Thursday, December 18, 2008

A good sign

President Obama has chosen Oregon State Professor Jane Lubchenco to head NOAA.  She is a brilliant scientist and in my opinion her appointment is another great indication that not only did the country make the right choice this fall and that logic and science will have a place in this government, but also a sign that this country will change and better days will come.  And yes, I am totally biased because she is from my alma mater, and I have admired her since undergraduate school.  For the inadequately written story from our local paper click here.  For a slightly more informative article from the washington post try here.  Go Jane!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Making plans

I've always been one for planning the future.  Today I started thinking back to some of those plans and I realized that things have rarely ever turned out the way that I had intended.  Life seems to take its own direction without regard to my plans, and usually I think it turns out just as good or better that way.  I've always just sort of fallen into the next great stage of life.  Marriage, college, career, graduate school.  I'm not implying I wasn't involved or that these things just happened to me.  Point of fact I worked my tush off for each one of them.  But each turned out entirely different than my plans had been, and each seemed to just fall into place in the beginning.  

What seems cruelly ironic about this is I think that unknowingly I've been depending on the next great stage of life to line itself up after graduate school.  At conferences, in discussion with old friends and peers, reading the news, I feel like I'm always on the watch for what will be next for me.  Some clue of what the future holds.   Now, unlike in the past, I have no plan for what will come next.  I have no solid answer for my plans after grad school, though I usually make something up about getting a job.  (A plan that seems less and less likely every time I read the news.)

I have to wonder, was there a point to planning? Will life just go the right way if I work hard and keep myself open to new directions?  Or was having the plan an important part of being redirected to where I am now?