Back in February 2010, I realized that I didn't want to do chemistry or math for a living. That was my first senior year of undergrad, and the realization didn't come with a package of "what I want to do instead".

I don't normally get clear telegraphs from my (Meyers-Briggs) Feeling function, but over the last six months or so I've been sidling up to the idea that maybe I want to farm. Not just hobby-farming, but as a primary source of income. (And then I think, isn't that a job reserved for other, more special people than I? This is clearly bullshit when taken at face value, but also an indicator that I might've struck gold. After all, I wouldn't think such things about work I didn't value.)

I've also been hesitant to say anything to most of you readers, because the perception of farming among Americans is that it's as glamorous as shoveling manure, and often doesn't pay beans on top of that. With a good business plan, appropriate insurance, and the advice of people who're more experienced at it than I, I expect to be able to avoid the debt slavery* that plagues the profession. Can't do much about the manure-shoveling part, though. Animals are where the profit margin is.

And then about two weeks ago, with the stress of trying to find an apartment weighing on me heavily, I got one of those rare crystal-clear imperatives from myself. It can be roughly put into words as "Go farm. As soon as possible. You will forever regret not trying." And that last sentence I know to be true.

I'm not planning to abandon undergrad; I'm staying with [ profile] zeighyfiv, which means staying in the greater Boston area for some years yet. (Also, I may need a day job someday.) But it does inform what direction I ought to be taking.

Here goes nothing?

* There's a joke among farmers in the U.S.: "What would you do if you won the lottery?", "Oh, probably keep farming until the money ran out."
403: Fractal of nested rainbow curves. (Edges)
( Apr. 23rd, 2010 08:42 am)
The truth is that man needs work even more than he needs a wage. Those who seek the welfare of the workers should be less anxious to obtain good pay, good holidays and good pensions for them than good work, which is the first of their goods. For the object of work is not so much to make objects as to make men. A man makes himself by making something useful.
— Mahatma Gandhi

This, too, is another piece of the puzzle of what I want to do with my life. I'm not sure where it goes yet.

[ETA: Note to self: The jobs you hated while you had them were the ones where you were being paid mostly to wait for something to happen. Do not forget this.]
403: Listen to the song of the paper cranes... (Cranesong)
( Feb. 6th, 2010 05:14 pm)
I like working with big, messy systems with lots of variables. From where I stand now, that's the most prominent thread connecting what I've enjoyed about studying STEM fields.

It makes me wonder whether I wouldn't be better off in a field that's generally acknowledged to be difficult to handle with reductionistic methods. (Classic example being the life sciences - if you take a creature apart to try to figure out how it works, it very quickly stops working.)
I've come to the realization that both my major and minor are in subject areas that I don't want to pursue for a living. All of my classes this semester are in either my major or minor field of study. So what do I do for the rest of this semester?


403: Listen to the song of the paper cranes... (Default)


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