Jill of All Trades, Master of Some
I have had what you might call an unconventional career path. I think that for many people, there is the received wisdom that you have to decide what you are going to do when you graduate high school, major in THAT THING, get a job doing the same thing, and do that until you retire. That has never been my approach. I go through life looking for new experiences, in which I can serve others while enriching myself.
The benefits of this are that I’ve traveled the world, met hundreds (probably thousands) of amazing people who I will always remember, and picked up loads of valuable skills along the way. The downside is that it is a fairly high-stress way to live, and I sometimes have to deal with the skepticism of others who have not chosen a similar path.
The phrase “Jack of All Trades, Master of None” comes up in my mind frequently when I’m experiencing self-doubt. This article really spoke to me because it assures me that “learning is not a zero-sum game.” Although it specifically addressed tech skills, rest assured that an opportunityto learn a new skill or experience something different should be embraced. It will make you richer in terms of personality and stronger in terms of self-confidence even if you can’t see an immediate benefit to your pocket book. Don’t view it as a dilution of your other skills or a “detour”– it is a part of the journey you were always meant to take.
It’s been almost two months since I started this web site, and hopefully I will be able to carve out more time to work on it. There are some new pictures in the “Photos” section!
I’ve been keeping busy in the meantime– I have been teaching 4th grade for the past school year, which has basically been all-consuming. If you’ve never been in front of a room of 30 10-year olds I would highly recommend it. Even if you’ve never considered it before, you will learn a lot about yourself. It is a part of a New Teachers Project that trains people with no teacher training/experience to work in Denver’s toughest schools. I have made such a great group of friends in the trenches, and the job is so rewarding it would be tough to give up.
The new passion in my life is technology. This is something I never really considered until the past year, but I am finding myself turning into a novice computer geek. I am learning all kinds of statistical analysis software, plus learning how to write code. It is a whole new skill set/talent/hobby that I never really thought about because I didn’t conceptualize myself as a math/computer person, because I saw myself as an intuitive, peace/love humanities person. I love it when things surprise you like that. It just goes to show, never close off any doors or utter the words, “I can’t.”
Welcome to my site! I will be adding new posts soon, but for right now, here is a quick introduction.
I am an anthropologist/job seeker in Denver, CO. I hold a PhD in cultural Anthropology from Indiana University and for the last few years I have thought of myself as a teacher. I have taught at both the college and the elementary (!) levels. This experience has taught me so much and I am endlessly grateful for the people it has brought into my life.
Another part of my heart lies in qualitative and mixed-methods research. I am especially interested in doing research that has a direct, positive impact on local communities.
My graduate work and past research has been mainly about issues of women’s health and safety, specifically in urban Poland, so I am very knowledgeable about issues of gender, globalization and health in cross-cultural settings. However, I am always looking to expand my knowledge and experience and seeking new opportunities.
I should also mention that I am something of a budding techie. Recently I have been learning to write computer code and was surprised to find that I find it quite fun and relaxing. I am learning HTML right now and plan to move on to Java and Python this summer. It’s always exciting to learn a new set of skills and who knows where that will take me in my career!
The purpose of this site is to give you a better idea of what I’m all about. You’ll see some concrete examples of my research, links to articles I’ve written, photos and information about past accomplishments, as well as a blog that will be updated semi-regularly. I may also share examples of some of the sites and webapps I hope to develop, when I get to the point that I can create something worth sharing.