Thursday, May 6, 2010

What to Do as a Second Career? By Christian Allaire

Moored Naples Florida, Living Aboard Christa

I know this may be sprinting much further ahead than is necessary or prudent. But, with college looming in August I will need to start making some decisions in terms of course work.

Freedom of choice is a good thing, but only when you've cultivated the ability to make sound decisions, then plow ahead toward the goal without looking in the rear view mirror. I mitigate the second guessing down the line by being through in the initial decision making process. This way if things go south with my choice, I find much comfort knowing I wasn't irresponsible, but was due to unforeseeable events. I think this is why most people who win the lottery become miserable, because of the overwhelming amount of choice that suddenly appears. Without an incremental immersion into the world of choice, people just leap from one thing to next spurring disillusionment.

By virtue of my retirement from the Coast Guard, the chains were lifted and a world of choice was opened up. Wow, I could live anywhere I wanted. I could do so many different things, but I decided to pursue a goal hatched many years before. That sailing goal hasn't gone the way I intended, but I have no regrets because it wasn't an arbitrary undertaking. Plus for me, it was pretty epic.

Now I am faced with another very big choice. And that is what to pursue as a second career. Even though I have 4 years worth of college benefits to use, I still need to focus on the employment post school aspect. I could chop those 4 years of bennies into different segments, or be a student for the next 4 years, but I still need to enter the real world again at some point.

I have a strong desire to become a teacher. I am at a bit of a loss as to why. It really has not been on my radar for all that long. It's not as if it's something I've always wanted to do. I think it stems from the realization that I really love to learn. I was a terrifically terrible high school student. I just had no clue and was not interested in learning at all. I paid the price. Over the course of my service time, I chipped away at my Bachelors in a somewhat hodgepodge fashion.  I had developed a confidence problem that I smashed with great success with my first class I took at San Francisco State University in 1999. It was a Macro Economics class that I was very nervous about and didn't think I had the smarts for. Well, it immediately became apparent that if I followed my good military training of paying attention to detail and diligent effort, I would do just fine. And I did. I got an A. I even remember the Professor's name was Bishu Chatterjee. Good ole Bishu.

As with all people who make the military a career, I've had to put together my share of training plans and then deliver them. Just like.....well a teacher.  I enjoyed overcoming the anxiety of public speaking and enjoyed watching others who were top notch trainers and mentors. This more than anything got me to thinking about the profession.

I have some reservations, but only because of the horror stories one reads about. Still that is not an excuse to not gather more info or get some first hand knowledge. My Bachelors will be a straight Liberal Arts curriculum with an emphasis in philosophy. But, the exact nature of that may change when I meet with the academic advisor. I can graduate with a teaching credential so some different courses will need to be taken to achieve the credential. If I choose not to become a teacher then the work I do and the money spent toward the teaching credential may have been better used elsewhere. This is what I mean by some soul searching and decision making.

I can't really think of another field to enter. Staying within the maritime community really doesn't turn me on. But opening a small business surely holds some appeal for me. My buddy John Gamble and I have always wanted to open a business together. He is an idea machine. I love that Tom and Amy from Sandpiper bought a small business and now live with the joy and stresses of owning their business.

Who knows, but these are some of the things that I have been thinking about during my lazy days here in Naples.

Care to comment? Would love to hear from all hands. As I mentioned before, due to spam I have to push the little button to post comments. So you don't get the immediate gratification of seeing your comment.

Capt Chris

PS: On a very different topic. Read the following article called In a Charmed Life. A Road Less Traveled. It will blow your hair back.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Visit With The Girls of Great Valley at Captiva By Christian Allaire

I drove yesterday to Sanibel Island and the little beach town of Captiva, about 60 miles to the north of Naples for an awesome surprise visit with old old friends. I wrote a blog entry about the death of two dear friends father only a month and half ago. You can read that blog by clicking here. Well one of those friends, Dani called me just a couple of days ago to invite me to Captiva for a little reunion of sorts.

Marcy and Dani

It was dicey given this trip was hatched as a girls only gig, and only upon arrival to Florida did Dani realize I was just a scant few miles to the south. The five girls, Dani, Marcy, Jennifer D, Jen W and Maureen are all from my childhood back in Pennsylvania. They were two years behind me, class of 88 and Dani's sister Stacey was in my class of 86 as was Jennifer D brother Phil. In any event we all mixed and matched no matter the age difference and as I have come to realize the connections forged in childhood run strong and very deep. I had not seen Marcy and both Jennifer's since High School. This is one of the magical things about Facebook, people just keep surfacing. I love it!

Jen W, Dani G, Marcy G, Jennifer D, Maureen M

It was a great day. Had so much fun. I am appreciative that the rules were broken for the day. I entered the Queen Bee Hive and survived. Of course the Canon G11 was blazing away, including a sunset session at the beach.

Jen W

Dani G

Dani G and Me
The Sun goes to Sleep on May 1st 2010

Thanks Girls!!!!

Capt Chris