My first bachelor’s degree at university was majoring in Psychology. I have always been a real people-person, fascinated with what makes people tick and how I might be able to help them. I soon realised, though, that many conditions are treatable but incurable and that I would spend all my days and nights worrying about my patients. In my second year, I decided to change major to my second fascination, Philosophy. I have always enjoyed exploring the great, unanswered questions of the universe, like, “What is truth?” “How do we distinguish right from wrong?” “What is time?” “How ought people to live?” and so on. After studying that for another year, though, I came to realise two things; firstly, that I would never find a job being a philosopher and that, secondly, I wanted to be out there in the real world actually living by the philosophies I had formed for myself rather than simply studying about those of other people.
I have always had a love of Eastern cultures and have had a particular interest in Japan ever since I saw my first anime as a kid. I decided to defer my studies and just move to Tokyo, although I had never been there before. In fact, I had never left the country before. I knew that teaching English was a good way to work in Asia for Australians so I quickly completed a Certificate of Teaching English as a Secondary or Other Language (TESOL) while I saved up just enough money to relocate and then moved to Japan and never looked back.
As soon as I began teaching English, I realised that this is what I was born for. Linguistics, the study or science of all languages, is the perfect marriage between Psychology and Philosophy. To me, Psychology is the study of how people think and Philosophy is the study of what people think. Linguistics is the study of the systems and networks of languages that encode both what and how people think. Through languages, we can understand so much about the people who use them as well as their beliefs, cultures and so much more. As soon as my Japanese visa expired two years later, I returned to Australia and began a whole new degree, a Bachelor of Linguistics. I have been teaching English ever since.