Hello World is a bit of a cliche but I’m in a hurry

2:08pm @JVG (Joe Van Gogh), Durham: I just wrote in my private blog:

Ridiculous that I don’t blog about Iron Yard, either in here, [long-time public blog that uses a long-time pseudonym], or the soon-to-be-created Bull City Dave blog. No time to write about it. It may be the best decision I’ve ever made. I do want to be a developer. I’ve been obsessed with it. It requires an immense amount of dedication, and I’m up for it.

And then I stopped and figured it was time to start bullcitydave.com. So here it is. You’ll have to forgive me for any lack of clarity. I’ve been journaling/blogging for years, and I tend to write extemporaneously. And I tend to offer this caveat often, lest people think I lack the ability to write coherently.

I do have quite a bit of adrenaline pumping through me right now, as I have since Monday morning when I arrived at ATC (American Tobacco Campus) in Durham for the first day of The Iron Yard’s three-month front-end engineering boot camp. My brain has been in another place for the past six days. But I don’t know where your brain used to be, Dave. Right. No time to introduce myself. In time. Maybe some of my thousands of existing blog posts from my other blog will wind up being posted retroactively in here. Is that a good idea? I’m not sure; I’ve been mulling over exactly how to go about this identity reboot for the last several weeks.

I can’t think of much else other than working on my Iron Yard homework, though it’s not about the homework as much as it is about wanting to build expertise as quickly as possible. I tell people that I’m “starting over”, but I have been working in IT for a lot of years and have a great deal of experience, even if it often seems irrelevant to me. I’m not being fair to myself to label it “starting over”. Or “rebooting”. There’s a great analogy out there, and I’ll share it later when I come up with it.

In the meantime, my intended purpose in being here at JVG was to focus on preparing for my grad school class final. Grad school, yeah. That in itself is a topic I severely neglected in my “old” blog. (I still don’t know if that’s now my old blog or just a more personal blog I’ll continue to maintain.) Very briefly… Having been in a career crisis for quite awhile, I decided at the end of 2013 that I’d move forward with a plan I had procrastinated about for awhile, to start an online grad program I had been accepted to a year-and-a-half earlier. Wow, I have no time for this backstory.

In any event, and many people who know me may not know this, I left my job a few weeks ago with the expressed purpose of pursuing the graduate degree full-time. However, I had just learned about The Iron Yard, and, quite suddenly, it dawned on me that if I considered what I really wanted to be doing with my career was something I had already been informally and naively doing for nearly 20 years–web development. So…here I am.

Much more to come. More than you’ll care to read. And I’m certain that I’ll be writing about much more than web development, which some may considered an ill-advised career move, but authenticity is important to me. So, here we go…

2:35pm So I’ve moved swiftly in the past hour to get on wordpress.com and grab the domain. (I’ve managed my domain on my own before, but I have no time to set that up right now.) And I’ve just taken a dive into this blog. But I’ve got to pick a theme, even if I’m sure I’ll customize it later. (Much of my web development over the past seven or eight years has consisted of playing around with WordPress themes.) So what shall I begin with?

On second thought, I don’t have the time to pick a theme right now. I’ll want to customize it from the get-go, and, like I said, my brain should briefly revert back to grad-school mode, because I’ve got this final exam to prep for.

Oh, another caveat…I think I spell and form grammatically correct sentences pretty well, for the most part…but my brain has these misfires that sometimes produce something that is inaccurate, even though it knows better. Seriously, I could’ve just typed “nose better”. If I’m writing something that it is not meant to be extemporaneous, I proofread carefully. I’m just throwing that out there. If I quickly typed, “out their”, it would just be one of those neural misfires. I suppose I could get in the habit of proofread even these extemporaneous posts, but then I’d second-guess my writing, and it’s no longer extemporaneous.

Grad School

I just sent in an application for grad school. I’ve been contemplating this for about four months. I haven’t posted about it, because I didn’t let very many people know. I wasn’t sure if I would do it, all the way up until quite recently.

I have considered several different areas of study over the past, I’d say, one to three years. No, I’d say I’ve considered several different areas of study for the past 12 years, since failed attempts at going to grad school for psychology. There are so many reasons why I haven’t applied to anything until now, and I won’t go into them.

As far as this last chapter of grad school planning, I initially developed a strong interest in a local program. It would have been essentially full-time, though, somehow people tend to find time to work full-time as well. I wasn’t sure what I’d do. I ultimately decided the program wasn’t for me. Maybe I thought it wasn’t for me because I wasn’t sure that I’d get in. I spent most of December and January figuring I’d apply, and the idea faded away. I don’t know if that was the right decision, but that opportunity is off the table now.

Then I considered an online program through a very good university that isn’t based around here. This would be a part-time program, which I convinced myself made more sense than a full-time program. Still an online program, the very notion of it, gave me pause. I countered to myself that online programs are extremely common now, and despite some definite advantages of the physical campus, online degrees are simply practical. I had done the research on the university. It would be a quality degree.

I rushed to sign up for the GRE and spent much of January studying for it. Actually, I had spent a good part of December studying for the GMAT. I actually wasn’t planning to go for an MBA, but the GMAT actually made more sense for what I was planning to apply for at the time. Come January, the GRE made more sense. And so I took the GRE at the end of January, and I did fairly well. I was a bit disappointed to not have done better on the Qualitative portion, but I think it was good enough.

I rushed with the GRE becaue I had a mid-February deadline for this online program. Then, the first week of February, I was presented with a potential opportunity at my job, something that completely threw me for a loop, enough so to give me pause about grad school.

And I did pause. And pause and pause some more. February wrapped up without an application. My main hesitation to really that I didn’t want to ask people for recommendations if I wasn’t going to follow through an actually apply…or follow through if I were accepted somewhere. This probably wasn’t the best reason to procrastinate. In reality, even if I took on a new job role at work that gave me something completely different to do, a part-time degree can take at least three years to complete, and I probably would want something else to do in three years anyway.

So, enter the month of March. The new job role possibility seemed to be hitting roadblocks. There was still another deadline of mid-May for a later start date for this program.

However, all along, I had in mind a different online program, also through a quality university. And that’s the one I decided I’d apply to. The past few weeks, my mind has been focused on the application for this program. The application is due tomorrow, either midnight tomorrow or midnight in a half-hour tonight. You’d think I would’ve asked for clarification on that. I did not. So I’ve submitted my application. The deed is done.

I’ll find out if I’ve been accepted in about a month. If I’m accepted, I’d start very quickly, in mid-June.

This isn’t the traditional type of grad program that most people consider when they think of grad school. I’ve had to get over that, or at least try to. As much as grad students complain about grad school and warn others against it, I still have always had a romanticized view of “going to grad school”. I know way too many people who went on to advanced degree, and I’ve always had advanced-degree-envy. But I’m not “going to grad school”. This is not so much an academic pursuit as it is a professional one. I’m not going for a degree in something that is completely removed from what I already do. I’m going for something that will allow me to get out of that thing I’ve been doing for 15 years, that everyone I know knows I can’t stand.

So…WHAT EXACTLY AM I APPLYING FOR?

I don’t want to say here, because, if I get into this program, I won’t want anyone associated with the program to easily uncover this site. So I’m happy to tell you privately.

And that’s that for now.