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Thread: Put on your thinking caps

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by John
    I'd rather flip burgers for minimum wage and love it, than sit behind a desk all day doing something I hate for good money. For me, it's not about the "work" or the "money", it's about liking what I spend my life doing. And I guess that's why I keep changing things up.
    Amen to that John. I was making upper five figures as a web developer/programmer for a major multimedia corporation. Great money, but I hated it - it wasn't what I wanted to do the rest of my life.

    This thread as well as my recent academic experiences have shown me that it never is too late to give one's dreams a shot. When I was 18 I started college on a full academic scholarship but halfway into the first semester, a multitude of events made me realize I wasn't ready for school yet, or to be an adult - so I joined the Navy, got 6 years of practical work experience.

    After that I worked as a waiter at an upscale Italian eatery, moonlighting as a hotel front desk attendant off and on before moving on to the programming position. After a year of that, I started undergrad. I worked full time while finishing my bachelors degree (in English, emphasis on Creative Writing) and then quit my job to go to grad school. After obtaining my MFA in Creative Writing, I decided even that wasn't enough and decided to go to law school which is what I will be starting this fall at the University of Minnesota (I started last fall but took a leave of absence due to a family emergency).

    Not sure what I'm trying to say here, other than it's never too late to do something, and it's always worthwhile to pursue your dreams whether you be 20 or 60. The hardest part for me being in school at this age is adjusting my lifestyle from making good money to making none at all. I know it's only temporary, but it sure does put a strain on me emotionally trying to explain to my creditors why I just can't keep up with them right now. It's also hard for me to explain to my children why I can't afford to come see them every other month like I used to and why I don't do nearly as much with and for them as I used to. Three more years. That's what I tell myself.
    I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a star in somebody else's eyes... but why... why... why can't it be me?

  2. #42
    Sexy evil genius Paulie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmandaG
    So why am I telling you people this? Because I want to know more about what you guys do, and what you think about. If you went to college or are currently a student, what did you go/are you going for? Why'd you pick it? Did/Do you enjoy it, or, like me, would you do things differently if given the option? If you haven't gone to college, do you independently research things just because you find them interesting? If so, what? If not, do you have things you'd like to learn about if only you had the time? What are they? If you're planning on going to college at some point, what do you want to study while you're there? Why?
    Well, here's my contribution to the story. I went to college and loved it. For me, college was about much more than just the academic things I learned there. I came from a sheltered home environment, and I really enjoyed the freedom of college life. I didn't go completely bonkers, but I learned about myself and what worked for me when I was out on my own. I also made great friends there (and even met my future wife).

    As far as the academic side of things, I really enjoyed my computer science classes and, at least early on, I was able to satisfy my interest in English and writing by taking elective classes. Down the stretch, I really had to focus on all CS and other engineering classes in order to graduate on time. This resulted in a pretty stressful conclusion to my college years, and I vowed never to go back to school. And, honestly, I've never experienced even the slightest itch to return to school for more classes.

    Coming out of college, employers were fascinated at the prospect of a "computer guy" who had command of the English language. I was offered all sorts of "support" and "learning products" positions. Although that wasn't what I really wanted to be doing, I got my foot in the door by accepting a support job. After three years, I made my move and transitioned into a straight R&D lab, and I've had a great time since. My work now is creative rather than reactive, and I'm always challenged to learn new things. The development we do is in response to new technologies and new hardware, which means I constantly have new and interesting things to learn in order to get my job done. I work with good people in a collaborative environment, and my day just flies by.

    Now is this exactly what I want to be doing for the rest of my life? I guess not. But what I'd really want to be doing (writing novels for a living) is a real longshot, and I can't afford to risk the stability of my family (wife and three kids) to go after that goal exclusively. I write in my "spare" time to keep in practice. The FORT gives me a great opportunity to write on a schedule and to get feedback on how I'm doing. The precaps during Survivor season are essentially pure fiction, and I write 6-7 pages a week. If I could motivate myself to put the same sort of effort into writing a novel, I could have 300 pages written in a year. So...that's where I'm headed, eventually.

    Meanwhile, I'll continue to develop software (which, in itself, is a form of fiction), and I'll even dabble a bit in the management side of things while my boss is out on maternity leave. I enjoy my time at work, but I don't identify myself by it. I think of myself as a father and husband first, then as a writer, then as a computer guy.

    There's my answer, Amanda. Hope that helped or was at least entertaining/elucidating.
    When you're ten years old and a car drives by and splashes a puddle of water all over you, it's hard to decide if you should go to school like that or try to go home and change and probably be late. So while he was trying to decide, I drove by and splashed him again. - Jack Handey

    Read Paulie's Precaps for Survivor:Vanuatu: 1-2-3-4-5

  3. #43
    Hypermediocrity Amanda's Avatar
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    Entertaining, check.
    Elucidating, check.
    I'm going to be saying elucidating all day now.

    By the way, lest any of you thought I seriously was looking for ideas on a career choice, I want to add that I was just kidding there. I have some options, I just need to decide which avenue to pursue.

    Mainly, I'm just nosy and want to know what's going on inside those noggins of yours.

  4. #44
    Sexy evil genius Paulie's Avatar
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    Yay! I entertained Amanda! It's always nice to return the good deeds of others in kind.
    When you're ten years old and a car drives by and splashes a puddle of water all over you, it's hard to decide if you should go to school like that or try to go home and change and probably be late. So while he was trying to decide, I drove by and splashed him again. - Jack Handey

    Read Paulie's Precaps for Survivor:Vanuatu: 1-2-3-4-5

  5. #45
    C'mon Without Cmon Within QuinntheEskimo's Avatar
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    allright, i'm 34 and though i like what i do (urban planner), i cant imagine making a career out of this. i know i would eventutally like to get into golf course design- but the path to get there seems kind of murky... So i'll just keep plugging along until i figure it out.

    My mother didint figure it out until she was 44, she was an accountant her whole life- one day she up and quit and decided to go to nursing school- 10 years later, she is an RN for a matrnity ward at a hospital (her dream job).

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie
    But what I'd really want to be doing (writing novels for a living) is a real longshot, and I can't afford to risk the stability of my family (wife and three kids) to go after that goal exclusively.
    It is a longshot Paulie, and precisely one of the reasons I decided to go to law school. I hope you don't give up on your dream - I've read a couple of your precaps, even though I'm not much of a Survivor watcher, and your humor and style shine through. I'd love to see your attempts at fiction outside of that venue.
    I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a star in somebody else's eyes... but why... why... why can't it be me?

  7. #47
    Sexy evil genius Paulie's Avatar
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    That's a very nice compliment, Hazy. Thank you.
    When you're ten years old and a car drives by and splashes a puddle of water all over you, it's hard to decide if you should go to school like that or try to go home and change and probably be late. So while he was trying to decide, I drove by and splashed him again. - Jack Handey

    Read Paulie's Precaps for Survivor:Vanuatu: 1-2-3-4-5

  8. #48
    An innocent bystander nlmcp's Avatar
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    I'm late adding to this thread but then I'm late for most threads....
    Graduted from high school with a 2.9 average, decided to go to college for engineering. Found out at college I liked dating engineers, didn't like studing it. Transfered to another college. Got my BS in Socialogy/Psychology. which meant I really couldn't do anything. Decided during my senior year I wanted to work with older adults. figured out I had to go to gradute school, so I went to grad school full time, worked full time and paid for most of it on the Visa plan. (charged many of my classes)

    Haven't regretted it. Social work is one of those fields that in order to continue to advance you have to have those letters after your name. I know several good social workers who because they only have a BA can't move into better paying jobs, become supervisors or take on more responsiblity. I love my job (most days, but I do hate the tons of paper work) and I love the flexabilty in work I have.

    In some jobs you just have to have the right degree. In others a degree can help but it's not going to be the only thing you need to have.
    I could go east, I could go west, it was all up to me to decide. Just then I saw a young hawk flyin' and my soul began to rise. ~Bob Seger

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