College Admissions Essay: I Will be an English Teacher

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I Will be an English Teacher


"Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor." -- Robert Frost


I felt trapped, immobilized, confused. It was my senior year in high school. My friend Nancy aptly described me as laboring under a "stupor of thought." Finally, I did the one thing that held any promise of relief - I decided to become an English teacher. I didn't just switch oars in the middle of the stream; I switched to an entirely different river.


Throughout high school, instructors and classmates have said to me, "You know, you'd make a great teacher." That's nice, I'd say, but I already have a plan, a nice, sensible plan: earn a degree in accounting, marry my love of music to my skill with numbers and computers, and become the financial manager for a non-profit music arts organization. I outlined my plan in essays. It was a good plan, a sensible plan, a righteous plan. I can't change now. It's too late, too late! It's too late...isn't it?


After three years of resistance, my passion for learning and literature and my experiences as a student finally defeated my sensible plan. I decided it was not too late. I would become a teacher - truth be told, I already was.


Outside the classroom, I wore teacher-ness on my sleeve. Volunteering in the school office, I'd chat with the students about their classes. They'd moan about the speech class they intended to put off as long as possible. I'd counter with tales of giving my instructional speech on Japanese style gift-wrapping - the women in the class produced beautifully wrapped gifts, but the men were all thumbs! "Gee, you make it sound cool. Have you ever thought about teaching?" Oh no, not me. I'm going to be an accountant.


The drive to learn more and share what I learned exposed me. After fulfilling the algebra requirement, I realized that I enjoyed algebra. So I took more math classes, just for the fun of it. I stayed up late, working additional problems, caught up in the thrill of understanding. I became an unofficial tutor, helping my classmates with factoring and linear equations. It was fun helping them learn. Whipping around the room from one student to the next was exhilarating! "Have you ever thought of becoming a math teacher?

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"College Admissions Essay: I Will be an English Teacher." 21 Apr 2018
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" they asked. Oh no, not me. I'm going to be an accountant.


Sure, I took the requisite accounting and business classes, but for each accounting class, I took two or more English or literature classes. For every hour spent working problems in depreciation and cost-volume-profit analysis, I spent three, four, five hours writing essays and research papers. I loved it all: reading, writing, discussing. Especially discovering through writing what I thought, felt, and believed. Teachers praised my pointed summaries, commended my literary analyses, and delighted in the creative corollaries I drew between life and art. "Have you ever thought of becoming an English teacher?" they asked. Oh no, not me. I'm going to be an accountant.


Oh no, I'm going to be an English teacher. I've awakened from my "stupor of thought." I'm going to be a teacher, and it's not too late. Actually, it's just in time.


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