Excerpt from a letter to Ethan:
Today I had a big talk with Bossman about my Individual Development Plan (career goals, etc). We talked a lot about my personal projects for the next year, but also we talked long term. He encouraged me to further my education by combining a meteorology degree with an emphasis in programming....I don't know how I feel about programming in particular. I'm not that interested in running models. However, I could see doing computer programming to make data available to the public, or creating a new webpage or something....computer programming with an emphasis in customer service, I guess. Anyway, Bossman was talking about several options. He's trying to encourage the region to open some slots to send local meteorologists to grad school in the Lower 48. Not for free, but a leave of absence type thing, or a 20-20 program, where you work 20 hrs a week and go to school 20. The 20-20 program would be something I would have to do here, but he said there would be options with some people over at UAA and I could create a designer degree.
I mentioned that we might want to move to the Lower 48, and he said that would be easier and better for my career. However if I wanted to stay here, there are possibilities for obtaining an advanced degree. All this was said in context of me possibly getting a MIC job (Meteorologist In Charge) one day. Bossman said he could see me being an MIC eventually....which is pretty cool, because I think I would be good at that. That's long term, though. He also said that I have a natural aptitude for the technology. So that made me feel really smart.
We also talked about the class I was supposed to get this upcoming year. I don't know if I talked to you about this, but he told me he had signed me up for an AWIPS Applications Development course (AWIPS is our LINUX-based graphics system). Then recently, I was looking at the regional list of people signed up to go to things, and I saw that S was signed up to go to that course, which made me mad. I mean, I understand if there's a better choice, or I don't get a course. That's okay, because not everyone gets to go to training every year. Just don't tell me I'm going, and then not send me, you know? Anyway, Bossman said that region had made that choice, and that there will be other opportunities and that I will get to go this year. What I inferred from that was that he was overridden by region and he wasn't too happy about it. I think if another slot comes open, they will send me, and he thinks one will probably open. However, I know that may not be the case, so if I don't get to go, I understand. But it makes me feel better that Bossman didn't lie to me; region just made a different choice and Bossman is going to bat for me. So this means I need to do some background work on the computer language.
All this boils down to a couple of things: 1) I'm feeling a little more confident about the job I'm doing and where I'm going with my career; 2) I may look into some computer programming courses for the spring (perhaps online courses, since unlike Japanese, I won't need to be in attendance) and 3) I guess I am getting into this computer and technology stuff, and that's not entirely a bad thing.
I really hope all this computer programming works out in a way I want it to. I feel so smart that people think I'm capable of becoming some sort of programmer, even if it's just pretty stuff like web design.