to experience different weather.

The Longest Commercial Ever

Created by Old Spice for a product that supposedly “lasts forever,” the commercial features actor Terry Crews, among others, and is currently airing “for an eternity” online. But since that’s not exactly possible on TV, a 14-hour version was put together and aired in São Paulo, Brazil, on December 8, 2018, earning the Guinness World Record for the longest TV ad ever.

Jobs That Actually Exist! 

  • Drying paint watcher: Someone actually earns a living watching paint dry. A man in the UK currently has the job and he spends his days painting sheets of cardboard to test how long new paint mixes take to dry and watching for changes in color and texture.
  • Dog food taster: The dog food tester’s job is to taste new dog food products, including bones, tinned meat and biscuits. They do this to test for flavor and texture in comparison to rival dog food brands and human food. Hmm…tasty?
  • Scuba Diving Pizza Delivery Man: There is an underwater hotel in Florida that has a scuba diving pizza delivery man who supplies visitors with pizza by carrying the food through the sea in a watertight case. Hopefully, people tip him well!

New York

Artwork by Mirabel