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Sunday, January 22, 2006


How I Found My Purpose: Chapter 2

In the next couple of years, I worked on the GCSEs I had chosen and attended all the occasional career presentations given by parents. One in particular I remember: a doctor came in and told us that we shouldn't consider doctoring unless we were completely physically and mentally problem-free. I was a bit disappointed but chucked that idea out of the window without looking back - I was 14 and pretty sure that I was somewhat nuts. Oh well.

Soon it came time to decide on A-levels. One chooses three subjects and studies them intensly for two years; it's supposed to provide a thorough grounding. This early specialization is the reason a college degree is only three years in the UK. More advice was available this time, and the emphasis was placed on having some idea of a career goal and matching your A-levels to its requirements. The Careers Library was opened up to us and everyone got a personal career counselling session.

I bounded eagerly up the stairs to my appointment. I laid out my latest report card and waited as the counsellor reviewed my file. Finally she looked up and smiled. "You're really bright," she said. "You can do whatever you want!"

Time seemed to stop. I had no idea what career I wanted or was even suited for. Poor woman, I had come to her with the expectation that she would be able to instantly assess my potential and spit out my ideal life path. Totally unreasonable, but still devastating when it didn't happen.

I spent several fruitless hours in the Career Library. Every job requirement listing sounded so dry and uninspiring, or called for skills I knew I didn't have any interest in acquiring. I found nothing. The situation was further complicated because I was changing schools so I couldn't just go with my favourite teachers.

In the end, I decided to take things I liked, and worry about college later. I chose Geography (my strongest subject), Social Biology (no chemistry required, interesting topics) and Economics (brand new to me so lots of brain candy). Once again I suggested taking more, as I knew some people took four A Levels, but the new school made it harder to navigate and I didn't really pursue it. At least I would be having fun as I careened blindly into the future!

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Geography was so NOT my favourite subject. So much NOT so, in fact, that it couldn't have been helped further by the fact that I was shortsighted and never managed to get a place in front of the classroom. I wouldn't wear my spectacles, either.

One day, I was studiously sitting at my middle of classroom desk, when I felt the presence of the the geography teacher standing over me. She was noticing me vainly failing to copy a diagram drawn on the blackboard.

I half looked up to meet her stare and to encounter her question: "Is that really how you see it?"

"Yes," I said.
Thanks for stopping by my place and offering advice!
If you don't mind I would like to link your blog and site to a page i'm putting together for my website. Won't be online for a little while but trying to gather resources now! Great information on a great site. Once again, thanks.I'm sure you'll be seeing me around more.
Unsane, I'm sorry for your Geography experience. Maybe you didn't enjoy it because you couldn't see all the fascinating volcano diagrams - that's what got me hooked in the first place. That, and the Pompeii story.

Debambam, thanks for your kind compliments. Please go right ahead and link to my sites!
unsane, Ha! that is funny. :)
Hi Jo jo. I did enjoy volcanos in primary school. However, I preferred tsunamis, as my natural disaster of greatest intrigue.

In high school I was SO not interested in the Snowy mountain system and Artesan wells. I also didn't care much for rivers and their tributaries or undulations and how they were formed.

Sue me. ;)
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