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Friday, January 11, 2013

My Dreams And How I've Fuliflled Them - LBC Post


When I was a kid at school, it was very usual to be asked “what would you like to be when you grow up?”  The answer was always one of several things.  Sometimes I wanted to be a teacher.  That was a  fairly normal ambition for a kid in school.  I saw teachers every day at school and the teaching profession was one I was in touch with, by virtue of the fact that I went to school.  Other times, I’d say I wanted to be a writer.  Of course I didn’t become either of those things.  Not initially, anyway.  There was one journalism course that I picked up leaflets for, but there was only twenty places available on it and apparently hundreds of applicants.  For an applicant with less confidence, there was no chance of admission.  Not at that stage.  Becoming a teacher meant going to university and financially it just wasn’t possible for me at that time.

So I did this extremely dull, monotonous, repetitive course in shorthand and typing and ended up becoming a receptionist.  I was one of the slowest students in my class and the last one to achieve working speeds.  Strangely enough, when I applied for a job as a shorthand typist at the Embassy of India in Dublin three years after leaving secretarial school, I had no problem getting the job because I was one of the few applicants who actually knew shorthand.  The Ambassador really wanted a typist who knew shorthand.  That was because I used to practice it an odd time.  Really.  Some of my friends at secretarial school reached shorthand speeds of 120 words per minute, but a few years later, they couldn’t remember a word of shorthand. They told me so.

Strangely enough, learning touch typing was one of the best things that ever happened to me.  I would never have picked up typing speed by myself.  I was very slow to pick up the typing speed and took probably twice as long as anyone else in my batch, but that’s why it was so important for me to learn it.  Yes.  In a school.  With, would you believe it, manual typewriters? I feel really lucky that I learned touch typing that way.  It was great discipline.  I’m very fast now and I am sure I’m as good as any of those typing champions in my class back then.

Strangely enough, I did become a teacher.  For a while.  When my youngest child joined the nursery school, the principal asked me to join too.  She felt I’d be an asset to the school because I’m a native English speaker. Well, she was partly right, I suppose.  It’s such a pity that the other teachers didn’t agree with her.  They thought I was an upstart, thinking I was better than them.  No way were they going to let this foreigner tell them how to improve their pronunciation.  One day I overheard the teacher in the next classroom telling her students about how Goldilocks went into the three bears’ cottage and  found three ‘bowels’ of porridge.  I nearly choked with laughter.  I tried to tell that teacher later (as tactfully as possible of course) that it was bowls, not ‘bowels’ of porridge.  She smiled and said nothing. The next day I heard her telling the same story loud and clear to her class.  And yes, it was still three ‘bowels’ of porridge.  I never offered any pronunciation advice again.

Ultimately, I had to leave teaching because it wasn’t very satisfying.  My interaction with little ones is not so good.  I’m fine with my own kids, but I would have preferred to interact with older children if I was to continue teaching.

As for becoming a writer, the internet couldn’t have come along at a better time.  Nowadays, I write blog posts and interview authors.  I’m a consultant editor and I write pieces for magazines, fiction and non-fiction. Sometimes I even get published in print and get paid for it too.   I also review books and I get terrific payment.  Free books, what more could I want?  I also write novels, but I have  a long way to go before I produce anything fit to publish in that area.  Sometimes I dream up plots and play around with them for a while.  It’s fun.

Another dream of mine was to (yes, very boring) get married and have kids.  That took ages too, because I went and found myself a man of a different culture and religion and there were lots of factors to consider which all took time. but I got what I wanted in the end.

I suppose the truth is that even if your dreams don’t come true initially, it doesn’t mean that they  won’t eventually.  The main thing is not to give in to disappointment too easily.  Because you never know what’s around the corner as you go through life.


This is my weekly post for my blogging group, the Loose Blogging Consortium. We post weekly (usually simultaneously) on a given topic and visit each other to see the different takes we have on the same topic.  We are, in alphabetical order, AnuDeliriousRummuserGrannymarMaxi, Magpie, Maria SFocdwriterPadmumPaul, The Old FossilShackman and Will. If you have time, please visit my friends too.  The topic 'My Dreams And How I've Fulfilled Them' was given by Maria the Silver Fox.

23 comments:

Maggie May said...

I can remember at five being asked by a rather intimidating teacher, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I felt tongue tied and couldn't think of anything and the child I was sitting next to had said that she wanted to be a washerwoman..... so I said the same thing! Heaven forbid!!!!!
Loved to read about your early ambitions.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Carmen Falcone said...

Hi Maria,

What a beautiful journey you've had!

"It doesn't matter how slowly you go as long you do not stop" is one of my fave quotes.

I think that's true. So many times in life we put so much pressure to achieve goals and to do things. It's nice to know things WILL happen if we work hard enough, but also when time's right.

Cheers to not taking our dreams for granted!

Rummuser said...

Since I was a nogoodnick-good-in-English teen, it was suggested that I learn to be a stenographer so that I would at least be able to get a job in those days of Socialist India. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands as all the other classmates were girls! I can tell you that learning that, and I have the old diplomas still with me, was a blessing.

That qualification, like the others that followed came by without my ever wanting it or more aptly dreaming about it. My life just happened and I still do not dream and allow it to happen.

Nice way to live what?

Rummuser said...

Maggie May, I was asked that question a number of times and my answer always was, just to be grown up so that I would not have to go to school!

Maria Perry Mohan said...

Maggie - I suppose our early ambitions are inspired by what we see around us. That's a funny story, though.

Maria Perry Mohan said...

Carmen,

It only dawned on me recently that I've got to do a lot of what I set out to do. It made me feel quite surprised.

Maria Perry Mohan said...

Rummuser - I always thought you had a stenographer. I didn't realise until you told me, that you were a stenographer once. You don't strike me as the stenographer type, somehow.

Maria Perry Mohan said...

Your comment to Maggie is like something my Manan would say. He has a very dry sense of humour for a nine year old.

Grannymar said...

I'm not a dreamer, more a doer and it sure kept me busy and prepared me to be the tough old cookie that I have become.

Teresa Ashby said...

Lovely post, Maria (loved the bit about the bowels of porridge).
I wanted to be a nun when I was a child.
I love typing - not as much on a computer keyboard as I used to on a typewriter :-) x

Maria Perry Mohan said...

Hi Teresa,

I wanted to be a nun too for a while. I suppose you saw nuns around a lot when you were a child? I did too.

Maxi said...

You have done wonderful with your life Maria. You applied yourself and made your way.

Sometimes a dream comes true when we don't even realize the dream was there.

All the best to you, Maria. May life bring you all you wish for … and more.

Blessings ~ Maxi

Delirious said...

When I was in high school, my mother told me that I needed to learn typing, that it would be a very valuable skill for me. I followed her advice, and now I am a fairly quick typist. And she was right, it has been a very valuable skill for me to have. I wish my school would have offered shorthand courses!

shackman said...

you never know what’s around the corner as you go through life

That's the key for me - so be ready for anything. Dreams or not.

blackwatertown said...

One of my children's grandmothers says - Be anything you want as long as it's not a donkey butcher. Not sure why.

Good dreams from you - and much success in achieving them.

I can still remember smoe of my shorthand. Still use it a little. It was Teeline - though I presume you did Pitman?

padmum said...

I really never wanted to be anything--I just wanted to be able to braethe without difficulty. All that has happened to me just happened in the course of my life. Odd! When I think of this from this viewpoint.

Lovely post and am glad that your interests have turned into a source of income as well. Bless you.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Hello Maria!
I so enjoyed your post! I agree that perseverance is what pays off! I think you are a very gifted writer and look forward to reading your novels!
V

Maria Perry Mohan said...

@Maxi - thanks for your kind words and good wishes

Maria Perry Mohan said...

@Delirious - your mom was right. It is a great skill and I can't believe people done learn touch typing anymore.

Maria Perry Mohan said...

@shackman - That's the practical approach. It's all good.

Maria Perry Mohan said...

@Blackwatertown - yes, it was Pitman, but not standard Pitman, PitmanScript, a form of speedwriting.

Maria Perry Mohan said...

@Padmum - so you never had any dreams - but you have made your mark - as a Dame Quixote!

Maria Perry Mohan said...

@Stickhorsecowgirls - Thanks for coming over, great to see you. It's been too long. Miss you C and V.