Introduction: “Of forms transformed”

“In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas / corpora…”
“My mind moves to tell of forms transformed into new bodies…”
–Ovid, Metamorphoses, ll. 1-2

Turn and face the strange
–David Bowie, Changes

I created this blog to tell a story about transformation. On a basic level, I intend it to function as a chronicle of career change and the learning and growth making the process possible. On a deeper level, I’m thinking of it as a story about personal metamorphosis told in related strands and fragments.

I begin today with an introduction to my own development out of–and through–academe. In subsequent posts, I intend to explore aspects of this metamorphosis in progress: what I’ve learned, what I’m still learning, why it matters, and so on.  I expect that future posts, while united in the core theme and by their author, may range quite widely, taking us, for example, from poetry in ancient languages to code-poems in programming languages, with many stops along the way. I hope that you will choose to take that journey with me, and that my words can be of some entertainment and even assistance in yours.

For the past several years I’ve been employed as an educator and researcher by one of the finest universities in the world. I’ve learned and taught as a paid professional while receiving ongoing training as a graduate student. My job was to synthesize, develop, and share complex information and ideas. As both an educator and researcher, I worked to contribute knowledge, perspectives, and practical skills towards fostering a more humane future. I was blessed with the privilege of doing this work in collaboration with outstanding scholars and extraordinary students, to whom I remain ever grateful, and from whom I have learned a great deal.

In the course of these same years, I’ve also come to more clearly understand my own values, priorities, and goals in life. After a process of careful deliberation and consultation, I’ve decided that I can better become the person I want to be by building a new career outside academe. I believe that I can apply my passion for complex ideas, analyses, and arguments in new contexts, and that my commitment to and excitement about the craftsmanship of research, writing, and speaking will translate to new projects and industries. I want to apply the skills I have strengthened while working in the higher education sector to a new role that will allow me to continue to learn and grow while building a product that more immediately reaches more people and helps to improve their lives.

I am just setting out on the journey towards this new role. After successfully fulfilling my teaching commitments for spring term 2013, I did not reapply for a new assignment and withdrew from the Ph.D. program voluntarily and in good academic standing. I have begun training for a new career in the technology sector while working part-time as a library assistant this summer.

Stay tuned for more soon…