Michael Battalio

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Serious conversations (part 13):

This series is a continuation of my conversations with an atheist friend of mine. We began with religion and have now moved onto many other things. These are my edited responses from that conversation. The thirteenth entry is a continuation of the part about where I am going in life:

A long time ago I figured out that I was going to have a hard time in deciding what to do with my life.  I enjoy doing too many things.  I considered music for a while, but I also enjoyed building things, so for a while I wanted to be an engineer, which is part of the reason I started out majoring as one.  My dad started making me go to the library right after I began going to junior high, which is one of the things I am most grateful to my dad for actually.  I always had a curiosity about physics, so I began reading about it.  That's where my physics kick began.  For what ever reason, I also loved watching the weather channel.  I still don't know why I like it so much, the material repeats every 30 minutes.  So, I got into meteorology and reading about it as well.  And meteorology is after all, only applied math and physics
Forgetting changing majors so many times, the biggest problem still remains what to do after all my school, and how much school do I want.  I do intend on getting at least a master's.  At this point I'm already signed up for a program.  I suppose I'll decide on whether to get a doctorate once I'm a ways into my masters.
After school, I'd like to get a job.  Where becomes the issue. Currently, I'm playing with the idea of staying in higher education and trying to get a tenure track position as professor.  From what I've seen of it, I think I'd like research and teaching.  I have also toyed with the idea of going into the National Weather Service.  It's difficult to get into because they consolidated the offices about a decade ago, so there are significantly fewer positions.  But, after a few years, you get paid very well.  However, they work in shifts, and seniority does not get you out of working the night or weekend shifts.  You get paid a 10% bonus for working then, but I'm not so keen on the idea of working outside the regular 9-5 workday, much less having to change my schedule every few weeks.  In TV, the pay and hours stink for the first ten or so years (avg. salary starting out is less than 30,000 and just about everyone is given a weekend shift, meaning you work just about your entire 40 hour week in two days.  No thanks.)  I am good at the TV stuff, but I don't really want to deal with the stress and publicity of it.
That's about it.  In spite of all that though, if I could make a nice living playing the piano or any other instrument and composing, or especially becoming the director of an orchestra/symphony (my dream job), I would drop everything and do that.  I fall more and more in love with music every day. Don't get me wrong, I love meteorology and physics and the rest as well, but music is my passion.  I also think it might be interesting to become a philosopher or writer.  That would be something very interesting to try.

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