About the ACC to TEFL Series: In this series, I recount my journey, logic and reasoning behind making the shift from accountancy in Reno, NV to TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) in Bangkok, Thailand.
After making that decision to be an accounting major, I really didn’t deviate too much from the norm the following 2 years. Especially by the second year when I had set a pace of work & school. I was so caught up on the daily grind, I failed to take a step back and reflect on whether this was what I really wanted. The “ultimate non conformist that I was dubbed by my HS psyc teacher senior year was a thing of the past.
Starting out, I was privileged in the manner that being from a low income family, I was eligible for numerous school and federal grants that covered practically all my tuition. This is in spite of me going to an out of state school that is more expensive. Rent was covered by 2 jobs, one as a front desk assistant in the dorms, another as a server in my school’s cafeteria.
Small bits and pieces like food were left, which was covered with a summer job, parental help and mooching food from my work place (I’d take sandwiches).
That was the bulk of my waking hours in college. Revolving around work and school with a few club activities. And I remember in my 3rd year of college, one of my accounting professors went around the room on the first day of class. Dr. V, lets call her, was asking for our names & one thing we thought that was special about us.
When she got to me, I said I was left handed. She addressed the body of students and asked who else was left handed. A solid handful raised their hand. Dr. V blew me off and said there was nothing special about me and moved on to the next student.
Initially I was irked by the one liner, especially because I didn’t know how to respond. I dreamed up comebacks which now in retrospect seem stupid because Dr. V as I got to know her a bit more was a really good professor(she cared & she was passionate about what she does)
And I realize now that she was right.
I was so preoccupied with the day to day, the high school senior that wanted to non conform became dormant. I was so concerned about fulfilling responsibilities that I didn’t realize I was doing the same thing everyone else was. That’s why I got waved off by Dr. V.
I was in a premature rat race where I put in 100% of my efforts towards meeting obligations and 0% towards going after dreams. Because that’s what the rat race is when you distill it to its essence.
That though, is a topic for a different story.
Kingston S. Lim
May 16, 2020