Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Not a Vacuum

In the now, nearly eight months since I graduated and ten since I started looking for a "real" job, I've actually done quite a bit.  It is helpful to remember this.

I have:

  • -worked part-time on an astronomy research project, developing from an absolute novice to a beginning-competent programmer no matter that I have no intention of pursing any future in computer programming, and coming to understand more deeply both astrophysics and the mentality of a research scientist who asks a question and gets an answer that doesn't make sense, thus must find new questions without the bias of what we want the results to be, no matter that I have no interest in pursuing a career in astronomy
  • -attended an intensive class about solar energy, took and passed a professional (although joke, according to the solar industry workers I spoke to) test on it--added this to my resume and got renewed interest at least
  •   -gone to a physicist conference as a science reporter, where I interviewed a climate scientists and a famous astronomer, and was published
  • -started a science writing blog that I maintain in little bursts (though this entry isn't about science, now is it?)
  • -in my Infinite Free Time, went from rock climber to beginning lead-climber
  • -volunteered for a poweful girls mentoring program, culminating my experience in dealing with troubled youth and teaching me much about the power of positive intervention
  • -learned from participating in over ten job interviews, networked with the Asheville interviewers who seemed to at least be impressed, improved networking skills generally even though my inclination is sometimes to be an off-by-myself loner
  • -expanded my knowledge of wilderness navigation by volunteering with the wilderness trail maintenance crew, helped keep my overworked dad from going crazy
  • -spent a month learning what it would be like to be a professional writer, made progress on both a novel and the ability to generate and hone ideas even despite "writers block" and work on a creative pursuit under a self-imposed deadline
  • -learned that external motivation such as expectations of being at work, deadlines imposed by others, and accountability to others makes self-motivation a heck of a lot easier, although self-motivation is still possible otherwise though intense effort of will
  • -worked at and then was laid-off from a low-paying, high-employee-turnover non-profit hospitality industry site (an experience in itself), which I enjoyed some and expanded my technical high ropes skills and exposure to different kinds of large groups of children. 
  •  -presented about solar energy
  • -made a heck of a lot of curtains, so that my new living establishment is adorned with not-very-expensive curtains.
  • -played and failed at performing an above-my-level song on the piano
  • -learned how to cook better

But enough already about me.

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