What’s up next?

You’ll notice on my blog is that I ask a lot of questions. I’m looking for help to solve problems. I like to bounce ideas off of people. I stretch the rules and think outside the box, but it can be hard to know where the box is if you don’t get someone else’s opinion.

Without further ado, I’ve been thinking about this for a while.  What am I going to do with my life?  This does have to do with technology, as no matter what I do technology will be involved.

1. Option A: Law School

Interestingly enough, I just got a facebook notification about this.  Columbia, NYU, Cornell, Alabama, UNC and, alas, Duke are all in consideration here.  I’d be interested in Intellectual Property (IP) law and working with Software Freedom Law Center.  Columbia, Cornell, NYU and Duke (spelling it incorrectly like this is so difficult!) are in a different class than Bama and UNC and among those two Bama is ranked higher.  I’m sure Bama would be more conservative than UNC and I haven’t lived in Tuscaloosa in 17 years, but it’d certainly be more familiar than Cornell.  Cornell is where Greg Graffin, lead singer of Bad Religion got his PhD and don’t think that doesn’t have something to do with me considering them.  Living in NYC (Columbia or NYU) could be cool, but it also could be a nightmare.   While Raleigh and Madison are both of decent size, I lived downtown neither.  I’ve enjoyed Chicago the two times I’ve been since moving to Madison.  Those two times account for quite a bit more time in Chicago than I’ve spent in NYC.  I went once, but it was a whirlwind.  I had great company for the trip and a fantastic tour guide, but it just wasn’t Chicago.  Perhaps the beautiful weather in Chicago and the rainy weather in NYC had something to do with that.  But, I think if I got in to Columbia or NYU I’d be an idiot not to go…the question is do I want to work hard enough to be a serious contender for those schools?

Of course, it’s not all about overall rankings.

I enjoyed Boston more than NYC (I was there longer, so maybe that’s why) and Boston U is highly ranked in Intellectual Property Law.

And, there’s the dark horse, environmental law (this will come up again later).

I’d be happy to go to any school on those lists, but just based on those lists, that’s 18 schools, not including my two state schools, UNC and Bama.  Establishing state residency in NC again will be somewhat dependent upon how long I stay in Wisconsin, but I’ve graduated from the state university system three times (NCSSM and UNC twice), so it’s not like I’m not at home in NC. Both my parents are Bama alums and as I understand it (by way of my father) children of alums pay in state tuition.  Hey, maybe I can help turn Bama blue! …ha.

I’ve already cleared going to dook (ok, I had to do it) with some of my biggest Tar Heel fan friends.  Just as long as I don’t start cheering for them I’m fine…and my UK family would disown me if I did that anyway.  Speaking of the great state of Kentucky, there are a couple law schools there at UK and Louisville.  I like Louisville.  I haven’t spent any time in Lexington, but my blood still runs Wildcat blue.  But, I can’t apply everywhere and it’s just three years of my life.  I can always move back to Kentucky or NC after I finish law school…you know, if I do that.

2. Option B: Business School

UNC’s Kenan is definitely top choice for this, though I could be persauded differently.  If I fall in love with Madison, UW’s always right here (which is true for law school too).  I don’t like capitalism, but I recently read an article in Harvard Business Review that made me think about a kind of capitalism with which I can deal.  Kenan has a sustainability curriculum that I like.  And it’s not just about the environment, but also about society as they say the curriculum “helps executives and future business leaders understand how social and environmental considerations are changing the competitive landscape of business”.

3. Option C: PhD

UNC is the clear choice here. I’m familiar and it’s the #1 program in the country. Red Hat and IBM are close as well as of course ibiblio.  I don’t think this requires a lot of discussion.  My dad is a professor.  I like academia.  It’s been a part of my life almost since birth and since birth if you include HS education.  I also very much like The Triangle.  I’ve honestly not considered other programs but should I need to for whatever reason, UW does has a SLIS program.  I’d have to find out how much open information work they do here in Madison before knowing if I’m interested, butI don’t see that happening.  I think the biggest knock against the PhD is how long it takes to get.  I could add 6 letters after my name in the time I could add 3…but “Dr.” holds a lot of weight in a lot of circles.  Maybe the reign of anti-intellectualism terror is over in the US, and it’ll mean even more.

4. Option D: Åbo Akademi University

(or some other program abroad)

I don’t know much about the programs in Finland and with the potential of 8 years of less stupid politics in the US, now seems like the wrong time to leave the country…except that now perhaps our standing in the world will be restored.  Perhaps it’s a much better time to leave the country!  I’ve never been to Europe, but I’ll probably be going to Finland next summer…definitely Sweden.  So, perhaps this will rise on my list or perhaps it’ll drop off completely.

Interdisciplinary Master’s Degree Programme Environment and Sustainability

The programme will start in August 2009 provided that permission is granted by the ministry of education.

So, I’ve long been interested in saving the environment (this has already come up a couple times). This is one of the things that drew me to computers…saving paper and ink…as well as gas going to the library.  Computers of course take electricity but I think there’s a lot that can be done in the way of green power.  I think it’d be fun to be one of the first people in a program, defining the legacy.  I wouldn’t be in the first class, but within a few years of it. Looks like I’ll be able to do this one without learning Swedish (emphasis added):

“This interdisciplinary Master’s Degree Programme is given by the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences. When graduating, the student receives a corresponding degree from the faculty of the student’s major subject…

Subjects marked * offers main subject studies taught in English, the remaining subjects are taught in Swedish:

  • Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences:
    Environmental Biology*,
    Environmental Geochemistry,
    Organic Chemistry*
  • Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences:
    Political Science*,
    Public Administration*,
    Economics,
    International Marketing,
    Management and Organization,
    Accounting,
    Public Law
  • Faculty of Arts:
    History*
  • Faculty of Theology:
    Theological Ethics and Philosophy of Religion
  • Faculty of Education:
    Environmental Education*

Subsidiary subjects taught in English are:

  • Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences:
    Political Science
    Public Administration
  • Faculty of Arts:
    History
  • Faculty of Theology:
    Theological Ethics and Philosophy of Religion”

It’s be interesting to take some Biology courses again…I know, I know, I’m a glutton for punishment.

Master’s Degree Programme in International Human Rights Law

One of the reasons I’m so interested in FOSS is because of human rights and equality.  Obviously I’m also interested in law (see option A).  If you are going to study international law, what better way than to spend a couple years in another country?  This is cause for concern though, “The programme is open to applicants holding a Bachelor’s degree in law or another Bachelor’s degree with at least 45 ECTS in law or other subjects relevant to the legal protection of human rights.”  I took an environmental advocacy course as an undergrad I think would count, but other than that I’m not sure.

Master’s Degree Programme in Electronic and Mobile Commerce

The fact that this is in the Department of Information Technology and Business is what makes this a viable option for me.  “The Department of Information Technology is situated in the Turku Science Park, in the ICT building, where research groups and academic programmes meet, interact and collaborate with ICT companies – many of which are multinational and well known (Nokia, Siemens, Ericsson, etc.).”

Also of note “The programme leads to a Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration degree (Ekonomie magister).”

….OR….I could change career paths altogether and work in music or sports, but I’m not really considering that very seriously.  I do have Twitter feeds set up for both though at https://twitter.com/douglasawhsport and https://twitter.com/douglasawhmusic.  Working in technology in sports or music would be an ideal job.  ESPN need any system administrators?

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