I never really had a driving ambition as a child to be a teacher. It only came to mind in my last couple of years of High School. I originally wanted to be an English/Drama teacher. I still do, one day. You can't easily teach Shakespeare to 5 year olds. You can try, but the mispronunciation's going to be even worse than with eighth grade.
I love teaching. I love kids, sharing knowledge with them, learning from them. I had teachers during my schooling who I thought were quite rubbish, and I understand when people have had bad experiences with teachers --- but, you know, obviously I think teachers on the whole have a largely underpaid job compared to, say, CEOs. And in some circles, they're underappreciated too.
School as a bureaucracy, as a system, is not necessarily something I always agree with. But teaching; sitting down with students and giving them the opportunity to learn something they never knew, to broaden their experiences and give them help in setting goals to strive for; that makes me happy.
I want to be a better writer than I am, in so many ways. I enjoy sitting down and banging out a concept or dialogue. I'm finding it hard to do things I want to do. I'm increasingly getting writer's block. I wish I didn't take it as seriously as I do, because I find it cuts down on my happy tapping time. When I could have been writing, I am, instead, angsting. I'm beginning to understand that it's never going to be easy for me. I certainly don't think I'll ever be a novelist. And that's okay, you know? I still enjoy it. It probably doesn't matter if I'm mediocre or not, in the long run.
Living within a culture that is different from your own is eye-opening and fascinating. When I first came to teach on the APY lands I honestly didn't know what to expect, but this experience has enriched me, challenged me, taught me so much that I could never regret doing it. Even on the horrible days (and oh boy do they exist), I am glad I took this opportunity. I gave myself time to adjust --- I'm still learning new aspects and coming up against unexpected blockades --- so it wasn't an immediate rush of shock and horror. Enough here in my life is the same as it used to be for me not to feel a great deal of cognitive dissonance. And enough is different that I gain new insight.
I'm not a good photographer, at all. I love looking at photographs, I think I'm a very visual person, but my skills with cameras are severely limited. I'm more into landscapes and buildings than people, but I love the effect of good lighting and use of shadows in photography. You know who takes amazing photos? foolieonthehill! Many of her photos from our trip were brilliant.
Character actors rock! There's nothing more pleasing to me than the actor who can be Loud and Over-the-Top one minute, and then tone it down for some extra juicy subtlety the next. Almost all of my favourite actors are the kind who can completely transform themselves for a role; where you really believe in the character they play. Those who are truly great have even played roles where I've heartily disliked them.