February 5th, 2006


e-mail to Greg: yo!

Hi Greg! Long time no see! Are you still having fun in the Burke Building?

I was looking at your website a bit tonight, and now I am no longer surprised that you knew ArcGIS like the back of your hand. I had no idea that you'd gone and worked at ESRI. I'd tell you that you're so modest that you should be proud, but that wouldn't make any sense.

I'm considering applying for the Cartography - Digital Mapping program at the NSCC Annapolis Campus. I'm not 100% sure it would be a good move for me, but I have a pretty good feeling about it. I've always liked maps and what goes into making them, and I did quite enjoy the GIS class I took at SMU - the thing that killed me was Illustrator. Adobe and I have some issues we need to work out, but I could get past them with practise. I also see that the program I'm looking at requires the lease of a computer, so I would finally be able to get some unmetered time and play around in the comfort of my own dwelling. For instance, I could make maps of my planned conquest- I mean, I could have extra time to work on my projects and get more done than I could otherwise.

Based on what you know about me, do you think I could fit into a program like this? One thing is that I've matured a bit and don't give teachers quite as hard a time as I used to, though I still can't resist a good joke. I'm also a little bit superficial in terms of what I like and what I'd ordinarily be willing to work on - however, I have surprised myself before, in statistics in high school and computer science at SMU (I was even tutoring people early on). At present I lack certain key skills, such as French and advanced mathematics. I also enjoy creativity - would this be a drawback or an asset in this field?

I also don't intend to go back to university under almost any circumstances. It's far too expensive for me. But I guess someone might tell me that I need to understand the coreolis force or basic meteorological concepts, and then I might be in trouble. I almost ended up going for a BFA in Film at NSCAD, but now I realize I was just putting off the inevitable. I'm not all that passionate about film, anyway. I enjoy the creative side of it, but in the end I just wanted it as a shortcut to fame and fortune (as if!). I still want to pursue acting and writing, and I hope to get into community theatre this summer in Halifax and write along the way.

Maybe I should just go find a career counsellor! What I think I really want to do is teach elementary school or do some more ESL overseas - I love teaching, but I'm not quite ready to take that step here. Plus if I go overseas, I need to have marketable skills for when I return. I feel that this program could potentially lead me into unexpected areas - jobs that require graphic design skills, or maybe even planning work. Most of all, I want to interact with people. I really, really need people in order to thrive - did you find plenty of opportunities to hone your people skills (I grant you that they were always pretty darn good to begin with!)?

And finally, I thank you for being such a patient ear for me over all these years. I've always felt comfortable coming to you with all manner of harebrained and half-baked ideas, and you've always replied with all the rationality in your capacity. I'm sure you might think your wisdom (and the way in which you share it with others) can be a curse in a case like this =) and so I appreciate your willingness to take any time you have to discuss these things with me.

Thanks, Greg! Hey, if you ever want to go for lunch or something, just buzz my cell phone at 877-WILL. I'll be in Halifax for much of this late winter, spring and summer, I believe. Pass Dr. Bob and the cronies my regards. =)

With gratitude,
~ Will
long beard

The Meaning of Life

Wow. I finally got down to the B's tonight. We watched Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. I don't know what all the fuss was about - some of it felt like it was absurd just for the sake of being absurd. There were a few good sequences, though, and the production values were good compared to other examples of the genre. I really enjoyed the opening piece and the catholic-spoofing bits, but sequences like "Where's the fish?" just left me scratching my head. Equally pointless was the capital punishment sequence, in which the punishee is run off a cliff by topless girls. It was my favorite part of the movie (as I deemed when the credits rolled), but for all the wrong (or right) reasons.

But maybe this is one of those films that grows on you. I feel like I want to watch it again, even though at first I was questioning the humour. I grant that it wasn't quite what I expected after hearing "Monty Python this," and "Monty Python that" for so many years.

You know, the clocks and cake sequence was pretty good, too. I could get addicted to this. I guess it's like coffee; it usually doesn't taste that great, but once you start drinking it...

Catherine's finishing up an opera recital series tomorrow, so I'll run back into town and catch the last show. In that case, I'd better get to sleep, but first...