All right, so I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, although it has been awhile since I’ve updated this blog. I have been back to school, taking IT classes in Network Administration at Seattle Central Community College since January. It has been rather intensive (both the classes and the adventure of funding) and its taken me awhile to find time for other things like blogging again.
As my lay off date was approaching at Allen’s Press Clipping Bureau, I was looking at the IT computer classes at Seattle Central on-line, thinking it would probably be too late to apply for winter term or maybe even the whole school year. Then I saw the Start Next Quarter link. I filled out the form and went in for SCCC’s next information session. It was easy, yet difficult to return. It’s complicated, as they say on Facebook. . .
I qualified for worker retraining, contingent on my being approved for Commissioner Approved Training (CAT) from Employment Security (Unemployment), which happened half way through my first term. Meanwhile I needed to look for full-time work actively while taking 20 credit hours of technical classes (which were mostly in the evening). I discovered job finding strategies and the job market had changed considerably in the 13 years I was working at Allen’s Press Clipping Bureau. A topic for another day, but I’ve found that internet applications are a double edge sword. Easy to apply, but easy for them to ignore you. . .and, I really needed some employable skills (which fortunately, I was already working on).
I like a challenge, but, that first term especially, I was taking on a big one. I was taking advanced classes in network administration at the same time as my introductory class that was their prerequisite, going for a reverse degree, as worker retraining refers to it. Which they do due to lack of funding. It gets crazier, though. . . I have to apply for multiple funding sources, which only cover you a term or two. I’m on my third program now, through the YWCA. I’ve often not known if I’d get funding for the first few weeks of the term, and still don’t know if I’ll manage enough terms for a certificate or degree.
What is network administration? I’m going to be setting up, configuring and managing networks of computers. Programming I don’t have yet, although I hope to take a course in that as one of my electives. Web design – nah, I’m not very creative, in an artistic way. I’ve been learning about Windows 7 installation over networks, Windows Server 2008, Cisco routers, and finally starting some Linux.
Maybe learning to install Windows 7 sounds like it shouldn’t take a whole term, but things are a little more complicated when you’re installing it on business computers on a network. . .
Now, I know I’m not cut out to be in a really corporate job (and glad to be reminded from my connections and groups I’ve joined since joining LinkedIn there are many possibilities, including hospitals and non-profits who need IT). I just know I don’t want to end up working for a company like our fictitious example in my Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure Configuration book:
Engulf & Devour (E&D) is a fast-growing, venture-funded new media company, specializing in acquiring smaller technology based companies and integrating their operations to benefit from economies of scale. As a network-based, consumer market-driven enterprise, E&D must manage the assimilation of technical environments from acquired companies without disrupting network operations and still provide the efficiencies promised to the venture capitalists backing the corporation. . .
Assimilate? Oh, no, I’m going to be become Borg! . . .
. . . or worse, a Capitalist. . .
Resistance is NOT futile! That’s a subject for another blog entry, though (and yes, I need to get back to writing about activism and music as well).
I’m also not cut out to be a total control freak. I do understand the need for security, but, probably wouldn’t institute these policies (from my Windows 7 Configuration book):
. . .As a technical specialist responsible for network security, you could conceivably demand that your users log on each day by typing 72-character passwords, scanning security bracelets permanently fastened to their wrists, and having their identities confirmed with a blood sample. There are, however, likely to be objections to this treatment from users.
We will assimilate. . . Oh, wait. . .
As a Borg, err, Network Administrator for Engulf & Devour, err, E&D. . ., I must be assured of the safety of our companies data. Don’t worry:
. . .The grisly stories of severed body parts being used to fool biometric scanners are (hopefully) fictitious because the technology exists to confirm a finger or appendage is still connected to a living body.
What? What about my former co-worker who was attached to that, ahh, appendage? Eek!
I am Borg. . .
No o o o o!