Saturday, June 12, 2010

Four Months In

It has been about four months since I got back stateside, and I'm well and fully acclimatized. No longer do I accidentally speak Korean to shopkeepers, I don't tense up for the inevitable shoulder check in crowds, and I remember what good coffee tastes like. I still can't deal with the wall of selection in the bread / cereal / shampoo aisle at the American Supermarket, but I really don't see how anyone can, given that particular plethora.

The biggest change, of course, is the long-distance relationship. It is quite manageable, as it turns out, thanks equally to Skype and email. Sara is back in town for a holiday (hooray!), and it is strange not having seen someone in person for that long (four months), and yet not having any new stories to tell, since we are in constant communication via the interwebs.

I'm moving forward with my plan to change careers from marketing/communications to mechanical engineering, and have enrolled at a community college to do lower-level prerequisites. As it turns out, to be a mechanical engineer, you must have an undergraduate degree in the field. This is too bad, since it'll take me four years to get. Some of my previous credits will transfer, but since I got a BS in Business, and not an actual science, I'm missing all the physics, chemistry, etc. that I need.

When I first got back, I thought that I'd support myself doing the freelance marketing/design stuff that I've always done, but since I'm trying to change careers, it has been hard to put my heart into it. This shouldn't come as a surprise, of course, since the whole reason I'm changing careers is that my heart isn't in marketing any more. Generally speaking, you can't get hired on at an engineering company until you start your third year of engineering school, but my current goal is to get involved with an engineering company now, in my first year. I still hope to be involved with alternative transportation / energy / fuel in the future, but at this point, I'll take what I can get. If anyone has any thoughts on how to get involved, let me know!

So, between Skype and school, where has that left me? I built a workshop in my house, putting down an interlocking foam floor to protect the silly bamboo flooring, and have been basing projects out of there. I'm fooling around with electronic engineering, thanks to the Arduino (open source hardware), working on my bicycles, and doing small home-improvement projects. My biggest hobby is bike polo, and I've gotten involved with the administrative side of things, helping to organize tournaments, manage press relations, etc.

Playing polo is still my biggest leisure-time activity, and by far what I have the most fun doing. The sport is getting really popular, so we are looking to expand / move to a different area where we can have more than one game going on at a time, and also have some lights so we can play into the night. I've taken lead on this process, but it is a long one, and there are a lot of passionate voices in the community about how to do it right.

Well, that's about it for now. It is the first beautiful day of the summer and I'm headed outside!