The Piecemeal Man (abmann) wrote,
The Piecemeal Man

In search of Dr. Ringland

Earlier this week lady_fox confronted me with out future. She wanted to know if I had been serious in my home-buying considerations. You see, we had thuoght it to be a good idea. We could make a fair amount of money by buying a house or condo then selling it off after Epic moved to Verona. Intrigued, I researched.

In my myriad readings, I found that real estate is at mimimum a three year commitment - 5 if you really want to do it right - as far as home equity, property value and real estate profiteering went. I figured that was fine and still fit into my general plans of world domination life, the universe adn everything. I could maintain my current job adn eventually go to U Dub for my Philosophiæ Doctor in due time. Simultaneaously, I could rake it in with falling mortgage rates and rising property value in my l'il villa.

It had been my assumption that Fox disliked her job at times, but was willing to stick with it to get a more solid resumé. This may be true but when the words "I hate the midwest" left her lips, my brain entered overdrive. My plan suddenly wouldn't include her which as she could barely stand the thought of living here another year. This unacceptable, both that she is ultimately unhappy here adn that my future would be missing her were I to continue. What I quickly realized is that in my blindness of her situation, I hadn't really considered what she wanted in the next 3-5 years. This has been an aggregious oversight.

I've been distilling our most important goals, the ones that she and I have had for our entire relationship. We've had each one constant.
  • Her's is pretty straightforward: Go West, stop when you hit friends and/or water.
  • Mine is somewhat more nuanced: Go to grad school (followed quickly by "get filthy rich")

The good news is that graduate schools exist all over the continent.
The bad news is, I'm going to use this journal to track my progress. I need something to keep tally of my progress, deadlines, and thoughts about programs, places, etc. The better news,

I figure that I have six months to do the following:
  1. Choose a state (California, Colorado, Washington, or Tennesse <- Iris and I realize this is lesss "west" adn more "east" but nuts to you)
  2. Choose a program
      Subsection 1
    • Human Factors/Ergonomics
    • Cognitive Neuroscience
    • Human-Computer interface
    • Industrial/Organizational Psych

  3. Get application materials
      Subsection 2
    • Gather essay material - past research, personal statement
    • Get letters of recommendation
        Subsection 3: From whom?
      • Alexis?
      • Larry?
      • Greg?
      • Susan?
      • Art?
      • Current bosses?

    • Gather the money

  4. Do the actual application part. :)
  5. Get financial aide - part of previous section most likely.
  6. Get accepted
      Subsection 4: "Dancing for joy"
    • Dance for joy

  7. Move

Anything after that shall be planned later.

Getting all this done in six monthsa should be easy, assuming I keep at it. That's the driving factor behind me journaling. I know I'd be able to keep everything straight in my head, I have the faculty for it. Being faced with it near daily will keep me going. When I post most nights I'll provide a cut update about my progress so I know what I've done. It's your job to offer suggestions, advice or general "keep at it" when I start to feel unqualified. :)

I've been at it for two days already. Time to figure out what I've got.

1. Choose a state.
I can't decide between California and Washington, really. Colorado is pretty much an after thought that I should discuss with Fox. I've found some programs in that area that could be nice, but it's not really as far west as Fox wants to go. Also, the only person we know in Colrado is Brooke, which could be good or bad...

California has piles of good schools and is pretty and is expensive to live there.
Washington seems to be the hot place for Beloiters to go, where a dozen people we both like adn love live in Seattle. However, Seattle doesn't really have that many programs i'm interested in. Plus I must face that fact that, it being one of the top three psych graduate schools in the nation, I'm probably not qualified to go there. My 3.3 GPA, 1300 GRE, lack of honors and many unpublished research projects put me, at best, in a maybe pile at first consideration.

Any wy it goes, narrowing to three out of 50 is pretty good. :)

2. Choose a prgram.

This is the insanely difficult bit. I have many interests, and little experience with many. What I"ve found so far looks good though.

Human Factors
Definition from google: The discipline or science of studying man-machine relationships and interactions. The term covers all biomedical and psychological considerations; it includes, but is not limited to, principles and applications in the areas of human engineering, personnel selection, training, life support, job performance aids, and human performance evaluation.

This is pretty much what I do now and what I really enjoy about my job. Though, I wish I could do it on a larger scale. My entire company needs usability testing and it's impractical to do it.

Programs available in my states:
San Jose State University
-Yeah, I've never heard of it either. But I think i could certainly get in. But it's a MS not PhD. However, there's no reason I could go on... even if it did mean doing all this over again....
University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health/Bioengineering
-This is focused on biology and engineering aspects of HF/E. Thus, there's nil chance I'd qualify.
University of California, Berkeley Vision Science
-I have a chance for this one.
There are two more in LA. I REALLY don't want to move to LA. There other two ar in the SF Bay Area, which I love. And I have family there. :)

There are none in Washington.

I/O Psych
From with the application of psychology to the world of business, commerce and the function of organizations, industrial and organisational psychology focuses to varying degrees on the psychology of the workforce, customer, and consumer, including issues such as the psychology of recruitment, selecting employees from an applicant pool, training, performance appraisal, job satisfaction, work behaviour, stress at work and management.

Antioch University - Seattle
-This one looks fishy..

San Jose State again.

CalState - San Bernadino
-Can't find the info, but this looks like California's "Dumb people' college :(

-I'm kinda surprised they offer this.

That's all I'll list for now. Not many programs in what I want and mostly MS degrees to boot. Currently I'm considering getting the MS in HF/E then getting a Ph. D. in experimental psych. Most of the Exp. Psych programs I've looked at are very flexible in design. So, theoretically, I could design my own experimental HF/E Ph. D. prhram, or something of the sort. That's pretty cool.

From U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Median annual earnings of wage and salary industrial-organizational psychologists in 2002 were $63,710. The middle 50 percent earned between $48,540 and $81,880. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,620, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $112,660.

For some one still on Beloit's Campus:
In the Psych department there's a grad school catalog that goves schools rankins; I don't remember the scale or title or anything pertinent. Regardless, could somebody please go there and look up San Jose State for me? I want to know its relative quality.

If you're having trouble finding it ask a professor. If they look at you funny, say you're looking for me. They should still remember me (I hope).

There. After you've digested that, comments are highly encouraged.
Tags: graduate school
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