[What_Do_You_Want_To_Be_When_You_Grow_Up]

The weekend came and went and I'd be happy to be at work if it wasn't for the fact that it's snowing right now and I'm teaching a late class tonight. Oh well, I suppose that's the price we pay for being teachers. Overall, the weekend wasn't too bad at all, didn't do very much aside from laundry, a little house cleaning, working out, talking to Pebbles and just having me a good old time at home. Admittedly, I did spend a little bit of time on the street because I was just plain tired of being locked up in the apartment! When I get bored, I like to drive around aimlessly (of course, Pebbles loves driving around too; however she prefers to actually be driving to a specific destination to have fun).

Every now and then while I'm driving something may catch my fancy and I'll stop for a bit. For example, I drove past the local Barnes and Noble bookstore on Saturday afternoon and felt the sudden urge to look at a few books on bodybuilding, automobile tuning, and computers. Eventually, I got bored with looking at books and decided to go home. On the way out the door, a book title caught my attention and I had to stop and take a few moments to browse it. The book was titled From Learning To Earning: Success Strategies for New Grads. I found the book to be quite an interesting read, particularly the sections that contained little self-assessment tests to help guide you in the right career direction based on your skills and interests. I didn't end up buying the book, but I did make a mental note of it as one of the top books to recommend to my seniors.

On the way home, I began to seriously think about my career thus far. I'm really happy with the fact that I opted to enter academia and I find it sufficiently rewarding and challenging to keep me entertained for years and years to come. On the other side of the coin, I sometimes wonder about switching careers and going in to a profession completely unrelated to my field of study. When I was younger, I wanted to be a fireman so that I could ride around on the big red truck and wear the nifty hat and coat; however all this changed after I saw the Towering Inferno.

Somewhere in my teens, I decided that I wanted to be a professional martial artist, bodybuilder, and fitness guru. These plans changed when I got injured in a martial arts tournament and couldn't train for a few months. When I eventually did start training again, I realized how badly out of shape I had become in just a short space of time! Common sense dictated to me then that if you live in a world where your biggest assets are your physique and your ability to perform a wide range of difficult physical movements (i.e. lifting weights or fighting techniques) then you are pretty much screwed if something goes wrong with the body. I needed a more stable type of profession. Sometimes I regret not pursuing this dream and I often wonder how different my life would've been if I'd taken this path.

I admit that I was extremely confused teenager when it came to my future. So much so that at one point I even applied to college to do secretarial studies and got accepted to the program. Of course, my primary motivation for thinking about this career was because (no offense to the ladies and secretaries out there) I had observed that the vast majority of people who were in the OAT (Office Administration and Technology) program happened to be females. I began to think about the prospect of being surrounded by women all day long and it really did seem like a good idea at the time.

In another life I had aspirations of becoming an artist. However, these dreams were dashed away because my high school guidance counseler was not very supportive of my abilities and told me that I had no talent. I haven't drawn anything seriously since she told me this. Of late, I've been considering going back for a PhD in English and becoming a writer of novels, poems, and short stories; however, this is a side of myself that I haven't really put much effort into exploring.

Looking back now, I find a common thread between my personality and interests which have unconsciously (or consciously) lead me to my current occupation. I've always enjoyed teaching, ever since I was a youngster training in the martial arts. I first instructed a martial arts class when I was about 15 years old or 16 years old, a green belt. I was nervous at first, but I soon took to it like a fish takes to water. It came easy to me. I've always been an uber-patient person and that helped me out well as a young assistant instructor and all these traits have culminated into my teaching philosophy. I've always held a passion for computers and pursuing a degree in Computer Science just seemed like a natural fit to my interests and abilities. Even now when I look at all the majors out there, I cannot pinpoint one that would give me more satisfaction than Computer Science (or some variant of Computer Science, like Management Information Systems). Sure, I think about a doctoral degree in English, but possibly something to do with literary computing.

I suppose everyone thinks about their careers and lifestyles every now and then and, while there are many things that I'd like to change about my life at this very moment, I can honestly say that I do enjoy my profession. I enjoy waking up and walking in to a classroom in the morning. I enjoy seeing youngsters have an "a-ha" moment when they suddenly understand the things I've been telling them. I enjoy seeing students take my ideas and construct their own knowledge in ways that I haven't even thought of. But most of all, I enjoy seeing my students walking across the stage at graduation time to collect their diplomas with their heads held high and their futures, yet unwritten, stretched out before them. A future limited only by their creativity and determination.

Though this profession may not end up being my ultimate career goal, I can honestly say that it's all worth it at this point in time. God bless educators


{Nuff Said}

Comments

Dr. D. said…
Yes Prof. Dawg...I hear you.

I had often considered becoming a pilot....I now realize that I don't think the constant up and down would agree with my system....
Abeni said…
Teaching is my passion as well-love when the student gets the point you been trying to make.I think you write very well so a literary career not farfetched
Anonymous said…
Hey Angry Dog!

You are right. Teaching, as hard at it is sometimes, is really rewarding. You know you are making a difference, maybe not for everybody, but for some. We all had a teacher that influenced us greatly, or even changed our lives for the better. I believe that as educators, we should always strive to be that teacher for somebody else, even though some days students are difficult and the job can be discouraging. I hope that one day I can be that teacher that inspires her students to become better persons. Cool posting, baby.

Pebbles
Mad Bull said…
Good post. Didn't know you could have used the name "Grasshopper" as well as A. D. Good that you're doing what you want to AND are enjoying it. When I grow up, I want to be like you!
So... you doh want to teach me Java? And which PHP sites do you have up by now?
CoolDestiny said…
Both my parents are educators for over 30 years and I have a tremendous amount of respect for true educators. Good choice of career. I know it's not the best paying but it can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling.