A television program in Japan reportedly sheds light on the current living status of 10 people who were once considered as child prodigy. Among the 10 people there, one stood out as the most intriguing case: a truck driver who was once considered a physics whiz kid in high school.
The man, whose name was not revealed, was the first person in Japan to have been offered a grade acceleration program for his excellent academic performance and intellect, according to Hachima Kiko as translated by SoraNews24. This program helped the man to jump a few grades and head straight into Chiba University much earlier than his peers in his age group.
This, alongside his incredible academic achievements and records, gave him the impression that he will live a comfortable life. And so, the man became a father and got married all while he was still finishing his graduate school.
His hard work and determination had landed him a very unstable job with a rather low monthly salary of just 200,000 yen ($1,763). However, after pouring all of his energy into the scientific research, the man felt like he was being exploited. The money that he earned on a monthly basis was also not enough to make ends meet.
This led the man to the decision to become a truck driver instead, an even more stable career that earns him a stable income of 300,000 yen ($2,646) per month.
The TV program revealed the man’s life story generated quite a stir from Japanese netizen. Some of the comments they’ve posted online read:
“Japanese companies are so terrible they can’t even tap into his full potential. He’d make it big if he went abroad.”
“This really made me think, but I guess it’s fine as long as the dude’s happy.”
“Studying and working are two different things. Research might not have been his forte after all.”
“This isn’t his problem; it’s Japan’s universities. He simply wasn’t trained properly.”
“Society’s vision of research is really distorted. A person’s intelligence doesn’t reflect their performance in research.”
But to be perfectly fair, this may not be Japan’s or any country’s fault for that matter. Working in the scientific research field can be quite stressful – with the job instability issue as well as meager pay with high potential of relocation all taken into account.
Despite picking an incredibly different career path, the man found a fruitful job that helped him buy a second-hand house. He said that he considers himself lucky as he is able to spend time with and enjoy dinner with his family after his 12-hour shift from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This doesn’t stop him from doing what he loves, though. The truck driver continues to teach chemistry and physics during the weekends with the hope that it could inspire his students as well as generate interest in the field.