Skip to content

So I’m Writing my Resume

Right at this moment, I face some challenges.  Mostly, I brought them upon myself, and thus I find it difficult to be angry.  Otherwise, I would react vehemently to leaving graduate school before I achieved my degree.  In the case I have made, vehemence feels far away.  I remain up at this hour to fulfill my word that I would have a resume ready quickly.  So, I am writing my resume.

Resumes, as I understand them, allow professional people a glimpse into one’s life.  From the formatting to the choice of words, to the data of a GPA or dates attended or worked, details matter.  The details matter because they form this story of the writer for these professional people, and the resume has only 90 seconds to relay this story.  Thus, the details matter,  Descriptions of past experience included.  These tidbits are perfect points of attack for the professional people to form a more thorough idea of this person who made the resume.  In particular, these points of attack likely come forward during an interview.  The interview, as with the resume, presents another short opportunity to share about a comparatively long set of experiences.  Thus, every detail matters, and each thing said in the interview carries inordinate power.

So, I want to make sure that when I interview, I can speak about experiences that recommend me for the position.  The problem is, right at this moment, I am thinking of my failures.  I am thinking of the time I couldn’t explain the limit definition of the derivative.  I am thinking of the student who came to me for help crafting a social studies essay about how humans migrated to the Americas and I didn’t know what to do.  I am thinking of how little I felt that I offered when planning arts and crafts for grade school students.  I am thinking that I need to find another story in my past that remains just beyond what memory brings to the surface.  The failures stick with me.

In most cases, I admire similar psyches.  Stories of failure usually mean that someone feels haunted and works to keep the ghost at bay.  To hear of patients lost, relationships broken, or situations that ran out of control drives my motivation to find better ways.  Right at this moment, I am writing my resume.  There is no time to reflect that I have a ghost whose hauntings drive me to improve.  In a resume, as with an interview, I am told that it is right to present the most positive view.  The most positive view puts you in the pile for further consideration, moves you farthest along in achieving the goal of receiving a job offer.  For me, that means that right now, I am taking a break.  Right now, I need rest to refocus on what can go right in my history of teaching, less what I still need than what I have already done well.  Maybe with rest something will come.

A Vision of Love

There’s an image of love I’ve had for a long while.  I’m not sure where I got it, or if at 17 I came up with it myself.  In my vision of love I’m sitting back to back with a girl, outside, and we’re both nose deep in a book.  I like that.  Maybe we’re holding hands, maybe we’re sitting on a stone wall, but it’s back to back, and it’s outside.

Usually when I examine this vision, it’s as a third person. I look at two people sitting in the sunlight, pursuing a written story.  I like how they’re comfortable with one another physically.  I don’t know how they pull off ergonomic positions sitting back-to-back, but they do.  I like the quiet as each wanders without worry through another world or perspective, only occasionally focusing on the reassuring press of each-other’s back. I like how their physical comfort encourages independence mentally or imaginatively.

In reality, I’m not so sure I would actually like to live out this vision; I don’t particularly like reading with my head down for extended periods. I do want to share physical space while working independently. I do want love to exist for me and another as we look in different directions, alone except for the trust that the other has our back. Maybe there is a better activity to express these characteristics of love. Maybe it doesn’t accurately represent how I actually characterize love. Simply the vision is romantic for me. I am glad to have it.

Sparks of the Train of Thought

There grows a dis-ease in my conscience when I exercise my brain. This unease grows from the discarded sparks of thoughts that fade quickly away after flashing for a moment as a tangent to my main train of thought. I mourn these sparks when I see them as matter-of-course casualties of an active mind, and I think I fear them. I think that I am afraid that these sparks or their loss weakens my brain, or that the train I try to follow is one of these transient flashes and it is rather something I perceived as a dying spark that is the real, enduring idea.

I want to stop being so afraid for the impermanence of those products of my mind. Whatever the case is, I need an active mind. My friends and potential friends, from what I can tell, value my active mind- I value my active mind and find life more interesting with these throwaway thoughts. Moreover, my studies into cognition allow me confidence in the position that none of these thoughts truly vanish into nothing. My history is written in my brain even with constant neuron loss. Besides, I can be confident that I am what I need to be for now, and can recognize what I need when it comes along. I am probably better at catching the right train than I realize.

My Planet

This is my planet. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My planet is my best friend. It is my life. I must take everything that provides me with life from it.

My planet, without me, is void. Without my planet, I am void. I must nurture my planet. I must live with more vigor than my enemy who poisons the planet. I must remedy his evils and protect my planet. I will…

My planet and I know that what counts in this existence is not the satellites in orbit, the storm brewed, nor the smoke made. We know that it is life that counts. We will foster life.

My planet is fluid, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its pace, its tolerances and its patterns. I will keep my planet healthy and lively, even as I am healthy and lively. We will become part of each other. We will…

Before the past and future witnesses of my species, I swear this creed. My planet and I are the stewards of my species. We are the masters of our lives. We are the saviors of my life.

So be it, until humankind finds a new home.

My College Application Essay

Figured I’d share this here.  I hope I get in.  I’m applying as a transfer student trying desperately to finish a degree.

Education, to me, is the greatest commodity there is.  I plan to devote my life to its pursuit and spread.  I am looking to continue my studies as a college student because I want to further my education and bring myself closer to providing education for others as a career.

When I began college, it was mostly because that is what kids did when they graduated from my high school.  I simply did not consider any other option.  The college option seemed logical too.  I wanted to learn; I wanted to know everything.  I still have that insatiable appetite for knowledge, but through the years it has become sharper.  I learned that I need to focus my efforts and studies when I failed enough courses for Case Western Reserve University to academically separate me from the institution in December of 2011.  Simply following my generalized taste for knowledge could no longer keep me afloat in my studies.  I needed to find a passion.

As I mentioned, I love knowledge.  I love to learn and I love to teach.  Since my academic separation from college, I have run up against difficulties in finding a career in which I could anchor my passion because of my position.  Without a degree or other certification, marketing oneself as a purveyor of education does not make sense.  Instead of monetizing it, I have devoted my time outside of my own formal education to volunteering with educational organizations.  With help, I have reinvested in my college career and have succeeded so far as a non-degree student at University of Connecticut pursuing general and biology specific courses.  I have earned very good grades as a part time student over three semesters and with a full-time courseload in the Fall of 2013.  My successes at UCONN have stoked my desire to become a student and my confidence in my success.

I am eager to earn a degree and move on to a more fulfilling part of my pursuit.  I have glimpsed the world of education while spending time mentoring kids with ConnectiKids and reading to little ones with United Way.  Of course, I have also looked farther than elementary schools as well, shadowing several high school teachers over three days in January.  Additionally, I am consistently a resource for my classmates, be it in Biology, History, or Calculus.  Every time I step into a classroom, a library, a place where learners and educators congregate, I am reminded of what it feels like to be home.  Learning and teaching are joys to me and I push my studies so that I can make that my life.

Sharpening that desire to be a teacher has brought me to Biology for a number of reasons.  Two very important topics, food and the environment, fall under Biology’s purview.  Other important topics in Biology range from deeply fundamental (evolution) to immediately practical (medicine).  I have enjoyed studying these topics and working with others pursuing the same knowledge.  My greatest role models for teachers, including Dr. Felix Coe of UCONN’s Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, have been in Biology.  Their work in sharing the facts of life inspires me.  I want to be a part of the growing realization that Biology and its applications have immense impact on the future of our species and our planet.  I want to take part by teaching, and for that I want to matriculate at and graduate from the University of Connecticut.

Messy

A friend and I once had a conversation that got fairly heated for a couple of lines.

I’ve noticed that when I’m in a large house all by myself, the house starts to get messy.  That seems like the natural way of things, neh?  You live and go through life and things move around to a more chaotic state.  It’s entropy- and it takes a directed input of energy to clean things up.  Well, it takes energy to clean things up, but in the real world of the house in which I live it must be directed energy because we’re human.

So this isn’t a direct metaphor, but it seems to me that evolution has some sort of parallel to this.  Things get messy because who knows what- mutations, population growth, sexual recombination of genes… all the alleles go places and the population looks different from when this whole thing started.  Then BAM! genetic bottleneck!  A natural disaster cleans up in a hurry- nope, youse guys who have 5 toes are dead, and no more saberteeth, uop- you need that much oxygen, sorry it’s not there anymore, you gonna sleep with the fishies.  Well, perhaps the bottleneck pressure should have a British accent because that was something in the vein of Darwin’s big contribution to the science of Biology.

A lot of other scientists had their hands in forming evolutionary theory.  The name Malthus should mean something to you when getting into this topic- he published material on how living things tended to stretch the boundaries of their environments and by packing in tightly enough squished and killed the least well adapted individuals in the population.  By removing the least fit from the population, the most well adapted enjoyed more resources and the population grew better adapted.  But I digress… this is actually less about evolution and gradualism than great leaps forward.

So, it is natural to me that when things develop, new stuff just happens.  That is the organic process, stuff grows from other stuff, but is slightly different, and the failures die/cease to exist…. which is what makes them failures, but I digress again.  But that isn’t organic in technology?

What my friend and I argued about was ‘organic’ development of cell phones (or smart phones or whatever).  I’m going to specifically focus on the iPhone because I think that is most likely the real culprit.  He was all, “it’s not organic, it wasn’t demanded by the market- they put something radically new together and then the demand was created,”  and I was all, “that is exactly what organic is- stuff happens and then maybe it survives.”  I have in no way painted a fair picture of this conversation, especially because he had very good points on marketing.

Anyway, I hope he is right.  I mean, from how I know him he is because he is a success.  He has earned good money in the business world because he works hard every day and approaches problems intelligently.  He is a smart person and mostly happy from what I can tell.  I don’t want to challenge his conviction.  But I wouldn’t be content with that.  Biology defines what the world is to me, and I don’t want to change to that perspective.  I am going to keep my definition of organic as messy, useless stuff that shapes up when the boogeyman comes around.

Because I might not need it, but feminism deserves a place

Today, I stopped by an installment in a common area of the university I attend.  This installation promoted (and will promote again tomorrow) feminism and the reduction of gender based violence.  There are a series of photographs of people holding pages with explanations of ‘why I need feminism’.  Most of the pictures featured women.  I am kind of disappointed in that.  Sure, feminism seems at first glance to be best for women, but as a guy, I like it too.  I’m straight, white, male, and from the middle class, and I really support feminism.  Well, maybe not really- I don’t generally seek it out and agitate for it, but I really value equality between the genders and I try to enforce it for a lot of selfish and unselfish reasons.  So, in accordance with the request of the young lady who approached me when I caught my eye on the installment, I wrote down some reasons I need feminism.

I need feminism because…

Otherwise I wouldn’t know that husbands who do more chores have more sex with their wives than men who don’t share household cleaning and maintenance activities.

My value system and economic predictions assume gender equality [and I’m sick of this being untrue].

My feminine side deserves to be valued just as much as my masculine side and I’m sick of holding back.

I want the freedom to be treated without derision when I display characteristics usually attributed to females.

Boys whine just as much as girls, and I want social values to reflect the truth.

My interests lie in lifestyles and careers that are traditionally dominated by women, and I’m not one.

I would hate to settle for a partner who feels restricted.

Agents are of greater value [substitute ‘sexier’ or ‘more desirable’ for ‘of greater value’ depending on exactly how disconnected from my sexual desires I’m feeling] to me than objects.

I want a ‘person-box’, not a ‘man-box’ from which to choose my socially acceptable values and actions, and feminism helps break down gender-based restrictions on activities.

That’s all for now from me, feel free to offer criticism or your own reasons for needing or desiring feminism.  First, though, I just want to explain that in today’s society women really do not experience equality.  As an individual you can help change that, and maybe you already do.

Also, I would like to assure myself and you that I do not consider men and women to be the same.  As I learned in introduction to sociology, there’s a scale of biological identification of male and female just as there’s a scale of social and personal identification of male and female.  The biological scale is not quite as varied as the others, but it still exists.  I was surprised, but the point is that it is difficult to judge people, and tending to judge people favorably rather than unfavorably is nice.  In the end, differences between people should not directly lead to differences in total utility value.  In fact, differences between people can increase total utility value, but I’m going on a tangent.