When I last checked in I mentioned exploring graduate school as a means to exploring – and maybe addressing – energy challenges in developing countries. It seemed like a potential next step as I continue down this path of trying to find a higher and better use of my aptitudes. As I walked out the door of my IT job two years ago, I had no inkling of what that might be. I have more of an inkling now but remain far from decided. However, I have advanced the graduate school application process and am currently exploring international relations programs across the country. I am doing the requisite work for personal statements and essays, and am preparing to take the GRE toward the end of the year.
In my essays, I mention Robert Frost and his famous “a path diverged in a wood” line. Whether or not I’ve taken the path less traveled is debatable. However, risking security for an uncertain adventure feels like a significant moment of divergence, and graduate school feels like it would be another. To me, it signals a commitment to something, more of a long haul type of investment than a bachelor’s degree. In previous decades an undergraduate degree was a sign of a long-term commitment to a field. As the world has progressed, that has changed. Second and third careers – completely unrelated to an undergraduate field – are becoming more the rule than the exception. Hence the gravity of committing to a graduate program, in my mind anyway. And while I am still not crystal clear what path I would even follow were I to be accepted, my gut tells me this is the right thing to pursue right now because either one of two things will happen: I will be accepted, continue following the path, and further steps will avail themselves; or, every application is rejected and I gain clarity regarding whether or not graduate school is the right move. Regardless, deadlines are scattered within the first two weeks of January, so I have a herculean task ahead of me.
On a related note, looking into these programs has reinforced my interest in areas that impact various facets of global events. While I have traditionally stayed in my science/tech/engineering sandbox, my time in Jamaica introduced me to the concept of an intersection of the various topics that grab my attention. In addition, my propensity for sharing this journey in written form has me thinking about another point of divergence: a second blog. I’ve started jotting down paragraphs here and there about current events, science and technology, sports, my travels, etc.., and have considered including them here. But I want to keep this space devoted to exploring what it means to deliberately search for, invite, and find fulfillment in life. I want to separate church from state, signal from noise, etc. Therefore, a new project is necessary.
However, instead of starting a new blog and asking readers to track separate web sites, I am launching a new web site to house them both – along with photo albums and maybe a few other fun pages. Starting next month – and assuming I can figure out iWeb - all of this will be found at www.markkonold.com. I intend to migrate all existing material in from this public blogging platform. Please be patient with any kinks or out of whack pages. I hope to find a way to automatically redirect this web site over to the new one, but in case I can’t, you may want to update your bookmarks.
I expect to have everything in place by the beginning of next year. (I would commit to a stricter timeline but work and the fore mentioned grad school applications have me fairly well booked.) The first entry of the new blog will focus on next year’s presidential election. In fact, I’ll post that first entry (a welcome message notwithstanding) one year prior to 2008’s election day and give it a year to see whether or not it has any staying power. Also, I have no idea what I’m calling the new blog just yet and am therefore open to ideas. More to come.