The End of An Era

IMG_3573 BOOM - Graduate School is done.

Hello, dear readers.

The end of my graduate experience finally arrived on May 7th, 2015.  Like so many landmark dates in my time on Earth, the build-up to that moment was epic and unfathomable.  The biggest hurdle, the thing that hauntingly loomed ahead of me for the past year, was the defense of my Graduate Research Project ("Non-Invasive Digital Excavation and Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of Human Paleontological Remains"), which came and went so quickly that I scarcely remember it.  White noise and a "Missing Reel" image are my only memories of the event itself.  But all is said and done now, and the fallout has finally settled...

Since graduation, my time has been filled with the rigors, trials, and tribulations associated with that age old question: "What's next?"  In the time immediately after graduation, I have been lucky enough to become involved in a project at the National Museum of Health + Medicine Chicago teaching students how to code, of all things!  The last three months have been CRAMMED with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jquery, mobile app development, and website creation.  It has been a thrill to stride through this previously unexplored territory, to say the least.  And, at the same time, looking for a more permanent job (dare I say career?), a new place to live, and trying to keep my level of sanity in check.  The comedown from the past two years of back-to-back projects still results in sudden bursts of panic, thinking that I've missed a due date for this or that, but that is, thank ODIN, starting to subside. Yet still lingering in the front of my mind is that same question of what the unknowable future will hold.

Since March I have been diligently applying for any and all job opportunities that looked like they might be fun and relevant to my newly acquired degree.  However, the hellish landscape of the Job Hunt always comes with fever dreams and soul-crushing emptiness, regardless of your skill set or the opportunity you are pursuing.  I couldn't count the number of times I reached out to companies of interest to introduce myself if you held a ray gun to my temple!  On numerous occasions I applied for completely outlandish positions, just to see if anyone would bite.  I interviewed with nut jobs and con men alike; parties who had no idea what Biomedical Visualization was and others who knew, but wanted to harvest my hard-earned skills on the cheap. HELL NO, I say!  Gone are the days where I will take a pay cut because someone has a "really good opportunity" for someone with my skill set.  If a good opportunity that requires your skills presents itself, you should be compensated accordingly, by God!

Just when things were looking especially grim, one of those previously mentioned "outlandish positions" did, in fact, bite.  If I could go back in time and tell my five-to-ten-year-younger self "DUDE, keep your head up!  Cuz in a few years you'll be making PROSTHETICS in EUROPE!" ...I'm pretty sure my head would have caved in, right then and there. or a rift in time would have likely opened up on the spot as soon as future/present me opened my mouth to tell past me about the future (a big no no).

But here I am, about to embark on an insane journey to a foreign land to make people new faces for money.  What a strange world to live in.

Also, effective immediately, the focus of this blog will shift from chronicling my experiences as a graduate student in Biomedical Visualization, to chronicling my experiences as an ANAPLASTOLOGIST in EUROPE!! Whoooooooooaoaaaaaaaaa!!!!

Plus à venir!