This post might look strange but a regular reader of my blog asked me asked to clarify about myself – because, apparently, there are some confusions among those who never met me, between me and other namesakes (those who are also called Dorji Wangchuk). In fact, many people ask me about a book, which was written by another Dorji Wangchuk (dean at Paro College of Education). The confusion is further aggravated after I entered the teaching profession – when I got associated with Sherubtse College. And also, of late, because I have been writing extensively on education and teaching.
So, first of all, I am not a career teacher. I have never been one until my short stint in Sherubtse where I taught three classes for three semesters. I never studied in Sherubtse either. I used to joke with my students there that I didn’t qualify for Sherubtse but became qualified to teach there.
My background is in engineering. All my formal education, except the current one, is in technical field. Right from the primary classes to matriculation from Kharbandi to Dewathang Polytechnic and to advanced university studies in Italy, I did carpentry, welding, metal works, electrical engineering, telecommunication and microelectronics. Furthermore, in the school I went (Don Bosco Technical School in Kharbandi) from 1974 to 1982 I also studied English, History, Geography, Physics and Chemistry, which gave me some grounding me in language and literature. It is pity that these subjects have been removed and technical and non-technical fields are so compartmentalised nowadays.
I started my working career as a junior engineer in Radio NYAB in 1985 and was part of the team that launched the Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) – a year later. In 1987, I was awarded a fellowship to undergo higher studies at the University of Bologna (Italy). I returned home in 1995 with a laureate degree and resumed my job in the BBS. I worked as head of transmission, project manager, chief engineer, general manager leading the team that brought both FM radio and television to Bhutan between 1999 to 2002. In 2003 I moved to documentary production and journalism – producing some 25 documentaries and hosting 112 shows on BBS – Q&A with Dorji Wangchuk. I resigned in 2006 to start Centennial Radio and pursue an independent career. I also wrote some 120 columns – mainly for Bhutan Times. My freelance life was, however, short-lived when I was called back to the government again – as the Director for Royal Office for Media, His Majesty’s Secretariat from 2009 to 2013.
After my service at the Palace, I taught for three semesters in Sherubtse College and then worked as a Dean at Royal Thimphu College for one year. These two places inspired me to go back to classroom and that is when I started working again towards another advanced degree – but this time in another field – communication. Speaking of my zeal for learning, it is not for the fancy title (I have the “Doctor” title from my degree in Italy, which I never used – or cared for). I am pursuing this academic works in communication to consolidate the rich professional experience I accumulated in engineering, mass media, public affairs, governance, etc. into some scholarly works that could contribute to the national narrative – and to the discourse on nationhood and nation-building.
What next? Well, honestly, I haven’t really decided what to do next. I have done a lot in my life, and been through a lot too. I guess, as John Rambo puts it, I will take my life day by day. It is still an open book. But a story worth a read.