One day, in 1989, my elementary class teacher was picking (on) people in class and tried to predict what
they would end up doing for a living, judging by their character and what they were good at.
He chose Oscar ﬁrst and said; “Oscar... Oscar is going to be a door-to-door salesman (back in 1989, that was a real job).
I can already see him walking around in a suit, with his big black case, bright white teeth
and his gallant words”.
My teacher went to great lengths to envision Oscar going about his soon to be profession. He would play Oscar walking up to the door, ringing the doorbell, giving his imaginary tie a quick once
over and checking his breath before a “closed door”.
He would even get into a second character when “the door” would be opened , eager to unleash his rehearsed sales pitch about the product (vacuum cleaner bags?).
It was thespian acting in it’s smallest, but purest, form.
When my teacher deemed the portrayal of future Oscar adequate and accurate, he sat down, fulﬁlled.
Still gleaming from his theatrical take, he proceeded to glance around the classroom and took a look at Utku (character sketch: Utku was the ﬁrst person in our class to smoke. Also, she had a ‘by all means necessary’ approach in her candy getting endeavors, even if it meant kissing a guy on the cheek).
He looked at her brieﬂy, and quickly dismissed any attempt of foretelling her future by saying “I don’t
even know what to make of you!”
Such a succinct proclamation made us laugh harder than any dramatic conveyance ever could.
My teacher continued to browse the classroom, looking for another victim to beckon his destiny upon. I then noticed him noticing me, sketching in my notebook. When our eyes locked, I knew I would be
next! He paused, for what seemed like an eternity, took a deep breath and said:
“Winand is going to be in advertising! Yes, I I know that because I’ve seen ...."
The rest of his speech just faded into background murmur...
Though the ﬁrst sentence was poignant enough to waken my senses, I resumed my usual daydreaming on what “being in advertising’ really meant. At the time I didn’t even have a clue what people in advertising did, so I just left it at that.
For years I didn’t give much thought to this story and almost forgot about it. Until a couple of years ago, I suddenly caught myself sketching, in my notebook, during a meeting, at a creative agency. The ﬂashback of looking into my teacher’s determined eyes, made me chuckle a bit. Someone saw something in me,
before I could see it myself.
I guess we all have a path sketched out for us…
And, by the way, Oscar became a Jehovah's witness, and Utku a webcam girl, you ﬁgure out if he was right about them...