• Sign in and stuff

Baltimore (and debt), here I come.

The plan[1] is that I will be in Baltimore this summer (3 months) and need a summer job. As many of you know, am currently in school, but already have a master’s in information science. That said, being in Baltimore is more important to me at current than having a job for which I’m qualified. I was initially planning on working at a YMCA or something like that. I realize this is probably early for summer jobs, but the post is unlikely to go anywhere so perhaps people will find it closer to time. I can always give a reprise/update on the situation.Aside from the job thing, I’d be interested in getting to know the GNU/Linux community in the Baltimore if anyone stumbles across this.

As to the job situation, I was not that concerned about it until an auto-shop said I needed $810 work done on my car[2]. That spurred me to do some number crunching and I realize now that if I don’t work at all during school that I will end up ~$75000 in debt. This is projecting housing costs and (obviously) some other stuff over the next 2.5 years but at the very least it seems I’ll be $60,000 in debt. This not a number with which I am comfortable. After graduation I do not want to be a slave to some corporation doing things in which I don’t believe. My savings from my former Wisconsin job does not go nearly as far as it needs to in New England.

I have no idea what the job market is like in Maryland, but I’d like something that is more than $10/hour and around 20 hours a week. The hours are flexible. I’m working on an independent project for the summer, so I don’t want something full time, but for the right price/opportunity I would definitely consider it.

Obviously, I’m willing to send a resume but just to give some idea of the breadth of jobs I would consider:
I have experience in film, music, organization development, event planning, podcasting, biology (my undergrad degree), sports (was paid to coach), healthcare, Windows, Mac (though not recently) and GNU/Linux.
Additionally, I’m trying to shed a Teeter Hangup and some other stuff which can be found on flickr. For anyone that stumbles across this that is in Concord, let me know if you know of cheap housing options.
[1] I’m still considering whether I’d like to “work” as an intern for EFF, Creative Commons, SFLC, IBM, Google or Red Hat. It’s unlikely any of those will have me in Baltimore. That’s a decision I will have to weigh if an opportunity arises.
[2] I am going to get a 2nd opinion since I am not having any problems with the car and took it in just to get a flat tire repaired.

 

EDIT: I was substantially (factor of 2) off on my calculation for tuition, meaning the number is probably in the $50,000-$60,000 range, which is still not a number with which I’m comfortable. However, that keeps me in the Stafford loans rather than other loans, so I’m no longer freaking out about it, but I would still like a job. Something to keep my tech skills up or something where I am getting exercise would be ideal.

Some thoughts on college sports

This was going to be a note on Google Reader, but it got pretty long, so I’ll put it here.  Normally I talk about technology, but since education is such an important part of technology policy (in both directions), I thought it was worthy of a blog entry.

Below is my response to Charlie Weis and Randy Edsall Shed Some Tears on the Football Field

Though there will probably never be a day I cheer for my alma mater over the team of my birth, UK Wildcats, or the team of my childhood, Alabama Crimson Tide, at least in their respective dominant sports of basketball and American football, one thing I have always been proud of Chapel Hill is it’s fantastic academic standards.  Now, I don’t know how that applies to athletics, and I’d like to point out that both UK and Bama have some highly rated programs (for instance, Bama law is ranked higher than UNC law), but I think a lot of students (particularly those that have gone beyond undergraduate studies) probably struggle with this.  In fact, I have been a critic of Butch Davis’ contract, even though I have been a critic of Calipari or Saban’s larger contracts.  My parents (who both have Bama degrees, two in my father’s case), don’t seem to mind too much either. Unless the NCAA enacts some sort of salary cap, I don’t see things changing.  I don’t think that’s a bad idea though.  Certain people coach for the love of the game and love of the students/school.  Roy Williams is one of those people, I think. Butch Davis, Nick Saban and John Calipari have all shown by going to the NFL and NBA that that is not why they coach.  And, don’t even get me started about the treasonous Rick Pitino.

My First Novel, Upcoming Events and Procrastination

It’s easy to be motivated with a deadline looming.  I was able to finish up my Chapter 6 hw because it is due tomorrow, however, Chapter 7 and the take home test being due a week from tomorrow…well, it’s slow going.  It is going though.  In one of my many breaks, I figured I would tell you (I’m not sure who “you” is these days) about National Novel Writing Month and how I’m going to participate.  Actually, there’s not a lot to say other than that I’m doing it.  I have thought about the plot a bit, but I can’t tell you that!  I do know that I’ll be dedicating the book to The Linux Outlaws and the title will be The Linux Outlaw (though the singularity/plurality of this is subject to change).  I have not decided if I will release the Chapters on the blog, but I’m guessing not in case I want to go back and change things as the idea forms in my mind from start to finish.  As usual, if there is outcry, I will do it…but there’s never been an outcry about anything on the blog.

The ever present Upcoming Events section!

Tuesday, October 20th, 7pm: MadLUG presentation on Nagios and SNMP.  The one is probably not one you need to be a desktop Linux user to gain from.  Nagios and SNMP are networking/sysadmin tools.  If you’ve been to meetings in the past, please note that this event will be in Van Vleck, not Chamberlain.  Details are on the link.

Saturday, November 7th, 7pm: MilwaukeeDevHouse4. DevHouses are essentially parties where people hack.  I’m planning on writing a substantial portion of the aforementioned novel that night.  If you’d like to carpool from Madison, please see this thread on the Web608 Google Group.

Halloween is coming up and I’ve been invited to three different parties.  None of them are super-public, but if you’re looking for something to do, definitely hit me up.

I don’t talk about sports here too much.  It’s supposed to be a technology blog (though the novel thing doesn’t really count either…).  I do want to mention that “It was Kentucky’s first win over Auburn since 1966.” At Auburn.  As a dual UK-Bama fan, it doesn’t get any better than this.  UK really needs to exorcise the demons against UT too though.  I couldn’t find the streak length of the Volunteers of the Wildcats but I wouldn’t be surprised if The Bear wasn’t the last UK coach to beat UT.

Ok, I’m done procrastinating.

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?