By Sherry Wong

But your profile says…

A friend of mine helped me with the profile. She actually changed it for me. With my old profile, nobody ever contacted me. I may as well not exist. So, this friend suggested that I modify my profile a little bit. It helped, didn’t it? I got your attention.

Okay. When and where did you learn to draw?

Ever since I was a child, I just loved to draw. I’ve drawn volumes of cartoon characters and I created them all. It’s not hard. All you need to do is make different shapes and connect them.

How come you’re not an artist?

I never had the chance.

What do you mean?

When I was fourteen, I entered a drawing contest hosted by the Norman Rockwell College of Art in the U. S. It was a famous art school by the way. Not only did I win the contest, but the school also sent two teachers to Canada, to our little town. They wanted to take me there to study art. I was two years below their minimum age threshold, but they made an exception for me. But my dad turned them down.

Why?

It would cost Dad six hundred dollars. He said he didn’t have the money.

That was insane. You told me your dad bought three houses for your family. If he had money to buy houses, he had money to send you to art school.

I know.

So, what did you do?

Nothing. I was only fourteen.

What did your mom do?

Nothing. Dad was the boss.

When you grew up, you went to college, right?

Yes, I did. I even went to law school after I finished my B. A. degree.

You went to law school? You didn’t tell me this. How come you are not a lawyer?

I’ve never finished it.

How come?

In the middle of law school, I got a phone call one day out of blue. I was told my student loan was called and I had to repay the entire balance immediately. I had no money and had to quit school.

That doesn’t make sense. I have worked in the Canadian financial industry in the last nineteen years, and I’ve never heard a student loan is called when the borrower is still in school.

I know. I didn’t know why they did it to me. Years later I learned from someone in the student loan field that they actually randomly chose someone to call the loans. I guess I was just unlucky.

What happened after that?

I just picked up whatever job I can find and paid the student loan off eventually.

After the loan was paid off, why didn’t you go back to law school?

 I was scared.

Scared of what?

Spending money, running out of money, I would never want a loan again.

Okay, law school might be expensive. But how about art school?

Art school costs money too. Isn’t it?

True. So your father wouldn’t spend six hundred dollars for your future. You wouldn’t either?

I guess so.

But you are an anesthetist. An anesthetist makes good money. You could have saved up the tuition fee if you really wanted to go back to school.

Actually, I’m not an anesthetist. I’m only an anesthetist’s aide.

But you said…

Yes, I know.

You do have a B. A. degree in history, don’t you?

Yes, I do.

How have you ended working as an anesthetist’s aide then?

I’ve done different things in life. When I was laid off from my previous job, I heard the hospital needed help. I went there and they hired me on the spot.

What was your previous job?

A legal aid.

Why didn’t you stay in that job?

Because my lawyer friend didn’t pay me.

So it was not a job. You volunteered?

I guess so.

Why did you do it?

I love the law. What I did for him was way beyond the responsibilities of a legal aide. I was the one who prepared court documents for him.

What about the job before that one?

A courier.

And the one before that?

An accounting clerk.

And before that?

A janitor.

A janitor? Why a janitor? It’s a job for uneducated people or the immigrants who don’t speak English.

I know. I did whatever I had to do to get by.

How long have you been an anesthetist’s aide?

Five years.

So you have never done anything in the last five years about your career?

I guess so.

  Look, you have a house, a car. Do you have savings in the bank?

I only have a small condo with a big mortgage

I thought you wouldn’t ever want a loan again.

I know…

But you got a mortgage.

I did.

Okay. Do you have savings?

A bit.

If you sell your condo and cash out your savings, do you have enough money to go to school?

Maybe.

Will you?

I’m afraid it’s too late.

It’s never too late. Oh, well, our food is here. 

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