September 22, 2004
I was officially laid off from my lower level executive management job in June. I was actually told to go home weeks before that date, but that’s when I officially stopped getting paid. I had been employed at large company and was subject to the changes that came about as a result of a recently completed merger.
Because of my position, I had made many professional contacts, both within this company and elsewhere. Most were sympathetic to my plight, and offered assistance, references, leads etc. The closest offered me conversation, liquor and a sympathetic ear. The question of the day was always: “So are you working yet?” To them the answer was always: “Not yet.” Then followed a rather non-committal discussion of how, because of my financial situation, I had time to decide what I really wanted to do, and was still working that out in my mind. I really did have ideas of reviving a company I am a partner in, or pursuing something that I would find much more rewarding in another field of work, consulting, or something, anything else.
My hobbies started to take on some new life, and even some new significance. The ideas that were embodied in my recreational activities were starting to look like they had some real potential. So I started putting more effort into them, developing, dreaming, and prototyping. As this progressed it became more and more apparent that I desired more resources to satisfy my growing appetite for this new outlet. After much self reflection, it quickly became obvious to me that what I really needed was knowledge, and experience in real research processes.
I was also thinking quite heavily about what my real interests were. Specifically, what did I really want to do? Interestingly enough, my interests haven’t really changed much from my original enrollment into the University of Minnesota in 1983. If anything, they are clearer to me now than they were then. And, yes, there was that unfinished undergraduate degree lingering on that dusty list of things to do before I die.
The convergence of these factors led me to the rather startling (to me anyway) decision to suspend my professional career and restart my academic life. I won’t describe in this post the emotional rollercoaster that decision has put me on over the past several weeks, that probably deserves a post all on its own.
So here goes. This hopefully will be an ongoing account of my experiences in rejoining academic life as a non-traditional student. And even more hopefully, this will be my account of achieving academic success as a career changing adult student. I am going back to the educational goals, and career dreams I started with over twenty years ago, and hoping to make a new future for myself.
September 20, 2004
First Post Blues
OK. Here it is. The first post. This is a sort of mental ice breaker, so I will save the introductions for another time.
Why am I writing this?
I actually have two reasons. The first is to give myself a place to write were others may read it. I think this is important to help me develop my writing skills. The second reason is that I think I may have something to say that others may find interesting. I am about to return to school fulltime after an extended absense. Can you say 18 years? I have taken a number of evening classes during the intervening years, but that is nothing like the deep dive I am about to attempt. I hope to document my expirences, write about things I find interesting, and hopefully provide some useful information to others.