making good money

Went out and looked at the exhaust system today, and there is a lot of rust all around the diesel particulate filter (dpf). I have an appointment with the exhaust shop here in town early next week. If they ask for 2500 or less, I’ll call it a win. Based on the quote from the dealership, parts alone would be 1600 or so.

Doing a better job of staying hungry and dropping some pounds these last few weeks.

I need about 2 years of solid reading to be where I want to be regarding stochastic processes. I got through grad school without ever making a formal study of the topic, just picking up what I needed when I needed it. Now I’m working on my own questions in the field, and I know I’d benefit from a few years of dedicated study. Spent 2 hours on it today, and another 3.5 on research questions.

I did sort of stumble today while doing some reading, wondering what the hell I was doing and why. I don’t often get that empty, meaningless feeling when doing math. It’s definitely related to feeling like a professorship is a long-shot at this point. If that ship has sailed, I should be working on a data science certification or similar.

And I’ll admit that the idea of making good money is appealing to me at this point in my life. I’ve been stubborn about sticking to the work that I think has meaning, but poverty is a fucking drag. That van quote stressed me the fuck out. The idea of landing a 150k/year job is exciting. If I did something like that for even 5 years, I’d be in good shape, saving 100k+ per year.

The academic job market is grim, and I resent the idea of having to live wherever I find a job.

As a counterpoint, I do have a tendency to be excited by the new ideas, and flag when it comes time to follow through. Gotta not chase the shiny. And as Mallory Archer once said, “When you’re this good at something, just keep doing it. You’ll figure everything else out.”

Still though. I’m in danger of losing my health care mid pandemic, and don’t have any real savings if I don’t find a job for next year. Being moderately wealthy would solve a lot of my problems. And I could do that in 5-10 years, with a dedicated plan. It’s something I’ve been mulling over.

Working as a data scientist in oncology research or similar is not really any less moral to me than teaching full time would be. Teaching full time does not leave a lot of energy for my own work during the school year, though the time off is nice.

I need to finish these two manuscripts, regardless. Just for the sake of completion. And then finish the van. Then maybe start a data science certification program.