The Long Road

Posted by Derek
Jun 21 2015

Two and a half years. Wow. I never intended to let things sit for so long, but the time really got away from me. I’ve also tried to put this together not less than three times, and then realized that if I wanted it to not get eaten by wordpress while writing it, to not write the draft in wordpress. :)

After vanishing off the face of the earth following my prior posting, where I shared the success of graduating mid-class-year with my associates degrees, I continued on to a 4-year campus. A newly signed collaborative agreement between the new college and the old meant I could spend the last part of the school year at the 2-year school, which would polish off the requirements for my ‘junior’ year; I only needed to be on the new campus for my senior year. I saved some funding doing this, which is good since my primary income at the time was part-time seasonal work. I continued working at the local ski park as a trail groomer for that winter, and then when classes released in May I bounced out to work what I suspected might be a third and final season at a Boy Scouts of America camp in north-central Minnesota. As per the norm, the season out there was hectic but enjoyable, but left little time to sit down and do much else.

Upon finishing the camping season I went home to the Turtle Mountains, unloaded the car, then promptly reloaded it with what I needed to stay in campus housing. I left the next morning to move into the dorm with a bunch of freshmen. I wanted a single room and the suite-style dorms seemed like a good choice, but the only single-occupancy rooms in the suites are in what’s traditionally the freshmen/sophomore building. Wasn’t sure what to expect.

It turned out pretty awesome. The other two rooms in the suite were occupied by freshmen, but they were totally easy to get along with and weren’t excessively loud or anything. Sadly, the senior level class load meant that both my socializing and other recreational time was far more limited than their own. I poked at creative thoughts through this entire span but never managed to put together anything I was happy with before having to pick up yet another actually-degree-related project. The winter break went quickly and was a week truncated since I’d been recruited to assist with administering a COMP-TIA A+ exam. The spring semester wasn’t any lighter than fall, but how quickly May 2014 arrived…


Achievement Unlocked: bachelor’s degree earned.

I proceeded to stay on campus for two more weeks to complete an SAP Certified Associate course and certification. The course essentially crammed two full semester length classes into two weeks. It was a whirlwind of information. I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to utilize it, since my most promising job prospect wasn’t a SAP house…

Ah, the job hunt… During the ending weeks of the semester I was back and forth with a prospective employer I’d met at a job fair in April, doing a couple of phone interviews and an on-site interview. They were by far the most aggressive recruiters of any company I’d spoken with. In early May I was extended an offer. After returning the required paperwork and completing other pre-hire screenings, I heard nothing for the remainder of May and was starting to get a little concerned when no one in HR got back in touch with me except once to get more paperwork during the middle of the SAP course. At the end of the month, as I sat in my overflowing car waiting for a campus rep to check me out of the dorm room, the scout camp’s director sent me a text: “coming out to visit this weekend?”

I hadn’t exactly been planning on it, but I still didn’t have a clue what was going on with my employer; I didn’t have a place to stay in the town I’d be working in nor a starting date. So, on an impulse and a prayer I drove to camp and had a chat with the director over dinner and drinks that evening. We came to the understanding that I’d stay and help as long as I could until I heard back from the employer, at which point we’d re-evaluate what was going on and if I suddenly had to leave immediately for the big-boy job, I would.

After a week and a half helping setting up the camp store and assisting in other areas, I finally got in touch with someone in HR who said they’d be happy to have me start at the beginning of August. That gave me the season to work at camp, as well as two months to find housing.

In August, I still hadn’t found a place to live. The day before I started as an Applications Software Engineer in northwestern Minnesota, I moved into a basement room of the camp’s director and his family - but, as a result, I was commuting just over 50 miles (80 km) each way, every workday, and losing two hours. In November I finally moved into an apartment close to work and was able to stop the major commuting, but I’ve spent most of my time settling into the new area and trying to create some semblance of a social atmosphere with my coworkers and newfound friends, as well as learning the systems at work and dealing with a variety of software projects.

This brings us to today. As I look back at what’s brought me to where I am, there’s one thing I realize: nothing above is an acceptable excuse to me for not finding the time to write at all. Yes, I’ve been busy, and yes, I probably had times where I did something to relax other than work on my storyline, but I need to change that going forward.

As a result I have a goal I want to start as of July: I want to get out one chapter a month. A side goal to this is to put something here in the blog portion more often than that - maybe some thoughts about what I’m doing at work (sans specifics because NDA) or perhaps other things that come up that I’d like to share. Just… something, to prove I still exist.

Somehow, I’m going to make this happen. I’m not sure how just yet, but I’m going to find a way.

To anyone still left: Thanks for hanging in there. To anyone just finding me for the first time: Welcome, and enjoy.

I’ll be back soon.

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5 Responses

  1. typhoon says:

    Welcome back and good luck. Your excue for not writing is definetly better then mine …

  2. Chris_from_NY says:

    Well, guess I picked a good day to drop by and re-read the archives. Congratulations on graduating and your new job.

  3. Tsunami Sesen says:

    Still here and good luck and good to hear. Your one of the few furry authors I still know of that is active writing long stories.

  4. Galaphont says:

    Glad to have you back, and eagerly awaiting your next chapter.

  5. hans44 says:

    It’s alive!!!

    …dammit, now I need to go re-read all the stories… and my archived copies of the old versions (and stories that aren’t online anymore like WDNtW and Creationism).