Saturday, September 26, 2009

Student again?


I know I had laid the blog to rest but.....

This week I became a student again at QUB for another 3 years, studying a Doctorate in Educational, Child and Adolescent Psychology. If I finish then from the ages of 18-31 I'll have spent 5 years working and 8 studying!

Why?
I've had the same comments loads recently:
Why are you leaving teaching? you are an eternal student! I thought you loved your job? ye need to grow up and accept responsibilities! ye just want the easy life, better money? etc....

Over the past years through travels in Africa and the Middle East I have become increasingly angered, frustrated and impassioned by the plight of people, especially children, trying to make a life in a background of conflict, trauma and strife. The frustration stems from a feeling that I've talked a lot about these things but been unable and unwilling to actually do something about it.

So...my dream is to work with children who have been bereaved, traumatised or in other ways affected by war or conflict, with specific regard to how schools and communities could be engaged in such situations. This may be with former child soldiers in Africa, innocent victims in Palestine or troubled young people in Norn Iron. In this I feel a vocation or calling for the first time in my life. The reason for doing the course therefore is to provide the skills, contacts and direction to hopefully be used in this area.

I've been listening recently to Emmanuel Jah, a former child soldier from Sudan turned hip-hop artist. This song is a tribute to the lady that rescued him from his former life...inspiring!

5 comments:

ka said...

this is brill john donald mcmullen...im excited for you!!
ka

Anonymous said...

For anyone who knows you and knows your heart, this makes perfect sense. I think what you have chosen is very much about 'accepting responsibilites'.
Nina

Anonymous said...

PS-
I recently came across this quote by Frederick Buechner:

God's calling is where your deepest joy and the world's greatest needs intersect.

Nina

AIL├ŹN said...

Nice one...glad ur blog hasnt been killed off.

People only say things like "accepting responsibilities" because they have and wish the same wretched boredom on all others that they have come to accept...

Tho by the time you complete your studies you will need to have a rest anytime you have to append all your letters after your name...

Jen said...

Fair play to you John, I left my job this year too and got similar responses. I think though that it's important to do something for the right reason, because it's linked to your purpose not for the sake of it or for money. I saw Emmanuel Jah live at Hillsongs London a few months ago, his story was amazing and his performance kicked ass!