homeGeek CultureWebstoreeCards!Forums!Joy of Tech!AY2K!webcam

The Geek Culture Forums


Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | | search | faq | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Geek Culture Forums   » News, Reviews, Views!   » Our stupid lives   » Realization and Reversal

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Realization and Reversal
Oz, the Wizard of
Highlie
Member # 1454

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted November 20, 2008 14:03      Profile for Oz, the Wizard of   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was going to launch into, well, the topic to which the title refers, but it occurs to me that I haven't really been about for a spell. So, I'll fill everyone in, even if it only truly benefits the lot that remembers me.

Upon graduating from high school, I enrolled in the local university: the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. There wasn't a lot of reasoning to my attendance, nor a lot of drive; it was more of an inevitability. I hadn't applied at any other schools, bothered to research scholarships or exchange programs, or even considered what major I would pursue.

After a year and a half of wheel-spinning, it was more or less apparent that, perhaps, I had entered into this "school" thing prematurely. Indeed, the two things that I had conclusively discovered at school were:

a) Computer Science was right out.
b) I'm infatuated with Arabic (the language).

So, with a little research, I parlayed my existing credits into a modest AAS degree (in Information Technology, something a professor and longtime family friend called "a disgrace"), which was complete as of spring of last year. Escaping debt-free (thanks to well-managed permanent fund checks and my dad's University career), I took a job as a phone-based support tech, and began stashing money for a relocation to Seattle, Washington.

In hindsight, the reasons for my move evade me. I can pretty safely say that it was a good idea, regardless.

Fast forward to this year. (title can begin here)

I had successfully moved, secured housing, and found gainful employ -- technical support and services at Washington Mutual (through a contractor). As the bank began teetering and toppling, the stress level (of an already stressful job) picked up considerably, and I began to burn out. September was the linchpin, and following that horrific month, all that was left was to pick up the pieces.

This past Monday, I had a performance review which went rather poorly (thanks to September, in particular), and left me very demoralized. A wise person once told me that a lot of important thinking gets done on the toilet, and this day was no exception: sitting on the can, I came to a realization:

"This job is making me miserable, and I hate it."

It's a good realization, an important one for anyone to make, but not entirely unexpected. The surprise came when I contemplated what I'd like to do instead; something in the field of government or politics. Politics, of all things! It was anger that first interested me in the operations of our government (anger over seeing our country run into the ground, specifically), but even now, post-election, the topic holds my attention far more than I could have anticipated.

As such, I'm applying to the University of Washington, to hopefully major in Political Science (and perhaps, start furthering my knowledge of Arabic as well). There are pipe dreams pertaining what I could do with those combined studies -- perhaps I could be some form of diplomat! -- but to be even the humblest public servant, the smallest cog in the great mechanism of change that our nation needs, would reward me infinitely more than the current bullshit I do for money (open boxes, set up computer, repeat, at current).

I can't recall why I started writing this, so respond as you see fit -- warn me against being too idealistic, remind me the pitfalls of student loans and related debt, tell me how foolish it is to give up a job in the midst of an economic recession (trust me, I've run through all these in my head), or heck, provide encouragement.

All I know is, as I speak to advisers and get my ducks in a row for application to UW, I feel infinitely better about my situation.

(ozedit: left out the word "month" from a sentence)

--------------------
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

Posts: 707 | From: The Emerald City | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
geekygoddess
Highlie
Member # 15702

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted November 20, 2008 14:22      Profile for geekygoddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You, Oz, need to go with your heart. If this is something you truly want, you should go for it!!! Good luck to you!

--------------------
"It is better to press ones shirt, than ones luck"- Confucius

Posts: 661 | From: Edinburgh, United Kingdom | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
Xanthine

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
Member # 736

Member Rated:
5
Icon 14 posted November 20, 2008 14:32      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Go for it man. If you can learn Arabic and diplomacy you're going to be way more valuable to the US and the world as a whole than you are with what you're currently doing. Sometimes, you have to take it in the shorts in the short term to secure a happy long term.

--------------------
And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
DoctorWho

Gold Hearted SuperFan!
Member # 392

Member Rated:
5
Icon 14 posted November 20, 2008 14:48      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
[Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause]
Bravo for having the gusto to go for it. I'm always telling my son that you can do anything if you work hard and put your heart into it. So just give it your all and you'll do fine.
[Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause]

--------------------
Laughter is like changing a baby's diapers. It doesn't solve anything but it sure improves the situation. Leo F. Buscaglia

Posts: 1694 | From: The TARDIS | Registered: Apr 2000  |  IP: Logged
Snaggy

Sir Snaggalot!
Member # 123

Member Rated:
5
Icon 14 posted November 20, 2008 16:05      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Awesome Oz. [thumbsup]
Posts: 8100 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Callipygous
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 2071

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted November 20, 2008 16:21      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oz I only know you from your posts but I always look forward to anything you write, because you have a creative and original mind, and an open engaging personality. Any job that does not allow you to develop your obvious talents will sooner or later drive you crazy, so bravo, and I wish you all success. It's about time GC acquired a resident Orientalist. [Wink]

--------------------
"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

Posts: 2922 | From: Brighton - UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stereo

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
Member # 748

Member Rated:
5
Icon 3 posted November 21, 2008 08:26      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey Oz, I'm all for following your dreams. You may be scared because it's a big decision, but the fact that you are already moving toward it is a very good sign. So good for you! I may even help you. See, I went to a conference on learning (computer-based or not) in October, and I got some information that could be of interest to you.

There is the "Defense Language Institue Foreigh Language Center" that is specialized in forming full fluency, to the point their students have language skills equivalent to native with a university diploma. Their on-site courses are full-time, and can take years based on the difficulty of the language.

But the best part is they also have e-learning courses freely available on the 'net (if others here would also be interested, they're really free to all, no limitation on the origin of the ISP or anything else): www.LingNet.org - and they do have courses in Arabic.

Enjoy, and best of luck!

--------------------
Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

Posts: 2289 | From: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Oz, the Wizard of
Highlie
Member # 1454

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted November 21, 2008 14:57      Profile for Oz, the Wizard of   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I appreciate the well-wishes, folks -- I think I might take a "sick day" next week to get over to campus and start bugging people face to face. I'd hate to be hesitant and wait for e-mail response, only to find that something is wrong and I can't enroll for the spring quarter!

Also, Stereo, thanks for the link. A friend suggested today that I simply major in Arabic (something I'm not sure about having the talent to do); whether I try that or not, I'll probably see about integrating these resources.

--------------------
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

Posts: 707 | From: The Emerald City | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
garlicguy

Member # 3166

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted November 22, 2008 10:35      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Cool story, Oz! Especially the bit about sittin' on the shitter.

You and Martin Luther have that in common - perhaps you should study Religion. [Big Grin] Just kidding.

I am so confused though.

For some odd reason I thought you live in Oz and were scaly... [Confused]

Good luck finding what you really like best and doing it. Definitely a worthwhile pursuit.

gg

--------------------
I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Posts: 3752 | From: Pluto, no matter what you call it, is still my home. | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
neotatsu
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 1429

Member Rated:
3
Icon 1 posted November 25, 2008 03:27      Profile for neotatsu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey! I wasn't aware the Oz-man had cometh o_o

To good 'ol WA that is.


Anywho, I gotta say that pursuit of a dream is a good goal to attempt. Whether it goes exactly the way you want or not, it's worth a shot! [Beard of Peter Gabriel!]

--------------------
I'm curious... About what, you ask? EVERYTHING!

Posts: 2239 | From: Western WA | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Oz, the Wizard of
Highlie
Member # 1454

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted December 01, 2008 12:49      Profile for Oz, the Wizard of   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
An update, for the curious:

It seems that, in my last go at school, I managed to shoot myself very thoroughly in the foot. UW will only accept transfer students with a transfer GPA of 2.5 or higher -- looking over the guidelines they consider for a "transfer GPA," my current academic record would only muster a 2.0. While there is an appeals process, I have no evidence to offer the appeals board that I have become serious about my desire to attend school again. As such, I've decided to get some evidence.

So, my revised plan is to quit my job and return to my hometown around May / early June, attend summer sessions full-time there for the duration of the summer. I'll take a couple classes in which I previously fell flat, and a couple others that will fill requirements when I apply again to UW.

So, I have a few months before the grindstone, it seems. Thanks again for all the advice and well-wishes -- you're a great lot of people, you are. [Smile]

--------------------
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

Posts: 707 | From: The Emerald City | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
skylar
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 1422

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted December 02, 2008 07:36      Profile for skylar     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey Oz, a belated 'congrats!' from me on realising how you want to move forward... I'm trying to figure out the same thing myself at the moment, so you're a bit of an inspiration. And while I'm sorry to hear of the setback to your original plan, it sounds as if it will create its own opportunities for you.

Good luck! [Smile]

--------------------
"arm, aber geeky"

Posts: 1994 | From: Deutschland | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged


All times are Eastern Time  
Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | Geek Culture Home Page

2015 Geek Culture

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.4.0



homeGeek CultureWebstoreeCards!Forums!Joy of Tech!AY2K!webcam