It does, you know. You just have to get it hot enough.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Risk, opportunity, and major life changes

Carnegie Mellon is launching a new graduate program, a Masters in Tangible Interaction Design. I’ve been offered a slot in the first cohort starting this fall, and I’ve accepted.

This is a huge opportunity, and I’m taking a huge leap of faith and signing on. This is also going to be a major change in my life — I’m not just cramming 2-3 classes into my spare waking hours after I get done with work, this is a full-on commitment to focus on nothing but school for two semesters. I’m taking an unpaid leave from work and will have effectively no income for almost a year (and paying for COBRA for health insurance).. I’ve been putting money back for this most of the year and filing for student loans, but I’m still going to be living very cheaply for the next year or so.

However, this is a huge, huge opportunity and I’d be an idiot to pass it up. A year to focus on embedded computing, interaction design and bleeding-edge fabrication and rapid-prototyping is probably the wet dream of more than one geek out there.

I’ve always been a believer in the advice found in the opening of the Butthole Surfers, “Sweat Loaf”:

“A funny thing about regret is that it’s better to regret something you have done than than to regret something you haven’t done.”

But Dr. Randy Pausch’s commencement speech at CMU is when it really hit me:

“It is not the things in do in life that we regret on our deathbed, it is the things we do not.”

It’s not a matter of, “wow, how can I take such a huge risk?”. It’s a matter of “wow, how could I not take advantage of such a huge opportunity.”

Stay tuned for the blow-by-blow, classes start in a few weeks.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

posted by jet at 14:37  


  1. Congratulations! I’m beyond excited for you, and if there’s any way I can help (short of actually paying your rent, etc), just let me know!

    Comment by Ann — 2008/08/04 @ 17:59

  2. As I said in Twitter, good luck — this is absolutely the right thing for you to do. I think you’ll be brilliant at it.

    Comment by Jamais Cascio — 2008/08/05 @ 18:22

  3. Hi there,
    We haven’t met or anything but I like reading your blog. I say two thumbs up for taking the leap and I wish you great success and fun during the adventure.

    Comment by Adriaan — 2008/08/12 @ 05:31

  4. Hope this (academic) year bring you more than what you expected. I’m glad to have you in the lab.

    Comment by Sora — 2008/08/31 @ 09:35

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress