Monday, January 3, 2011

Who Wants to Grow Up Anyway?

Over the weekend an icon of literature, Issac Asimov, aged another year.  I wasn't a lucky geek to get introduced to the worlds created by this master as a girl.  Instead it was my loving husband, and his adoration of
Asimov's work that first placed I, Robot into my hand.  The first of several Asimov books I have thoroughly enjoyed.  I instantly found what is probably my true calling in life, except no one seems to need a robot psychologist, yet.  Oh and I got a D in psychology.... I still don't know why, I can recite the text and I still feel that I understand all the material, I think I'll blame it on my crappy TA who didn't do anything and the fact that all grades were gathered via scantron and I'm slightly dyslexic... Anyway, there still appears to be no demand for a robot psychologist.

So what am I going to do with my life?  Or rather, what am I going to do when I grow up?  Ok, ok, I'm not exactly 12 anymore, but the point still stands.  I currently live in the part-time house mom, part-time odd jobber life, with no real overall direction or plan for the future.  I've toyed with many ideas and I even have a college degree.  Unfortunately, it seems that little will be happening with that degree if I want to be the kind of wife and mother that I hope to be.  Seriously, all the most common jobs in the field in which I graduated seem to require you to be a hermit for most of the year, and your family just generally isn't welcome to join you.  Sure sure, there is lab stuff and other things, and I absolutely LOVED the course material while going through school, but the job opportunities just aren't available.  Besides everyone wants someone with a Masters.

I entered the wildlife profession after many years of battle through the school system in defense of my interest in natural creatures.  I battled my way through college, thoroughly enthralled in the theory and debate of my chosen course material, but without engaging my equal interests in other disciplines.  In my freshman year my advisor pointed out in a class that it was a waste of his time to instruct female students as they simply got married and had babies, and therefore never contributed to the greater knowledge of the profession, especially when it came to field work.  I also adored the lack of human engagement inherent in the profession.  Spending great deals of time with my fellow man is exhausting.  Yet, ironically the primary job of the majority of the wildlife profession has nothing to do with wildlife and everything to do with controlling human actions.

I pushed so hard to get through my degree, neglecting many side interests that I never really thought about what exactly it was I was going to do with the rest of my life.  I had goals, sure, but I'm not sure my degree is going to get me there and in retrospect some of the stuff that was so important or ideal when I was 20 just isn't my biggest priority anymore. So what am I going to do with my life?

This is actually a subject of debate in our house, even older than Paper Napkins from the Edge of Insanity, although the rough ideas stared around the same time; while I was counting lamprey by watching video of dam windows on a crappy laptop in a crappy office, with a power tripping, never really understood how to supervise and manage people boss.  It was a time when my mind wandered a bit and for the first time in my life I stopped fighting to prove that I  could be a wildlife biologist and wondered if maybe there was some variation that I would be better suited for.

This is also around the time I met Asimov's written worlds (see it all ties together with a pretty bow!)  I read I, Robot.  I read Other Robot Stories. I listened to Caves of Steel.  I'm sure there were a couple other things.  I know I've also read Foundation, but that was last year and a bit later into the story.  I began to think of all my varied interests, robotics, engineering, programming, technology, wildlife, interspecies relations and intraspecies relations, people watching, writing, and so forth.  I wondered if there wasn't a better way I could apply the mind I've been given and better the world around me while doing so.  Even while I was a proficient Fisheries Technician, I never really fit into that life.  It was hard for me to be understood by my colleagues without dumbing it down a bit and stepping back from a multi-dimensional approach into a binary or on some exquisite occasions a tertiary relational basis.  Even though some coworkers told me I was too smart to be there, I didn't' regard them as accurate, and felt that I really had lots I didn't understand.  Unfortunately, both were equally true.

I'm not saying I'm a genius, as much as I dreamed of being one, I know that I am not.  I've known genius, I spent my life growing up as the girlfriend of one, only to watch him repeatedly self-destruct.  I am not a genius.  I am, however; intellectually capable.  Sometimes a just as frustrating condition.  Still, I want to use this mind for the things its good at, which don't tend to reside in my home.  Yet, what is that thing?  Since my husband started working at the local University when this crisis of career came to a forefront, the original plan was to wait until his cheap credits took effect and then dabble in a couple different courses to see if going  back to school I could meet the career I would want to dedicate my intellectual self too.  Unfortunately, that option was pulled away last spring.

So, therefore I'm left to ask:  Does anyone want a robot psychologist with a background understanding of wildlife and an interest in inter/intraspecies relations?

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