Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Time and Enthusiasm

Originally uploaded by manintial7.

CD in Play: Metallica, ...And Justice for All.
Picture by manintial7

When I left university, I hadn't just burned out - I crashed and did so from very great heights. And by heights I mean a 3.75 GPA (for which I had put in little effort to acheive) and, of course, a colossal ego. I was wasted, depressed and had become fairly stupid. I found myself unable to read for the longest time. Even the weekend funnies had become a chore. I slipped into an intellectual stupor from which I still find myself emerging. Emerging, however, I am along with my curiousity and a voracious hunger for knowledge.
It has been three years since my brain started to find its "footing" again. Things that interest me are really beginning to interest me again. Part of this is having found a purpose and a direction in life. I want to teach. I am good at it, I care about education and the system needs people like me. One of things that had really driven me was Medival History.
I had studied Medieval History in school and loved it. Mind you, I was interested in the history of warfare, which was quite out of fashion in throughout the `90's. Areas students were encouraged to study were areas like the history of the peasantry and the roles of women in Medieval society. All well and good and most certainly subjects any credible Medieval historian should know... just not my main areas of interest.
Things have changed in this new millenium and the history of warfare is back in favour. The current interest, to the horror of some I am sure, has been spurred on by television shows like "Battlefield Detectives" and "Battle Britain". To be honest, they rekindled my interest in the subject matter again. One in partticular, "Weapons that Made Britain", has helped to seriously revitalise my love of Medieval history and the history of warfare. For those of you who have not seen it, or who lack a television, "Weapons that Made Britain" is a five part mini-series broken down into the following episodes: Sword, Long Bow, Spear, Sheild, Armor. Fight coordinator/weapons trainer Mike Loades carefully examines the developments in Medieval warfare and how they were applied in Britain. Loades typically takes a group of novices and trains them in the handling and tactical use of these weapons, in addition discussing these items within the context of historical events. Fans of action/fantasy cinema should watch this series as it makes clear just how brutal and tiring Medieval warfare was. Just like hockey players these warriors would have had to work in shifts. Medieval Warfare would appear to be anaerobic in nature. It should also dispel another myth, that the European knights and foot soldiers were crudely and less rigorously trained, less skilled than their Asian cousins.

(damned formatting errors that won't be corrected) At anyrate, I am keyed up and excited. I want to run out and read and write papers again. All I need now is a job and a means to pay down my student loans so I can get back to school and get my teaching certificate.


Anonymous Trent said...

Sound like interesting shows, but haven't seen them yet.

Cmon, I'm still working on the last few episodes of season 1 of BSG....

The local video store has it to rent; may do that this weekend. Or next.

02 February, 2006 11:31  
Blogger myn said...

little effort to achieve a 3.75...i can't appreciate that. i too put in little effort (for some classes) but that is where all similarities end. but i can totally relate to the need to fill the brain. i hate it when you can feel the previously full and happy brain cells slowly drying up and dying.

what is this "pay off student loans" that you speak of...i haven't heard of this before.

06 February, 2006 11:51  
Blogger Magnus said...

Student loans may not break my legs or fit me for a pair of cement shoes, but they want their money and will destroy my life in other ways. (bad credit, etc) I borrowed money, I have to pay it back. Been difficult to do so so far.
Btw, you are abviously a St. Hermans person - but um... who are you? I don't recall meeting a Muryn. Sorry.

06 February, 2006 16:38  
Blogger Geosomin said...

I feel your pain. Student loans are evil. EVIL.
I too know the evil of having to pay them back on their terms.
I have often wished for a windfall just to pay them off right now so I could call them up and tell them off loudly and never have to deal with them again...only 10 more years of fighting with them every 6 months until then. I'm up for another round of battle this month. sigh.

Are there any scholarships out there for you?? It does makes it tricky to save to go back to school. I've often considered grad studies, but financially it's a really harsh thing.

Can you rent those shows from the library? They sound really interesting...just the thing to kill the winter brain freeze.

07 February, 2006 08:11  
Blogger Magnus said...

"Are there any scholarships out there for you?? It does makes it tricky to save to go back to school. I've often considered grad studies, but financially it's a really harsh thing."

Well, if I pay down my loans enough I can be considered to be back in good standing. I am in bad standing because I defaulted - by no choice of my own - back in 1999. I was unemployed and the $465 a month. I had no idea about my options.
Once in good standing I can *gulp* take out more loans. (I need to, teaching certificate programmes are $12000) I am also eligible for government bursaries because I am low income and the student work programme.

"Can you rent those shows from the library? They sound really interesting...just the thing to kill the winter brain freeze.

Well, I haven't made a habit of going to Saskatoon's Library often... I doubt it, they were released in the UK last year. But check around. Some places around here rent Battlefield Britain (the father and son team)so I would imagine that some people might rent out WtMB.
A friend of mine has bit torrent so I have been thinking about checking to see if he might be able to find them online...

07 February, 2006 12:06  
Blogger Magnus said...

One advantage to Grad School - it does tend to elevate your level of earnings. I am thinking about an MA in Art after teaching Senior High for a few years. I could look for work in Post Secondary adn if I choose to stay on the Secondary level my earnings increase sunstantially.

07 February, 2006 12:09  
Blogger Geosomin said...

That's too true. My Dad was an english teacher and after he went back to school and got his Master's he was able to be a principal and then later a Director for a School District...which is how I ended up in the vast metropolis of Odessa. (It was where the local board office was)
It's odd tho, in science, you pretty much need your PhD. If you stop at your Masters people will literally ask why you didn't go all the way and get your PhD, like a Master's isn't worth anything or you weren't trying very hard. Pretty dumb in my opinion, but people seem to like having lots of letters after their name. As a lowly tech I get to do what I love and not worry about filing for grants and all the jazz that comes with that. I'd like to teach labs though. If an opportunity ever came up around here to teach student micro or bio or biochem labs I'd leap at the chance. Anyways, the whole belittles MSc thing is why I've balked at grad school (well that and the fact that we'd be living in a box). 5 years of grad studies when I can do what I like right now is not my thing, although doing real self directed research is a pretty cool idea at the moment.

09 February, 2006 09:48  

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