Mars Life


I'm always an excellent student. This week I've been in class for advanced SQL programming, and I'm doing smashingly, as I should have expected. My only question usually is whether or not I'll be able to apply the learning to the actual practices and procedures. In analytical work like my current paying position, I'm not entirely worried, I'll be able to query the database more powerfully when I leave this class, there's no doubt in my mind about that. It does provide me with a scary analogy to my current "5 to 9" ambitions.

It's something that's been rattling around in my head recently, as I'm trucking along at the Illinois Institute of Arts. It's fairly easy to get caught up in the day to day, quarter to quarter, and now, year to year (yup, I've almost been at school there for a year) activities of school, having found a balance between it and work, and lose sight of the world beyond those walls. I'm grooming myself for a career in animation, but is school a goal in and of itself, or a means to an end?

Well obviously, its a means to an end, namely satisfaction in career placement, but I don't think I ever viewed it like that previously. That's why I'm glad I'm in school now that I've matured. I take it at my own pace, and I treat it very importantly, and I create quality work, comparitively to my peers.

Those are really just means to the end of finishing school. I can't really lose sight of what comes afterwards. I really haven't, though. I've always known that some day down the line, I'll need to take a gigantic pay cut, due to the fact that the profession I'm moving into just doesn't pay as much as the profession I'm in now. In addition to that, I'm sure there'll be some climbing associated with it in the early years, as well. On top of that, there'll probably be an unpaid internship to kick things all off, so I'm basically looking at a point down the road where I'll be making nowhere near as much as I do currently.

That much I've just sort of assumed. What I've tossed around for a while, though, (being in this current situation as many others who work day jobs they are unsatisfied with are in) is whether it would be better to go through that period now, or whether I should wait until I'm actually completed with my education. It's a really hard question to answer.

Basically it amounts to two scenarios (and ironically enough, other work/school people I've spoken with have this same "Sophie's Choice" to deal with). First, I could truck along, finish school, which would probably take me another three years at the pace I have to take if I'm working 40 hours a week, and then make the big downgrade to a creative position. The downfall to this side of the coin is that by that time, I could have a kid, a house, and who knows what other financial obligations. I hate to be negative about such things that are usually considered advancements of one's life, but they could seriously impact me in that way in the future. The other scenario would be to quit my current job, become a full time student, and finish school faster so I could get into the creative position quicker. The downside to this scenario is glaring. Finances who knows what it would be like to live off of student loans/grants, if it would be even possible, how it would work out with internships, part time work, and so forth.

I donm't see this decision being made soon, as the first and foremost focus in my life currently has to be my marriage to Kerri. And regardless of the time I dedicate to each of my obligations, it truly is the next big step, and I don't plan on changing any of the delicate balances in my life until we've finally joined forever.


Almost 4 whole days of non smoking. More to come.


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