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Run-Up to The Treehouse - The Chronicles of Jack [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Jack

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Run-Up to The Treehouse [Jun. 9th, 2009|12:10 am]
Jack
Read: Sabriel, Lirael, Dune Messiah, Bone 3.

Major life update, where to begin...

Been doing a lot of networking on facebook, and had the bright idea to talk to some of the summer schools down in Vancouver because I could start working there right when the high school year ended. However, every place I found had had their employment application deadlines just a week or so before I'd found their website; how frustrating. There was a start-up school built for general interest called Vanterra Education that I put some work into wooing. I made a few course syllabi as samples of what I could teach but after a the first few e-mails they just stopped contacting me.

I'm a Microsoft Certified Application Specialist in Word 2007, which is from an exam I took also solely for the inpressive sound of it. The book and practice took less than 15 hours because I've been using word processors for more than half of my life, but now I have a paper and title that says I'm good at it. Yay for me.

General Motors is officially in bankrupt status. No surprise there. Analysts on CNN Money have claimed that GM will come out of bankruptcy in 3-4 months. I am Jack's pragmatic doubt.

This semester has been kind to me for the most part in that its given me time to work on projects, even if a lot of them have seemed to be or turned out to be meaningless. Most of them have been focused on future employment as opposed to creative endeavors. Writing block results. I have an essay on modular education brewing inside, and just today I found some notes on possible stories as well. Also, there's a decent start to a campaign under the GURPS system and using worlds derived from Jeremy's multiverse idea, and its been sitting on my hard drive waiting to be played. I also wrote a letter defending the BC-STV system which failed when a massive flux of misinformed and poorly informed people voted No to the system after being undecided just days before the poll.

I got SMAC up and running and a lot of the basic player interactions done and programmed, but then lost interest because I was ultimately not doing that project for me. I should know better, but at least I learned some PHP. Taking those video lessons here was a great help. It also gave me an idea for a format for a summer project I'm working on called mathforgoats.com. I've already bought the domain name, and sometime soon I'll put a couple of pilot videos on there of math for interest lessons. The lessons were loosely based on what I'd prepared for Vanterra, so I'll be bringing that material to life without their help, so hah!

About a month ago, Jamie and I went to Vancouver to scout out for places; the plan was that I would look for a job there (I'd been networking since late January in order to secure position, but had no luck with the purely online approach) when I moved, and go to SFU and take computer science classes and tutor to fill any employment gap that was still there by September.

It turns out that a pre-olympic recession is one of the worst possible times to move to a major city. Either people don't understand what constitutes an apartment, or they just outright lie in the listings in order to gather more interest. We went to a couple of basement suites expecting apartments; one was just weird and the other seemed illegal for lack of its basic amenities like windows and electrical panels and such. All the places we looked at were between 900 and 1250 per month, if that gives you an idea of what people will charge down there right now.

A lot of places were run down and overpriced, or had some other major deal-breaking quirk and I'd not gotten a job there yet which a lot of potential landlords were leery about (no place without a job, no job without a place?). Also, when you're anything more than walking distance from the skytrains, the bus system is better than Kelowna but not phenomenally so. Also, the system was already straining 7-8 months before the olympics. I'd expected more with the major leftist policitical shift in the municipal level a while back, but they hadn't got around to that sort of infrastructure yet. I'm coloring it a lot it retrospect and unfair rationalization, but it was a disappointing trip.

We're not moving to Vancouver after all. It's too hard, and not worth it as long as we can visit regularly.

Then things got crazy busy.

A lot of the things I was going to Vancouver for, I tried to replace with things here. I think I managed to fill most of them.

I was planning to go to graduate school at SFU after studying computer science there part time for a while (16 months undergrad) and then starting an MSc in Computer Science with some statistical aspects. After the Vancouver trip, I talked to some people at UBCO and now I'm starting graduate level classes and Interdisciplinary Grad Student in Applied Statisitcs in September (0 months undergrad). So I could be finished grad classes and be working on my thesis by the time I would have started my MSc at SFU, assuming I'd have gotten in.

I was planning on meeting up and collaborating with a board game development group in Vancouver whom were some friends of a friend of mine and starting on some projects that would actually get off of the ground. Two weeks after I got back I found Cosmic Logic on Facebook and have been talking with them since. They do video games and already have some major projects that I can be a part of.

I was planning on doing some work as a summer school teacher or something else in education that didn't require me to have a BEd, such jobs are sparse and possible sketchy and downright impossible to get without speaking fluent Punjabi or Korean in Vancouver. This makes 17 months of looking around for employment that used a BSc, but didn't need anything higher, so far the offers have been Westside Tutor, Kelowna Auction World, and a whole lot of not-quites, mostly coming from the financial sector before the meltdown. I'm sick to death of the skill gap and that's why I'm going back.

The summer school work is being replaced with Math For Goats, which I think has a solid business model and won't cost much to start up.

Finally, I was planning to live with just Jamie. That's been accomplished by our move in the last two weeks all the way across the street from our old place. This new place is about the size of our old place with better amenities and one less person to crowd the place up.

This is the Treehouse that I've been running up to. You see, we're on the third floor, and we have two huge windows and a little balcony that open out a wall of leaves. Also, the creek is right below us so we can eat breakfast and watch the ducks. I was tempted to toss a bit of egg from my nomlette down to a duck, but something about cannibalism stopped me. Yesterday we even saw a beaver hanging around in the creek being the slow lazy muncher that large herbivore rodents can afford to be.

It's a pretty awesome place, and I'm looking forward to spending a lot more time in it.

So yeah, here's the TL:DR. Not moving to Vancouver, starting grad school in Kelowna, made a lot of good connections, awesome new place.
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