Sunday, January 13, 2013

A sabbatical of sorts from social media?

Back to "real" work am I. Sorta. Grad school was out there for me, and I jumped in. Thanks Uncle Sugar! My GI Bill eligibility was surely earned, and yet it's a gift I appreciate. I can't believe how expensive tuition has become. I suppose all the nice new buildings and technology explain some of the numbers. However, how regular folks can afford to attend, or send their kids, is a mystery to me. Then again, I do see some fancy little cars or tricked out trucks about town. There are stylish clothes and such too on many of the kids I see up on campus.

While I surely love (most of the time) school, I'd looked high and how for mere meaningful work. However, what was out there was often wage slave stuff that seemed hardly fun or beneficial for pretty much anyone involved. Many of the better jobs were rather competitive and/or far, far away. I've had a few interviews lately for positions I'd likely like, but I'd decided back in the summer that if nothing opened up then I'd saddle up. I'll continue to look for the right work I suppose, but school in going to be my main focus. If those interviews pan out, I'll have to make a decision on taking them or staying in school on a full-time basis.

Right now, I'm doing a joint program toward an Ed.S. in Adult Education and another Masters out of the Rural Sociology program, an interdepartmental effort. I'm at Auburn University, of course, and I surely do love how short a drive I have in. And so far, I like the new Tiger Transit system where we park on the far fringes and then catch a shuttle bus into the heart of campus. I'm taking a scary Stats course that, after taking my last math classes - all low level ones - nearly three decades ago, has me pretty terrified. Still, it's an area in which I know I'm weak. So I need it. It's going to be a slog in that class especially, and I imagine I'll work pretty hard in the balance of the others.

I've also taken a position with the local Democratic club. And I'm trying to get in better shape, despite my little injuries. The bride is buying another house for an investment and/or to stash her young adult daughter and some of her roomies. It's time to get the garden ready, and some other work around the manse needs attention too. There will be some time costs in all of those areas beyond merely getting back in the academic world.

Thus, I'll be scarce on, perhaps totally absent from at times, social media. I'll try to keep up with the news and politics, but I'm going to rarely post, tweet, comment, ... at the pace I've held for some time now. It's going to be a tough withdrawal, but it's likely best to accept my limitations, at least until I see how tight time is.

Thanks to all who've engaged with me, and even those who've tolerated me. I've learned from the process and it's filled up some slow periods when there wasn't much else to do. In Alabama especially, what I've learned about how power and media often works troubles me. It's not that I didn't know squat before, but realizing how often there's much more to what appears in our papers and on our news stations has been an eye opener. I imagine there will be plenty of times I'll want to jump in and cry foul on some stuff. But, I'm going to generally keep my powder dry. People that I really know will be able to get in touch with me, and I'll try to keep up to speed on the most critical areas.

On the image I shared, I do like the WPA and the New Deal period. There's something to the idea of doing simply for doing's sake. Yes, it does make people feel better just to be busy and build. I used social media in part to do my little part as to the discourse. I am finding new, and likely better, ways to be involved. Social media is part of our life in today's world, but it's going to be less so in mine.

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