It’s a Done Deal

Alright then, the decision is made. After a great deal of contemplation, thought, kvetching, and many a night’s sleep lost to turning and tossing, and staring at the darkened ceiling in mute despair, I have made up my mind at last. 

The question, as you may recall, was whether or not to pursue a Masters degree, now that the Bachelor’s is done. 

The answer is ‘not’. At this time.

I’m at a place on my continuum where I just don’t have the strength to commit to the rigours of a Masters degree. Its demands are many and varied – strenuous and harsh. It requires a dedication to academia which I simply cannot muster just now. Let’s not forget that I’m the Old Fart here – I’m not yet in my final resting place, but I also don’t have all the youthful energy or the quick recovery of the whippersnappers of the world.

So what’s next? And what’s next for this blog, which was itself started as a record of my didactic exploits? Well, another graduation, to be sure, for even though I am not formally enrolled in an academic institution, I’m still learning something new every day. I’m dedicating myself to the University of life now. I’m re-energizing to head off in new internal directions, even as my family and I contemplate an external move to another part of this great nation.

Learning is the most important thing we can do to enrich our lives, and in my opinion, a day in which nothing is learned is a day wasted. So I dedicate this blog anew to those who love to learn, and who do so deliberately and with passion, with a determination that cannot be swayed. The learners of the world represent courage, humility, and determination, all at the same time.

Decision Time

On the subject of the pusrsuit of the Masters, it’s decision time. I have done my research, learned what I can about what’s involved, what it will take, and the kind of commitment I must be prepared to offer to get it done. The only question remaining, is whether I have that kind of strength. 

Let’s not forget: there were 22 years between my first and second degrees. ‘It took me that long to recover’, he said with a sly wink. Seriously though, it took a huge life change and a hope for acceptance in a new career to get me to take the second degree. But this time the life change is not there, and my explorations of the working world have shown me the real  potential for career change – and it’s not particularly encouraging. The motives for doing a degree cannot be the net results. If I do a Masters, it has to be for its own sake, which – to my way of thinking – requires that I have a passion for academia in its own right. If I do a Masters now, it has to have the benefit of all I can give it, and I’m just not sure that I’m there.

The deadline to apply is January 15th, but the process requires a decision much earlier than that. My references are assured, as long as I can get a thesis idea in place, but that’s not as easy as it sounds, either. I thought I had something to move on with, but I’ve learned that what I think is a possibility is just not clear enough, or focussed enough to get through the application process. So, the grades are there, the references are available, the intelligence exists (so I insist on reassuring myself), but I’m not sure that I have the strength to do it now

I’ve set November 5th (Guy Fawkes’ Day) as the day I choose to either knuckle down, or back away. It feels symbolic, somehow: fireworks or nothing. 

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

Push back

Almost sure-fire recipe to push away a cold

Ingredients

  1. 200 capsules garlic. You didn’t really want a girl/boy friend, did you?
  2. 200 capsules Cold F-whatever. Hold the jar up in two hands, face the camera and smile from ear to ear. 
  3. 1/2 antihistamine tablet daily to aid in nasal aridity. Fact is, it’s only dogs who are healthy when their nose is wet – in humans it’s an undesirable thing.
  4. Tylebuprofenspirinvil as required or according to taste, preferably sprinkled on your morning bagel.
  5. 6 gallons orange juice. Orange juice has a shitload of vitamin C. Drink this while sitting on a tanning bed for maximum dosage and effect.
  6. 14 coffees a day. Coffee is a diuretic and the more often you pee the quicker you expel all the poisons. 
  7. Daily hot bath to sweat the crap out of you. Boil the water in the kettle – when you scream the cold germs run for the hills.
  8. Micro filtering face masks for use on train and bus when sitting next to annoying people who cough and sneeze their crap all over the place. Just be sure to take your mask off to sneeze on them.
  9. Massive doses of distraction to make time pass more quickly – this means interesting but useless books and mindless television. It also means sitting in the hallway at school writing blogs instead of reading school work or preparing for your exam this morning.
  10. Glad-handing freely with people you don’t like. It’s a fact: the more people you share your cold with the quicker you get rid of it. People, this is not the time to be stingy.
  11. Meditation centred on the word ‘no’. Breathe deeply, in between hacking coughs and sniffles. Inhale falteringly as nature intended, then exhale like a death rattle for dramatic effect. The chief benefit of this is that you will be able to ride the elevator alone.
  12. Brandy and lots of it. Nuff sed.
It’s not scientific, but if you do all this you are all but guaranteed to get rid of your cold quickly. 
 
Unfortunately, something else will probably get you.
 
Ok, now I really must study for this morning’s exam.
 

An Old Fart’s Strategy for Cold Management

 
 
(No really: you’re not actually going to do this are you? Please don’t.)

Priorities

Priorities, always priorities. This is what happens at this time of year. 

Random: Law Library

It’s the end of October. The snow came down this weekend so for the next six months that’s what the world looks like. The cold air is here, so that’s how it feels. The sky was clear today, but that’s just a lie.

What isn’t a lie is midterms and the first round of deadlines. As of right now I have 38% of my assignments done, and the next few projects promise to be quite intense – so I don’t see a lot of downtime in my immediate future. Tomorrow I have another exam, and then I’ll be working on the next three papers for two weeks.

And even as this is going on I’m still helping out with Halloween and preparing our community’s newsletter for publication.

So as you can see, it’s all about priorities. It’s good and grand and well to write about school, but even as I write about it I have to live it. And try to get a few A’s.

Thanks for your patience in between entries, but mostly thanks for stopping by.

3 down

Well, I’m relieved and content. The excitement is over, the presentation done, and yes it seemed to go very well. We regaled ’em for over an hour on our chosen topic, and everyone seemed very much engaged. Well, almost everyone – there are always those who prop open their eyelids or hide behind a book. 

I must say, since this whole adventure began I haven’t been that guy very often. I can think of a couple of time in the first semester of year one when I was sick and just didn’t have the strength to participate. But other than that, it’s been pretty hard to shut me up. 

I think that’s the better way. I’m old enough to know that being wrong isn’t always a bad thing, so I’m not afraid to stick up my hand. I set realistic expectations for myself that maybe the juniors do not. I also allow my poor old brain time to rest occasionally – a very necessary habit. 

So that’s three of thirteen assignments done, for approximately 23 percent. I have a paper done and ready for submission tomorrow, an exam in eight days, and another in thirteen. I’ve changed my routine a bit: starting today I go in on my off days to do research and start those bigger projects. In return, I give myself the weekends off with a very clear conscience. 

Would you believe there are only seven weeks to go until the Christmas break?

Halls of Learning

 

Presentation

Tomorrow is presentation day. My cohort and I are planning to regale the audience with tales of Open Science and trust in scientific delivery, and digitization of scientific content for consumption by various audiences. It’s going to be soooooo cool (please forgive the italics).

Gratuitous library shot

I should be nervous, but I’m really not. My toastmasters experience has helped with that: “Just picture them naked,” they told me. “Just pretend that the audience is nervous too.” Of course, I do this, but more to the point is that after two years in school I’ve been through this enough times that I know it will pass, and that no matter what happens the world will not end. Knowing this actually (usually) helps me relax, with the happy result that I get through it well enough to…  Well, you get my drift. 

Anyway, I’ve spent the better part of the last two days, and more, plugging away at the whys and the whatnots and the wherefores, and with any luck twenty-four hours from now I’ll be relieved and content. 

That’s certainly the goal.

 

Want more to read? Try The Judge’s Lesson.

Earnings

Remember the Vancouver trip? Well, here’s what happened:

We got there and it was raining – go figure. This didn’t dampen our spirits very much though, and we headed to the dealership before we even found a room. 

The car is ten years old, but it was in the showroom. We decided as soon as we saw it that driving it home, 600 miles in the rain would be borderline criminal, so the decision was made to put it on a truck. This, of course, obviated my purpose in making the trip, but I really didn’t mind. The car was worth it. 

The Reason

This, and the process of payment, checking the vehicle out, gabbing with the salesman and so on were all very important work, but I had other fish to fry and I set about heating the oil.

While the thorny details were being addressed I found whatever space I could and pushed the paper along. I started it, tapping madly away on my iPad, in the truck and finished it in the hotel room. Then, once I was home again, I tidied it up and fired it through the printer.

Rushing ahead now, my little submission managed to draw a 90%. The teacher’s comment was “You’re on your way” and I’m bound to say, when I saw that I remembered my 1,200 mile trip and couldn’t help but smile. 

Next up: Mid-term Madness.