Monday, April 26, 2010

In case you were wondering...

Part One

Until about 3 years ago, I was the nicest Nice Asian Girl ever.

I wanted to be a high school English teacher.
I was an academic overachiever, completely obsessed with my studies. I spent 90% of my time doing work.
I never drank and I was generally scandalized by the whole concept of drug use.
I was a practicing Catholic and an all-around socially conservative person.
I was totally afraid of anything having to do with romantic intimacy, to the point where I had proclaimed that I would wait until after marriage to have sex (a decision which I attributed to my devotion to Catholic dogma -- but actually came out of fear and panic).

But then the first pillar fell: I started student teaching and it was a catastrophe. I couldn't do it. I couldn't bring myself to teach Othello to seniors. I had thought it was my dream career, but instead of being ecstatic, I didn't even want to wake up in the morning. When I finally accepted that I didn't want to be a teacher, at first it was wildly liberating, but in time I began to feel incredibly lost. If not teach, what the fuck would I do with my ENORMOUSLY useful degree in English? Why was I even in college if I didn't have a direction? Wasn't that an enormous waste of money and effort?

I started to majorly slack at school. And when I received my first "F" in a college-level class, my self-perception faltered. Who was this person who made up bullshit excuses to professors and didn't turn in major assignments? If something that seemed to define me as much as my Good Studenthood did could be compromised so easily, what other parts of my identity were impermanent and paper-thin, too?

I didn't know at the time, but I was about to find out that the answer to that question was "almost everything."

To be continued...


  1. Second-thinking a career in teaching reminded me a lot of one of my Uncles. He got a degree in Zoology and after doing a PhD and still wondering what to do he did a PGCE (English qualification to be a teacher). He was fine with all the theory and learning how to teach but when he was let loose into a bustling classroom environment of real people he suddenly realised it wasn't for him and didn't even finish getting the qualification.

    I didn't have direction during college. My main thought was I want to do something in science, such a broad aim, and kinda apt seeing as I was studying Biology. I graduated last summer and it's only during the past 6 months I decided I wanted to work in IVF as a clinical embryologist. I felt scared and guilty for having no direction so late into my degree when many of my friends and classmates had been making plans and applications at the start of final year. But no direction can be good too, it can actually open your eyes and make you look further into potential careers rather than shutting down options early.

    Anyway less of the ramble! Loving the blog so far I will definitely be checking back in.

  2. I'm interested in hearing more!

    Also, I love how easily your blog is flowing along!

  3. Interested in hearing more of your story...

  4. Write the rest Melissa, c'mon! Don't leave us hanging! Hehe =D

  5. ooh that's me! When i graduated in college, I felt my job hunt had no direction, the only thing I knew was I don't want to go to pharm school and I can put grad school on hold. I'm just gonna focus on life because I've been in school for too long.

  6. Followed your comment and jumped over to your blog. I love it, as much as you say you love mine. Blog buds, okay? :)

    I really relate to this post, in every way. I should write one of my own. You've inspired me.

    I used to be just like you, so... straight laced. I guess you could say. And I too wanted to be a teacher until i started working in classrooms and hated it. And now I'm going to have a degree and an intent to go to grad school with no real career intentions ahead of me.

    Oy vey.