O Sweet Mr Math

wherein is detailed Matt's experiences as he tries to figure out what to do with his life. Right now, that means lots of thinking about math.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

10:01 PM

It's been a while since I've posted anything here. (You may have noticed.) As I get back into the swing of things, I'd like to go over events of the past several months and tell you where I plan to take things from here.

When I left off six months ago, I was thinking about what kind of career I would like to have. At the time, I was unemployed and considering various options which I mostly only touched on briefly here. Based on my writing here, it's not a surprise that I'm interested in law. Some other ideas I've been considering are journalism, teaching, and music conducting.

Meanwhile, I have been working through a temp agency to cover my bills. As luck would have it, my most recent assignment was as an administrative assistant to a professor at a law school. My conclusion after some close up observation is that law school probably isn't for me. However, I was working for a criminal law professor, and I knew going in that my interests are elsewhere. I could have told you that I don't want to be anywhere near a courtroom before I worked on mock trials.

I haven't completely rejected the idea of law school, but at this point I'm a lot more skeptical. Much as I have an interest in some areas of law, I don't think law school's the way for me.

Temp work is hardly the only thing that's occupied my time recently. I just finished a vocal directing gig during the recent production of Iolanthe with The MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players. Working with my co-vocal director Jess and the other members of the cast and crew was a great pleasure and I'm very proud of the end result. We had two weekends of excellent performances, and it would have been smart of me to write it up before it happened rather than after to encourage my readers to come see the show.

That points out one of the downsides of my vocal director role. I had very little free time outside of the show and blogging was a logistical impossibility. There's another downside which I think is more significant. I can have a tendency to be something of a loner, and conducting greatly exacerbated that. I spent a few hours a day in front of the cast five days a week. Whenever I wasn't actually conducting, I found myself wanting to avoid other people entirely.

I generally like to be more social than that and I'm not happy about this apparent side effect of conducting. As a result, I don't plan to be a conductor again soon. I think it's an unfortunate result, since I did enjoy the experience itself and I was extremely pleased with the performances the cast delivered. This experience also does not bode well for the possibility of making a career of conducting or of teaching which has the similar position of being directly in front of and controlling a large group of people.

Like with my experience in the law office, I may be overgeneralizing and the people avoiding response might not normal for me in that position. Nonetheless, I'm still concerned.

What comes next? Generally, I don't have any real answers. I intend to continue doing temp work while looking into more long term career plans. And I intend to start blogging regularly again. Blogging at the rate I did last year isn't sustainable. I had trouble sustaining it while I was unemployed, and that's not really an option I can afford at this point.

My current plan is to experiment with an op-ed column format. I plan to write posts of about 750 words twice a week. The goal is to write on a regular basis, but to not set my target at an unattainable level. If this format doesn't work, I will make changes until I find something that does.

This post is my first post in my new format. I will continue to write about copyright issues and will also cover other thoughts about my career options and other topics as they come up. Hopefully this post will be the first of many.




What does "rolls a hoover" mean, anyway?

"Roll a hoover" was coined by Christopher Locke, aka RageBoy (not worksafe). He enumerated some Hooverian Principles, but that might not be too helpful. My interpretation is that rolling a hoover means doing something that you know is stupid without any clear sense of what the outcome will be, just to see what will happen. In my case, I quit my job in an uncertain economy to try to start a business. I'm still not sure how that will work out.

Why is the HTML for this page not valid?

BlogSpot adds the advertisement that appears at the top of this page. That advertisement is not valid HTML and is outside of my control. I believe that aside from that ad, this page is valid HTML.