Wednesday, October 10, 2007

How Does One Choose?

Today at my mother's doctor's office, I read a thank you letter the office staff had posted up that had been written by a young 5th grader. She was thanking one of the physicians for coming to her class for career day and stated that the doctor was her favorite. This young girl also stated that she hopes to be a surgeon someday.

So, I started thinking about what drives people to choose specific careers? I know that students change their majors often when in college.

But what I am curious about are the people that know they want to be a doctor from such a young age, or a teacher, lawyer, actor, etc., and then they do it. Is it an inner drive that they are born with? I know of families in which all or most of the siblings have become doctors, lawyers, teachers and then in some of those families one child didn't do anything like that. Often the parents are in the same profession and the grandparents.

So is it generational? Something learned and familiar? Or is there an inner drive, some innate passion to pursue such goals. Was the doctor playing science when they were little? The actor wannabe probably performed for family and anyone who would watch. What did lawyers play when they were little if they felt that calling? Maybe they argued a lot! ;)

Is it influence from an outsider, a situation but if so was that drive always there but something caused it to surface. I know of someone who had been in a totally different business but became an ER doc when he saw his father die in front of him because they couldn't get him intubated.

And here is something I have pondered? Seriously- can a professional choice or even hobby be in the the genes?

Using my father's side of the family for an example, there are 4 people that fly planes. My mother left him when I was 3 and broke off all contact (unfortunately- but she felt she had no choice) and so I never saw any of them again. But as an adult, I have gotten some information.

(this could be another post because I wonder if I should open those doors and seek out relatives)

It turns out that a half brother that I have never met was is an airline pilot. My aunt (my father's sister) flew her own plane for years and 2 of her sons fly planes. Their careers are very different though. Now this is a little thing but as an eighth grader I was the only girl to take a flying course taught by an airline pilot. We learned all about the instrument panel (still remember the omni range), etc. and he told me that should look into learning more about it. I flew a few times locally in someone's private plane that he kept at our local airport and was intrigued with the watching him fly as much as I was looking down at the area. Couldn't understand a thing on the radio though! Sounded like static to me. :) In 1987 I was flying back home from Alabama, boarding the plane and I saw one of the pilots in the cockpit and asked if I could see their cockpit. They both let me in closer and even let me take a picture of them. (I know...totally nerdy!) But I really enjoyed being up close to look at all that. When I got home an uncle (not blood relative) who was also an airline pilot said they never should have done that. Maybe it is just coincidence, but I had nothing to do with my relatives who fly planes and to this day planes fascinate me. So is that a genetic predisposition? Or just part of the masses that appreciate planes?

Then an elderly lady who was one of our Lifeline clients told me this story a few years back. She got married when she was 40 to a man who had an adult child that he never met in his life..ever.
Her husband died 30 years ago. About 5 or 6 years ago a man contacted her stating that he was her husband's son and through various circumstances and after all these years was able to track him down which led to her. He came to visit her and she told him all about his father and gave him some family heirlooms. * The intriguing thing about this is that this man was an electrician and so was her husband...his father whom he had never met. So was it in the genes or coincidence?

Just wondering?

I missed my calling. When I was little...I ALWAYS wanted to play school and I always wanted to be the teacher. I did share but "I" usually was the teacher. Everyone would say that I was going to be a teacher or I would be a good teacher. I wanted to be a teacher. But then my home life got turned upside down for a few years and I lost my focus. By the time I came up here to live with my aunt and uncle I didn't care anymore. I took college courses but didn't pursue it. I went to work instead, got married and still didn't have our 1st son until I was 25. I had ample time to further my education and I didn't. I confess that I have an educational inferiority complex because I didn't go to college. I know that I am intelligent and if I were doing it would be a priority, but then hindsight is 20-20.

Cute story-One day my neighbor's daughter was misbehaving and so older son came in to tell me what she was doing and wanted me to have her stop. He was right and so I went to the door and called her over. I didn't yell (some might have) but corrected her but also with encouragement. My son frustrated with me blurted out,"Mom...why do you always have to TEACH...why can't you just YELL AT HER?"


Elaine said...

What a very perspicacious son you have!

Chrysalis Angel said...

What your son said was cute. Kids are so funny. It's an interesting post Seaspray. I remember being drawn to medicine very early. I'm in pictures always carrying that little doctor bag and wanting to listen to people's hearts. I later found out my great grandfather was a doctor, my great grandmother a teacher. I didn't know this until I'd already made my choices.
I thought it was strange when I found out and wondered as you have here...good questions Seaspray.

SeaSpray said...

Hi Elaine -thank you and yes he is. Always was from a young age.

I learned a new word-had to look it up. :)

SeaSpray said...

Thank you Angel - it is interesting and I do wonder.

My granddaughter loves art and she is advanced for her age. She gets that from her mom's family. Her mother, 2 of her mother's brothers and their mother are very artistic and with talent!

BTW-our granddaughter just started 1st grade and this summer she could literally read out loud to me complete sentences at what I am guessing to be a fight grade level.

It started with her singing Uptown Girl but didn't know the rest of the lyrics and so I printed then out for her. She read right through them. Surprised, I had her read excerpts from my blog. Again, she quickly read through it. The only word she had a problem with was exquisite. she pronounced quisite properly but wasn't sure how to put the ex with it. I then had her read various adult book titles. Amazing!

BTW- carrying a little doctor's bag...that's cute! :)

Medblog Addict said...

Why do write like it is too late to go back to school? Your boys are grown now, there's online classes, you can work and go to school (hard but not impossible; and its not like you have to beat a deadline and graduate by a certain year; you could take your time). There was an 70 year old woman in my law school class. She said she always wanted to go to law school and this was the first chance she had.

SeaSpray said...

Awww...thank you M.A.-you are right and you never know. It is MY time now. For now, I just have my sites on going back to work and making some m-o-n-e-y! :)

Cool about the 70 year old lady. Ha! True no deadline - never thought of that-the perpetual student! :)

I have thought about it though, not necessarily for teaching though..I was just thinking of taking something that interests me and going from there.

Thanks for the encouragement! :)