Teacher: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Student: I want to be a ... doctor, ballerina, ninja.
Most children don’t really know what they want to be as adults. Visit an elementary school on career day and students will emphatically pick a certain career this year and something totally different the next. Young Logan probably wanted to be a rich logging tycoon before becoming the beloved X-Men Wolverine. I proclaimed my career choice in fourth grade. To this day I’ve actually stuck with it.
One day my fourth grade teacher, Ms. Brown, made the class write an essay entitled “If I ran away to the circus I would be...” I said the ring master because I loved talking and being the center of attention. I also said I would be a clown to make others laugh (even though I strongly dislike clowns). The essay was forgotten until several weeks later the principal announced in music class it won four tickets to the Ringling Bros. Circus. Apparently our class assignment was part of a citywide radio station contest. Winning that contest sparked something in me: I could write. I declared myself a writer from that moment on and was blessed to have the support of family, friends and school officials.
Folks had me writing for any and every thing after that day. No one was really sure what area of writing I would go into, especially me. Would I write poetry (I’m not that deep), plays (I have writing ADD) or short stories (fiction is hard to make up)? In middle school I decided to be a reporter. Getting a round of applause for my first article in the school paper was a major ego boost. It reinforced my childhood theory, “you get things for writing.”
Here I am 16 years later living my childhood dream as a newspaper writer (an award winning one too). I’m just glad I outgrew my pre-school career choice of a pay-for- lady (a cashier). Children might be fickle in their aspirations now, but encourage them in their quest for finding their dream career. One day they might really just grow up to be that childhood dream.