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Annotations Some Days in the Life - Daily
Poised between Significa
April 17, 2000


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April 14, 2000
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It's tax day, which usually falls on the 15th. My taxes were done a long while back, the refund already invested (in a manner of speaking). But I remember and mark tax day each year, because it's doubly significant to me.

Two years and two weeks ago, I applied for a job at Brewster Academy. I was between positions at the time and pretty happy with that state of affairs. I was writing a lot, I wasn't starving, I had a pretty good life all told. So I was looking for a dream job or nothing.

Brewster fit the bill. The campus was beautiful. New England in all the best ways. Ivy on the walls. This incredible lake staring me in the face.

"I want to work here," I murmured as I climbed the stairs to the Academic building.

"So does everyone else on Earth," I answered myself as I went inside. And I meant it. I was going for a Systems Administrator position, and any Sysadmin on the planet would want to work at Brewster Academy.

After talking about it with the Interviewees (two teachers named Linda and T.J., plus David and Alan and Bonnie), I headed out feeling great. What a fantastic place. What an exciting program. What a cool job. It's a pity they'll hire someone else.

It was a couple of weeks later, April 14, when they called and offered me the job. One of the conditions was that I start the next day, as my predecessor would be leaving the day after that. I bit and said yes, with the understanding that I might be considered for the Manager position as well.

So I started on April 15. In fact, I remember driving home (at the time an hour and a half drive, as I still lived in Maine) and met up with my parents for a celebratory dinner. It was followed by driving to the Post Office to send off my Income Tax return, late night in Portland, Maine. A day I'll never forget, and an anniversary I'll never forget either.

So I've been at Brewster Academy for two years now, and I just signed my contract for a third year. It's going darn well at this stage of my life. And at this stage, with Eileen promoted to my old Systems Administrator job, the infrastructure, server structures and systems layout all reflect my brain instead of my predecessor's. It's my department now. And it works like a charm. It's amazing how much gets accomplished there in a day, and how few complaints we get on any level.

Do I sound proud? I mean to. It's a damn good office, and it's better than it was before I got there. I can admit that to myself now. I've made a difference. To the students (who officially didn't even have the ability to read this journal before I got there), to the faculty (who have their official policies reflected in the services and their timing, in the office), and to the administration (who have a far more automated campus, and a high degree of reliability).

Did I do all that? No. Eileen, Fran, Mason and Jon did all that, with the help of truly excellent Interns and a very supportive faculty and administration. Innovation comes from all directions.

But mine is the structure that holds it together. And I'm proud of it. And once a year, I think it's appropriate to crow for a little bit.

And then there's tomorrow, which is the one year anniversary of this journal. Which will get more attention there. Man. A year's worth of journal entries, from the prolific to the sparse.

So today, I'm balanced between these dates. In ways, both very significant. The launching of my academic IT career in earnest, and a regular commitment to writing (which has led to some pay copy here and there, in addition to this journal).

Not bad. Not bad at all.


Saturday was gut-wrenchingly beautiful. I had a meeting at work, which I followed with lunch with Mason, and we did errands. In part to get them over with, but also in part to be outside in 70° to 80° warmth and beautiful sunshine. And it was beautiful. Warm, but not humid.

We did laundry, then went shopping. I bought shelves. I feel so domestic. These were cheap metal ones -- the sort you put in your basement and put boxes of nails on, after assembly. But, they hold books too, and that was a good step in the Controlling of the Apartment clutter. Until I get into a bigger place I need to do everything I possibly can, you see.

They work well, and because they add another surface in a particularly bit of the apartment, I went out today and bought the least expensive table lamp in the world. Literally. The fluorescent bulb I use (as the electricity in my apartment is enough to blow out most light bulbs after four weeks, and these use less electricity anyway) cost more than the lamp, and it sure didn't cost much.

But, it's kind of pretty up on top of my shelves, adding light to that side of the room. In The Sims, this would be reflected by my Room score going up. But, I'm not a Sim, so that doesn't apply.

Still, it is a nice lamp, on nice, utilitarian shelves, that have a good percentage of my books on them now.

I feel ever so domestic, these days. I cook. I have shelves. I do the dishes. Well, most of the time. It had to happen sooner or later, of course.

More tomorrow.

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