Tuesday, 3 April 2012

#59: I'll Be on My Way

The Dan Way Journey of Life continues and takes another turn...

Hide your children everyone, today I received confirmation that I had been successfully accepted to Teacher's College. This means at least one more year of being in school (ie extremely poor but with loads of free time) and one less year of facing the 'real world' (responsibility, obligations and all that good stuff). Now I have but two weeks to decide where to pursue my pedagogical path to becoming an enlightened educator. My options include the University of Western Ontario (UWO; aka Western in London, ON) or the University of Toronto (also my current location). Eventually I plan to (and will) teach intermediate/senior level sciences (biology, chemistry, maybe even physics) to high school students. I know these areas well given my undergraduate and graduate education, especially biology (including physiology, biochemistry, and cell biology). And so after many years of contemplating possible career avenues (doctor, academia, public servant), I have settled on a most necessary and noble (perhaps nonsensical) career in education.

Many of you who regularly read my blog might doubt my ability or willingness to teach children and youth, display leadership and respect or contribute to the betterment of society in any way (given my budding reputation as a selfish, arrogant, elitist). But who better to instruct, inspire, motivate and mould a new generation of young humans than myself? Clearly, the "everybody wins", politically correct model stressing inclusion, fairness and equality is not working based on my observations and interactions with teenagers (a massive generalization I realize); and so perhaps a new model, a better model, is in order. Don't get me wrong, I value and at times even espouse the above qualities and recognize their profound importance; however, I do not feel they should be prioritized and emphasized at the cost of essential others such as personal responsibility, integrity, honesty, commitment and dedication.

People who know me well will have realized that above all, I value meritocracy: Those who work hard and strive to achieve a worthwhile goal should be justly rewarded for their efforts. This is essentially why I love the sport of running; where you only get out what you're willing to put in. I am also a perfectionist that expects the best of myself and others. I don't like to be disappointed when others let me down and I don't tolerate excuses for personal failures. Making mistakes is acceptable and even expected; but when done repeatedly, they become choices. Everyone must be accountable to themselves and at times to others. People are independent and free to make the best possible choices for themselves; although sadly many fail to do so. They should not expect others to be responsible for them and should acknowledge and accept their own limitations (mine are numerous as indicated above). Believe it or not, I also am occasionally empathetic and have a sincere consideration for others. I can be kind, compassionate and caring and often genuinely want to help those who need and require it. I help those who help themselves. I also value loyalty and uphold numerous family values. I’ll admit I’m not a great person, but I’m not a terrible person either.

Ultimately, I do not feel a need to justify who I am or what I plan to do with my life. I am confident that I will make an excellent teacher one day and am excited for the challenges and rewards that such an endeavour will create. I am optimistic and enthusiastic about disseminating knowledge; contributing to personal and social development; and leading by example. I will continue to learn from the past, be focused on the present but will always look forward to the future.

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