A life update

No, I haven’t abandoned my blog. I just have way too much on my plate.

I’m trying to get back into it, at the request of several dear friends. So I thought I would start with an update of where I am and what I’m up to.

Back to school

As you may know, I graduated last December with my master’s degree in history. After a frustrating and fruitless year of job hunting, I’m looking to other pastures than history or education. One of my first great loves and passions was computers. I’ve always enjoyed programming and developing, which are creative and artistic faculties for me, adventures in language and communication and problem-solving. I brushed up on a lot of my old skills in pursuit of my thesis, which involved statistics, demographics, data mining and databases. So for the past few months, I’ve been plugging myself in the IT sector — but with little or no results. As somebody with liberal arts degrees and no applicable work experience, in a supersaturated job market, I simply don’t have the credentials to even get in the door. Even though I do have a lot of useful skills and knowledge, on paper I look like a total noob.

So, I’ve decided to go back to school, again, for a second bachelor’s degree and possibly another master’s in computer science. I resisted this step for the longest time, but now I’m strangely excited. I’ll start in January, taking a full-time load, consisting of an unexpectedly mixed bag at first: in addition to a computer science course, a calculus course, a speech course (a requirement for computer scientists, since so many are lacking in that skill), a seminar in computing ethics (to encourage me to be a white hat and not a black hat), and a course in developmental psychology. The last is an education requirement: I thought that while I’m going back, I might as well see about taking care of another obstacle to my employability, my lack of state teaching credentials.

Kung fu masters

Kung fu masters (from Wikipedia).

You might recall that I was a computer science major for several years as an undergraduate, before I was a history major. What discouraged me from CS before was the requirement that I minor in mathematics. The math minor is no longer a requirement (as of this semester, I think), though there are still math prerequisites. That’s a welcome relief, but oddly, I’m even excited about the math. Mathematics, I’ve come to see as I’ve gotten older, is a beautiful and amazing intellectual pursuit, the manifestation of this ordered and rational universe God has given us. And I’m excited to be able to fill up my brain with yet another discipline, or three. Immersing myself in programming languages and algorithms and technologies again, I feel like a kung fu master, learning an arcane art to bend mind and body and media to my will.*

* I’m excited today to learn that kung fu or gōngfu (功夫), in its original meaning, refers to “any skill achieved through hard work and practice.” Perhaps I’ll be a kung fu master yet!

Juggling

Egyptians juggling

Ancient Egyptians juggling, apparently. (From Wikipedia.)

In the past few months I had been feeling rather discouraged and burned out anyway. It was not a good spiritual state to be in. But now I’m feeling reinvigorated and revivified. Ever-so-often (possibly too often), my interests and passions take radical shifts: I’ve often said that I have academic ADD. My bookshelves were already overburdened with Christian history and theology; I’m not sure they can handle the recent and rapid influx of bulky computer books. Lately, in addition to computing, I’ve also been drawn back to genealogy, video gaming, travel, food, cooking — if it weren’t all so distracting and overwhelming, I would say it was pretty nice. I’ve also been dating a very lovely lady named Kelly.

So I hope all of this begins to explain a little of why my blog posting has suffered of late. Oh, and I also have a new website, at which I’m presenting my résumé and computer stuff, and I’ve been working on revamping my old genealogy site with my newfound skillz (an updated incarnation of that to be unveiled soon). I still love this blog and feel a calling to teach here — I just can’t, to my chagrin, do everything at once. Time management and multitasking have never been my fortés.

As much to motivate myself as to inform you, here are some things I would like to write about here in the near future:

  • More thoughts on the “Hebrew Roots” movement, specifically, the fallacy of several major arguments I’ve been hearing from it lately, and its increasingly radical and apocalyptic tone.
  • As previously promised, a series on the Sacrament of Reconcilation or Confession, and eventually, the rest of the Sacraments.
  • More in the line of “Reading Church History as a Protestant,” thoughts on some major fallacies, including the “Trail of Blood” argument.
  • There were still a few topics I wanted to address on Baptism in Depth, specifically, the teachings of Jesus on Baptism in the Gospels, a focused look at Baptism in the Acts of the Apostles, and Peter’s teaching on Baptism in 1 Peter 3:18–22.
  • A post that I had half-baked at some point on the Catholic understanding of salvation, in line with the recent series on Grace and Justification, but hopefully dealing with it in more practical terms.

Please keep me in your prayers. I love you all, and my God bless you and grant you His peace!

3 thoughts on “A life update

  1. I’m glad to hear you’re excited about exploring mathematics. I was scared to death of math when I was in my early twenties, which is why I dismissed doing anything in the engineering field. I didn’t think I could survive the math and physics classes. And when I was in college first time round, I probably couldn’t have. I don’t think I had the maturity to sit for hours a trudge through the problems until I understood them. Then I started an engineering degree at age 32 and just thought, “Well, if I fall on my butt, at least I gave it shot.” To my delight I discovered an aptitude for it and really began to enjoy seeing and using math as a great tool to give interesting information about creation. A name you need to remember (if you don’t know it already) is Leonhard Euler (pronounced “oiler”). You won’t flip far into a math or physics or engineering text book before you see it. He is a king among mathematicians and physicists. As in, of all that have ever lived, most would agree that Euler is the authority. AND, he was a Christian and an apologist. In fact he almost went into the ministry. Go look him up. He’s a really interesting man, and someone I’ve pick out as a hero.

    God bless ya Joseph, have fun with this adventure.

    • Thanks so much, David. Yes, I was in the same boat, too immature and undisciplined to really apply myself to the hard-core math the first time I was in school. Now I’m getting excited about it again. I’ve heard of Euler, but I don’t know much about him — I will definitely look him up. God bless you too, brother.

  2. Pingback: The Church, Lost and Found: My First Concise, Complete Conversion Narrative | The Lonely Pilgrim

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