Monto City

19 10 2009

My oldest daughter has often had the attention span of a fly in regards to her wants.  How should we decorate her room – one day it is an African theme, the next is Irish, the next is a midnight sky, the next is black and white and red all over.  Her wish lists for holiday gifts usually change from day to day making her the most impossible to buy for – one moment she wants glitter and make up and pink frilly things, the next she is asking for camo and combat boots.

The same was true for her career plans.  When she was 8 she wanted to be in the Army, then a volcanologist, then a soldier for the IRA, then a teacher, no wait maybe a hair stylist.  When she settled on archaeologist, we figured it was yet another in her wishy washy world that would change a week later.  Then she set up shop in the back yard, creating a dig site and naming the land Monto City.  She set about with make shift tools and would thrill us with stories of how her finds made their way into the little landscape.  And over five years later, she has the same dream.

Well that was until her eighth grade career planning class.  It is a course that all eighth graders must take for one semester and on paper it is a great idea.  The students have to map out their plans, what will their career path pay, what courses should they take for it, how stable a job is it, how in demand.  When she announced her goals though, the teacher did the despicable – she shot them down.  She told my daughter how there aren’t even any artifacts left in the world to be found.  And when I debunked that story she then told my daughter how archaeologists are all volunteers, they aren’t paid.  They merely have to sit in the hot sun and dig for free.

My daughter has taken Latin, French and Spanish introductory courses now and wants to get a programme on Manx to begin learning another tongue.  She studies histories of the worlds and researches cultures for fun.  All in preparation for a career she has dreamt of since she was 8.  I’ve given her an assignment.  She is to formulate a letter to send to archaeologists around the globe in various fields to ask them for the details of their careers.  She is on the fence now about her dream job, and it angers me.  I don’t truly care what she does when she grows up as long as she can take care of herself and be happy doing it.  If it’s doing nails in a salon in the strip mall, as long as her bills are paid and she is happy it doesn’t matter what she chooses.  But to be swayed by the misguided words of a teacher makes me rage.

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