Saturday, July 12, 2003

for some reason i've been thinking over these few days what i would like to do with my life post-college and perhaps even post-PSC. right now there are several options:

(a) stay in the civil service. this depends on my liking what i'm doing, of course, once i start work. that, in turn, is contingent on what i choose to do when i finish school, something that i like to mull over now and then. i'm really tempted to say that i want to go to Education, because i'm interested in it -- but i'm also afraid because MOE is one of the most stolidly bureaucratic of our ministries, and i'm afraid that the experience will break me. on the one hand i really want things to change for the kids; on the other hand the experience of being unable to get anything to change for them might just kill me. other options to keep in mind: probably Mindef, or Finance. somewhere i can hopefully use both the economics training and the political science. i think regardless of whether i stay i would like to go back to school and get an MA at least.

(b) leave the civil service but enter education in some capacity. i'm getting quite excited about this whole Raffles Program thing, and listening to dad talk about it last weekend gave me some ideas about what i would like to do with it. talked to Dan also last night about the possibility of teaching something i'm genuinely interested in -history of the modern world, or perhaps east asian history- in this program, and got quite excited about it. so there's a possibility, if i want to be an educator without being MOE. i think of it as a new form of education, something more all rounded than anything we've tried before, and if i can be some part of making that a reality, i would really love to do it. i think, however, that this route would entail my getting some post-grad work done in the field of education. not sure if that's something i'm willing to do just now.

(c) go back to school, get my post-grad, stay in academia forever. the idea of being an academic historian is quite quite appealling. sometimes i like to live life in the clouds, you know? reality doesn't have to exist for me except in a sort of theoretical, -people and places and time must exist so i can write about them- sort of way. a world i can retreat into, a world that makes sense and isn't necessarily full of stupid people who bullishly shoulder their way toward certain death and destruction, who squirm into corners in the blind belief that specialisation is safety and security. one of my profs once told me that i have the brain of a historian -amused- perhaps i will get the chance to prove him right in the future. have yet to decide what i want to get a post-grad in -although at this point econ is pretty much out of the picture- either in political science, or in east asian studies. the way my mind works though, it'll probably be a polsci degree with east asian historical focus maybe. the real problem i have with east asian studies is that i'm not really interested in anything beyond the histories of the various places -- you know, things like 'culture' and 'art' -- they're ideas and concepts that i don't really have any interest in dealing with. i just want to know what made things happen the way things happened.

one thing is certain though: i'm not going into the business world, the private sector, whatever you want to call it. i'll never be an economically productive member of singaporean society. it holds no appeal to me -- a great disappointment to mom, unfortunately -- compared with the allure of school. i want to be a perpetual student.


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