Whatever Comes Next

One of the most exciting things about the last few months has been having time to think about what I want to be when I grow up. I kicked around a bunch of different ideas like “Fallout 4 expert” and a bunch of other fun sounding but impractical ideas. None of them seemed to fit. So I looked at what did seem to fit.

When I asked “what’s been the most interesting and fun thing over the last few years?” there was an answer that kept popping up: academia.

I will devour all these books!

I will devour all these books!

Academia?!

Yeah, academia.

I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent reading computer science papers, discussing them with other people who are into that sort of thing, and reading blogs like The Morning Paper. I have no delusions that academic study is a tea party where people talk about things (well, it is if you get an English degree, which I already did).

Joking aside, I like the theoretical side of computers and I want to explore it. Peter Bailis summed up the joy of graduate school in his post “I Loved Graduate School“.

Exploring Computers

With all that in mind, I’m starting a master’s program in Computer Science at Portland State University. Since I don’t have a CS degree already, I’m going through the Graduate Preparation Track in Computer Science. Basically, I take the core classes of a computer science bachelor’s degree and then immediately go into a master’s degree. And, beyond that, I’d love to continue on and get a PhD in CS.

The work of friends and acquaintances has made this an easier path to follow – knowing other people who have gone through this journey makes it seem all that much more possible for me to do the same.

Thank you to all of you who have encouraged and supported me along the way. You’ve been awesome.

Here’s to whatever comes next.


Stockholms Stadsbibliotek” by dilettantiquity licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0

25 Comments. Leave new

  • Awesome, man! Looking forward to seeing this journey.

    Reply
  • Jes Borland
    2016-06-21 08:04

    Exciting! I look forward to calling you Dr. Peschka someday.

    Reply
  • Good luck Jeremiah, this truly will be an exciting journey! The great thing about graduate school, when compare to undergrad, is if you truly love the topic…it’s not work! I look forward to reading your research!

    Reply
  • This is really exciting Jeremiah! I look forward to seeing you triumphs – and your frustrations!! And, learning from them all. Keep us posted!

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    • Thanks! I’m going to try to keep thoughts on the whole process up here so I can look back and do a halfway decent job with this stuff whenever they make me teach students during the PhD process.

      Reply
  • Good luck! I look forward to seeing you succeed in this endeavor!

    Reply
  • Very cool and congrats. I’ve considered something similar a few times. Maybe one day my partner will support me and I’ll get to be like you.

    Reply
    • Kendra only provides moral support. I’m still left selling blood to pay for school. It’s not my blood, per se, but they tell me possession is 9/10 of the law.

      Reply
  • I did a similar thing by getting an M.S. in Computer Science to legitimize my career given my Liberal Arts background. At first I chose a database track but then I found I could not deal with the database track. It was a lot modeling in anachronistic formats and a lot of Oracle bias. I know you would be fine with that, and would make convincing arguments for other platforms.

    Reply
    • Hah! That doesn’t sound like fun. I don’t know what the database courses will focus on, but I’ll be looking at a research focused degree, which should make the platform specificity more my choice than anything else.

      Reply
  • Let me know where you end up as a dean so I can send my kids there and you can put them on double secret probation

    Reply
  • Merrill Aldrich
    2016-06-21 15:06

    This is awesome. Magic 8 ball says … you will love it!

    Reply
  • Richard Waymire
    2016-06-21 20:03

    Sweet! I keep thinking I should go back and get a degree in history…. I’m sure you’ll do great!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Richard. Go back and get that degree. Or, at the very least, make a plan. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time and I have the opportunity now. I’m excited.

      Reply
  • This is awsome, my friend. I couldn’t be happier for you. I look forward to hearing about your adventure!

    Reply
  • Neal Philipsen
    2016-06-24 14:18

    I believe there are a lot of people in academia that can also be called “Fallout 4 Expert”. In fact, the schedule might fit nicely with that pursuit. Don’t let the dream die!

    Hope you have a blast in your program. If you need an internship, we can hook you up. Not sure it’s a paid internship, but I’m sure there’s a plasma center in the area to help you pay the bills.

    Looking forward to reading the saga!

    Reply
  • Jimmy May
    2016-07-09 11:33

    Graduate Prep Track, eh? I may look into that… In the meantime, I’ll be living vicariously through you. #CheapThrills
    Best wishes & good luck!

    Reply
    • Thanks, man!

      I was a bit worried when I went in to talk to an admissions person because it turned out that to get a second bachelor’s would’ve taken almost as long as the first one, but this grad prep track is all about fast tracking you into graduate school. Good times!

      Reply

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