Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Reboot: Where Have I Been?

It's been two years, which is too long. But I have some excuses: I was unemployed, then I was employed and trying to write novels, then I was teaching junior high science. In the meantime I've found a better job and decided that I still need a philosophical outlet, so here it is.

Quick summary. I quit the History and Philosophy of Science Ph.D. program in the spring of 2011 for reasons explained in previous posts. Our first child, a boy, was born by C-section June 10, 2011, and immediately my wife took him back to Utah and I went to Lancaster PA to teach college logic to gifted 7-10th graders for six weeks. I had been worried about being able to teach them how logic relates to values, but Plato came to the rescue (it always pays to fall back on the classics) and with Socrates as a role model the course was a spectacular success, my section won the Proof Golf tournament, and for the first time in my summer-nerd-camp career I received near-perfect evaluations from both students and parents. It was great, a fun group of kids.

Then I was unemployed for eight months, living with my wife and son in my generous and patient father-in-law's basement. That was fall of 2011, the job market was very bad, and I had basically no work experience outside of academia.

Between November and July 2012 I worked at iTOK as a Technical Representative -- giving phone support to people with malfunctioning computers and no warranty. We fixed everything from viruses to printers, it was relatively good pay, and my wife and I moved into a two-bedroom apartment with a landlord that shovels the sidewalk every time it snows: a rare and precious breed. During this time I wrote half the second draft of one science fiction novel and half the first draft of another.

In July 2012 my wienie of a doctor let me convince him I was developing carpal tunnel syndrome, and when he started talking about surgery I quit my job to find something less computer-intensive. I was hired on as science teacher and had an experience described here:

Last month I quit to start a job as a Junior Unix Software Developer for WorkflowOne. I love the job, it's great pay, and now I have time to write again. And then on April 1, a girl, our second child, was born naturally, VBAC, face-first, viking style. She is adorable.

In the past few months I've thrown myself into science fiction writing, finishing over half a dozen short stories, submitting a few, but so far rejected each time. We're getting there.

Here's my plan, we'll see if it works out. Every month I write one short science fiction story, and one long blog post. 

For the past couple of years everything has come back to a single idea for me: ecology. Ecology is what is wrong with the idea of progress, ecology is the discipline that tells us why our civilization is collapsing, and ecology is our light and guide as we look for a new way to live in the next couple of centuries. Now that we've caught up on where I've been, let's talk more about what I've been thinking (next post).