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Author: VirusHead

Visually

Visually

Having sat down to write a blog post, I have only managed to change out my blog template again and upload a bunch of rotating headers from my photo collection.  Try try again. Meanwhile, I actually like these.

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Thanks for the readers who have continued to read posts while I have been on a rest from it. ūüôā

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Preface to A New Start

Preface to A New Start

One day short of my 8th anniversary, I was laid off.  I find myself feeling relieved. There were seven good years, and after the stress of the last year or so, I am grateful for the chance to regroup and start again. It was past time for me to move on, and this works.

It has been almost a month, and my mojo is returning. I’m catching up on all the things that I didn’t have the energy or inclination to do over the last year. My hair and nails are getting healthier, and my dentist is making progress against the acceleration of gum disease. I am even getting poised to attack the¬†“my brand” tasks (very uncomfortable for someone like me).

I have not yet decided the exact direction to take going forward, but am inclined to try something different. I could start my own business. I could turn a heap of text with rather bad dialogue into a real comedy novel. I could move into a different industry, or try a different role. When I think back about what I loved best about working at my old company, it was really about meeting a wide range of people who were able to rally around some core values in order to achieve something. I would like to find that again, but perhaps in a completely different context.

This is just a kind of landmark post, but I intend to blog again soon, if only to get back into the habit of writing. It doesn’t flow the way it used to, and the solution for that is always the same: write more.

For now, just feeling grateful for the privileges:

  • a little wriggle room to refocus
  • a clear, clean conscience
  • decluttering the home office
  • sleeping in a little,¬†reading more, family time
  • “spring ahead Monday” at home!
  • the feeling of¬†anticipation toward what lies beyond this new turn in the path

Looking out

up up and onward

Sherlock Mentat Spock Fun – Calling for Quick Responses by 3 PM January 5th

Sherlock Mentat Spock Fun – Calling for Quick Responses by 3 PM January 5th

Thanks to everyone that participated! I meant to post the solution to the puzzle, and… as soon as it makes sense to me, I’ll do so. ūüôā /Heidi

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Be Sherlock, or Spock, or a mentat, and give this a try.  Deadline: 3 p.m. January 5th, 2016

My friends, I ask if you would please look at the image below, and send ANY theories, observations, notes, information gathered or puzzle answer guesses – with your name and birthyear, to¬†insultpuzzleanswers@gmail.com.¬†My young project manager at home has come up against the deadline for the science project without having implemented an effective communications plan. I am the official escalation point and have made a decision to allocate additional resources. My social media will be used, since he’s too young to have much of any.Puzzle of Insult and Injury

Trying to avoid the “cup of dirt” situation. ūüôā

 

Intersections

Intersections

Walking the narrow edges of fractal pathways requires an ethics of compassion, footsteps chosen or constructed with kindness and care.  Yet I am frustrated in all directions, still scenting the air for those elusive golden threads, the sweet spots of thriving that are at once so fragile and strong. I cannot help but believe in them, although I trip over them so seldom now.

I wonder how I can sometimes be so discouraged by contexts that show little tolerance of complexity and nuance; and yet so yearn to express provocative bluntness.

My intellectual hubby sent this comment to me today in a slightly different context, but it resonated with these deeper concerns of priority, discernment, focus, and compassion for myself as well as others. The uncharacteristic mushiness of it is tempered beautifully by the hint of menace at the end.

 Embrace the intersecting circles that connect in geometries of love and friendship; the vicious circles only connect random impulses with the ever possible insanity of thought. ~ John Johnston

Embrace the intersecting circles that connect in geometries of love and friendship; the vicious circles only connect random impulses with the ever possible insanity of thought. ~ John Johnston

Always returning again to Kierkegaard, trying to swim beyond resignation into courage.

Notes on the US Student Loan Crisis

Notes on the US Student Loan Crisis

This is just to capture some initial thoughts about a very complex problem.

I think it’s difficult for people to understand how much education costs now.¬†The situation has changed so very much over a generation that costs and priorities do deserve some analysis.¬†Our parents’ generation could earn enough over the summer job to pay for college, and no-one had to accrue substantial debt. Housing was much less exensive, too. Sometimes the loan is more for room and board than anything else, but who can really live on $10k a year anyway?

At the same time colleges are not paying adjuncts (who are more and more of the teaching resources, not full time professors) a living wage. There are fewer paths to a career in higher education.¬†College presidents and upper administrators can make millions, as do football coaches, but not the people who have actually earned their status as world experts in their fields.¬†There’s always enough money for the campus landscaping, but maybe not so much for the faculty.

The nation as a whole suffers in terms of our brain trust against the world stage, and some of our best and brightest are fleeing. Skills training is fine, but it is insufficient – even for business. Occasionally some higher levels of discernment – the kind that come from a well-rounded education – are needed.

The student loan program as it exists is without any consumer rights at all. What few forgiveness programs are in place count any forgiveness amount as taxable income. We’re at a point now where federal money in later life is impacted – loans can be taken out of social security first. If you’re not yet retired, you’d better be doing very well indeed to pay your loan and your children’s loans too (as is now required, at least in part).

The way the loans are designed, most of the payment is toward revolving interest (accrues daily) not principal. Hardly any of my payment goes toward the balance. 8 years paying, not much of a drop.

Currently national student loan debt exceeds even credit card debt. For many, there is no escape from it in a lifetime. At this point, most would need to send their children out of the country to get an advanced degree.

College only for the rich … all the gains for education since WWII¬†thrown away so, so easily.