Sunday, September 18, 2011

Personal Learning Goals (revised)

Yeah, I'm over school.

I don't think I've learned anything that can help someone directly. I have learned things that allow me to be useful within a framework established by Someone Else. Things that help organizations impress funders and clarify what they're doing. Things to write on bureaucratic forms and things to say to people in interviews so they think I'm smart.

I have learned a little bit more about clear thinking and getting to the point. I like matrices and logic models. I have learned excel and how to make pretty presentations.

What's next?

I don't want to be a bureaucrat. Nor a therapist. Nor an administrator in another organization achieving modest results on rich people's paychecks or state whims.

I have a clear sense of what I think is right. I have a clear sense of what I think is smart.

- create sustainable wealth; do not create waste
- add or maintain energy, beauty, and harmony
- treat others with respect; act with honor
- be motivated by fear and selfishness to the least possible degree

- don't put all my eggs in one basket
- develop myself holistically
- honor the trades as well as the arts
- stay fluent in the most recent social and technological innovations, but do not be easily enchanted
- increase my powers of will and self-discipline
- stay physically fit, mentally clear, and spiritually attuned

In this context, I am weighing options for what comes next. On the radar:

1) Get a social work or admin job that doesn't take all my time and energy; use my free time wisely to develop my self and my hobbies for personal growth and satisfaction.
2) Same as above, but develop another professional skill -- such as programming or web design -- that is virtual, can be practiced anywhere, and which I can learn on my own.
3) Embrace risk -- learn farming, machining, programming, whatever; move wherever to do it; go whole hog for the social experiment.
4) Get a job doing something I kind of really like the idea of in Seattle. Discipline myself to perform it to the best of my ability. Build insitutional importance and power for an idea or practice.

Skill areas and practices I have that I am most interested in continuing:

- tai chi and bicycling/running
- gardening and small livestock
- building with wood
- writing; presentation
- data organization

Skill areas and practices that I would like to learn or cultivate:

- working out with weights for upper body strength
- meditation
- car maintenance and repair
- bicycle maintenance and repair
- welding and fabrication; machining
- web site design
- databases
- basic electronics/programming/arduino
- gun use; hunting
- martial arts

In addition, I would like to turn one of these into a money-maker that (a) I enjoy, (b) makes a lot of money without being a regular 9-5, (c) is transportable or virtual, (d) I can learn relatively quickly, and (e) is at least morally neutral, preferrably morally ahead of the curve. I would like it to score well on all the criteria of Right and Smart.

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