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Movin’ On Up: Chana

Shaina Keren

My mother wants to take me to a career coach. I didn’t know that there were people whose job it was to help people choose a job

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

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I’ve been looking forward to the end of this year for a while... 12 years to be exact. It’s not that I don’t like learning, I do. I like hashkafah discussions, parshah, history, English. Okay, math is not my thing, neither is accounting or computers. But mostly I can manage well through a class when there are teachers who let me join in, or quietly listen at my own pace, without putting me on the spot to answer questions in front of the entire class. I just don’t feel the constant need to be part of a large, noisy group, who can talk for hours about the next school event. In those situations I sit there wishing I would come down with enough of a cold to get out of going altogether. My best friend is a neighbor, who’s not even in my grade. 

A year older than me, Rochel has been my closest friend ever since I was three years old and we moved in to the house behind hers. We can sit and talk for hours, dream up our future lives together, debating issues, discussing our families, sharing opinions. My mother can’t understand how I can have so much to say around Rochel, and then can’t think of a thing to say at the supper table when everyone else can’t keep their mouths closed. I have one of the most amazing mothers ever, and I don’t blame her for not understanding me. It’s just that we’re so different. 

Her favorite activity is getting together with a gaggle of aunts and yapping for hours. She wishes I would look forward to spending time with my cousins just as much. I’m nice enough to them, but honestly prefer my own company. Her project of the year has been worrying what I’m going to do next year, after I graduate. I won’t consider teaching, she’s worried that letting me work for her in our basement office will make me an official hermit, and I have no interest in getting an office job. I had a job this past summer, when my mother insisted I work to get some experience. 


I worked at a local hosiery store, taking phone orders while dealing with customers in the store. A nightmare.

My mother wants to take me to a career coach. I didn’t know that there were people whose job it was to help people choose a job; maybe they couldn’t think of a job themselves? Not that anyone was asking my opinion — the meeting is already penciled onto the kitchen calendar.

I have to say, I’m curious what this coach can come up with. There are a few things I need to do before our appointment. So far, I’ve spent an evening taking an aptitude test that was supposed to be able to figure out how my brain works. Tonight’s homework is completing a questionnaire with fun questions like, “If you only had five years to live, how would you spend them?” and, “What books do you enjoy reading?” Uh, does sitting and reading Teen Pages in my room answer both? (Excerpted from Teen Pages, Issue 710)


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