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  • Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When Heather McDonald realized that she “hated” her job as an assistant buyer for a major department store, she decided to stand up--in a comedy club.“I’d been thinking about it since I was a little girl.”“People used to tell me, even my music teacher in high school, 'I don’t understand why you’re going to college. You should just be a stand-up,'” McDonald told ABC News Chief Business, Technology and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis on an episode of ABC Radio’s “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis."McDonald is a comedian, writer, bestselling author and host of the podcast “JUICY SCOOP with Heather McDonald.” But, like most comedians, her success wasn’t exactly immediate.After receiving her degree in Communications and Business from the University of Southern California, McDonald recalled how she thought of working in casting or production instead, just for the steady paycheck.But a close friend told her,“Everything in media is so hard, just do the thing that you really want to do.”
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street closed in the green on Tuesday as investors were feeling more optimistic about tax reform.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 196.14 (+0.90 percent) to finish at 21,899.89.The Nasdaq jumped 84.35 (+1.36 percent) to close at 6,297.48, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,452.51, up 24.14 (+0.99 percent) from its open.Crude oil was more than 0.5 percent higher with prices under $48 per barrel.Winners and Losers:  Shares of DSW Inc. soared 17.46 percent after the footwear retailer's earnings report and same-store sales beat investors' expectations.Macy's announced the hiring of a former eBay executive as its president and shares rose 4.56 percent.
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  • Rebecca K Clark Photography(NEW YORK) -- Love was in the air for many couples during the total solar eclipse.As the skies darkened and the temperatures dropped, they used the rare occasion as the perfect opportunity to pop the question.Aaron Hrenak and Kaitlin McNeely of St. Charles, Missouri, were one of those couples. Hrenak, 27, said he chose to propose during the eclipse because "she wouldn't expect it.""It was surreal," he told ABC News. "Right before I proposed I asked if she could place the eclipse between her fingers like she was holding a diamond ring. Then I got down on a knee and proposed. It's almost like she will have that moment on her finger for the rest of her life.""I don't think photos can communicate how incredible an eclipse is," Hrenak added. "The way the light is affected is incredible, almost surreal. Very few phenomena are as impressive as this was. It really was a perfect moment. We will both remember it forever."According to Instagram, the eclipse was a bigger event for users than the 2017 Super Bowl, with more than 50 million people posting, commenting or liking something related to it. Of the top 10 eclipse-related hashtags used by Instagrammers, #love came in at No. 9.Congrats to the lovebirds celebrating the celestial moment.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street marked a second week of losses as U.S. stocks finished lower on Friday.The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 76.22 (-0.35 percent) to finish at 21,674.51.The Nasdaq slid 5.39 (-0.09 percent) to close at 6,216.53, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,425.55, down 4.46 (-0.18 percent) from its open.Crude oil was 3 percent higher with prices under $49 per barrel.Winners and Losers:  Shares of Foot Locker, Inc. tumbled 27.92 percent after the athletic retailer's quarterly earnings report fell below investors' expectations.Snap Inc. climbed 4.94 percent after Axios reported Snapchat's joint news show with NBC, "Stay Tuned," has had more than 29 million unique visitors since its launch a month ago.
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  • Fayette County Public Schools(LEXINGTON, Ky.) -- After spending seven years working as a custodian at a Kentucky high school, Lowell Outland walked back into the same school as a full-time teacher on Wednesday.Outland, 59, is now teaching many of the same students who saw him cleaning the campus and helping them on field trips at Tates Creek High School in Lexington.“It gives you a whole different feeling,” Outland told ABC News. “The kids would come up and say, ‘Hey, weren’t you a custodian last year?’”Outland said his career change prompted one of the school’s approximately 1,800 students to tell him, “Man, I think that’s cool.”Outland wasn't able to finish high school himself in the 1970s, but he earned his GED while in the military. He went on to earn an associate's degree.Outland said when he started at Tates Creek after being laid off from a local electronics company that was downsizing, he had no interest in working in the classroom.He dropped out of high school in the 1970s and earned his GED while in the military. He later went on to earn an associate’s degree.Then, while working at Tate’s Creek at night, he took college classes in the morning and earned his bachelor’s degree from a nearby university.He said being around the high school students led him to change his career path and go into education.“I got to know the kids and there are some of them that are absolutely wonderful and I enjoyed being around them,” he said. “I felt like it was time for me to start contributing a little bit.”Lowell said he studied before the start of his 1 p.m. custodian shift. When Lowell left his custodial job in July, it marked the end of his 12-year educational journey from associate's degree to teaching certificate."I think my past experience will give [students] something to think about,” said Lowell, who is teaching digital photography and graphic communications. “I’m showing them what they can do with their lives.”The school’s principal, Marty Mills, said he had no hesitation in hiring Lowell, whom he said has a natural rapport with students.“I’m just happy that we’re able to keep him here,” Mills said. “I just believe it’s a great story for our kids and for everybody -- that when it gets hard, you don’t just give up.”Lowell, 59, said he “can’t comprehend” his age and so is undaunted about starting a new career at a time when many of his peers are considering retirement.When asked whether being around high school students gives him energy, Lowell replied honestly: “Sometimes it does and sometimes it just wears me out.”
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