Like some of my readers noted, in my New Year’s post I promised that 2011 would be the year of changes, alluding to something so secret and destructive only a bunch of kids with vintage recording equipment (say VHS or Super 8) would be able to reveal it to the world! I was thinking about my 2010 decision to go back to school.
In the winter of 2010 right around Christmas, I got my exam results back and it turned out I got a B for all my hard work. This encouraged me greatly and having way too much to do at work to be able to study in any comprehensible manner, I realized it was time to go. I’ve worked for Fafo Applied International Studies for seven and a half years now, doing an excellent job as an IT consultant (front-line computer support) as well as an entrepreneur in the cross-section of Social Sciences (fieldwork/data management and analysis) and Information Technology (implementation, security, safety, programming), with emphasis on Free and Open Source software. Quite a mouthful, but it’s been fun.
I should add that while I handed in my resignation some 3 months ago not everyone at work read the memo, so there’s a growing feeling of panic and devastation around that’s beginning to take its toll. As an IT worker you should always prepare your own demise so that a replacement can pick up your work the minute she or he steps in. We call this the bus equation e.g. ‘how many people can be hit by a bus before the project is compromised? Essentially that’s what I’ve been doing for the last three weeks, but having your own office is also a Great Opportunity to Gather a lot of Crap. I have three posters here that I ordered from the US but never even took out of the package for instance…
And I have until Monday to pack it all up.. Whoops.
I’m in the middle of my 2005 Bachelor of Philosophy degree, but I had to join the new class of 2010 because I’ve been lingering at work for so long, and given where I’m at right now it’s only natural for me to study the German language. Wait wait. What?
A bachelor degree in the Norwegian University system is a 3 year (full-time) program consisting of 180 points in total of which 80 are Philosophical Courses, 20 are mandatory Ex.Phil and Ex.fac (a quick skinny dip into text-book History of Philosophy as well as elementary logics and an introduction to scientific principles) and the remaining 80 are preferably something entirely different than philosophy but all from the same field of science (examples here are languages, psychology, history, sex-studies, archaeology, latin, social sciences etc.) so that you can in theory qualify for 2 master degrees. Ideally, of course.
Given that I have completed my 100 points in Philosophy courses I’m about to embark on something entirely different. But what? I had interests in and qualms about many of the fields, so I ended up asking the student advisor at my institute. She had a very practical approach that I could appreciate. She asked me which philosophers I would want to read and write about in the future, and I was adamant about a few of which all were German or writing in German. So German language it is!
It was only a week ago I discovered that University level German prefers that you took German in High School with grade C or higher. I didn’t have German at all in High School, I took French! So the day before yesterday I invested some cash in High School German text books to read before the 21st.. yikes!
Monday is my last day at work and the office here is a real mess right now, with stacks of papers and computers everywhere, in addition to my geeky hardware hacks and old hardware treasures lying about. I will study full-time from the end of August, with close to no income at all until I can sort out some simple mindless task-completion job or is hired as an external consultant with flexible hours. I want my focus to be at the University however, and it’s time to pass the torch to someone else who wants all the responsibility that comes with the job. But it will be a great change in my life, not to mention Lady C’s, that’s for sure. And I know it’s for the better!