During my vacation in Tofino, I felt right at home at the beach. During a brief period of my childhood, I grew up on a small island in Jervis Inlet, BC, working on a family friend’s oyster farm and crab fishery. The cold, clean water of the northern Pacific Ocean is like home to me, and it felt good to experience that again. Jaime and her family are from Manitoba, so they were very unfamiliar with the ocean and its inhabitants. I took it upon myself to identify each thing we uncovered, from kelp to starfish. I have always been particularly fond of kelp, and spent a lot of time observing it.
Jaime and her mother both asked me why I didn’t consider a career in Marine Botany, rather than law, which is much more emotionally and morally taxing work. I couldn’t give a good enough answer to satisfy myself, other than the fact that I avoided the sciences like the plague because of my poor mathematical skills. But I started thinking about botany, how I worshipped Isabella Abbott as a young teen, loved reading books and articles about David Douglass J.D Hooker, and Carl Linnaeus, and memorized the charts of Gregor Mendel in Biology class in high school.
When I first entered college, I wanted to be a journalist. I was disillusioned by that quickly, and wanted to move into academia. But a book on the intersection of the rights of Indigenous peoples in Asia and environmentalism given to me by my advisor (David Suzuki and Keibo Oiwa’s The Other Japan: Voices From Beyond the Mainstream) inspired me to one day go into International Law, to collaborate with other like-minded people so I could put an end to economic and physical bondage by extreme poverty and environmental degradation.
I’ve been waffling a lot on that decision since though. Law is a very cutthroat profession, law school is expensive, and I fear that I would get caught up in the craving for money and success, work too hard towards advancing ahead of my fellow law students, and lose my vision of what I wanted to do originally. I have mini nightmares of going from speaking with heads of state and local leaders about pursuing peace over profit to sitting in an air-conditioned office in Toronto and looking for regulation loopholes, schmoozing with firm partners, and learning how to golf.
How can I work towards achieving my dreams without losing my original vision and trading my passion for glory? I’m still trying to answer that, while skimming over LSAT practice books. I keep thinking about the suggestion for marine botany, and it is appealing, but I have no clue how good I would really be at it.
I may end up taking an elective in botany or marine biology next semester, just to see how I feel about it and how good I am at it. Who knows? And for the sake of my unanswered questions, I wonder if some logic and ethics classes could help?