Random Book Changed my Life

Random Book Changed my Life

The Random Book that Changed my Life

A while back I talked about how, at 10 years old, I decided to become a vet (Good to read ‘My Rocky Story’ first if you haven’t done so, just puts it all in context). Fast-forward a few years and I’m trying my best to get into Vet School in Japan. Japan is super academic, to give you an idea, I studied at Cram school from 8am until 11pm. Everyone there has to study HARD to get in to their desired University. 

Walking home disappointed after years of cram school and my second time of trying to get into vet school I wondered into a book shop, straight to the travel section like something was pulling me there. I picked up a random book at eye level and opened at a random page. On the right side of that page was The University of Queensland , read a little more and quickly discovered they had a Veterinary Science course there. 

God knows what took me to that book and even more mystifying is what they thought of me when I called asking about the University with my terrible English. After quite a while, it was clear (to them 😉 that I would have to do a Foundation Course in English at the University before they would let me anywhere near the Veterinary Science course.

I decided to study only English and save money for the Foundation Course secretly. Why secretly? My parents are very lovely and very traditional. I’m the oldest girl in the family and as far as they were concerned it was time to stop trying to be a vet and get married, that type of thing. So there was no way I was going to tell them about being a vet in another country. My husband often laughs and says his mum would have died from happiness if he was studying anything after his regular school. 

This maybe hard to understand, but it wasn’t just mum and dad I was going against, it was also thousands of years of culture. As you can imagine, this talk was going to be extremely tough and I didn’t fully trust myself not to back down. So I paid for everything, including my flights to Australia before talking with my mum (no turning back now) and I left it until 2 months before leaving before I told them. 

As expected, my mum was like a volcano but I had everything ready. Where you going to study? You can’t speak English! You don’t know anyone there! I met every question (statement) with a response until it went deadly silent with finally ‘Nobody (man) will want you (after being educated)’ I assured her I wasn’t interested in that type of guy and if all failed, I would come home and become an English teacher for kids while helping in the restaurant. My mum did not talk to me for one whole month and dad obviously picked up on something was wrong. Dad was more practical and said its because I’m a girl so it’s difficult for them, it would be different if I was a boy. Eventually they came round, kind of, I think, well……… what could they do?

For the first three months, after learning American English, the Australian accent killed me!! But I had come too far and tried to focus on what my teachers were saying. The academic side of the Foundation Course was easy enough once I had grasped the English and Australian accent. I was blessed with having great classmates around who were all passionate about becoming vets. And mum? Well, she was the proudest a mum can be on Graduation Day and rumour has it, she proudly tells everyone about me in Japan. Funny what time can do.

From that experience and observing that cultures are living things as well, they adapt and change all the time as we learn from one another. That’s why I believe West and East complement each other in finding the best solution for our fluffies.

Forever grateful to my wonderful parents and Uni classmates. Oh, and of course that random book!

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