Four More Days - tuesday 2008-04-29 0419 last modified 2008-04-29 0421
Categories: Daily Grind
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As the fiscal policies surrounding my contract prohibit taking accrued vacation time as pay, I have four more days of work left; the four following weeks are the vacation days I'd originally intended to take this summer.

I'd hoped to take a month off to go some place in the world to assist in antislavery efforts, but as my circumstances changed, I found little time to do any research on where one might productively spend a month engaging in it, whether it be hanging out in an NGO office filing papers or being more actively "in the field," whatever that entails.

Generally speaking, I would have liked to spend that time on another continent, perhaps Asia or Africa, maybe continental Europe, but now that I'm leaving my job - and not getting four weeks of extra vacation pay - intercontinental travel's off the itinerary for the foreseeable future.

There's a whole range of things I'd like to look into, some of which I'm hoping do take me out of the country. Photography's high on the list, but I don't really see myself going back to school for it, and the chances of making it to a position where they ship me around the world based solely on my portfolio are, pragmatically, slim. Not that I won't try in some way; I still want to get hired to shoot the next World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

And yet photography's really just an excuse for travel to the developing world, which is more generally what I want to do. Nothing I've come across shuffling about in Cambridge and the internet could possibly be like the firsthand realities found in the poorest and/or most ignored corners of the world. That's an experience gap I want to fill.

When I weigh out professionally monitor watching and typing versus professionally addressing serious, dire social issues, there is no comparison. I will not find it satisfying to simply change customers and code projects. The code, my training, my experience so far are all equipping for - I'm almost too wary to put it this way - a larger task. I am not slagging on the industry or those who revel in it, nor do I consider it a small or unworthy task in the least. Entirely the contrary. But where I'm thinking I'm headed, it's auxiliary. There are more personally important things to do; that seems a good guide to follow.

You'll probably catch me back in school once again next fall. That's the most sure thing I have to tell you about my occupational plans. Rather nebulous. This is fun, isn't it?

So, four more days.

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