Nobody cares where you went to school

Dave graduates from DukeExcept that if I went to Duke University, I had better mention it, even if I didn’t love my time there and don’t bleed Duke blue now. I had better mention that I’ve worked for Duke and for Cisco…and done work for start-ups and government agencies, even if I wasn’t loving what I was doing most of the time. I had better mention that I designed, developed, deployed, supported, maintained, and upgraded help desk and other service management applications for a decade-and-a-half, even if I would have rather been doing something else and struggle to adequately explain why I didn’t.

None of this matters to me, in the sense that I’d like to put it all behind me. I just want to be a damn good front end engineer.

But I did do all that stuff. I was a smart guy and maybe I still am (even if I cannot extemporaneously describe my career body of work more gracefully than by referring to it as “all that stuff”.) I was often told that I was doing a great job, even if I didn’t think so myself. Imagine what I could do if I really enjoyed my work.

All of this matters. Somebody will care. Many will not, and that’s fine. But if no one knows because I don’t bother to mention it, no one has the opportunity to determine if they care. (I just reread this paragraph. Yes, it’s horrible writing. I shall leave it in as a monument to horrible writing).

And perhaps somebody will care that this guy Dave is a bit too self-deprecating and too honest for his own good. That’s fine.

Student loans

I wrote three lengthy comments in response to NPR’s Facebook story about student loans. I abandoned those, and then I was just going to post something on my Facebook feed. I abandoned that, too.

But I feel compelled to say this.

I’m really effing tired of hearing about your effing student loans. I really don’t care.

Oh, I can’t say that either, even if I qualify it.

Go ahead, take away my Progressive Left-Wing Club Rewards Card.

I don’t seem to be able to go on the record with anything controversial anymore on here. I used to do it all the time.

No need to comment with your own tale that demonstrates how I don’t get it. I probably do get it. Maybe I just loathe 90% of college graduates between 21 and 30 because I’m still, at heart, a misanthrope, and a old, crotchety one, at that.

Ok, I’m done here.

UPDATE Dammit, I should qualify this by saying that I support the Occupy protesters who understand that they’re protesting because they feel like government serves primarily “the 1%”, the corporations, and the banks, and that people have lost their livelihoods, their homes, and their dignity because of Wall Street greed and politicians’ enabling of that greed. Somehow, I just make a distinct between those people and the law school grads who can’t find jobs. The law school grads ARE going to find jobs eventually, and they’ll pay off their student loans, even if it takes them 15 or 20 years. They will be fine. The 50-year-old unemployed factory worker ain’t gonna find shit, and when the law school grad gets his job, he’s not going to give a shit about that other guy anymore. Done again.

UPDATE And THIS (protesting Marine vet has fractured skull, critically injured by police) is really effed up regardless of why anyone is protesting.

“You’re going to be a great success”

Oh, shit…

Now, I’ve done it.

Generally, it would be a positive development to begin going through long-sacred clutter and getting rid of some of it. The problem is that much of it resonates far too deeply with me for it to be trashed. Specifically, I’m referring to piles of papers from school–mostly college, some high school, and even English papers from junior high. I’ll get to those in due time. I’m going to document this little exercise, as digitizing some of it make be the way to compromise between hoarding this stuff forever and getting out of my life.

Oh, but tonight, as I inched closer to the end of these piles, I came upon the infamous high school yearbook.

And I did what no 35-year-old should do. I looked at the front and back covers, and the edge-to-edge signatures and niceties of my classmates. There are stunningly sweet words from the most unlikely people, who could’ve simply said, “Have a nice summer, and good luck!”

I haven’t gone through them all, but there’s one that both shatters and reassures my heart at the same time. She’s a now-married Facebook friend. (Whom do I know who’s my age and NOT married?) She’s among the great many Facebook friends I have whom I don’t allow to see my links to my blog. When I feel I’ll either scare someway away, or spoil the generally-favorable opinion of someone who’s an acquaintance, or I can’t bearing to know what someone may think of the inevitable baring of my soul, they’re relegated to seeing just the basic info and the occasional totally harmless post. (I don’t revise these lists of my often, so take no offense if you are reading this blog but don’t see its link in Facebook.)

I came close to posting something devastating that I had written back in college, but I slept on it last night, and no longer felt the pull to publish it today. I think I feel the same about these yearbook comments.

This chore is opening up a hundred old wounds. Damaged relationships. Desired relationships that never came to be. Academic aspirations that faded out of my grasp. Deflating mediocrity displayed time and time again.

This is an exorbitant price to pay for cleaning off the dining room table.

Education in America gets further F***ed up

And by F***, I mean Foxx, as in North Carolina’s own Virginia Foxx. Foxx is perhaps best-known as the batshit crazy-like-a-fox representative who said that Matthew Shephard’s murder having been a hate crime was a hoax, and that the health care bill was more reason for fear than any terrorist threat.

Last January, Virginia Foxx said on the House floor:

Most of the things that have been done by the federal government which are unconstitutional have been done for good reasons. They’re not malevolent reasons, but they’re wrong. We should not be funding education, for example.

Well, Rep. Foxx is the new chairperson of the house subcommittee on higher-education.

She was the only committee member to vote against the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 that was signed by President George W. Bush.

She is also a huge supporter of for-profit colleges and thinks that recent student loan reform should be repealed.

Ah, there are so many things I could mention that are flat-out rotten about what the new GOP-led House plans. But Foxx is one of my favorite targets, since my f***ed state keeps sending her to Washington.