we always knew I’d end up back at school

It was inevitable. I’m not going to over-analyze whether the reasons that I like being in school are good or bad, but being in school is the one thing that’s almost always gone well for me. I like classes and the educational aspects. I like learning new things. I like that there are objective goals and a clear end point. I like being around other students and find it easier to meet people (especially since I mostly work from home). I like the environment on campus. I like the access to the library and the fitness center. I’ve had ups and downs as a student, but the actual being in school part has always been a positive.

On a practical level, I can see the ceiling approaching. I work in power systems engineering, but I started in math. I like power systems. I don’t want to leave power systems. But I don’t really know all that much when it comes right down to it. If my job were cut tomorrow, I would have a hard time doing anything besides building models or working with one specific software package. What I really want is to be an expert at some aspect that isn’t too narrow. I want to be indispensable because people need to come to me for help with analyzing their utility operations. What I don’t want is to be a manager or a bureaucrat. I want to stay in technology and analysis. I don’t think that I made horribly poor life decisions, career-wise. I could have gone a lot of different directions with math, and I like choices. But now that I’ve seemed to pick a direction, I feel that I’d better finish up my education.

The one thing that I don’t like is writing. That may sound strange from a blogger, but I don’t really care if readers like my writing style or not. Writing statements of purpose is just obnoxious though. Nothing drains enthusiasm and motivation like having to sound enthusiastic and motivated. And I like starting sentences with I. I like repeating words. Putting in leading clauses to break up my sentence structure makes my writing feel unfamiliar to me. I don’t really like the sound of the person behind my statement of purpose, but there’s not really a compromise between that person and the honest self. Forcing a false persona to sound more like myself is repugnant. And writing like myself would not cover the kinds of things that an admissions committee wants to hear. I’m less worried about being admitted than about managing my schedule once I’m in. I’m worried that there’ll be a big change to my job responsibilities. My manager said not to worry about that and that I should start making the plans that interest me and deal with changes that may or may not happen if they happen.

I’m capable of finishing up the chapter for review, but I don’t really want to write it. The things that were frustrating me previously are continuing to frustrate me. I mentioned at the very beginning that these kind of discussions aren’t why people believe or disbelieve in god. Philosophical consistency is not the same as reality. At one time I wouldn’t have understood the difference. As a Christian, I believed if it could be shown that a point of theology made sense, then it meant that the point must be true. Probably I didn’t think about it thoroughly, but I argued as if there were no difference. I don’t have much patience with emotion based belief. I’ve been trying to think about these arguments carefully, to the best of my time and ability. But I don’t believe that even if it could be shown that god is possible, that it means that there is a god. There has to be more than possibility and even more than probability.

Speaking of religion, we had a visit from a JW this past weekend. When I meet people of religions or denominations where I don’t have any baggage, I can see why people find religion attractive. But that’s also a different matter than reality.