11 March 2012

Oh great, I'm actually an adult...

I have been doing this whole "adult" thing for over 18 months now. It is fine. Nothing exciting. And that is the problem.

Due to a number of frustrations at my current job, I started the process of looking for a new job. It is scary world out there, especially when you don't really know what you want to do. Systems Administration? Network Engineering? Network Architecture? Wireless? Professional bike race planning?

This is the problem. Currently, my feeling is that there is just to much out there that I enjoy doing. It is hard to really grasp what 

I have spent many years in my college days as a systems administration. Some of the best times while I went to Drexel. It was something that I was good at. Something that I enjoyed. Something that I actually considered doing for the rest of my professional life.

Then I graduated, and started doing networking, specifically wireless networking. It has been a pretty awesome experience. Learned a lot of new stuff. Expanding the knowledge base that I already had, which I always enjoy. Something worth exploring more.

But there is a question that has been asked of me recently, the question of 3 and 5 year plans had be posed to me by the early arrivers club the other night. And thanks to them, I really started to think. The last think that I need to be doing this week with the giant bike race coming up. The up in the air state of my life, the next blog entry, I guess.

So, thinking leads to writing, and writing leads to blogging. So here are my actual thoughts:

I don't have a 3, 5 or 7 year plan. I honesty have no desire to really be any where in the next 3, 5, or 7 years. Ten years, probably.

There isn't a place that I want to be. There really isn't a place that I want to work really badly.

Some might say, "But he doesn't have any goals. He doesn't have any desires to go any where with his life!"

And I say "But I do have desires, just none that take me places!!"

At this point in my life, I have only been out of college for a little under two year. Really, I just want to accumulate knowledge and skills. It is fun. It is exciting. I like it. I like trying new things, venturing out in to the unknown, and seeing what it is like.

Now writing this, and pondering options that are currently in front of me. There are two job that are currently positioned in front of me. One is systems job. One is a networking job. Both seem like pretty awesome jobs.

The networking job would be one that would potentially expand on what I'm doing now. Present opportunity for expanding my networking skill set, and taking it to another level.

The systems job would be going back to what I did in college. Nothing wrong with that. It would be a change of pace, something different from what I'm working on at the current moment. Something that I haven't work in a while.

(A tip of my hat to you for reading this far...)

There is a lot to consider. A lot to think about. A lot to talk with other people about. But it really comes down the the scary question:


09 January 2012

Food. ADHD. Eh.

Recently, NPR posted on their Facebook page about the link between diets and ADHD. It was brief article, and the jest of the article is that changing the diet of youngsters will cure all.

As I read through this article, I felt that I should share some thoughts that I had on this, and it was strong enough that I have reopened the blog. It has been almost three years, but everyone knows my thoughts on writing: eh (Really, it goes against my ADHD.)

I know that for some, it is really challenging to understand what having ADHD is like. It is like trying to explain insomnia to someone whose head hits the pillow and they are out. Or restless leg syndrome to someone that can sit still for hours on end.

One of the ways that I can explain it is to grab 5 books. Lay them out on a table, all open. Now start reading. Changing books after each sentence. Oh, did I mention you aren't allow to mark where you left off in each book. Also, turn on the following music: Paul Simon's Graceland, Beethoven's third and fifth, and for good measure Widor's Toccota on repeat. While doing all that, write your PHd thesis. GO. (For extra credit: Call your parents, grade exams, and tutor some in data structures implemented in Python.)

So, the first thought that I have to share is that the brain is a muscle. Deal with it. It is, and if think differently, then well, the rest of this won't make much sense.

For me, most days are the same as a 16 hour endurance ride on a bike, but for the mind. There are points where it is just shear pain. My brain actually hurts. It takes a serious amount of brain power to complete a task, or a set of task. Reading a book is like bench pressing 40x my weight.

I have been dealing with this for years. YEARS I TELL YOU. I have been on a number of meds. I have tried a couple of the diets. But when it all comes down to it: I have ADHD, and I have to deal with it. There is no cure all drug. There is no fancy treatment to make it go away. I know this because I spent most of college thinking there was. Talk about let downs.

With all this, I feel that I have a pretty good system down for dealing with my ADHD. It really all comes down to a number of small things that I have picked up over the years, many of them taught to me my special ed teacher in high school (Thanks Donna!). My work spaces are littered with small scraps of paper covered in nonsensical writing, that means nothing to anyone else, but these are basis for how I move through my day.

But to go with that, I take meds from time to time. I eat decently. I exercise when I can. I have a pretty good social life.

Now you wonder 'where is all of this going?'

I will tell you.

I have heard many stories about the growing number of ADHD kids in schools these days. I contribute this to:

  • the medication nation
  • the need for parents to have an excuse for their apparently poorly performing children
  • teachers not wanting to deal with misbehaving kids
Now you say: "Charles, your crazy for saying this!"

And I say: "Well, I might be, but how many kids are actually ADHD. Medically diagnosed, and not just slapped with a label?"

I don't have time to look into numbers now, but it would be an interesting stat to look at. But with that statement, I can say this:

The research that is covered in the NPR article has some serious merit to it. Diet has defiantly has a place in the treatment of ADHD. For all I know it could 'cure' it and when I say 'cure' it, I'm talking about those that don't really have ADHD, but a screwed up body because of stupid things that are put in their bodies.

But there are many other things that can help with the treatment: controlled environment, structured work, meds, coping mechanisms, and tiny scraps of paper.

Hmm...after writing all this, I guess I'm really responding to all the comments on the article that pissed me off.

ADHD exists people. Deal with it.