Our Dreams to be Academicians

BY RUBY CHINGU

If there is one thing Palah, Fatma and I share in common, it is our dream to teach.

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I have just returned home from my faculty after saying goodbye to a lecturer I love so much. Her name is Miss Ummi and she taught me International Law, Industrial Law and Mooting. She is a great and spirited lecturer, always passionate about the subjects she is assigned with. I received the news last Tuesday that Miss Ummi will be leaving Malaysia this Sunday to pursue her PhD in the United Kingdom.

Miss Ummi is one of the many law teachers that have inspired me throughout my years in law school. They have inflamed my desire to be passionate about what I do and to spread the passion and appreciation of the subjects that I love.

I am not alone in this. Us three chinguz met when we were still not-so-innocent young optimistic souls wandering in the strange town of Shah Alam to do our Foundation in Law. Immediately, we became best friends. It took us a few years to actually realize that we also share the same dream, albeit to teach in different subjects. Palah, I think, wants to specialize in politics, human rights and Middle Eastern studies. Fatma wants to specialize in criminology, cultural studies and perhaps one day write a screenplay. As for me, constitutional law and international law are the loves of my life and hopefully one day I’ll be able to academically explore the world of literature as well.

Since the learning culture in Malaysia (this is solely my own opinion) is restricted still in some ways, our dreams to teach seem to be a bit distant from where we are now. I am doing my Master, then I plan to enter the legal practice for a few years. God permits, I will come back to school and pursue my PhD. The journey could be years, even decades. Will I still maintain the same degree of passion and optimism then? I do not know. Hopefully, I will not give up on my dream.

People keep rushing to be rich, to start a family, to own a house etc etc. Somehow, we don’t really fit in that bill. Knowing what you love and how you want to spend your life is wonderful and troublesome in a way. It is wonderful in a sense I wake up in the morning with a purpose in mind. Obstacles may come but at least my dreams never leave me. It is troublesome in a sense that I have to disappoint the people I love who want me to be somebody I don’t want to be. To see their dejected faces when I told them ,”no, I don’t think I’m going to stay in practice for more than ten years” or “no, I don’t think being a judge really suits me”, can be quite sad. But I am quite stubborn and unless situation necessitates it, I try to prioritize my desires than what other people expects me to do.

Life is a long journey. Might as well enjoy it while I can.

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