My 10th Grade Aspirations

I wrote the following in 10th grade as an assignment in English class. It is verbatim.

Most people, when asked what they would like to accomplish in their brief period on earth, invariably answer they would like to have an important job and make a sizable income. This seems to be the universal dream. Many of these same people end up with average, run-of-the-mill jobs along with the same type of income. I want more than this out of life and I’m determined to get it.

Depending upon the world situation after I graduate from high school, it is possible that I will join the Navy immediately. I could get valuable training in the service and get my hitch over with at the same time.

The main step in achieving what I want is four to six years of college. I would have to earn a few degrees, depending upon my specific line of studies and needs.

My idea of an ideal job would be in the engineering or designing end of aeronautics. I would prefer to work for a government agency so I could see my work being put to good use for my country. My income wouldn’t have to be very large because I am not planning on getting married. I honestly feel that marriage is a waste of valuable time and money.

I would have, inside my home or apartment, my own drafting equipment so I could keep up my work and possibly come up with new ideas in my field.

I am planning on keeping busy constantly up until my retirement. Then I will leave for Canada or some other backwoods country and make my home. I could live the rest of my life hunting, fishing, enjoying the wilderness and contemplating the hereafter.


[In longhand below the note concerning the length of the paper, Miss Baer, my teacher, wrote “If you say so, sir!”

If you’re wondering whether my aspirations came to fruition, I’ll have to say that some did and some did not. I have only one degree and it took a hell of a long time to get it. I did not join the Navy or any other branch of service. I have spent a lot of my career in engineering and design, but not in aeronautics. Although I seem to have felt strongly that marriage was a waste of time, I was married 6 years after this was written and have been married ever since. I have, several times, had drafting and engineering tools in my residence during periods when I worked from home. My plan to keep working until my retirement is still my plan, but I’m not planning on retiring. I have visited Canada numerous times, but have stayed in the urban areas. I’m not really interested in the backwoodsy stuff any longer. I gave up contemplating the hereafter when I realized it’s here that I’m after.

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