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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » It is amazing the difference a year can make (Landmark)

   
Author Topic: It is amazing the difference a year can make (Landmark)
Lupus
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Wow, 1,000 posts and just a bit over a year. This past year has been quite a ride for me, and because of it I will have quite a few changes in my life over the next year (hopefully they will work out for the best). Twelve months ago I was a student planning to spend the rest of his life in academia, and now I have a master’s degree in a field I will be leaving. I guess I’ll start by talking about the board, and why I came…and why I stayed, and then talk about how I ended up where I am in life.

I first came to the site after reading Crystal city. At the end of the book OSC mentioned the hatrack river forums…and said that he named Pappa Moose and Mamma Squirrel after posters. I thought I’d drop by and see what it was like, and as you can see, I have stayed. I remember wondering what exactly those "landmark" threads were all about. Finally understanding when I saw the "FAQ" that used to get bumped to the top every once and a while. Here I am, writing one myself.

When I first came, I really liked the fact that people really seemed to know each other. It reminded me of the older days of Goodkind’s official forum before it go so big it is hard to know a small fraction of the members. We even split it into two message boards (one for discussion of his books, and one that is more along the line of this forum's “Books, Films, Food and Culture” area. Though we have each message board split into more forums now). Even after all that, each of the boards averages 1,000 posts a day…way to much to keep track of. Even as an admin, I don’t recognize many of the names of people who would consider themselves to be regulars there. At this board, even as someone who has only been here a year, I feel that even the people who have been here for ages know me to some degree. Hopefully this post will help people know me a bit better. I also like the fact that this board has people from all walks in life, and with all different beliefs. Sure, people say the board leans a bit to the left, but there are several regulars (myself included) who lean more towards the right (some further than others). After working in a place that looks at conservatives as alien life forms, this place seems like the RNC. But overall, people here care about each other. If someone goes missing for a while, you will commonly see messages asking where they are. When someone posts a message asking for prayers, people respond. That is what truly makes a community.

When I first came here, I was planning on proposing my masters thesis (developmental psychology) in a few months…so I would have the entire school year to finish the project, and defend in the spring. I then planned on staying on to take my quals and start my dissertation in the following year. I would then go on to teach at a medium to small University, and stay there for the rest of my life. Of course, nothing in life works out exactly how you expect.

That summer, and in the following year my relationship with my advisor began to deteriorate. I think there are many reasons for this, my main interest was teaching, hers was research, we have different personalities (and beliefs about pretty much everything), and as we were forced to work closer together on my thesis these differences started to become more problematic.

So after much thought and prayer, I decided that I would not only leave my advisor, but I would leave the University after I finished my Masters. If I were to change advisors, I would have to completely change topics, which would set me back a couple of years. If I still had a passion for psychology that would not have been a huge problem. However, the past semester had really turned me off to the field.

I was able to finish my masters defense in April, but there really is not a lot of jobs for a masters in psychology. You really need a PhD. I did apply to some community college teaching jobs, but if you just have a master’s, they really want to hire you part time for a few years (in which you get paid almost nothing). I thought about teaching high school, and even got as far as applying for (and being awarded) a temp teaching certificate for the state of Florida. Teaching in a high school for a few years, would have made me a bit more marketable for community colleges…but I really didn’t want to be in a high school for the next several years…and perhaps even longer. There were a couple of other options, but nothing that really appealed to me. I had always planned on being a college professor…when that was gone, I found I was in a field that didn’t really fit me.

So after even more thought and prayer, I decided to leave both teaching and psychology. I was offered a job working for Publix (a chain of grocery stores in the south eastern US). I’ll have to be trained on some day to day stuff (like running registers and such) but I can then move into their management program. It is a huge change for me, but I have worked for them in the past, and they are a good company to work for. Once I get into management, they pay a lot more than a University would pay me as well. I will also have the benefit of moving back to my old home town. While I will miss my friends, it will be good to live close to my family again. It feels a bit odd to have such a huge shift in fields, at least I am starting out without any debt. I worked for the University for the past 3 years, so that paid for both my education and living expenses.

It is always a bit nerve racking to know that you are completely changing the direction of your life, but at this point I really believe the change is for the best. Hopefully next year, 1,000 posts later I will have a landmark talking about how great this transition ended up being.

[ May 17, 2005, 12:52 AM: Message edited by: Lupus ]

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kaioshin00
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Nice to know you a little bit better Lupus.

Good luck with your future endeavors [Smile]

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Danzig
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I know you more than I did before. I do not think Hatrack leans towards the left. It leans towards moderate jurisdiction over civil liberties, and left-wing policies towards economic issues. This is coming from a libertarian / anarcho/capitalist / anarcho/communist.

In any case, happy motherfornicatining landmark. Best wishes.

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Kwea
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Nice to read that, Lupas. Glad you stayed!


[Big Grin]

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Derrell
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[Hat] Well written landmark. Thank you for sharit it with us.
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Lupus
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thx [Smile]
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katharina
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Lupus, this is really a great landmark. I must admit to a powerful curiosity concerning your reasons for leaving academia. I also left academia, but am planning on returning and am making steps towards that goal. I'm not in a hurry, though, and I like the perspective working has given me.

Good luck in everything you do - I'm you'll be great. [Smile]

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Corwin
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Hmm... Why did I always think you were much younger than this?! Anyway, I'm glad to know you better, and want to wish you luck in whatever field you're choosing. [Smile]
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imogen
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Nice to know you Lupus.

I'm impressed with your decision to leave uni and academia. (To qualify - not because of some deep dark hatred of academia, just because of the magnitude of the choice.)

I hope your new career works out well.
[Smile]

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Lupus
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
Lupus, this is really a great landmark. I must admit to a powerful curiosity concerning your reasons for leaving academia. I also left academia, but am planning on returning and am making steps towards that goal. I'm not in a hurry, though, and I like the perspective working has given me.

Good luck in everything you do - I'm you'll be great. [Smile]

It wasn't one thing...it was just overall, it wasn't a good fit for me. I didn't fit in with the culture that goes with academia and my goals were different from the main goals of academia (publishing). I looked into smaller school that focus more on teaching, and thought about going that route...but in the end I decided to part ways with academia.
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