I'm posting this here and now so I can look back upon it and lol at myself for being an optimist.
You guys, this is so awesome. I haven't even graduated yet, and I'm already balls-deep in this thing and I love it.
All my life I've given the minimum I can get away with and still get the job done. I don't think it is because I am lazy or have a poor work ethic (although it definitely has a lot to do with how badly I tend to procrastinate), but rather because I discovered early on that I have talent and skill in certain areas where my half-assed job is still better than anyone expected. This also comes from a lifetime of being underemployed on purpose so I could focus on other things like school and/or having fun.
Suddenly on this project, for the first time that I can remember, I am truly fired up and giving it all I have. I am challenged by the work, and frankly terrified of fucking up and looking stupid. I am also actually genuinely excited to do the work and I'm enjoying all the different aspects of it, even the administrative stuff I usually hate. And the stuff that terrifies most everyone in my field, like writing and public speaking. You think I'm nervous to defend my thesis? Bitch, please, I sat promotion boards in the Air Force. I know what pressure feels like. I'm finding out that a lifetime of false starts and weird tangents has somehow culminated into a diverse and highly-valuable skill set. I think I'm going to surprise people with what I'm capable of.
I'm still an undergrad and I'm not getting paid except in college credit, and even that's okay. I recently heard some platitude like "don't take a job you wouldn't be willing to do for free" or some shit like that. Which I think is great in theory, but it's like, no dude, work sucks, that's why they have to pay you to do it. Well they're not paying me, and it doesn't suck, and I'm having a blast. I could see doing this for the next two years or so and not hating my life.
Like I said, this is all for z later when I'm hating my life.
Hey, look! A breadcrumb from January:
Originally Posted by Ensign Steve
If I do end up in Silicon Valley or some place in the future (time for a new five-year plan!)
Last edited by Ensign Steve; 03-19-2012 at 02:28 AM.
As for back-to-back B.S. to M.S. in Comp Sci -- in theory it's not going to buy you much, unless you'd like to get a Ph.D. some day. That said, it also won't hurt, and having a prof. who supports you and is courting you into grad school bodes very well for future job prospects in and around academia. Even if you're only an adjunct and have a "day job" programming or doing something else computer sciencey.
So... congrats! Glad to hear you're enjoying the work!
I recently heard some platitude like "don't take a job you wouldn't be willing to do for free" or some shit like that. Which I think is great in theory, but it's like, no dude, work sucks, that's why they have to pay you to do it. Well they're not paying me, and it doesn't suck, and I'm having a blast. I could see doing this for the next two years or so and not hating my life.
The platitude I remember was something like "find a job you love and you'll never work another day in your life." The takeaway for me was always that a lot of times you'll have to do things that suck just to keep bills paid, but if you're sufficiently careful and/or lucky you can find someone to pay you for something that you actually want to do, and that this is preferable to a hypothetically bigger paycheck for a job you hate.
My entire goal in school, aside from knowledge for its own sake, has been to find something I enjoy that I can also get paid for.
Then if I fuck anything up, it's my own damn fault.
I'm enjoying the hell out of my gap summer. That's what I've decided to call these few months between undergrand and grad wherein I am doing lots of traveling and celebrating and figuring out what the hell to do next. I have been to San Francisco and London so far, and I have plans to visit my granddad's widow in Madison next month.
Over the summer I'm enrolled in 3 hours of "directed study" at the 6000 level (first-year graduate) and in the weeks I'm in town, I give presentations and work with other students on this topic of parallel scientific computing, which is fun and challenging and rewarding as hell, but again it's so much work for no money.
There's talk about an "assistantship" in fall which I believe is a code word for "a tiny bit of money for even more work" but it's all very vague and hasn't solidified into anything real yet, and yet they're already asking me if I want to buy health insurance, and yeah, I apparently still have a bunch of stuff to work out.
Meanwhile, I might actually have an opportunity for a real job already, but it's far away. It's where I want to be, but I don't know if I'm ready to make that leap so soon. I've only just gotten started on this master's program, plus my husband lives here. I hope I can at least give it until December to decide. That's one solid semester and I'm already registered for classes that I really want to take. Well two out of three, and one of those is the quantum class I've been looking forward to for two years.
Anyway, I'm one course and a thesis away from a masters degree and I'm literally like "holy shit, where did the time go?!" I have serious anxiety (like stomach pain and shortness of breath) whenever I think about my thesis, but then I write a couple paragraphs and don't feel any better. I have to keep reminding myself about this Mandela quote "it seems impossible until it's done" or something like that.
I do have a little devil on my shoulder that keeps whispering "MBA" in my ear, but I tell him "you just shut your whore mouth right now!" We'll see how that develops.