Living at home for the summer, I sometimes have to give in to my mom’s ridiculous requests by doing dishes, showing her common respect, and not operating a meth lab from our basement. Welcome to my suburban oppression. In compliance with her latest demand, I dutifully started to clean my room last night and uncovered my elementary school yearbooks. I, of course, had to abandon my chores and leaf through every page of all seven volumes of my childhood. I evidently have a firm grasp on my priorities.
The fifth grade was the year of the millennium so the entire yearbook followed the theme of “the future.” Completely uninspired, right? I would have dedicated the book to the impending apocalypse or more realistically, to Pokemon. I’m pretty sure that I was ignorant of the Y2K scare because I was preoccupied, trying to convince my friend to trade me her Charizard for three trainer cards, four energy cards and a Weedle. Anyway, back to the future…theme. Mrs. Johnson decided that our class should document “our dreams for the future.” Though I obviously should have aspired to be a stand up comedian (come on, my “Back to the Future” joke was gold), I told Mrs. Johnson that I wanted to teach in a foreign country, because it sounded so terribly romantic. She suggested I join the Peace Corps.
So let it be written, so let it be done. Well…not exactly. My friends taunted me and my parents (unsurprisingly) discouraged me from realizing this dream. At the time, I was utterly baffled because I was under the impression that striving to improve global education was an admirable ambition. I also still didn’t completely understand the mission and operations of the Peace Corps, which further magnified my confusion.
Today, I still have unanswered questions, namely, why weren’t the other kids’ goals ridiculed? In retrospect, my wish was fairly achievable (and not to mention practical), when considering that two of my classmates aspired to be Dr. Doolittle and another had delusions about living in Atlantis. Read the other ones – it doesn’t get much better. Sure, their ideas were cute, but at 10 years old, we were a little too mature for cute.
Maybe I’m being a bit cruel, heckling 5th graders and all. Unfortunately, this is who I have become, and I am now far from the kind, altruistic person that I could have been. Sorry World.