Friday, May 25, 2012

Reflecting on the last 14 years

I spent seven years in graduate school.
I have been in Muncie for seven years.

I started graduate school at the University at Buffalo in Fall, 1998.
I became an assistant professor at Ball State University in Fall, 2005.

In Buffalo, I spent two years on my masters degree and five on my doctorate.
In Muncie, I was promoted to associate professor in five years and secured tenure in two more.

In Buffalo, I wrote about a dozen songs and a few research papers.
In Muncie, I've written many research papers but only one song.

In Buffalo, my advisor was a good and patient mentor who was sometimes distracted by his duties as department chair.
In Muncie, my wife has been my constant companion and biggest supporter, although she is sometimes distracted by raising our children.

In Buffalo, I changed apartments four times.
In Muncie, I bought a house.

In Buffalo, I wrote out my lesson plans in binders and tried to give stirring, inspirational lectures.
In Muncie, I pay attention to what my students are doing and how that relates to their learning.

In Buffalo, I bought a book of Peanuts songs and absolutely loved it.
In Muncie, I bought a book of Mr. Rogers songs and absolutely loved it.

In Buffalo, the Computer Science and Engineering department was in Bell Hall.
In Muncie, the Computer Science department is in the Robert Bell Building.

In Buffalo, I bought computer games that came in boxes.
In Muncie, all these purchases are made through Steam, GOG, or indies.

In Buffalo, my friends and I had cookouts at Point Gratiot on Lake Erie.
In Muncie, I try to have my students and collaborators over to the house for a cookout each semester.

In Buffalo, I changed my facial hair every few weeks.
In Muncie, I've worn a beard since a few weeks into my first semester.

In Buffalo, I had a few failed relationships, but these led to my marriage, which makes me very happy.
In Muncie, I had a few failed research directions, but these led to my current scholarship, which makes me happy.

In Buffalo, I ate corn dogs and potted meat from Big Lots.
In Muncie, I go to the Farmer's Market almost every weekend.

In Buffalo, there were lots of Greek restaurants for Sunday brunch.
In Muncie, there are lots of places to get Mexican cuisine.

In Buffalo, most of my best friends were single.
In Muncie, almost all of these friends are now married, most with children.

In Buffalo, I got to meet Neil Innes.
In Muncie, I got to work with Hal Abelson.

In Buffalo, I lived alone for two years before sharing apartments.
In Muncie, it was two years before my wife and I had our first child.

In Buffalo, I had purpose and was working on mastery.
In Muncie, I have autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

In Buffalo, an inspiration student told me, "I'm gonna call you 'PG'!"
In Muncie, my students called me "Doctor G."

In Buffalo, I was affiliated with the Dragon Clan in Legend of the Five Rings.
In Muncie, I am affiliated with the Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education.

In Buffalo, I was a research team of one, and when I occasionally was thrown masters students, I was neither authorized nor prepared to mentor them.
In Muncie, I have worked with several great collaborators, including undergraduate and masters students, and I've become much better at mentoring.

In Buffalo, I would go to Bennigan's for the Wheelhouse burger.
In Muncie, I go to Scotty's for the Backyard BBQ burger.

In Buffalo, I saw my parents about twice a month.
In Muncie, I see my parents about twice a year.

In Buffalo, Duke Nukem Forever was in development the whole time.
In Muncie, Half-Life 2: Episode Three has been in development most of the time.

In Buffalo, all of my work was done in Java.
In Muncie, I have published papers based on work in Java, C#/.NET, and Prolog.

In Buffalo, I had roller blades.
In Muncie, I have a bicycle.

In Buffalo, I read several books by Orson Scott Card.
In Muncie, I have read several books by L. Frank Baum.

In Buffalo, I had to explain that Dunkirk was about an hour away.
In Muncie, I have to explain that Buffalo is not near New York City.

In Buffalo, caffeine came in the form of tea, Dr. Pepper, and chocolate-covered coffee beans.
In Muncie, caffeine comes from tea, coffee, and chocolate-covered coffee beans.

In Buffalo, I spent a lot of time tracking down defects in my own code.
In Muncie, I have converted to test-driven development.

In Buffalo, I walked to campus when I lived close and drove otherwise.
In Muncie, I walk or bike and have never had a parking pass.

In Buffalo, people complained about Adelphia.
In Muncie, people complain about Comcast.

In Buffalo, I had never heard of paw paws.
In Muncie, I cannot find a good fish fry.

In Buffalo, I was an officer with the Computer Science and Engineering Graduate Student Assocation for four years.
In Muncie, I was Undergraduate Program Coordinator for five and a half years.

In Buffalo, I locked my keys in my car twice.
In Muncie, I have locked my keys in my office once.

In Buffalo, I first read Godel, Escher, Bach.
In Muncie, I tried to re-read GEB but couldn't quite make it.

In Buffalo, the Manifesto for Agile Software Development was written, but it didn't really affect me.
In Muncie, the principles of agile software infuse almost all of my work.

In Buffalo, I had to stop using instant messenger so I could be more productive.
In Muncie, I had to start working with my office door closed so I could be more productive.

In Buffalo, I introduced many friends to bubble tea, though some didn't like it.
In Muncie, I introduced many friends to old fashioned cocktails, though some didn't like it.

In Buffalo, I had to cast objects returned by Java's collections API.
In Muncie, I use the generic version of the API.

In Buffalo, I organized L5R tournaments.
In Muncie, I have people over to play board games.

In Buffalo, I went out to Chippewa exactly once.
In Muncie, I've been to The Locker Room exactly once.

In Buffalo, I bought tea at Victoria Teas in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
In Muncie, I buy coffee from Compusion Coffee.

In Buffalo, the extent of my tabletop roleplaying was one game of Rolemaster, one game of D&D 3.5, and one session of system I designed.
In Muncie, the extent of my tabletop roleplaying has been two games of Everyone is John at the VBC.

In Buffalo, I loved to go cross-country skiing with my friends.
In Muncie, I can walk or bike to work year-round.

In Buffalo, I bought Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne.
In Muncie, I am shopping for more storage space to hold my board game collection.

In Buffalo, my favorite course to teach was programming languages.
In Muncie, I have not taught programming languages.

In Buffalo, I would go to Zoar Valley and Goat Island.
In Muncie, I go to Mounds State Park and the Muncie Greenway.

In Buffalo, beer-battered banana peppers were a favorite treat.
In Muncie, deep-fried pickles are a favorite treat.

In Buffalo, I got better at playing acoustic guitar.
In Muncie, I have gotten better at playing bass guitar.

In Buffalo, I was a Presidential Fellow.
In Muncie, I have been a fellow with the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts and the Virginia Ball Center for Creative Inquiry.

In Buffalo, I watched all of Neon Genesis: Evangelion with my pals.
In Muncie, I watched all the MST3Ks with my wife.

In Buffalo, my friends and I debated the relative merits of Duff's and Anchor Bar's wings.
In Muncie, people don't seem to know that chicken wings are supposed to have bones in them.

In Buffalo, Linux was my operating system of choice, except when playing games.
In Muncie, Linux is my operating system of choice, except when playing games.

In Buffalo, I learned how to understand and apply software design patterns.
In Muncie, I teach others how to understand and apply software design patterns.

In Buffalo, I wore flannel shirts over T-shirts.
In Muncie, I wear sweater-vests.

In Buffalo, I tinkered with game design and development when I needed a break from school work.
In Muncie, I create and teach courses on game design and development.

In Buffalo, I performed at Higher Grounds Coffee House.
In Muncie, I blog.

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