Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

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WAHW = Work At Home Wednesdays = Woo!

A short time ago my boss gave me my first annual review. It glowed. Amongst other things, she said she was very happy with her choice of body to fill the position, and that I worked well without supervision.

So I asked her about working at home for one day a week on a regular basis. She agreed, so now I get to spend Wednesdays this semester home with the doggies while telecommuting. SO much better than the hated cubicularity that is my working life otherwise.

This term I'm using my employee perq of class fee waivers to take an Intermediate GIS course, which would be the first in a series of classes to earn a Certificate in GIS. Such would have helped me achieve a staff position on a dig in Denmark this past summer, but alas -- no experience with GIS at all thus far.

But I have enough background with maps and databases and computers to place into the intermediate course, fortunately. GIS = Geographical Information Systems = playing with data to generate spatial answers to all kinds of question.

Classes meet Tues. and Thurs. at 6:00 pm for three hours at a shot. Half an hour of lecture, then the rest of the time on computers learning the software and using it with datasets to produce maps that serve as references or means to make decisions.

For example, with a GIS one might use databases to locate all the elevations in the world between 5-6,000 feet, then correlate that against all the places that get 10-12 inches of rain a year, and check that against all places that have an average temperatute of 68 degrees, and apply yet another database of soil types to find places with good loamy dirt. This would result in a map showing three places in the world that are optimal to grow a certain type of crop.

GIS have many, many applications in archaeology as well as numerous other fields and the course looks promising and interesting.

It's a lot to take on while simultaneously starting a business and working full time, but it's always good to have another backup option. And I hate being bored.

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