Employment Opportunities

Friday, thank goodness. I hope you're as glad as I am. Another week gone... but another week closer to the end of my degree and the impending need for me to find some form of employment.

The trouble is, just having a history degree isn't the smartest thing I ever did. Atrina, my elder sister (house not bio), did history and vehicle repair and she's presently repairing antique vehicles in Midlothian in the perfect union of usefulness and intellectual knowledge. Some people have all the foresight.

I, on the other hand, opted for the purely intellectual, which usually means I plan to be a scholar or a teacher or a professor, none of which really appeal to me. As I've mentioned before, I would really like to do something. Having no skills except a passing knowledge of the history of the human race isn't terribly conducive to that.

I would also like to travel. This doesn't necessarily mean Earth immediately, which is I think what most people mean by 'travel'. Mars is a big place and there's a lot of it I've not seen. Ideally, I think I would get a short term job here that enables me to get to know this planet before I attempt to make any more drastically expensive trips- which I certainly want to. Nobody in my immediate family has made it off-world yet. I want to be the first!

So looking at various options, and keeping in mind the above things, I've narrowed it down to a couple of options that I'm going to apply for:

1. MNS - I'm not super interested in journalism (shhh), but the MNS does have jobs for students and new graduates that basically involve filling in the gaps where they need people. They have stations all over Mars and some even involve actual travelling. It's kind of a long shot because I've got no journalism experience, but I can write so perhaps they'll consider me. I may even discover I like it.

2. Redbird Travel - I know, being a tour guide doesn't need a degree, but it's actually the only job I've ever had before (I was a tour guide at the afore mentioned museum), so I've got a shot. It doesn't pay very well and the hours are scary, but expenses are paid and you get to travel all over.

3. Personal Courier Services - This is a little company listed by the University's Career's Center. What they are is a company that basically pays you to transport something important that you can't send through the regular mail. It sounds intriguing, but in reality it pays fairly badly and you don't really get to see much of the destination since you go, deliver the package and then return. You might get to sleep over a night if you're traveling a long way. Still, could be exciting.

4. Olympus Museum of Natural History - I actually took a course in natural history and have worked here, so I have a shot. What this job includes is basically entry-level type stuff. Cataloging, copy-writing etc. it also involves more complicated stuff like research assistant. It involve traveling immediately, but at least I could live with my family (until they kick me out) and build up some capital to travel on my own terms.

Anyway. Those are the options. Wish me luck and hopefully I'll have a job when I graduate!

Your soon employed



I Know Nothing

There's an old quote (from a play I think) in which one character asks another if he knows everything or nothing. He replies that he knows nothing. Something came up in class last week that made me think of that. We were talking about those times in human history when humans were convinced that they were doomed by war or environmental damage, or some natural disaster like an asteroid impact.

Back in darkest periods of human life on Earth, humans seriously considered the end of the human race: they had created great vaults of seeds for plants of all kinds, and then later the embryos of as many animals as they could fit in, like giant bomb-resistant technologically advanced static arks. And finally the time came to consider building a Vault of Humanity, containing not only humans themselves but also the knowledge of humans.

So humans began to ask themselves the questions, What do humans know? What do humans know that is important? What should we put into this great vault of knowledge?

These questions made me think about what I know, and what I, without the aid of research of any kind, would be able to include in such a vault if I was somehow the only person available to do it. I am supposedly somewhat educated. I know a little about a lot of things, and when you think it is surprising what you know that only one thousand years ago people were still guessing about- I could instruct people to eat well, to cure some disease, to understand the world around them, inform them of their past (it would be strange to wake up on a planet where no evidence of your own evolution exists). But compared to the vast amount of information that was tabulated for the Vault of Humanity, I know nothing. My knowledge, although relatively vast, is basic and shallow. I would have to answer the question in the above quote with "I know nothing".

But (going off into the land of ridiculous, thoughtless philosophy) what about the human race? The Vault of Humanity was never completed, due in part to the sheer complexity of tabulating and storing efficiently all of human knowledge. We were defeated by the weight of what we know. Nowadays, much of our information is stored with massive amounts of redundancies in billions of servers and computers and storage facilities across the occupied world.

Despite this, our scientists still search for cures, our explorers still step in places unexplored, biologists uncover new secrets about plants and animals, historians still delve into the history of the world, philosophers still mull over its truths, and composers still find new ways of turning music into song. Could the human race, with so much understanding, given the choice of black and white only have the (totally absurd) option of saying "I know nothing"?

Eventually, the danger passed and advances in space travel and eventually the terraforming of Mars made the panic to preserve less pressing. The vaults still exist- you've probably heard the term "Vault" applied to something like this, even on Mars. They are now partially museums of a precarious era, but still also perform their old function, giant libraries of their specific area. However, no Vault of Humanity exists. If it was implausible to imagine such a thing back four hundred years, it is all but impossible now. We could try but in the end we might end up just wanting to put everything in: I suppose that in a way we are our own Vault of Humanity.

It's the only way to know everything.

Your Absurd Philosopher-Historian,



Mons Snowfall

First- I realised after I posted last night that I should make clear that regardless of how mistaken the outcome of Survivor: Mars had been, it does not undermine for me their bravery. I think that our finest moments are often our most unplanned moments of bravery, and the Survivors certainly rose to the challenge.

For those of you who do not live in Olympus, you have to understand something about our weather. In the meterological shadow of a mountain the size of Olympus Mons, our weather can be unpredictable; depending on the winds, our weather is very dry interspersed with very heavy showers from our heavy atmosphere. In the winter (which it is here) this means sudden dumps of snow.

We woke up this morning to the snow already falling and it's been falling all day, covering our grey winter city with a coat of white. Snow has that way of softening the hard edges of an urban environment. I love it for that. I went for a walk along the river, which was all frozen around the rocks with faintly pink ice. The path along the river is one my favourite places in Olympus, even in the winter. It was quite windy and so there were very few people out.

I walked up the path, following the course of the river up the hill, until I could turn around and look at the city. Because of the way the mountain is formed where the city sits on a kind of plateau towards the bottom of the mountain, even from a few minutes walk up, you can look over the city. The falling snow was so thick at first that I couldn't even see the Zebra Building, but it thinned out a bit when I got a little higher and I could see a long way across the city.

It's hard, seeing a scene like that, not to love Olympus :).

When I leave it (which I guarantee you I will; I am determined that I shall see more of this world), I know I will be sorry to miss the seasons here. Sigh. So torn.

Your tour guide,