Developing Philosophy

I’ve been through a lot of school.  One of the things colleges promise these days is to give the student skills for the “real world” but that hasn’t been my experience at all.  And I’m not saying that college should provide real world experience, since college isn’t the real world.  College has a different purpose: it’s purpose is to stop and ask why. Regular readers of my blog know that I’m a jack of all trades, and I’m pretty comfortable operating at a professional level in many of those skills.  Currently I’m a software engineer, and I’m asked periodically what I studied in school to become a software engineer, and I usually give the short answer, “I didn’t. I just liked doing it.”  The slightly longer answer is that I took some entry level programming classes, shrugged about the strange things the professor was asking us to do, and got on with the business of graduating.  When I graduated I saw all the exciting things happening with DotComs and wanted in, so I taught myself. Likewise, I’m a potter.  It’s something I had wanted to do since the first time I saw someone wheel-throwing.  And even though I’ve taken “classes” in pottery, it was mostly showing up and working at it until one day someone offered me money. But probably the most demanding “real world” I’ve ever worked in is as a professional musician.  I play tuba with a number of chamber groups and sub regularly with some regional orchestras.  The transition from awkward amateur to seasoned professional was something that happened during college, but not because of college. ...

Echoes

I was inspired by reading my dear friend Britt’s blog post today.  I’ve had the old house bug for years.  Maybe my entire life actually.  But I haven’t given any real consideration to owning a home for a while.  Since I lived in Knoxville in fact. But reading her post made me  think.  I’m in no shape to buy a house right now, but if I put my mind to it I can do it.  It wasn’t something I had time or energy (or enough denial) to worry about over the past 5 years.  And yet, the old house bug has been itching, periodically chirping to remind me it’s there. I’m really good at planning: I’ve always had a 5-years plan for what I’m going to do with my life.  It sort of ended after grad school, but I think I’m going to adjust my focus.  Instead of planning on what I’ll be doing, I’ll plan other more concrete things, like savings goals, home ownership, replacing my aging car (that’s a blog post for another day).  I just finished grad school and it’s going to take a little while still to make my finances mine, but in the mean time I can plan for something.  And even though I don’t know exactly where I’m going to be in a couple years, I can plan to be somewhere.  With a house. So let me paint a picture: in an older neighborhood at what used to be the edge of town sits an empty bungalow with peeling paint, an unkept yard, a leaning porch and vines covering the stack of the...