School is a huge time suck, which isn’t a bad thing

Taking apart a computer

I’m practicing my new techie skills by disassembling and assembling old computers.



It’s been tough to maintain my blog lately.
Under the best of circumstances, I like to post about once a week, but school has a way of sucking time out of the universe, at least my universe.

It’s not a bad thing. I’ve never regretted my decision to go back to South Seattle College after my layoff in 2016, especially after I qualified for a little help from the state of Washington. I’ve been interested in computers most of my life, and the school’s network administration program is a natural fit. If you look at the totality of my interests and occupations, you might think that it was inevitable that I make a go of computers as a career.

The jury’s still out on whether I’ll succeed, but I’m having fun, all the same.

For spring quarter, my days are filled with figuring out MS Access databases, basic PC hardware, and Linux commands. The days rarely dull, and my skills are good enough that I can lend a hand to other students. That’s a big part of the fun.

I went back to school in part to insert myself into a new network, on the hypothesis that getting a new job is much more likely if you’re on the inside, rather than the outside. I’ve made several new friends, including my instructors Richard and Dave, as well as Owen, another student who’s undergoing the painful adventure of reinvention. We tease each other a lot.

The jury’s still out on whether I’ll succeed, but I’m having fun, all the same.

If there’s anything that gives me grief, it’s the school administration. Like all bureaucracies, it thrives on fuck-ups. The most vexing is when it offers a class and cancels it at the last minute due to low enrollment. Inevitably, it’s a class required for graduation. This has already happened to me once, and indications are that it will happen again for summer quarter. Why is the school making promises it can’t keep?

To earn a little money, I’m working as a writing tutor in SSC’s writing center and online, though my income is dismal. My unemployment compensation runs out this month, and flexible part-time jobs for older workers are harder to find than you might think. Ideas welcome!

My writing won’t stop. It’s likely I’ll self-publish my Carbon Run novels; no publisher has shown a serious interest. I’ve also started a new project that’s a mashup of the Arthurian legends and my post-apocalyptic environmental ideas. I’ve got two stories under my belt and a third in development. Whether they’ll see the light of day is anyone’s guess, but the project is bearing fruit.

If you don’t see a blog post in a while, don’t worry. I’m probably not dead, just swamped with other things.

What’s keeping you from blogging?

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