School and Life Update – September 2017

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School means a cluttered desk

It’s been quite the break, hasn’t it?  You can mainly blame work.  It’s the busiest year for the Coast Guard since I joined in 2011.  Updates below the break.

School/Education

My top priority.  I graduated from Oregon State with a degree in Economics this summer.  I wanted more graduate school preparation and decided a math degree is just what the doctor ordered.  How did I decide that?  Research.  There is a lot of research on graduate school, and the American Economic Association has a wealth of information for economics graduate programs.  They recommend a lot of math courses, so I decided to just get a degree!  OSU didn’t offer math, so now I’m enrolled at Southern New Hampshire University – still online.

It will take me just over a year to finish this math degree.  That’s just in time for fall semester of graduate school to start!  It’s the middle of admissions season now, and anyone who has been through this before can tell you that it is really stressful!  I’m putting together my CV with the help of an advisor, and I take my last shot at the GRE next month!  All my applications should be in before the holiday break.  I’ll know if I got in anywhere between March and April.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I’m also still working on learning R-Programming.  Python is becoming more popular for data analysis, but the as free software R is very customizable and flexible.  I want to have it in my back pocked for instances when STATA or other statistical software isn’t handy.  R can run on my laptop with no problem.  John Hopkins University offers a certificate program in R-programming through Coursera.  That’s my main study tool.

Work

As I said, it’s the busiest year I’ve encountered since I enlisted in the Coast Guard.  I’ve been drowning in paperwork and I’m hoping for some relief as the weather in the NYC area moves into cooler fall temperatures.  A few good friends said goodbye this year as they transferred to new assignments.  That means I’m officially part of the old guard now at work.  It’s incredibly strange to think about.

My departure from the CG is looking like it will come next August.  I’ve enrolled in TAPS, the mandatory transition assistance program everyone retiring or separating has to attend.  That happens at the end of November.  My duties at work won’t change between now and then.  I’ll have a week at the end to get all my paperwork in order.  The biggest thing now is just keeping up with the busy work tempo and making sure our new transfers in are fully trained.

Everything Else

My husband and I are moving froward with home renovations carefully since we don’t know exactly where I’ll be a year from now.  There are some big projects that need to be done regardless.  Finish rehabbing the hardwood floor.  Take down all the circa 1973 wood paneling.  Update the kitchen that looks to be as old as the paneling.  Other projects will be on hold until I have a better idea what next year brings.

I went on an amazing two week trip to the UK this past winter.  My husband and I visited Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, and, of course, London.  We fell in love with the country as a whole.  I’d happily call it home.  Sadly, it looks unlikely that another trip is in the cards between now and leaving the Coast Guard.  The biggest factor is leave time.  I need to save it all to get out in August.  The other factor, of course, is cost.  That trip was not inexpensive.  We saved up for it, but it takes time to build those savings up again.  Travel will be shorter and more local for the next year.

I decided to learn how to play the guitar since my keyboard doesn’t fit in my room.  I bought a beautiful red Squire electric guitar.  Fender’s Fender Play app is a pretty good training program.  I’m learning new things, but I need to work on my dexterity.  I may also have to sacrifice my fingernails to the guitar gods.  I love my naturally long nails, but they don’t make it easy to play.

Wrapping Up

That’s about all there is to tell.  The next eleven months are math, the GRE, more math, graduate school applications, a bit more math, nervous waiting for the results of those applications, leaving the Coast Guard, and figuring what life will look like for the next five years.  Not busy at all, right?

Since I’m drowning in math classes, I’ll be posting on economics occasionally to keep up with my actual subject area. That will also keep my writing up.  There isn’t a lot of writing in a math program, but there will be plenty in graduate school.  All this means you’ll see more traffic on my blog and fewer life updates.  Stick around for the ride!

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