Foundation Studies teacher Dr Theresa Dang tells us about her love of video games, how her career choice kept both her and her parents happy, why she loves Melbourne's weather and why she thinks wombats are underrated.
What classes do you teach?
Biology lectures and tutorials
What do you enjoy most about teaching at Trinity College?
The people and the opportunities. I’ve worked with some amazing people who have all taught me different things and encouraged me in my work. I’ve had opportunities to work on different projects, leading me to my current role in eLearning. So aside from teaching biology, I get to explore how technology can enhance education and that’s pretty cool.
What is one of your favourite conversations from a Trinity class?
I run a class on human genetics and, in this class, I bring up a lot of ethical issues surrounding this topic. My favourite conversations always happen in this class because the students share their thoughts and perspectives. Often, students are presented with things that they have never thought about before, and so it’s amazing to see the students challenge each other but also learn from each other.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My parents encouraged me to be a doctor, but I really wanted to be a teacher. I guess you can say everyone is happy about how it all turned out. I am a doctor, so my parents are happy, but I’m teaching, which makes me happy.
What was your favourite subject at school?
I had two: biology and history. I had a wonderful biology teacher who made learning about life so interesting, and an amazing history teacher who opened my eyes to the past. If only more people could learn from history, so that society doesn’t make the same mistakes again.
What is your favourite thing about Australia?
The people. You get to meet people from many different cultures, and they are often very welcoming. I also like that people tend to be laidback and don’t take life too seriously at times.
What are your three favourite things about Melbourne?
The food, the people, and the weather. Yes, the weather! People can complain all they want about the weather but having four seasons in one day is pretty special in my books!
What is your favourite place in Australia and why?
Home. It’s where my loved ones are.
What is your favourite Australian animal?
The wombat. I think it’s an underrated Australian animal, but it’s my favourite because it looks cute and cuddly but will attack fiercely when provoked.
What is your favourite food?
Pho. It’s so warm, comforting, and delicious to eat at any time of the day.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given?
Love is a decision. My teacher told me that and I have never forgotten.
What do you wish you could go back and tell your 18-year-old self?
You are enough. If you want to change then change for yourself. Don’t change for others.
What advice would you give to a student who is thinking about studying Foundation Studies at Trinity?
Just do it! It is a once in a lifetime experience. You will learn a lot about yourself, how strong you are, and what you are capable of.
What would make the world a better place?
More empathy, compassion, and respect for others. Oh and learning from history!
Which activities make you lose track of time?
Playing video games! I’ve been a gamer most of my life. Fantasy-based RPGs are my go-to. I can be an elf mage for hours while the real world ticks away.
What is your life philosophy?
Better to regret what you’ve done, than to regret not doing it. In other words, take the opportunity that presents itself to you!