Novice, Amateur, Professional

2022 Year of Aesthetics Series №1


Novice implies a new initiate to subject, not wise or knowledgeable but the excited and explorative. I recently became a novice at the piano. I have found while I am good friends with my teacher and outside piano we can talk about anything, that as a novice, I have to accept she knows legions more than I do and I much is not transferable without much practice and hard work. Being a novice is not relaxing it is focusing on what is right before you, and being guided. Returning to a novice role is harder as you age, I am often one mentoring and leading. Yet this has been a very rich path for me. Having a novice pursuit brings new knowledge, excitement, joy, folly and frustration. The novel pursuit is often degraded in public. I have been asked why I started playing, the simple answer was I wanted to. I think we should take on meaningful desires and new ones. We do not want to be novice in all things but novice in a few serious things brings much to life.


Amateur has curse word and an insult. It seems now if there is no revenue in something or if your passions do not pay that you are foolish to engage with that passion. When I meet someone with an amateur pursuit, it seems that it is always down played as a hobby, a frivolity or a lark. Yet if two people share the same amateur interest then whole attitude changes, like secrets shared between hermits. Yet Darwin was an unpaid self funded amateur, and the Olympics used to be an all amateur competition. Homes used to be filled with musicians and painter and poets. Now if it doesn’t come with a check it is not worth our time. Yet these lonely amateurish endeavors are often what gets many of us up for a days work. I have embraced the amateur I have several lines of interest involving spirits, music, books, cooking and travel that I swear will never turn a profit but are a wealth to me. They have taken years of non-monetary gain and a lot of capital cost to pursue. I do love the things you do alone, as well as groups but the amateur will always be alone in a way. I have found great benefit from decoupling the amateur from cash generation because it becomes all about cash and becomes professional.

The Professional

I have been lucky to have a career and profession. It has come with countless amounts of the right place at the right time events, taking the right advice and not taking the wrong. It has an aspect of this is what I should be doing. It also is a persona, professionals are often limited by the system they are in. I say persona, because in a profession you can’t abandon things without a cost or willfully pursue things at higher cost only to yourself. There is a lot of satisfaction in solving problems and working in a more fixed and very well understood domain. It also lets you train novices and apprentices which gives you a taste of the novices excitement and helps those starting out being less alone. It also allows bigger scope for what you are working in. The professional also needs to be kept clean tidy and segregated from the non profitable. It may not all be about money but it is primarily so.

AND it can be used to fund and support unrelated novice and amateur pursuits.



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Ernest Boehm

Ernest Boehm

Chem E speaker of words doer of deeds