Thursday, September 17, 2009

Not recommended reading

Every now and then I like to talk a little about something I'm reading and whether I'd recommend it.
Most the time it's Alaskana literature, but here's some reading that has nothing to do with the Greatland, nor my recommended list.
Anything that involves the GRE, or Graduate Record Exam.
Why would I be talking about this, let alone reading about the GRE?
In my last post I let onto some fodder for another post.
Here it is:
When I say that I expect to be doing something quite different this time next year, or at least be on track for it, I mean that I intend to be back in school working on a masters in Environmental Science.
That's the short of it right there.
The long of it started last winter.
I can tell you the exact hill on the Wolf Loop of the Tsalteshi trail system I was skiing over when I started pointing my tips in the current direction they seem to be headed.
During the deep cold snap last January I was doing a lot of classic skiing since the snow as too tacky for the skates.
Being in sort of the worst of it, both weather wise and darkness wise, and maybe getting a rush of blood to my head coming over the crest of the short incline, I decided, this place isn't so bad, I think I'd like to stick around a little while, if I can.
In the next few kilometers I built the base for an inner-conversation on how that was going to happen.
Through the rest of the winter and spring my life plan changed almost daily.
One day I was going to be a teacher, the next a nurse, the next a doctor and the next solving some environmental problem.
By the end of the week I was ready to say screw it all and learn to drive a snowcat at a ski resort and call it good.
I menaced friends, family and people I knew through work about their jobs, what they liked, disliked, how they got where they were.
I fretted it to no end.
Then summer came along and I got too busy to think, at least consciously.
When the fishing season finally wrapped up though, I think the dust settled enough to start to see where I wanted to go.
I'm not going to say that I know what I want to do when I grow up.
I think if I've heard one recurring phrase through all of this, it's that no one really knows what it is they want to do.
That being said, this little dream I'm living will eventually come to an end, and if I'm not ready with a plan, there's a good chance it'll go from heaven to heck in a hurry.
What's become evidently clear is that regardless of what it is I want to do next though, it's going to require more education and credentials, both in this economy and this part of the country.
And as for why environment?
I've received a lot of encouragement to follow a career that makes use of my ability to communicate.
That seems to be an easily recognizable quality, and I imagine that I'll find a way to put it to use on my own.
What I'm not clear about is where I should be going to make sure I'm doing something that both compensates me fairly and provides me with a sense of meaningfulness.
I'm not sure that makes sense, but I know my passion is in the environment, and I think as I get more into it I'll suss my career track out.
Last weekend when I was in Anchorage, part of my agenda was learning a little more about the programs offered at the University.
I met with the head of the environmental program. The dialog I had instilled a lot of confidence that while I don't know exactly where in the field I'm headed, the degree is broad enough to let me figure that out.
It's all quite strange to be honest, this sense of clarity after so much indecision.
In someways I fear that the bottom will fall out tomorrow or next week, and I'll regret this post and the work I've put into it, yet, there's a confidence in me like I haven't ever felt that this is where I need to go, and now is the time.
Until then, I'm going to need to study.
I'd be much happier getting back from my rides and plunking down on the couch with some good Alaskana lit, but I'm afraid the GRE study book is getting the attention.
So unless you're on the same track, I'm going to have to say, I'm not recommending my current read.

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