I became a software engineer at Microsoft after graduating from DePaul University with a degree in computer science. One thing I noted  when I was a student was that there were two kinds of computer science students: those that were doing it for external reasons and those that were doing it for internal reasons. The career results of these two different kinds of students were also different.

Those that were doing it for external reasons got standard jobs. One example that comes to mind is a guy who was in my software projects class. The best job he could get was a corporate job writing COBOL code. An obsolete language and boring. He had to wear a suit. I wonder what he’s doing nowadays. Well, actually, I don’t.

I was one of the students that was studying computer science for internal reasons. I really liked it and wanted to do it even in my spare time. In fact, I was working to learn as much as I could about it even before I went back to school. For me (and friends like me), class assignments weren’t the main thing – they were just the start. I would write code not related to the things we were required to study just to learn more about the stuff I was interested in.

Those in my group, the above-and-beyond, loved what we were studying. It wasn’t boring; it was exciting. We found our passion and that was a key factor in our success.

Hillary found her passion early. She helped canvass on the South Side of Chicago at the age of 13, majored in political science in college and was politically active, and continued on at Yale Law School where she advocated for children’s issues.

Hillary is clearly one of the above-and-beyonds in her area of passion, politics. This is why I believe she will do a great job as president.

In my humble opinion, America needs government. I think it would be a grave mistake not to have leaders in government with experience & passion in that area. Would you hire a plumber who didn’t like plumbing and had no experience? A doctor?

I don’t see Hillary as the lesser of two evils. I see her as eminently qualified, the best person for the job we’ve had in a long time and the only reasonable choice in this election.

The Serenity Prayer

Authored by Reinhold Niebuhr, used widely in sermons as early as 1934 (per Wikipedia):

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

I was thinking about this prayer today as both the Cubs yesterday and the Seahawks today lost. Following sports can get me worked up and my general outlook on the world becomes bleak if my favorite teams do not win. Why put myself through that? What stress hormones are coursing through my body because of these recent events? Why do I put myself in that position when there is little I myself can do to change those things?

Per the serenity prayer, should I work to distance myself from sports fandom to be in a more accepting position with respect to game outcomes? Would the energy and attention I currently spend on those things be better directed to things that I can personally change?

That’s what I’m thinking about this evening.

Statement of Intent

As the end of the year looms, thoughts, as usual, turn to reflecting on what has happened in the past year and what I want to do in the upcoming year. One thing that comes to mind is setting as a challenge the writing of a blog post on this blog every day for a year. In order to meet this challenge, I must not miss a day during 2017.

In preparation for this I am going to attempt to write a blog post every day for the remainder of 2016. I won’t count it against myself if a miss days up until 1/1/2017. I also have other aims for the upcoming year but I won’t talk about those in this post.

The first time I set myself a challenge of this sort was a number of years ago when I resolved to not have anything to drink for a whole year except for water. I basically met that challenge (on some days I did have tea) and ever since then I haven’t had any soda to drink (I do, currently, drink coffee but it’s usually Bulletproof Coffee and only one cup in the morning). Well, I did have some soda on January 1st of the following year, once the challenge had been met but, after a year of not drinking soda, I didn’t like it at all.

I really like this time of year and the looking back and reflecting, especially since I retired, even though it coincides with the coming of winter. I’m hoping that 2017 will be an even better year than 2016, and 2016, at least so far, has been very good.