Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Worst Job and One of the Best Jobs

A couple of things that I found interesting in the news this past week:

I suppose I started following this premise that George W. Bush will be considered the worst President in U.S. history back in ’06 with the article in Rolling Stone. I’m not a regular reader of this particular periodical, but I must admit the caricature of the President wearing a dunce hat on the cover of the magazine really piqued my interest.

This idea that George Bush will be honored as the worst President came up again as I was watching CBS Sunday Morning. According to the story, it seems that “In a 2006 Siena College survey of 744 history professors, 82% rated President Bush below average, or a failure.” Back in April of 2008, George Mason University’s History News Network website conducted an informal poll of 109 historians. An incredible 98% considered Mr. Bush a failed president. And 61% said that he is one of the worst in American history. That’s quite an honor considering some of his fellow contenders like Buchanan, Harding, and Nixon. Oh! And with the recent downturn in the economy, Hoover is getting a lot of press lately.

Now it’s time for the good news. The employment website CareerCast.com recently researched and ranked 200 jobs. They have determined that Historian is rated the seventh (7th) best job in America! The jobs were ranked by income and employment outlook as well as other factors like job stress, working environment, and physical peril. Apparently, being a Mathematician (the number one rated job) is a lot better in all of these factors, including safety. But hey, maybe it really is cool to be a historian.

Update: I finally made it over to the Pacific Region of NARA here in Seattle. Not only did I find what I was looking for – original garden maps for the Carl English Gardens at the Ballard Locks – but the customer service was FANTASTIC. My thanks to archivists Kathleen Crosman and Patty McNamee as well as Senior Records Analyst Leslie Malek. These individuals not only helped me find what I needed there at the National Archives, but also got on the computer and found information at other archives and libraries. I was so impressed by the service and professionalism that I’m going to volunteer there.

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