Career Questions

It’s been nearly 3 months since I last wrote. I did write a post in December, an enthusiastic review of “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” but it was lost when my phone crashed, and I couldn’t bring myself to rewrite the whole thing.

And of course there were the holidays – work to do and visitors and visits to be had.

But there was also the greyness. A feeling of running in a hamster wheel. Days of happiness, excitement, and energy – followed by days of stress, worry, or exhaustion.

I’ve seen the psychiatrist monthly, and I really think my current combo is helping. In a sense, the world has gone from gray to colorful again. It’s merely that I can see intense blue as well as bright yellow.

Work is… Disappointing. I feel less of a sense of purpose and direction than, frankly, ever before. Even as my passion waned somewhat in my darker times, I’ve always known what I wanted, where I wanted to go. And usually I had the determination to work hard to find it, to earn it.

But now, I’m unsure of what I would like next. There are things that call to me, but with each there are aspects that take my excitement down a notch. I know this is common for young adults, but the feeling is foreign to me.

I know that I am lucky that I have so many skills on which I could base a career – and likely a successful one. But I feel equally pulled toward each, but unwilling to yet give up any. As of late I’ve been dreaming up ways to incorporate them all. I may have an idea, but I don’t know yet how realistic it is. But I don’t like to leap without looking. I wish to gather information.

And that’s why I’m writing now. I would like to interview people with knowledge or experience in a number of areas. It could be over e-mail or phone (or in person if you can meet in NYC). I could write a post about it, feature you and links, or I could keep it private or anonymous.

If you have knowledge about or experience in a career in any of the following areas, please contact me!

Figure skating coach – basics
Figure skating coach – freestyle/test track
Figure skating program director
Environmental eng/scientist – government regulator
Environmental eng/scientist – government researcher
Environmental eng/scientist – consultant for private companies
Environmental eng/scientist – consultant for government
Environmental scientist – public interest researcher
Science writer – magazines, news, or books
Science professor – adjunct (lab instructor and early undergrads)
Project manager – web company
Pro blogger
Etsy shop/home business owner
How-to writer

I’m extra interested in hearing from you if you are a mom!

My, how the time has passed

Just thought I’d post a little something to say “I’m still here!” …I’m working on a post about the recent John Tierney column in the NYTimes on women in science, and I hope to have it up soon. In the meantime, I wanted to comment on the New Yorker cover with Barack and Michelle Obama – it seems to have upset many people. I’m not really sure what everyone is so bothered about – I thought it was funny.

So…time’s been passing – and I’ve been working. Playing with liquid nitrogen, teaching 10th graders about chemistry (with squishy and mushy materials like silly putty and home-made viscoelastic slime and personal care products like shampoo, hair gel, and lotion), occasionally analyzing nuggets of data, reading about things going on in the comics industry (T! relates to it), and talking and learning about business. I’ve found all of this to be on the whole enjoyable work, and that makes me happy. 🙂

Meanwhile, it’s been unbelievably hot in NYC! So hot, in fact, that the living room is regularly 92 degrees after having left the AC off over night, and during the day while the AC is working at full capacity it maybe brings the room down to 85. Yummy. Sticky. Unfun.

But it’s not all work…on Friday night I had the extreme pleasure of watching one of my oldest and best friends play Musetta in the Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory of Music’s Summer Opera production of La Boheme. In the second act, the character Musetta gets to control the stage, and my did she! She was amazing, and I got chills. Especially notable since we were in an AC-free high school auditorium that must have been a sweltering 90 something degrees. We all felt for the characters in the winter scenes with coats, sweatshirts, and scarves on!

I’ve also been playing World of Warcraft with my husband. For hours. Giliane and Argore ready to bomb demons

Partially because it’s fun, and partially because it’s the only entertainment that fits in our budget right now (at the amount of hours we play, it’s less than $1/hour of entertainment). And taking walks with the hubby! To get outside! Where there’s air, and exercise to be had!

And finally, I’ve been thinking about babies. Cute, cuddly, babies. Can’t wait for the family I’ve been working for with the 4 month old to get back from Israel so I can go play with him again!

Wonder Woman on DVD

As part of my work with T!, I keep up to date on current happenings in the comics, manga, graphic novel, and related pop culture world. In particular, I enjoy reading Wonder Woman comics, and so I was pleased to read today that DC is creating a Wonder Woman movie. I am a bit disappointed that it’s direct to DVD, but it’s an animated movie and despite the fact that she’s one of their big 3 characters, maybe she doesn’t have enough of a following to merit a theater release? Anyhow, the movie will feature Keri Russell and Alfred Molina as voice actors, both people who’s work I respect. So I’m definitely looking forward to it. But I’ll have to wait until Spring 2009!

I’m about to embark on a new journey…

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine arrived from Netflix yesterday, and today we will be watching the premier episode, as we continue my education in the details of the Star Trek universe. Recently, we completed watching all of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Even after a full seven seasons, I didn’t feel ready to say goodbye to Captain Picard and his crew. Luckily, I didn’t have to just then, because we then watched each of the TNG movies. I loved the whole “Next Generation” series, especially their vision of the state of politics in the future: a mostly peaceful universe, where the pursuit of knowledge really does often come before power through war.

Some of the movies featured the original cast of Star Trek. Speaking of the original cast of Star Trek, George Takei recently got married to his long-time partner due to the new California law. Congratulations, Sulu.

NY Comic Con

Well I spent a good part of Friday and Saturday at my first ever geek convention…the NY Comic Con!  I had such a great time, and learned a lot about comics and cartoon art and graphic novels and manga and women in comics and webcomics and games games games.  Husband and I went to lots of great panels, got lots of great free giveaways, and had a great time exploring the exhibit floor and seeing what’s coming out soon and what’s hot now in the world of comics, cartoon art, games, and cartoon merchandise!  It was so much fun especially just to be around all these people totally dressed up in costumes and having a great time and just being themselves and unashamed of it.  What fun!

More meh

Yawn. Husband is asleep – he’s been sleeping so poorly lately I’m just glad he’s asleep at all, even though he fell asleep at like 7 pm. I’m feeling stressed and down again. Things are a little better; there’s not so much going on, but I just feel meh. I have a cold – Husband and I got the same one but of course he’s all better and I’m still coughing so much it gives me a headache. I’m tired but I don’t feel like going to sleep – because I feel discontent and I wish to right that before bed. You know what I mean? I just feel so….eh.

I only have one more week of classes, so that’s great. And just one final. So I should be ok, really. But I’m nervous – I just want to take a break and play video games. I want the new game, Rockband, really strongly. I played it over Thanksgiving and then again last week at a friend’s house, and I really want our own copy, so that I can practice different things and spend time making my character look the way I want, and read the flavor text and just take my time with it and with trying to get better at the drums and vocals. I really like the drums, it’s very fun to play them, and that is one of the bigger additions over the already existing and quite popular Guitar Hero games. Husband wants Guitar Hero III as well. We don’t own any Guitar Hero games, and Rockband is expensive. But I think we will get it for Christmas – if not from someone else than we will buy it for ourselves as a treat. Husband is supposed to get two checks this week which will help us out a lot this month, and then he should be turning in another bill soon. So I think we can afford to treat ourselves to a new toy – we’ve just been so rundown and tired of the same food and things and no opportunities to go out, it will be really nice to be able to play Rockband together and have our own band go on a tour and try to gain new fans and make money. 😀

Childhood fun for a scientist

My dad forwarded me this post from a DIY tech blog called Hacked Gadgets.  It shows videos of “The Incredible Machine” creations, based on the computer games.  I found the video amusing, but mostly it reminded me of the game, which I used to play as a kid.  Now I miss the game and I want to play it again!  Maybe I’ll check out the most recent version, which is now 6 years old.  To me, this is proof that computer gaming isn’t all wasted time; I played this in my free time as a kid for fun, and when we have kids, I intend to encourage computer games as one resource for learning and practicing skills such as logic, management, and strategy.

Here is a blurb about the game from the wikipedia page:

The Incredible Machine (aka TIM) is a series of computer games that were originally designed and coded by Kevin Ryan and produced by Jeff Tunnell, the now-defunct Jeff Tunnell Productions, and published by Dynamix; the 1993 through 1995 versions had the same development team, but the later 2000–2001 titles had different designers. All versions were published by Sierra Entertainment.

The general objective of the games is to create a series of Rube Goldberg devices: arrange a given collection of objects in a needlessly complex fashion so as to perform some simple task (for example, “put the ball into a box” or “light a candle”). Available objects ranged from simple ropes and pulleys to electrical generators, bowling balls and even cats and mice. The levels usually have some fixed objects that cannot be moved by the player, and so the only way to solve the puzzle is carefully arrange the given objects around the fixed items. There is also a “freeform” option that allows the user to “play” with all the objects with no set goal or to also build their own puzzles with goals for other players to attempt to solve.