Thursday, February 28, 2008

First Day

If you've ever followed the League, you know I don't talk a lot about work. That's partially out of professional courtesy, and also because I am pretty sure if I got into what I do for a living, I'd lose the last five readers I have.

I'm not going to do what I've done in the past, and I'm going to actually name my employer. Partially because they're a public institution, people might be interested in where I work, and I think they have bigger fish to fry than what I think. What I will not do is air grievances about my employer or use this is as some soap box about work-related matters. Unless I think they're amusing enough to share, and then, well...

Today I began my new position at the University of Texas. I'm working within the central Information Technology group. I met with my team today, and I'm really pleased. All of them seem like decent guys, and while I am anticipating a lot of work in the next 6 months for me to get up to speed and really do these guys any favors (yes, I am managing warm bodies again), I am pretty confident about the operation as a whole. So, yeah, got UT.

For Longhorns and Austinites past and present, my office is near the tower. Or, I should say, The Tower. Not a bad place to be after parking in a shut-down Arby's Parking lot and looking out at derelict building/ hobopalooza for the past several months.

And, while ASU (two employers back) was a fair and equitable employer... The campus was mostly unattractive and looked like the criteria for design was mostly "whomever bids the lowest". So being tucked in there by Garrison, the Tower, etc... if you just ignore Welch, it's a nice little pocket of campus.

By the way.. I don't know what happened to the UGL, but its not a library anymore. No idea where their collection went. It's all study desks now. And I think the computer lab is gone.

There's a Starbucks where the little shop was at the front of the Union (the ladies there were very nice). And the checkout desk of the UGL is now where you can have your staff photo taken by a nice guy with Starbucks/ McDonalds conspiracy theories. And, I believe, a Cesar Chavez statue in front of the Architecture building.

But, mostly, campus is the same. And that's kind of the point. Campuses are not there to be torn down and replaced. The buildings are made of stone for a reason. The structures, the places of learning and curiosity and research, they'll endure. Changes will be made internally, offices will move, air ducts, power, wiring, ethernet cables... all of that might change, but the Tower will be the Tower, and the stone faces of the six pack will forever face off across the South Mall, looking at one another with a bit of suspicion and hiding behind heroes of the South.

Oak trees will continue to live on, in absolutely ridiculous sizes beside the Hogg Auditorium, there's always someone with questionable political ideas trying to recruit you on the West Mall, right next to someone trying to recruit you for a worthwhile charity or blood bank. There's always a stream of students going from point a to b with too much going on between their ears. And there's still the sound of the bells. (One chime means quarter-til)

I'm going to be a part of that infrastructure for the foreseeable future, making sure the researchers, faculty, staff and students have the tools they need to function. It's an honor an a privilege to get the opportunity. Oddly enough, my office is within fifty feet of where I remember getting my first e-mail address and internet account set up in 1994. Thanks, Pat. And thanks to Robert, who was kicking a 5600 baud modem down the hall until I gave him $5 for it (or was it free? I don't recall. I know money was offered, but not much.).

So we'll see how it goes. 'Til Gabriel blows his horn, I suppose.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

"That's what I like about college. I keep getting older and the girls all say the same age."
- The League

Anonymous said...

Nice D&C quote.
I got sorta misty just reading about UT. Geez. I miss that place!

All the best in your new position!
-Denise

The League said...

I want to point out that not only did I start UT with Denise, but we also saw D&C together at the Dobie on its release.

Michael Corley said...

You do make me miss UT. I don't miss Austin over much. I know this is heresy, but there are certian elements I look back on with fondness - particuarly the movie going culture and UT.

Jennifer and I are considering moving back to Norman, OK. No real difference... it's just that it's a COLLEGE town. And college towns keep you young.

Steven G. Harms said...

I actually had two email addresses at UT, my @mail.utexas.edu, but also on the lesser-known VAX machine.

Only at a university can you still find a VAX.

The League said...

I'm actually working almost exclusively with VAX.

@mail.utexas.edu is still very much alive. As is Pine and uts.cc.mail.utexas.edu, Eudora, etc...

RHPT said...

Geez. Who uses Pine anymore?

Steven G. Harms said...

Aw shit, I loves me the vax, it's like Unix minus the cool.

Mad propz points: The plural of vax is vaxen. The plural of unix is unices.

And actually at my megacorporate benefactor, the engineers love pine still. As far as console / curses / ncurses based mail readers go ( and i have a bit of an opinion, being a mail systems guy ) Mutt is the absolute best.

If you need to churn through a lot of mail, mutt's threading capability, mark by regular expression, delete all in thread, etc. capabilities make it possible to tear through 200+ messages a day in very short order.

Although one might make the point that if one can tear through that much mail that quickly perhaps one ought not receive so much mail, but there is so much CYA-mail i have to see, it helps a lot.

ls -latgtR to the pipe-grep sed,

Steven