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Posted: 8/28/2001 3:24:57 AM EDT
In the spirit of yesterday's "feel sorry for me, it's my birthday" post, I thought I'd do the same. :) Seriously, being 2 years shy of 3/4 of a century is sobering. I can't figure-out what in the hell happened to the time. I bought my first gun just this year. I must be a slow learner, because it took me that long to realize it was my duty as a citizen to own a rifle. Except for my wife, if I think back over the 10 people I cared about the most over the past 10 years, they're all gone. I've come to realize that life is too short to let little things stop you from doing what you want to. I'm tired of seeing posts in gun-related forums that we shouldn't see a movie or enjoy a certain TV show or buy from a certain company because we disagree with their beliefs. It's good to know about, but is not going to see a movie, for example Enemy at the Gates, that you want to see really, the solution? Screw it, I'm going to listen to my Indigo Girls, watch Nicholas Cage movies, and have lunch with my friend that's a democrat today and enjoy it! I'm not driving further across town to get to Home Depot, because of something Lowe's posted on their web site. It's not worth my time, wear and tear on my car, and extra gas. I'm not going to let my life be ruled by petty (in relation to what's really important) prejudices. I live next door to a gay couple, and for several years, I carefully ignored them. The entire time, they've gone the extra mile to be a good neighbor. Finally a few months ago, I've realized that I've been missing-out by intentionally not interacting with them. I don't approve of what they do, but I don't let it get in the way of going to their house to eat a steak off of their grill. I even helped the guys put a new roof on their house. How many friends do you guys have that you'd do that for? A few weeks ago, one of them rushed my wife to the hospital after an accident. When he called me at work, he was so upset about my wife that he had trouble talking. He was terribly concerned about my wife. How in the hell could I let a small thing like his political or sexual beliefs make me think badly of him? We might disagree with many people and the way they live their lives, but they have many (probably most) of the same concerns and wants that we do. Anti-gunners aren't demons or lepers, and we shouldn't treat them that way (Einstein and Ted Kennedy not included).
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 3:26:02 AM EDT
(cont) I spent several years teaching physics classes at a black college in the 60's. I did it, because I felt strongly that inequality in education was (well, still is in my opinion) the greatest crime. Keeping someone away from history, the wonders of astronomy, great music, or literature, because of their race is unconscionable. As is, keeping someone from being able to compete for good jobs because of lack of education. I remember shaking my head when I heard blacks complain because they couldn't eat in a restaurant when a more important part of the world was actively being held from them. Slavery and segregation are bad, but intentionally keeping a group of people ignorant is more cold and calculatingly cruel. I spent a short time in South Africa, and I personally witnessed some of the horror. While we tend to focus on the immediate violence, over time, I've come to be more disheartened by how often a young black male doesn't have much of a chance of a positive future. When I see a mugshot of a young person, my stomach still knots-up in anger at how that person's life could have been better. At the time I taught, I didn't appreciate the sacrifice I made. At the time I regretted it, because I spent lots of time away from my wife (she lived with her parents because they were afraid for her safety), and I've lost count of how many times I've been spit at or had objects thrown at me or been called (excuse the language) a "nigger-lover." I got bitter after being kicked-out of three different rented rooms and not being allowed to shop in the local grocery store because of the job I chose. Now after years of watching others not work for what they believe in, I've come to feel better about the sacrifice I made. When I got back from Korea, I promised myself that I would spend an hour each day learning. I've done that probably an average of six days per week. I've learned a tremendous amount, but because I don't have a college degree, it hasn't helped with finding a job. I helped my nephews through math degrees in the 70's. About 10 years ago, I wrote and sold a simple embedded IP stack for an 80186 controller. Just last semester, I helped my niece with her senior CS project and tutored her and four friends. I'm still upset Clemson stopped teaching FORTRAN, and I had to learn Java (which shouldn't be taught to freshmen). I review CS books for a publisher (a terrible way to try to make money). Learning has been nice, but looking back on it, I don't know if my time was well-spent. I'm very stubborn so I've kept to my promise but it's become more of a drudgery.
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 3:26:26 AM EDT
(cont, hate the short post limit...) I've spent most of the money I've made on my nieces and nephews and their children. I don't have any children of my own. The problem is that where most people will have 2 children, there's 16 of them! Between helping-out a little on a car, part of tuition, a little money for furniture for a first house, clothes for school, law school, birthdays, so many Christmas presents each year, etc., I've spent so much, I'm in a bit of financial trouble so I don't have money to blow on a trip or time off of work. I usually work seven days per week, and my wife works 10 hours per day 4 days per week, so it's not like we can just work some extra overtime to afford a big something extra. What should I do now? I want to do something enjoyable. Buying a rifle this year was meaningful. My $50 Mosin Nagant has meant a lot to me as has my time teaching my great-nieces and nephews to shoot a 22LR rifle I bought. How's that for strange? Sorry for the long post, but I'd appreciate help. This year has been a little better, so now I'm hungry for more but I'm at a loss of what to do.
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 3:45:05 AM EDT
First of all happy birthday!![beer] Zoom, your a good man, to say the least. It's a shame there aren't more of you around! Really though, to have accomplished what you have, most people can only dream of. Sounds like you have been giving selflessly to everything around you your entire life. I'm in no position to be giving advice, but don't leave yourself out of the equation. Take care, tobin
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 4:04:14 AM EDT
Well, while I was posting the above, I burnt my birthday cake. Oh well, I'm eating the frosting now out of the can. That's the part I wanted anyway.
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 4:13:47 AM EDT
Happy Birthday!.....[bday]
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 4:18:41 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 4:23:35 AM EDT
[bday] Enjoy the cake...errr...icing!
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 4:27:20 AM EDT
Happy birthday dude! You will make some good friends here, if that helps [:)]
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 9:18:22 AM EDT
Happy Birthday Zoom [bday] Moose
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 9:28:02 AM EDT
Happy birthday! [<]:)] BTW, I'm curious: How did you get a college teaching job without a college degree?
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 9:36:38 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 9:46:13 AM EDT
[b]HAPYY BIRTHDAY!![/b] From evervone down at the Igonovich Hotel in Stalingrad! (HEAVY Ruskie accent) [beer] [b]We heaf heard theat you vanted to see da movie about dat most famour Ruskin soldier, Dimitri, whashename. Dank you ferry much!! De biest scene in da movie is when he haf to cross de river in da beginning.[/b] Haf a great birthday from all of us!
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 11:17:17 AM EDT
Wow, thanks for all of the responses! I still haven't figured-out what I want to do. My boss suggested rock climbing. I think I'll pass on that. One of my nephews suggested learning how to drive a truck and seeing the country. I don't know if someone my age could get a job driving like that. I just got off the phone with the son of a friend who is a full partner with Anderson Consulting. He said they are desperately looking for "gray hairs" (strange term) to accompany consulting teams, especially for someone with experience with using linear algebra to analyze data in SQL databases. Hmmm, text export to Mathematica might be useful. I would guess that they're going to analyze the data to look for trends. Any other ideas on that? He asked for a 20-50 page biography to give to HR. I think I might do that although I don't know if I'm up to flying each week (see thread about LAX security) and carrying luggage through airports while wearing a suit. Renamed, it's easier than you think to teach at a college. Getting a job as an associate, or especially as a tenured professor, is probably what you're thinking of being difficult. Being a visiting professor, like I did at Clemson and two private schools for pitiful (too embarrassed to mention the exact amount but it isn't enough to pay for gas and food) amounts of money per semester, isn't that difficult. You just have to find a class they either need a professor to teach or one that a professor doesn't want to teach, so he'll go to bat for you to get you hired (because he doesn't want to have to do it). Colleges used to care more about whether or not you knew the material and could teach it than they cared about a piece of paper. As I understand it now, only about 15% of the English classes at Clemson are taught by people with a Masters or Doctorate. Mostly, they're taught by students working on a Masters. It's sad that 22 to 25 year olds are teaching English 101 and 102. I'd prefer someone that has had to use writing in their job to teach that sort of class. I taught a class on early American lit (hated it!), a few on world history (fun! the topic is so broad, you can teach what you want), intro physics, intro to calculus (taught as a third Physics class which was a great idea, because it's much easier to introduce derivates as acceleration and integrals as distance traveled than it is as an abstract topic), linear algebra (I was almost in over my head in this class even though it wasn't for science/math majors), many more on programming, and, my favorite, two EE classes on microprocessor interfacing. This was all without having a degree in any of the subjects. Being a published author helped land those jobs. But now since the administrators have an attitude like yours (I mean no offense to you by that statement), it has become harder to get those types of jobs.
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 11:18:19 AM EDT
(cont) If you really want to land a job teaching, go to a local tech school. I still get a few calls per year from two different local tech schools looking for someone to teach a class. Alternatively, submit an outline and a first chapter to a publisher with a request to be considered to review manuscripts. You don't have to intend on finishing your book, and I don't suggest doing so unless you just want to do it, because you can make more money working at McDonalds or cutting grass. Helping-out an author, who is a professor, with a book is a great way to get them to recommend you for a teaching position. I got my favorite teaching job by helping-out a Ga. Tech professor with a computer architecture book. It's easier than it sounds, because books are so large, even a neophyte can find things to fix in an unfinished draft if they look hard enough. Also, it's a cheap way to obtain books. Well, I've rambled long enough, and I'm headed to the store to buy a copy of Enemy at the Gates then to work. PS: The icing is gone. I don't know what happened to it.
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 3:02:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2001 3:08:07 PM EDT by Crookshanks]
Happy birthday, Zoom. [:)] I can't imagine what happened to the icing. Edited for spelling and out of respect for zoom, who might very well be the most literate poster I've read on this board.
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