My contingent plan this summer was to take intermediate accounting 2 and a five week course in Environmental Site Assessment. The latter courses teaches you how to do site assessments. This is all the while using up the additional 47 weeks of unemployment to pursue my own interests. After all we are living in unprecedented times. When will I ever get 99 and 74 weeks of unemployment benefits? (no one in any generation living or deceased)
But now that I am working full time work pretty consumes my life. Except for a few days in North Carolina this summer has been pretty shitty. As my readers remember on the day I came back from North Carolina I stepped outside of work and almost started crying.
Tonight is the official start of the Summer II, a five week intensive session of classes. The class Environmental Site Assessment meets Tuesday/Thursday 6pm to 9:10pm till August 17th. The course teaches you how to perform a phase one environmental site assessment using topographic and Sanborn maps, aerial photography and municipal records. I only want to enroll in this course because one of my friends who loves being outdoors in California loves his job in site assessment. In the summer of 2002 a former geology professor of mine advertised several openings for students to stay on campus over the summer and work in fluvial geomorphology research (big words for study of river erosion) Of course I applied and was rejected. But luck would have it that none of the students accepted would do the job. So he offered it to me the only other student who applied. And also asked me to recommend anyone I knew who wanted it. I of course thought about my classmate in botany, and zoology. A few weeks before summer started I was forced to give up the internship because the associate deans of the college kicked my sorry ass out of school. (a story for another time) But for my friend whom I recommended, he said it was a life-changing experience. That summer he traveled to the rivers of New England with our professor. And when he came back he wrote an honors thesis on continuing research. I never got the chance to work with him again. The summer of 2004 I came back, there was no funding for his research.
When my friend left school he had multiple job offers doing environmental site assessments with several companies. The misconception is all this is dangerous for your health. You need an OSHA-HAZWOPER 40 hour certification that teaches you what to do in case you encounter hazardous waste. But this has never happened to my friend. He has an enjoyable job he’s loved since the day he left college and this fall he will be attending Tufts University (one of the nation’s top schools ) for water resource management. For someone who enjoys biking, hiking and just being out doors his job pays hourly, with overtime and leaves him time to brew beer, bike, and hike Alameda and downtown Berkeley.
Of course Daryl wanted to take this class but he neither made any effort to apply for graduate admission. Considering he had so much interest in this, his house if located near what used to be a site where they tested atomic bomb in the ending days of World War II. If the two jobs he enjoyed most were pizza delivery and teaching swim lessons, both because it involved not sitting in front of a computer and not wearing business clothes. It’s hard to think what could of been or what had been. I used to envy Daryl and now I pity him. Many people will complain about their lives and their careers and their girlfriend/boyfriend. But the sad part is 99% of them will do nothing about it. I of course will do something about it and fail miserably at it.
To add injury to insult my professor spoke such great things about this field of work. He said it put himself through his graduate school and doctoral program just working part time. For a long time the department was thinking about what courses they could offer that showed students there was actually real world applications of geology, geography and environmental studies. And this was one of them. He will also have speakers from the industry and has no problem with us asking for a job with them and encourages it. And although this class doesn’t let you use all the cool gadgets such as drilling monitoring wells, taking soil samples and driving around potentially hazardous waste. This course will be a prerequisite for that.
I hope Daryl or anyone else who hates their job is reading this. This is what I should of been doing this summer. To force myself to go back to work. Heck I have to work till at least I am 67 years which is (37 years from now). I can take another year off work while deciding what I really want to do with my life. Better to be unemployed at 30 than at 50 or 60.
UPDATE: After much contemplation I decided NOT to take this class because the chairman is not letting me take it at the graduate level. I don’t need anymore undergraduate course credit especially since this credit would go towards an environmental studies degree which I finished already (even though it was refused)