“In class 3, I started working as a PWD labourer. I was the eldest & the Nu. 100 a day helped buy all my school supplies. Apa was in the army, & as the only breadwinner, his pay hardly sustained us. Every winter break, I’d hunt for temporary jobs.

I focused on my studies & topped within the Eastern Dzongkhags. I ranked 6th in Sherubtse studying economics. I didn’t lose my habit of working jobs during breaks. After graduating, I had 3 months to come to T/phu & prepare for the RCSC. I worked at a coal mine for a month. It was hard but I needed the money. I’d get up at 6 am & walk 7 km to the mine. After a few days, news spread in the mine that a young graduate was working there. Before long, I was asked to come to the office of the owner. As an obedient student with no disciplinary issues, I was never called to the principal’s office. This felt like my first time, & I was shaking. The owner of the company, was so impressed by my purpose that he gave me a soelra of Nu.10,000 on top of my daily wage. I gave that to my mother.

I had never been to T/phu before & everything amazed me. The way youth dressed up, the scenarios, & people’s lifestyles were nothing like how I imagined. My first job was on contract in a ministry, & 6 months later, I applied to become a teacher at Dungsam Academy. Working there, I saved every penny to help Apa pay back the loan he took to build a house for my grandparents. After 2 years, I did my masters & became a manager at a Corporation.

I was always meant to be a teacher. In college, I was an active volunteer who taught monks in the shedra & people in the nearby village. I’d teach from 5 to 7pm & it always felt rewarding. When an offer to teach at a college came my way, I jumped at the opportunity. The last 4 years as a lecturer have been joyful everyday. However, our education system is heavily oriented towards academics & students miss out on learning life skills. I feel sad when my students blame their parents for forcing them to study in college. I often take breaks in class & recount my own stories of hardship, hoping this will teach them more than their syllabus.”

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