Friday, September 11, 2009

I'll stop whining soon, promise!

So I was recently approached by a friend of mine who wanted to enlist my aid for a project that he is planning. I'm not sure how much I should say about it, but I will tell you that my job will involve photography. Etarran suggested that I should probably get some practice in with my digital camera (which I use rather sporadically at best, even though I enjoy doing so). I was at a loss for things in my house that I could take cool pictures of, so I figured I'd go out walking this week or next and find something inspiring. Then, I woke up this morning, and:
That shot is maybe a little blurry, but to get this exposure I had to hold the camera steady with my hands (no tripod) and use the *Bulb* setting (keeps the shutter open as long as you hold the button down). This was about a 1 second exposure, if memory serves, so I'm pretty happy that I could hold a camera even that steady.
This one I like also.

So this is a good start, only the project is going to require night photography. Low lighting conditions are my bane, having only the little integrated flash that comes with my camera, and no fancy lighting equipment, etc. Still, I'm pretty excited for this, and I will definitely provide linkage when it gets underway.

On another note, I start school monday. This year it's College (more on this in a second), which now makes a pattern of spending a year in one institution and then disappearing without a trace. I could be happier about it, considering that it's more or less the only choice I have - unless I like the idea of subsisting on minimum wage for the rest of my natural existence. In a year's time Dalhousie will be willing to let me resume my studies, but given that I'll be committed to an 85-week continuous program with only a token break over the winter holidays, It will likely be more along the lines of two years before I'll consider going back. Even then, I'm beginning to wonder if I will. I've always liked to believe that I'm the kind of person who values education for education's sake. A smart person, and smart people go to university and do well (that's what we are told). For a time, I even imagined that I might pursue a PhD. And it came to me when I was examining my motivations that what I wanted was letters attached to my name, a milestone, something I could point to and be proud of. I don't think I really considered the investment of time and effort that it would require, only the prestige it would bring thereafter. I suppose I can live without prestige (seems to be the way things are panning out so far), but what I'm doing right now is gearing up to learn how to be a sysadmin, more or less. I love computers, I should love that sort of job. That's the goal, to do what you love. All things considered it's not a job that's unintellectual; it's mostly problem-solving, after all. I think I could be good at it. But then, I could be good at anything, if I wanted to be. And the thing is, I think I'd like to make more of a difference in people's lives than I could possibly do being the guy who makes everything better again when the computer demons come calling. I think I'd also like certification that qualifies me for more than just one kind of job, something that tells people that I'm capable, adaptable, intelligent. Sure I can project these qualities in person, but I may only get to be seen in person if I have the right letters attached to my name. And so the necessary conclusion is that I should go back to university and tack myself some letters onto this here name of mine.

And that's a little depressing, because I'll likely have to start from scratch. It's intriguing because I could have a chance to do a first year properly, meet people and make friends of my own accord. Weird because by the time I stop getting an education I will be most of the way to 30. That's terrifying to a guy who has only just turned 20, because I've already lived the life of a student for 2 years, and I don't know if it's something I want to keep doing for next to a decade. I think I'd like real life to start at some point. And that's option two, isn't it? Get qualifications, whatever they are, then get paid enough money that I can afford to quit working and backpack a continent or two. Meet someone, settle down (or go nomadic together). These things start looking pretty important when you can see 30 looming at you from 10 years down the road!

So that's my state of mind in the here and now, a little bit to be hopeful about and plenty to worry over. I promise at some point soon to return to my more usual punditry, which mostly subsided because I don't have my parents' newspapers and New Scientist to keep me up to date at the breakfast table. This year I think I'll try to find money for some subscriptions...

PS. I'm playing a tonne of Assassin's Creed and listening to the new Imogen Heap album, so maybe there will be some review-like substance available soon.

1 comment:

Not Fenimore said...

Well, good luck with that, Loud. Hope you do well.

...Although the prospect of spending forever in Academia is looking pretty good to me. ;)

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