Avocation

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American First Lady Bess Truman with Girl Scouts and their volunteer leaders

An avocation is an activity that one engages in as a hobby outside one's main occupation. There are many examples of people whose professions were the ways that they made their livings, but for whom their activities outside of their workplaces were their true passions in life.[1][2] Occasionally, as with Lord Baden-Powell and others, a person who pursues an avocation is more remembered by history for their avocation than for their professional career.

Many times a person's regular vocation may lead to their avocation. Many forms of humanitarian campaigning, such as work for organizations such as Amnesty International and Greenpeace may be done by people involved in the law or human rights issues as part of their work.[3]

Many people involved with youth work pursue this as an avocation.[4]

Avocation in literature[edit]

But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For heaven and the future's sakes.

Robert FrostTwo Tramps in Mud Time, st. 9

People whose avocations were not their vocations[edit]

A[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Adams, Frederick luthier physician
Allen, Woody Jazz musician filmmaker
Alston, Joseph Cameron badminton player federal agent
Ambros, August Wilhelm Musical Archaeologist Austrian civil service

B[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Baden-Powell, Robert Scouting Military Officer
Balzary, Michael Non-Profit Management Musician
Barr, William Bagpiper Attorney
Benedetto, Anthony Painter Singer
Bennett, William Clarinetist Physicist
Billroth, Theodor Pianist Surgeon
Blom, Gertrude Social Anthropologist Journalist
Borodin, Alexander Composer Chemist
Butchart, Harvey Grand Canyon Explorer Mathematics Professor

C[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Carpenter, Charles naturalist minister
Chekhov, Anton writer, playwright physician
Copeland, Johnny boxer blues guitarist
Copernicus, Nicolaus Astronomer Roman Catholic cleric

D[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Derleth, August naturalist Novelist
Duncan, Watson Actor Professor

E[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Eriugena, Johannes Scotus Theologian Poet

F[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Fermat, Pierre de Mathematician Lawyer
Franco, Veronica Poet Courtesan

G[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Getty, J. Paul Art collector Oilman

H[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Hohlbaum, Robert writer librarian

I[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Ingres, Jean Auguste Dominique violinist painter
Ives, Charles composer insurance agent

J[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Jacques, Brian author milkman
Jędruch, Jacek historian Nuclear engineer

K[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Kaleeba, Noerine activist physiotherapist
King, Augusta Ada mathematician courtier
Kogan, Richard, M.D. pianist psychiatrist

L[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Lamarr, Hedy Inventor Actress
Lifton, Robert Jay Cartoonist Psychiatrist
Lluberas, Gerónimo musician physician

M[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Means, Gaston Con artist salesman

N[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Norton, Joshua A. Emperor of these United States businessman

O[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Obici, Amedeo farmer businessman

P[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Peszke, Michael Alfred historian psychiatrist

Q[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Quirinus of Neuss missionary tribune

R[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Reed, John Silas Revolutionary journalist
Roget, Peter Mark Lexicographer Physician
Ryan, Jeri Chef actress

S[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Saro-Wiwa, Ken Environmental activist Television producer
Smith, Walter Parry Haskett Bouldering lawyer
Stevens, Wallace Poet Insurance executive

T[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Thomas, Jean folk festival promoter stenographer
Tov, Baal Shem arbitrator and mediator Rabbi

W[edit]

Person Avocation Vocation
Weller, Peter Art historian actor
White, Henry fox hunter diplomat
Whorf, Benjamin Lee Linguist fire prevention engineer
Williams, William Carlos Poet Pediatrician


Fictional people whose avocations were not their vocations[edit]

Bruce Wayne as his alter ego Batman
Person Avocation Vocation
Stark, Tony Superhero Industrialist
Wayne, Bruce crime fighter Philanthropist/Industrialist/Heir
Kent, Clark / Kal-El Superhero Reporter

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Travis Saunders. "Avocation-vs-vocation". Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Robert Miller (2010-02-10). "Your avocation may save your life.". The News-Times. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Boyd, B. (20 October 2006). A secret history of the old Ball game. Irish Times. Retrieved 4 July 2007, from http://www.irishtimes.com/theticket/articles/2006/1020/1160606784745.html
  4. ^ Craig Giammona. "Avocation in Wood". Bowdoin. Retrieved 10 February 2011.