So imagine this if you will… four-year old Bead109 in the first week of kindergarten, plaid pinafore, white tights, and black leather Mary Jane’s, standing before the classroom of other four and five-year olds answering the teacher’s question,
Me: “When I grow up I want to be a doctor in anthropology and a scientist and a musician and a writer and a professor and an inventor and an artist and… maybe a princess with a princess crown.”
Present day… as I was sitting on the couch, laptop in front of me surrounded by coffee cups, journal articles, several copies of my dissertation, stacks of books and various office supplies such as paperclips, folders, files, notepads, pens, pencils, file boxes, etc. I asked out loud…
Me: “Can anyone tell me WHY I am doing this to myself?”
There was no answer because, well, I was sitting alone, except for the cat who doesn’t talk. But then I remembered that little kid who thought her teacher was limited in scope and questioned the phonetic pedagogy to teach those kids how to read, frustrated by their illiteracy. She was also concerned with why all the girls chose to wear bi-colored Vans rather than the always classically stylish Mary Jane and found their level of cleanliness to be questionable. She didn’t play tag because she felt that being “it” lacked both a theoretical and functional definition. And when the principal and teacher decided that she should be placed in a higher grade, she thanked them for an astute decision and made recommendations for those students who should probably need to repeat kindergarten. I’m glad that I was pretty okay with that kid because I am still very much her. Difference, my Mary Jane’s now have 4 inch stiletto heels.
So let’s see:
1. Doctorate – in progress, almost there…
2. Anthropologist – Yes! I am a multi-discipline anthropologist whose work includes not only anthropology but sociology, psychology, physical sciences, history, philosophy, literature, mythology, and the medical sciences.
3. Scientist – Yes! See above.
4. Musician – Yes! Years as a professional violinist and now as a civilian violinist.
5. Writer – Yes! Mostly academic work that doesn’t pay but is crazy hard to get published!
6. Professor – Yes! I love teaching. LOVE it.
7. Inventor – Yes! New research methodology is one of my specialities, don’t know how to gather it, count it, save it, analyze it… I may not either but it’ll be tons of fun finding out how!
8. Artist – Yes! Didn’t know Bead109 could weld, did ya? “This is my art and it’s dangerous, do you think I want to die like this?!” ~ Catherine O’Hara in Beetlejuice.
9. Princess – according to Carboy, Yes! And, yes, I do have a princess crown, one must have the appropriate accoutrements!
Not bad, right?! You know what’s really cool? There is no time limit on the When I Grow Up list, neither to complete it nor to add to it, so…
When I grow up, I want to be a ballerina, a tutu-maker, a world-traveler, a fine chef, an aerial acrobat… hmmm, what else??? Dance classes, check; first handmade tutu, check; travel plans, check; Jacques Pepin technique guide, check; aerial acrobatics class, check.
I understand that time, energy, and resources are limited but that’s just it! Time, energy, and resources are limited and I intend on making the best of every minute, all my energies, and putting my resources to good use. What else is there to do, sit on the couch and watch television!?
So what do you want to be when you grow up?