I realize that I already am failing on my posting goals, but I am in the process of moving. Regular posting will begin after Bun and I are settled in our new home. We went to the vet today to get her wellness examination and travel documents. Unfortunately for me she threw a tantrum during the appointment. Will I ever not be embarrassed by a pet’s behavior at the animal clinic?

Anyways, I had the opportunity today to speak with a professional in education outreach. She is heading a program designed to expand the reach of STEM-oriented English education, and something in our conversation really struck me. I asked her opinion about the quintessential component of getting educational research out of the lab and into the communities. She immediately replied, “Passion. More than in any other field you need passion for this. You can’t be driven by money. Passion.”

I realize that this gets into tricky territory. I could write a series disproving the myths that vacations really are vacations, that parents don’t call at all hours of the day and night, and that teachers are avaricious leeches who simply should be satisfied that they get paid at all. For the time being, however, I would like to set aside those thoughts. I never had anyone say so frankly and fervently that passion was the key. It’s typically a lukewarm, noncommittal response; it is the answer given when there is none. The insistence and feeling she poured into that word left an impression on me.

I am about to embark on a new journey. I am full of nervousness and anticipation, but I am eager to become a force for improvement. I dream of a world where quality education isn’t a privilege. I look for a future when education isn’t simply a means to an end. I hope for a day when children aren’t ignored because they don’t fit a restricted view of success – when they are more than numbers used to establish parameters for resource allocation. I work for a place where every child will be valued sincerely as an individual and will experience the joys of discovery and creation. I strive for a time when language learning and cultural appreciation (not appropriation!) are borne from respectful curiosity and not entwined with language death or hegemony.

I jokingly describe myself as a borderline misanthrope with eternal optimism, but I think that is what drives me. That is where I find my passion. I hold that, no matter how terrible we are making this world, we do have the capacity to improve it. There will be obstacles to surmount. There will be disappointing setbacks. However, as long as I have this passion to drive me, I think that I will be able to consider my efforts as contributions.

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