Sunday, April 29, 2007

Other stuff I've been up to lately

Notes on various things I've been up to:

This past week, I attended a concert, a lecture, and three masterclasses that were all part of the Art of the Song Festival at Santa Clara University. It was a perfect opportunity because I love art song and all of the events were free! Not to mention that I'm now able to go to daytime weekday events, like the masterclasses. I enjoy sitting in on the classes; I get a lot out of watching the students get critiqued. Plus, voice lessons aren't cheap, so I try to avail myself of free educational opportunities when they arise. Santa Clara has voice students in a range of levels, including a few really stellar singers.

My social life is improving and I'm grateful to have more time to spend with people than I did when I was working. Most recently, I've had lunch and dinner get-togethers with college friends who have been in town, a number of former coworkers, and some other friends. More get-togethers are forthcoming.

As a bonus, some of the folks I've been getting together with have gone through, or know someone who has gone through, a career transition like the one I'm attempting, and they are enthusiastic in sharing their experiences and information. I had dinner with R. and B. yesterday. R. spent some time sharing with me the results of the What Color is Your Parachute? exercises that he found most helpful in planning his past career transitions. B. has transitioned from high-tech HR into management/leadership coaching. She recommends the Cupertino Rotary Job Search Support Group as a local resource for career changers in addition to regular job hunters. I bet she also has some good insights from both her careers as well as her personal career transition experience.

I'm making slow but steady progress on the piano. Most days I work on scales, exercises, and a couple of songs from Schaum Book D. I've made it to song #5, a cheesy medley of stripped-down Strauss waltzes :) As part of each practice session, I try either to sight-read some new piece of music (often a piano accompaniment to a choral/vocal piece that I'm working on), or play through some music theory exercises from my harmony and counterpoint textbook.

I've been knocking myself out, putting together a transitional résumé that I want to email to New American Dream next Monday. It's been quite a few years since I last updated my résumé. I'm trying to create a hybrid résumé that includes not only my software development experience but also my activism and volunteer work. My goal is to have my résumé convey the following messages to New American Dream: the section on software experience says "I'm smart/technical/experienced enough to do the job", and the section on activism/volunteerism says "I'm motivated to work for New Dream because I'm committed to your issues and have the track record to prove it". My résumé also needs to compensate for the shortcoming of not having the exact skill set and background needed for website development.

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