Friday, May 2, 2008
1. Why not research? It took a few years, but I finally figured out that I don't want to keep doing molecular biology research. I think to do science as a career (or any academic research for that matter) it has to be something you think about often and are excited about. I love studying biology and I have really enjoyed teaching my first class this semester, but I don't think I am suited to doing research. I'm not methodical and careful enough when there are so many ways to make mistakes on experiments. Also it is difficult to invest the mental and emotional energy into something I don't really enjoy. Finally, I don't want to spend the time necessary just to keep a lab funded.
2. So why a community college? I really enjoy teaching. Of course I could teach at a four-year institution, but the community college route fits well with reason number three. (Above is the original 1928 building at Hutchinson CC. Also above is the Cosmosphere. It's a space museum sponsored by the Smithsonian that is attached to our campus.
3. Why Kansas? My secret goal (secret from everyone except this privy audience of course) is to start a small, diversified, low-input family farm. I applied to community colleges in areas where land was cheap and the climate wasn't too extreme--although I hear the summers can get nasty in KS. I really liked the people at Hutchinson CC and there is good land in the area. Also, it is actually within driving distance of Utah so visiting family will be affordable. Since I have no clue what running a farm really entails, Taliatha convinced me to not quit my day job in the meantime. My faculty position is a nine month appointment so I will have summers off to work on my farm. (Above left are some of the local inhabitants. Check out the Cattle Egret mingling with the cows. These farms are just east of Hutchinson in an Amish community.)
Posted by Rob at 3:05 PM