Sunday, December 18, 2005

A Statement of Purpose

##NOTE: As many of you know, I'm planning on going back to Auburn to work on my PhD. One of the things required for application is a statement of purpose. I thought that you, my loyal readers (crickets - *chirp*chirp*), might enjoy reading it. ##

As a son, nephew, and grandson in a family of teachers, there has been a high value put on education my entire life. Whether it was my mother teaching me to read even before starting kindergarten or my uncle letting me sit in during his college classes as a Jr. High student, I have never thought of education as a goal to be reached. Education is a lifelong process. So, be it in school, at work, or in my personal life, I always strive to learn as much and as often as possible. That is why I seek to validate that process with the highest degree available in my field.

When I graduated from Auburn two and a half years ago, I went back and forth on whether or not to continue my education with graduate school. I eventually decided to look for a job, while keeping open the option of eventually going back to school. That search was not as fruitful as I had hoped, and six months later I found myself back in college at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, enrolled in their Masters Program. I did eventually find a job, and have since dropped down to a part time student. But I will earn my master’s degree this May. While I have enjoyed my experience at UAH and at my job, it has really fostered my desire to become a full time student again, and to really devote my time and effort toward earning a doctoral degree.

At both my job and at school, I have recently become involved in the subject of information assurance. That is why I am very interested in what Dr. Hamilton is doing with the Information Assurance Laboratory. I have done a little bit of work with intrusion detection systems and using them to detect insider threats to a network. I have several interesting ideas in that area which I can hopefully develop into a dissertation.

The real question, then, is why Auburn. I have a good job and a good relationship with my professors at UAH. I could easily continue my education where I am. But anyone who has ever attended or been involved with Auburn knows that it is a special place. There is a sense of community there that I have never felt anywhere else. I had a wonderful experience with my professors as an undergraduate. The truth is that I want to come back to Auburn because I believe in Auburn, and love it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


So I'm sitting here at my computer with the TV on in the background. The NBC station's local news is on. (BTW, why are all of Huntsville's local news stations crap? Usually a town has at least one decent one.) The sports report comes up. They're talking about how Alabama and Auburn have started practicing for their bowls. They show a clip from the Iron Bowl. All good right?

The clip that they chose was Prechae Rodriguez getting stripped of the ball and Alabama recovering.

Not any one of our 11 sacks. Not any of our 4 touchdowns. Not even anything to indicate that we won the game.

I know Bama people (rightly) accuse Auburn of having a little brother syndrome, but come on!!!

Friday, December 02, 2005

I Shot a Man in Reno, Just To Watch Him Die

In my earlier ranting about the suckiness of the latest Harry Potter movie, I neglected to mention that I also saw Walk The Line over Thanksgiving. While it wasn't a great movie, it's worth seeing for the tremendous performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. It has the same general problem that I have with most bio-pics; that is, poor pacing and the fact that real people just aren't as interesting to me as fictional ones. But then, I'm weird like that.

But, as a result of watching the movie, I came straight home and downloaded Johnny Cash's live "At Folsom Prison" album. (Shame on you Griffin, for not already having it when I stole your Cash collection). And I've listened to it about two hundred thirty seven times in the week that has passed. Seriously. Cocaine Blues is playing right now. It's an amazing album. I don't care if you like country or not, if you don't respect the passion in that performance, there's something wrong with you.