Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

Updates and Academia

I received the paperwork making me the “responsible person” for my father’s estate this week. I closed his main bank account today (a process that took four bank employees and more than half an hour). I’ll be doing others during the next week. I’m probably going to Wyoming the week of February 13 through that weekend. I have someone who is very interested in the storefront/apartment that my dad owned in a town with 900 people. If I can get that sold, I need to do so. This is also where he was living up until he got ill and moved to Denver. All of his personal items that we never found (like photo albums) should be in the apartment at the back of this storefront. I need to spend a week going through things and trying to sort junk from gems. My dad was a packrat. R and I will probably not be attending the Shambhala Level 2 meditation training this weekend.

I’m still trying to get caught up in school. Work has been rather busy and I’ve felt like I’m running ragged a bit. Not spending Friday night, all day Saturday, and all day Sunday at training will give me some time to try to get further caught up in school.

My first paper for my class on Greek Thought and the Polis is due this week. I have a final draft finished as of this evening. I’ll probably send it in tomorrow night by e-mail and follow it with a print copy to be returned to me. A week from this Friday, a longer paper in my independent study in Western Esotericism is due.

I’ve had some communication difficulties with my professor for the independent study. This isn’t good since he’s also volunteered to be my thesis advisor. It amounts to a difficulty in reliable round trips for e-mail between us. Since I want us to have a fruitful relationship and there was no sense in worrying about why things have wound up being difficult, I sent him an e-mail last week asking what we could do to amend this since I do want us to work well together. I offered to use his availability by phone during his weekly office hours to call him (which I haven’t done because it is a two hour block in the morning on two days of the week and I hate the phone). He agreed that this is a good idea and we actually had a good chat on the phone today.

Dr. R, as I will call him, really wants me to put together an article for one of the professional magazines focusing on Western Esotericism and some related topics. He is going to forward me the information on the one he’s thinking of because he just received the information, himself. A professional acquaintance (I gather) is involved in it and really wants Dr. R to write for them as well on one of his areas of expertise in religion in late antiquity. Dr. R wants me to have a few things for my curriculum vitae even before I finish my thesis and an article would go towards that end if it is published. He’s also trying to encourage me to go for my doctorate once I finish my MA.

I’ve thought about that before but I’m not sure if it is really a career path that I want. I’m 34 right now. By the time my thesis is turned in and I’m awarded my master’s degree, I’ll probably be nearly 36 (the summer after this next). Do I want to become a doctoral student in the Humanities at age 36 or 37? That would mean I’d probably get my PhD around the time I’m 41 or so. In the meantime, I’d have to leave a career that pays rather well, live on a lot less for the period of my doctoral work (assuming I can find a job while I’m doing it), and then try to find a professorship in the Humanities, which would probably pay, at best, 70% of what I make now…

On the other hand, getting a PhD is something I had once planned to do when I was younger and I got sidetracked into the “real” world, getting married and having a kid, and generally going down that route.

We’ll see.