We dove out and visited my uncle & aunt in Niskyuna today. Also their son my cousin, and his wife (whom I think of as my cousin), and also their son's old friend from med school, and also my aunt's sister were there too. Our California second-cousins, who had been there for seder, had already left to New York City, so we didn't see them.
Anyway, I was, unavoidably of course, telling all about my plans for after I graduate. My uncle says to look for an apartment before securing a job is backwards. I suspect that he may be too right on that, but I can't really help it now -- I've still got no job lined up, but I've found an apartment that I don't want to pass by. Then also, there's the question of what sort of job I want. I was talking up the Bilingualism & Second-Language Cognition ideas that I've gotten psyched up about these last few months. I don't really know much about that, but I would like to. "What about your language-and-computers stuff you were talking about last time?" probes my uncle. "That's where you have an advantage. Talking software! Do this learning stuff and all you'll be is ending up as a social worker." Not that being as social-worker is inherently bad, but there are certain bottom line considerations... we both knew what he means.
So, what did happen to my more-computer-science-y job imaginations? I hadn't paid attention to it as I was changing my mind. If I go to grad school, I want to eventually go to grad school to study bilingualism as a cognitive phenomenon. But there's a disconnect between that and the sort of background I have from school and also the sorts of jobs I was thinking of looking at. Trying for research assistant positions in psycholing labs and following the NIH A.A.E. grants is a way to lessen that disconnect. His comment reminded me of an important field of possibility that I was slowly forgetting about. To drive the point home: Re-drafting my resume the day before, I had included even some "stretches" under Other Experience, and totally forgotten to include the section on what Programming Languages I know!
So, now I am second guessing myself for blindspots, which is a good thing, but I'm also feeling a bit down on myself because of needing to.
Also, while I was there, I wandered into their living room looking for a quiet place to get some work in while everyone else was watching the basketball game. It stuck me that that last time I was in my uncle's formal living room was when I was breaking up with Dan Scribner. It was surely quiet in that room, but I couldn't work there.
By the ride back, I was feeling kinda bad. Reflecting on poor choices I've made usually is enough to depress me. I don't feel energized to fix things, only ennervated for futher despair. Of course, I recognize that I may have an overly-perfectionistic definition of "poor" choice, but it's still my definition I can't ignore it!
I'm feeling improved since then, but I thought I'd lay it out here. I've put the computer languages back into my resume (can't believe I forgot those! as penance, I am even admitting to Scheme/Lisp), and making a mental note to look into more Natural Language Processing stuff again.
And now for the witty-ness:
My brother and I crack each other up. Here is the first story:
ME: So you don't think I should tell Ima my funny story about the parking ticket?: "My car was there, and I wasn't, and then there was a ticket -- HA HAHA HAHA HAHA! "
BRO: My favorite part is the part " -- HA HAHA HAHA HAHA!" !!!!!
The second story starts with a friend asking some question wondering if Young Judaea (the Peer-Led Pluralistic Zionist Youth Movement sponsored by Hadassah) might be backing away from its Israel trips.
ME: "I don't think Young Judaea would be able to sleep with itself at night if it didn't send kids to Israel."
BRO: "And we know how much Young Judaea likes to sleep with itself!"
woo! I share these with you in the hopes you can find it even 1/3 as hillarious as we did.