I will be wandering about the country for a while over the next few weeks. Next weekend I’ll be heading to southern Indiana to spend some time with Jimmy Legs’s family. Then, 10 days later, I’ll be heading to the East Coast for a presentation at East Coasty University. Then I’m taking the train to New York City, to find some decent picante sauce. No, sorry, to meet up with a number of friends for the weekend, including Chicago Joe, who lives in New York now but who will always be Chicago Joe.
And I’ll be hanging out with people from twitter again, and I’m going to hit a few AA meetings in the Big Apple, which should be truly awesome. There are some old, properly broken down cathedrals of sobriety there: nicotine stained walls and coffee brown mottled rugs testaments to more than three-quarters of a century of recovery through the miraculous institution of drunks helping drunks. I can’t wait. I have a good friend there who should be celebrating six months sobriety immediately before my arrival. There will have to be a celebration.
This will be the wrap-up of my project with ECU, at least in terms of what I promised to deliver to them. I’m hoping they will continue to want me to perform analysis and recommend interventions. So far, they contracted me, and gave me a fancy title, to build a tool. The tool is built. I’m finishing the validation this weekend. Then I’ll present it. After that, if they want to use it to analyze their system, they’ll need to continue to contract with me, or buy a software license and hire someone else. Considering the software license is like $21K, I’m hopeful they’ll continue to work with me.
The more things progress where I am, the more it looks like I’ll need a new job. This place is a place of entrenched, aggressive stupidity. I’m applying to lots of jobs. Both in engineering health care systems and in tenure track and other research positions in public health. I even applied to a professorship in systems engineering, but I won’t be competitive for that, I think. Nevertheless, I’m excited by the processes. I don’t have a sterling CV. I don’t have any glamorous journal titles, nor any prestigious grants. But I have a small history of publication and a small history of grant funding. I will hopefully be competitive among people applying for junior positions, although I’ll be 5-10 years older than all of them without anything to show for it.
It will likely be difficult for me to find other serious employment doing exactly what I want. Boo hoo, right? Who gets to do exactly what they want? And even the people who do have to work hard and have enormous headaches about getting their research accomplished and their grants and papers put out there. It’s difficult everywhere. And it’s getting nothing but worse as universities put ever tighter screws on professors. There is an enormous class of university administrators whose entire jobs are to beg for donations and steal overhead from professors. They exist for no other reason than to raise funds to support their jobs. We have created a class of MBA educated panhandlers, and given them the prestige of a university title. It’s disgraceful. And it inhibits both science and education.
Bah. I will not go off on another rant about the university process today. Instead I will stare at a computer screen, not write my grant, and fantasize about three weeks from now, when I’ll be in Gotham having FUN.