What In The World Possessed You?

Wednesday 23 November 2011

When I was . . . younger (I was going to say smaller, but when you’re my height, meh, not such a good descriptor), I went through a phase, or many, which revolved around what I wanted to do when I grew up. Again, not much growing up was done between then and now – I’ve been the same height since I was about eleven, and let me tell you: height is overrated! Anyway, I got thinking – gee, that’s unusual . . . me thinking – about all of the careers I wanted to embark on, and I thought I’d share a few of those ideas with you.

Lawyer: this was probably the first career path that I was adamant that I wanted to follow. I imagined myself in court, defending some poor, helpless schmuck who had been wrongly accused of committing some heinous crime. I’d argue so well that the jury and judge would have no option than to acquit my client. And, of course, a prime reason for me wanting to follow down this path was the fact that I’d get paid to argue. Yes, even at eight or so years old, I knew that I could argue the pants off of anyone. Another reason for wanting to be a lawyer – *mumbling* I wanted to wear the robes and wig. Shut up! They’re cool. As most of you will know, lawyer is not my current profession, and the closest I’ve ever got to being one was when I was in Melbourne in April, and I participated in the re-creation of the trial of Ned Kelley at the old Melbourne Court House.

Astronaut: not necessarily the second career I wanted, but it was in there somewhere. I like all things astronomical and spacey. What can I say? My interests as a child were far removed from most girls my age. Think about it: how simultaneously terrifying and exhilarating would it be to be in space, looking down at Earth? Or how incredible would it be to walk on the moon? Everyone wanted to do that, right? *Sigh* Yeah, that never happened either.

Actor: at some point, like many booger eaters, I wanted to be an actor. I envisaged Oscar winning roles in Oscar winning movies, working with Oscar winning writers and directors. Ummmm, never got to the whole Oscar side of things. However, I did get to be an actor, albeit in a number of productions at university. I liked it. I liked being someone else.

Psychologist: pretty sure this came after wanting to be a lawyer. I had this insatiable need, in fact I still have it, to find out why people do things, and why people are the way they are. I want to know what goes on in their head, how thoughts are processed so differently in each person. I want to know . . . why.

Psychiatrist: links in with wanting to be a psychologist, and the fact that I wanted to work with serial killers, and serious criminal offenders. Yeah, I know it’s odd for a booger eater to be thinking these things, but hey, I must have been advanced for my age.

Lawyer: again. Only this time, I wanted to be a prosecutor because I realised that I couldn’t lie and get a guilty person acquitted. I couldn’t stand up before a jury and a judge and attempt to convince them that my serial killer client was just misunderstood, and the head he had in the freezer was there for safe keeping. Better to be a prosecutor going after his ass, than a defence lawyer protecting it. Then I came to the conclusion that the serial killer would probably just come after me if he were acquitted and I had been prosecuting him. Aaaahhhh, let’s rethink that career path.

Funeral Director and/or Mortician: no, not Morticia from the Addams family, a mortician. Y’know, they do that whole embalming process before the body gets hauled off to the funeral director. Stop looking at me like I’m a weirdo. I was merely interesting as a booger eater. Besides, neither of these professions ever goes out of business. I mean, there’s always call for dead people to be sliced and diced, buried, or burnt. Plus, there’s a certain level of solitude and silence that I’d imagine comes with the territory.

Rock Star: I don’t think I need to explain this one. Who didn’t want to be a rock star?

But never on my list of potential professions were writer or teacher. I was always told that things like writing, acting, and music were side ventures because those industries were unpredictable, uncertain, and underpaid for the majority. Teaching, however, was a solid profession that would put money in the bank, food on the table, pay the bills, and allow me to go anywhere I wanted in the world. Apparently.

When people find out that I’m a teacher, mostly they laugh because most people know that I’m in no way fond of booger eaters. There is not a maternal bone in my body. I don’t like babies, unless they’re baby animals, and I just don’t get the concept of why anyone would want booger eaters of their own. I have always been this way. That leads people to ask ‘what in the world possessed you?’ when they find out that I’m a teacher. The answer is simple and two-fold: 1) I needed to put something on my university entrance form in the final year of high school, and 2) if you’re single, have no dependants or mortgage or loans to pay off, teaching pays quite well. It’s not brilliant, but it’s okay.

When the booger eaters I teach ask me why I became a teacher, I tell them it’s because I’m stupid, but I like the money. They laugh and respond with ‘no, really’. I say, ‘that is the really’. More and more, I find I ask that question of myself . . . yes, Danielle, knowing what you know, what in the world possessed you to be a teacher? *insert shoulder shrug here as I mumble ‘I dunno’*

And with the unrest in education lately, mortician’s starting to look good to me again. 😉

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About Danielle

I like to write. What more is there to know?
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