12 Forbes Terrace
Pittsburgh, PA 15217










Friday, May 30, 2003

Health Insurance

I'm currently very stressed about CMU's egregious Health Insurance rates. To insure my family will cost nearly $6000 a year--a substantial chunk of change, especially when tacked onto the $28,000 tuition. And when you consider I will be making, oh, zero dollars in income. Even if I went with the cheapest ("hit by a bus only") option, it would still be $3000 a year. Insurance rates have DOUBLED in two years at CMU. It's not right. They should be subsidized, like they are for the staff and faculty of CMU. I find it hard to believe these are the best rates that could be found for a group of several thousand people.

posted at 03:20 PM in money | comments (0) | trackback (0) | link


Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Taking the Plunge

I've been reading a lot of the blogs of my soon-to-be classmates and recent CMU alumni, and an entry from Kevin Fox reminded me how difficult it has been for me to return to graduate school. I deferred for a year to be sure of my decision and to get my life in enough order (sell my house, find a new place to live, find a school for my daughter, try to find my wife a job in Pittsburgh) to attend. And even now, less than three weeks from all our belongings being loaded onto a moving truck headed for Western PA, not everything is in place. I can only hope the boost CMU gives to my career is worth all this effort and expense. As moving day gets closer, my feet get colder...

posted at 08:13 PM in alumni, classmates, preparation | comments (1) | trackback (0) | link


Sunday, May 25, 2003

Why Carnegie Mellon

Despite US News & World Report's number 2 ranking for CMU's graduate design program, I'm fairly certain that it'll be the best place for me, mainly because what they are good at teaching matches 1) what I'm interested in and 2) what I need to know. These would include typography, cognitive science, design theory, industrial design, and a host of other things like game design. Plus, I was very impressed with where some of their grads were offered jobs: Ideo, Microsoft, Ford, IBM, Google. Not too shabby.

Even though it is an extra year, I chose the design department's Master's of Design in Interaction Design over the HCI program. To me, even the term "Human Computer Interaction" is like a relic from another era. HCI to me implies that everything about interactivity and interface design can be learned, studied, then simply applied. It's a scientific approach to something, for me, is more akin to a creative craft. GOMS studies and such are all fine and good, but I've found that making educated guesses can sometimes work as well. I think a design degree from CMU will help me better make those educated guesses.

posted at 02:14 PM in cmu, hci program | comments (0) | trackback (0) | link


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All straight lines circle sometimes. - The Weakerthans