Letters to the Editor

Posted: Friday, June 01, 2001

There's honor in every profession, when job is performed honorably

I just arrived home from the business I own and finally had a chance to sit down and read the paper. On page 12 of today's (May 24) Peninsula Clarion was an article about how Dr. Nels Anderson asks each graduating senior "What are your educational goals?" I thoroughly enjoyed the article as I attended Kenai Central High School's graduation to see many of the students I know graduate and to watch my husband announce their names. He is a teacher at KCHS.

Anyhow, I was just smiling to myself as I read this article. Remembering how I watched some of the students pause in front of Dr. Anderson and now knowing what he was saying to them made me think, "What a nice man!"

Then I read the last two sentences that said, "But he said he does encourage everyone to go to college. Even if they plan on being a hair dresser."

I'm going to have to give him the benefit of the doubt that he didn't mean to insult someone in my profession. I've been a licensed hairdresser and esthetician (skin care) since 1986. I really hope Dr. Anderson wasn't serious when he said he encourages everyone to go to college even if they want to "be a hairdresser" because they would still have to go to Beauty College or apprentice to get their license. If you truly want to be in my profession, then what is required is about 2,000 hours of schooling (about the equivalent of an associate degree in college). Then you have to take a written and practical board exam to get your license by the state in which you reside or want to work in. If you plan on owning a salon, as I do, it might help to have some kind of business training if taxes, insurance, management, accounting, etc. are foreign to you, but it is not necessarily crucial.

What is crucial is having a firm grasp on chemistry, sociology, psychology and geometry; having an artistic flair and a sense of style; being willing to stand on your feet for long hours at a time; having a love of people and wanting to please and make them feel good about themselves; and, last but not least, never being judgmental about the people whose hair you do because everyone has their own special qualities and beauty. It is up to us as professional stylists to help them bring it out. How many of you have your whole day ruined when you have a "bad hair day"?

My chosen profession is not an easy one, although it is the one I have chosen to be in since I was 2. How many people can say that they love what they do for a living?

What I find most interesting is when I look at my husband's and my income tax returns and see that I make more money than he does! Not bad for a mere hairdresser versus a college-educated professional. My husband should get paid more for the job he does, but that's another story in itself!

Anyway, as we watch another group of seniors graduate, I hope at least a few contemplate the profession I have chosen to be in. You'll still love your job after 15 years, make good money, make people happy and help out some of us salon owners who are "desperately seeking stylists!"

Even if you choose to be a doctor, just remember, there is honor in every profession when you honorably perform your job!

Gina M. Kiel, Owner Halcyon Spalon, Kenai

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