I guess I've been slacking when it comes to the blog lately. No excuses really, I've just been absorbed in working on my long term plans, both business and otherwise. In terms of general life plans, I'm considering a few different things. I haven't made any decisions yet, but grad school is finally showing up on my radar.
When I graduated from college I really didn't have the stomach for any more school just yet. How Jessi
could go straight from undergrad into a masters program is beyond me, let alone our friend Ari
who went straight into a PhD program! For myself, 16+ years was a long enough stretch of uninterrupted school, though it may only take only one fourth that for me to recover enough to dive head first back into academia.
Part of the reason I didn't go straight into grad school was that I wasn't sure what I wanted to study. Four years of Computer Science taught me that, while it's a fun thing to do and I certainly have a talent for it, neither CS research nor a life of sitting in front of a computer coding are what I want. Originally when I was starting college I had planned on majoring in physics and going on to a PhD program in astrophysics. I suppose that had a lot to do with the fact that the two best, by far, teachers at my High School were Mr. Henning, who taught me calculus, and Mr. Davis who taught me physics (this is not to discount how great my English teachers, Mrs. Mahoney and Ms. Caraballo were, nor Mr. Filson who fed my love of Jazz). Physics and multi-dimensional calculus are just fun, but, as with CS, I never really saw a career that I would enjoy at the end of that path.
It's taken me about two and a half years to finally re-discover a field of study that's held my interest for pretty much my entire life, though, for some reason, it never occurred to me to consider it as a career path (possibly because my school
only offered two courses in it and it wasn't even available as a major): archaeology. As a kid in school I was always the weird one who wanted to study ancient history not modern, and took Latin instead of French or Spanish. Who wants to learn about the French revolution when you can read about the origins of written language in Sumer, the discovery of new tombs in the Valley of Kings in Egypt, or the Roman emperor who made his horse a senator? Through college my interest in the field manifested itself through studying religion, linguistics, and philosophy, where, as always, my interest was constantly on the past (historical linguistics was, I think, was of the most fun classes that I took in college). The earliest civilizations, and the ways in which they built themselves out of nothing have always been far more interesting to me than the way in which we, and other recent civilizations, have simply built on those foundations.
More recently I've been reading about a new (for me) center of civilization: the Americas. In school we all got a pretty short, glossed over summary of what pre-Columbian American societies were like. From what I've read more recently, that picture was not only incomplete but in many ways just insultingly wrong. American civilizations, it seems, were in many ways much more impressive than those of the 'old world'. The fact that, even here in the Americas, we know so little as a culture and still spend so little energy to learn about American
history and civilizations is boggling. The things kids are learning about it now in school are the same outdated things our parents were taught decades ago. I could go on about this at length, but sufficed to say, I've discovered a very great interest in pre-Columbian America, particularly the rise of Mesoamerican civilizations. Perhaps, as I'm now considering, great enough even to send me back to school. That's the area where I'm still weighing my options and considering the possibility. But, for pretty much the first time ever, I'm actually seriously considering going to grad school.
Obviously there are logistical issues to be overcome before taking on such a venture, and, if at all possible, I'd prefer to not abandon my various business ventures. So at the very earliest, I would want to be starting school in Fall '08. That gives me 20 months to prepare for everything. So, the first step of my plan is to spend the next 20 months building my business(es) to the point where I'm able to take a less active role in them. If, of course, that proves unrealistic (or even undesirable depending on how things go) I'll have to push back those plans. But the more I think about it and start to work my life around it, the more I like the sound of this new plan.