I recall two occasions early in my 'career' where I wish my teachers had spoken up. 
The first was at the age of 11. A year had elapsed since changing schools from primary to grammar/secondary school and  as an alumnus I went back to visit my old primary school - Beechfield Street Primary, Belfast. My favorite teacher and now Principal, Mr. Oliver, remarked "I thought you would have made a great soccer player. You could have captained the team, but I didn't think you were that interested!" Not interested, I would have sold my soul to have heard that when I was 9, 10 or 11! As it was I became a semi-useful breaker of legs rather than an ball-dribbling artist.
The second, and still on the theme of artists, was when at 16 I had to choose my university career path - arts or science. I opted for science - more money I thought! Again some time later I was speaking to my former arts teacher, I think his name was David Crone who is one of Northern Ireland's premier artists.  He told me that he was disappointed when I gave up arts/painting. "You had promise." Why on earth didn't he mention that when I was 13,14 or 15 and thought I was pretty miserable at art? Maybe he did, and as with most teens it went in one ear and out the other.
The decision to forsake arts for science, however, has recently come back to 'bite me in the arse.' I was good at history in grammar school. I mean I was the best. Straight 'A's with little effort. On reflection, I have often thought that had I to do it all over then I would have stayed with history. In the end, maybe I have returned to that 'first love' as an author of historical fiction



04/21/2015 2:04am

With most teens it went in one ear and out the other)

09/23/2015 10:23am

Interesting. I wonder how your life had changed had your mentors mentioned these comments to you during your formative years. In my own case, I had absolutely no direction at all and people initially thought that I wouldn't even finish my Bachelor's Degree. This is because I tend to be quite a flake and had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I often envied my classmates who had their eyes set on what they would like to be - doctors, lawyers, engineers. What I knew back then was that I am not good at Math and I excelled in English. So I took a course, that had the least units of Mathematics and I just went with the flow. Turns out, life has a way of making things fall into place and I happy with my career choice, no matter how serendipitous it started it to be.

10/05/2015 3:48pm

I certainly agree with your conclusion that "life has a way of making things fall into place". Whether that is predestination, karma or serendipity, I guess depends on one's beliefs.
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my blog article.

I always say this: it is not only spoken words that impact, even those that were not said. I think a lot of us would have been totally different people if we've been allowed to hear certain comments or remarks. Had I heard my parents tell me that having a career is not about the money but significance, I probably would not have spent years of my life trying to get myself rich while doing a unsatisfactory job.

The good news though is that it is never too late! We cannot be limited by what we did not hear from others. Maybe we should also just take time to listen to ourselves and do something about what we hear.

03/27/2016 5:30pm

I am sure that all these facts wouldn't change the main thing! But sometimes such factors have a great influence on people. Thank you for this idea for my dissertation writing. I was searching for this

Comments are closed.