After a lot of careful deliberations and considerations, I’ve decided it’s in my best interest to get a Master’s degree in (East/Pacific) Asian Studies, and I want to do my thesis and research on something, anything, related to Japanese leftist movements of the late 19th and early 20th century, particularly literature and magazines such as Seito and Myojo, which published original material from Japanese authors and translated many great thinkers outside of Asia, from Anton Chekhov to Emma Goldman. After that, I will make my decision as to whether I am cut for academia, and either enrol in a PhD program or law school. It’s the life of either a lawyer or a professor for me!
As of now, I’ve found two professors who have research interests which could match up with my interests and thesis, one at UBC and one at McGill. There’s two “maybes” at U of Toronto. As you can imagine, I am gulping and shaking nervously at the prospect of working on getting into any of those, they are among the most prestigious universities in Canada, and the competition is, to put it mildly, stiff. I’ve never been what one may define as a “top” student, I’m more likely to pour my soul and redouble my efforts on courses which interest me, and leaving ones which are less compelling to me intellectually as an afterthought. But what I lack in being straight-A quality, I feel I more than compensate for in passion and vision. We’ll see if I can find a way to make the two sync up enough to make me McGill/Toronto/UBC material, eh?
I did think that I could do more good work in law in terms of improving the world, but I’m beginning to open my eyes to the long and noble history of academics in bringing about positive social developments and pursuing Tikkun Olam (Healing of the world) Lawyers are more than capable of bringing about these in their lives, but I’ve been told by those in the profession that it often has to be put on the back burner in favour of other causes, owing to the competitive and image-conscious nature of the profession. I would have to be Louis Brandeis-level excellent in order to make my mark on social justice in law.
We’ll just see, won’t we?