2/2/2011 Groundhog Day

Hello all, long time, no post from me…

Been on a bit of a blog vacation for a few reasons…

First the obligatory weather update…  Yes, friends in the East and Midwest, I am making rude and obscene gestures all while thinking “Na Na…  I am so glad we came out here!”   Weather has been cool, but certainly not Midwest winter.  We have not had much rain as of late, and the last couple days while a bit windy, have been very clear.  Nice views of Mt. Hood.  With that said, a picture from Derek’s Parents Farm in Thomson, IL…

snowzilla 011 013.jpg Yeah, glad I’m not there.  The word from the trucking company has been they are all but shut down today too.  Sadly, there is part of me that misses the adventure and challenge that came after a good blizzard, but honestly, the pictures do quite nicely to satisfy that thought!  On the other side, today is 2/2, and Phil says only 2 weeks left of winter!  Yeah ok, I don’t believe him either…

Ok–  as Derek so kindly hinted, I have some news.  First being I am no longer employed with Tom Donahue Trucking, Inc.  I haven’t said much here in the blog, but most of you know it has been a very challenging year for me going back to help Tom out.  We accomplished a lot, and met the goals we set out too.  Unfortunately, part of that type of business is being very hands on, and very much involved, coupled with my slightly OCD personality, once I am involved, I require constant involvement.   Tom and I had to make a decision on the right role for me in the company, and at this time we both agreed it was best for me to step back.  That being said, things have ended amicably, and I will continue to maintain the relationship I have developed with Tom, and the many other contacts that have resulted from my work with him.  Honestly, it comes down to the fact we really have no desire to maintain permanency in Milwaukee, and I have no desire to continue my career in trucking/transportation.

What happens next?  Well, Derek and I have made the decision that since he has a bit more secure position now, that I will return to school.  I have been researching the best options for me, and have come to the conclusion that a program offered by ITT — Technical Institute will offer me the most success.  I will be returning to finish my Bachelor’s Degree from their school of Information Technology, the major will be in Project Management.  I choose this program because I believe it will be a very good “Meld” of my current skills and some new ones, allowing me to expand into the IT world.  Derek says that my goal is just to make poor programer’s cry when they see me.

I will be starting classes soon, and will be returning to school full-time.  Yes, I have read all the negatives about ITT, and looked at several other schools that do similar programs, as well as a few public schools.  ITT seriously is geared towards people in my situation, and while they might not be the cheapest route, they might not have a huge fancy campus, they certainly make themselves the path of least resistance.  I do hope the education is what I am paying for, and as Derek reminds me constantly “you will get out of it what you put into it”…  If we must leave here, there is the most transfer opportunity with ITT, and also the possibility of converting to a 100% on-line program.  I really do not wish to go that route but it is an option.  I do feel the networking gained is probably worth more than the degree itself, and going to a real campus will make that possible.  My goals for the next two and a half years will be simply to keep my grades as high as possible and find the funding needed to not incur $60k worth of debt.  That has brought on my most current project of Scholarship Hunting, and have been filling out scholarship forms for the past 3 days.

There will be some huge sacrifices with this new plan, one being we will need to tighten the belt some here.  Derek’s full-time position did come with full-benefits, but at a cost of some salary, and the loss of mine will end to our recent addiction to the newest and greatest tech toys, but I think it will be well worth it.  This plan also puts a bit of a monkey wrench into the idea of traveling much.  Hopefully we can use some of his vacation time for several long weekends, and break periods, but I am afraid long trips across the country will be out, we will be stuck here in Portland, OR for a while.  That isn’t all bad though.  So far we really like Portland.  It is extremely diverse, and a very beautiful city.  It offers everything we like, and not too much of the negatives we have found across the country.  The one thing that really sticks out about Portland is that people just don’t seem to be bothered with much more than things that really matter to them.  They are really focused on what goes on locally, and supporting their communities.  Being gay here is very much a non-issue.  Honestly, so far this is one place I think if we were going to settle down, we could choose.  That being said, I am not sure either of us want to “Settle” just yet, but so far this place is on the top of our list for when we do.  This summer we hope to develop a bit more of a network here, and hopefully meet some people camping or locals here in town.

Ok, so that’s all I have.  Those of you who have been avoiding me because I have been working non-stop can call now, and anyone with Scholarship or Grant leads, please post them in the comments! I am off to fill out more forms!  Have a great day.

John

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