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    1. I had to put my best friend to sleep today

      Olly never liked people very much. He was rescued at ~9 months old wandering around the streets in my hometown. Because of this, and perhaps his past, he had an aversion to lots of commotion,...

      Olly never liked people very much. He was rescued at ~9 months old wandering around the streets in my hometown. Because of this, and perhaps his past, he had an aversion to lots of commotion, people he didn't know, or unexpected noise. But between all of that, he came to trust me, and placed his faith in me—his twelve year old owner. He grew up with me, as I went through high school, then university, a few jobs, and more.

      My furry companion, who at night would sleep on my bed, curled up, paws covering his eyes (but only after licking my hand with his raspy tongue for minutes on end) and during the day would wander outside—safety assured, away from any main roads, with lots of high grass to wander through—or lounge under the sun in the front yard.

      He always had to be the boss—have things his way. A large, well-built 6.5kg ginger-tabby who was neutered much later than you'd normally neuter a kitten. This bossiness extended to the neighbourhood competition. He didn't like other cats much, either. This would lead to an occasional, emotionally painful (for both of us) trip to the vets to treat a scratch, or bite. A 20 minute drive in a cat box, as he meowed and sobbed his head off—telling us in no uncertain terms, "let me out!".

      And do you think he'd ever let you pick him up? Not a chance. Everything has to be on his terms! But in between his assertiveness, he shared his love for me, bumping his head into mine, gently touching my face with his paw on occasion, being a part of my life as I was a part of his.

      Unfortunately, none of us can escape the forever ticking of time. 13 good years pass. For the past week though, he started becoming more introverted, would sleep more—and eat less. Taking this kind of cat to the vet is a judgement call that you don't make lightly. Do you cause stress and anxiety, making him trust you less for weeks on end, make him spend more time outside, away from your watchful eye? Or do you visit the vet less frequently, but still proactively, if you know something is definitely wrong?

      I made the latter decision last night, taking him to afterhours. The triage indicated a heart murmur, and a blood panel indicated parameters that might be indicative of mild renal dysfunction—to be followed up at the proper vet tomorrow. So he was sent home, with some precautionary injections, and an appetite and hydration boost.

      Sadly, I never got that opportunity to take him for a follow up. He slept with me that night, but his condition deteriorated rapidly this morning. I rushed him to the proper vet, watching him helplessly tremble and vocalise his scaredness. I can't help but cry as I type this. The staff told me it was time. I knew it, and in some ways, I think he did too. I'm glad I got to give him the opportunity to fade away peacefully.

      I don't have many frames of reference to compare this part of my life to, but it seems to me this is the most pain I've ever felt over a single event. You might be able to get another cat, but you definitely can't get another Olly. A part of my heart is forever gone. I'm a believer that the pain doesn't really go away, you probably just learn to cope with it more, to focus on the years of good, and not the hours of bad. I really hope I can do that, because he was my best friend.

      I love you, buddy. I hope you're at rest now, and I'll miss you always. 🧡

      29 votes
    2. Thoughts on a management information systems degree?

      i'm currently on the path to receive a BS in business administration management information systems concentration from a four year state school. i was accepted to my major near the end of this...

      i'm currently on the path to receive a BS in business administration management information systems concentration from a four year state school. i was accepted to my major near the end of this spring. my university also has a data analytics minor that i am heavily considering.

      once i am done with summer classes i plan to really dive deeper into excel and ease into learning sql b/c that will help in lots of MIS contexts it seems.

      i read online that MIS is a great degree that can lead into system admin, database admin, network admin, or business/it/system analyst roles. id find any of these careers interesting so at this point in time i feel on the right path. most importantly i just want to a job that will allow me to live a comfortable life, ya know?

      i have never really met anyone that has an MIS degree before so i have no idea what the job market is actually like for degree holders beyond clickbait articles that say how great it is. if you have an mis degree, what is your experience with it and what kind of role are you working? would you recommend this degree to someone else? what skills do you recommend most for hire-ability? id assume this is area specific, but i live in the PNW and live near an area with a strong biz/tech scene and lots of govt opportunities.

      i was recently speaking with some CS majors and they were talking about how MIS is a garbage non-technical degree that isnt good for much. obviously CS is a harder more technical degree that can result in higher salary but i feel they were just trying to put my down for pursuing what they saw as a lesser degree, but nonetheless it put a sense of fear into me about my potential career opportunities.

      i just need some guidance and would like to hear your experience.

      thank you

      7 votes
    3. Reduction of screentime leading to positive changes in daily life

      Hi, I think I have mentioned it here a few times, but I (used to) spend A LOT of time on my phone. I’ve tried to reduce it in the past with more or less success, and recently without any...

      Hi,
      I think I have mentioned it here a few times, but I (used to) spend A LOT of time on my phone. I’ve tried to reduce it in the past with more or less success, and recently without any university work (I finished all exams half a year ago) and varying amounts of work as a freelancer, it crept up to 6+ hours of screen time per day. (this is excluding watching stuff to fall asleep, which I want to reduce but I am taking one step at a time) - So it’s a lot.

      I tried a lot of stuff, reducing the hours, by setting limits for apps, turning off notifications, but that just leads to me extending the time by entering the password myself, or checking my phone more often because I am curious about whether someone texted.
      So last week Wednesday some stuff changed. I took my first long bike ride in a long time, and that day I felt really good, I still had 5 h screen on time that day though. The next day I turned off notifications for Whatsapp, but I left the indicator next to the app on, so I could see that I have messages quickly, I also decided to just force myself to wait a bit until replying to people. Also my girlfriend is the only one that knows my screentime passcode now, so I can't sneakily extend my app time

      That Thursday my screentime was 3h 16 minutes. I was hooked, I wanted to keep my time as low as possible. Since that Thursday, I have not hit the 4h screen on time once. Yesterday I was at 3h 59 min... it was an exhausting day though (Spending 1.5h at the waiting room at the doc) and I wouldn’t have blamed myself, but I still didn’t want to hit the 4h mark. Last Thursday my daily rhythm has changed quite a bit. I got Ring Fit Adventure this week, and I have done sports 4 times this week, I started to pick up playing guitar (literally got one yesterday) and ukulele again, and I just try to find stuff to do that does not involve my phone. I also played Persona 5 Royal on my ps5, I know it’s screen time but I feel less bad about it because I don’t take my PS everywhere with me, and these were the first days I have taken off in a long time… Next, I am trying to maybe work through my books that are on my backlog, finally finishing some more again. (my girlfriend gave me the book "South Sea Vagabonde, and I am meaning to read it, and I am also listening to the Audiobook "The Shallows")
      One change just caused so many good changes. I am stoked and looking forward to how low I can bring my average, I know 4h per day is still a lot for most people. I am aiming at sub 3h next ( I had that once this week).

      This scene from Bojack has been my mantra since then: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2_Mn-qRKjA

      It really does get easier, too. Today I went biking and I managed to go much longer without breaks and I feel way less exhausted.

      I just wanted to share my experience somewhere, maybe someone else is on the same path and this helps.

      21 votes
    4. How do you stay productive and stay focused?

      Title says it all; I'm trying to stay as productive as possible, at least without burning myself out. I'd still like to stay sane. So far, I've just told myself that I wouldn't play video...

      Title says it all; I'm trying to stay as productive as possible, at least without burning myself out. I'd still like to stay sane. So far, I've just told myself that I wouldn't play video games/read manga until I hit my goals when it comes to studying and hit my deadlines. I've also got my phone in a drawer most of the time, and deleted the YouTube app. I've also deleted all social media apps, except Discord.

      6 votes
    5. What gets you out of bed?

      Responsibilities can be hard sometimes. Sometimes, we aren't acknowledged for our efforts. What gets you out of bed? What's the narrative you have with yourself as you stare at the ceiling as your...

      Responsibilities can be hard sometimes. Sometimes, we aren't acknowledged for our efforts.

      What gets you out of bed? What's the narrative you have with yourself as you stare at the ceiling as your alarm jingles? On a side note: What your alarm sound? Is it as brutal as a bullhorn? Or do you prefer something calm, like trickling water?

      Related: How do you prefer to be acknowledged at home or compensated at work? Do financial incentives get you going or do you prefer thoughtful gifts or do you look forward speaking with a coworker you get along with?

      I've had 3 "adult" jobs. With each job, I've been getting less and less financial compensation (yeah, I know, I'm going the wrong way!). However, with every job, I'm getting happier/more content. I'm not sure if it's related to the financial compensation or just me learning more about myself. I remember working 24/7 at my highest compensation. I had to have my work phone on me at all times, getting phone calls at any time of day (coworkers) and night (contractors). At my second "adult" job, I found that my interpersonal relationship with my coworker(s) made me happier. I'd get out of bed and say "oh, can't wait to tell 'x' about this dream I had" or a new recipe I tried. It also helped that my second job was something I found important (I was an engineer who worked on reducing energy and water consumption for apartment complexes), and the majority of my coworkers felt the same. The job I'm currently in falls right in line with what I studied in school. I work for a consultant company in the wastewater infrastructure field. I'm happy to even have gotten this opportunity. I see it as very important. However, since I work in the field of poo, many of my coworkers and contractors I work with seem very jaded and only has financial compensation in mind. It's hard to be surrounded by that type of attitude. One coworker mentioned that "it's not like people want to work in sewage" and I said "actually, I studied it in school. I just never was able to get my foot in the door until now and I feel lucky that it happened." Don't get me wrong, the work is hard and there are days one gets exhausted and it ALWAYS stinks. But it's important. It effects the health of people and the environment if it isn't done right. Yeah, I'm rambling. I'm just trying to say I thrive off the attitude of people around me. Interpersonal relationships, for me, are better than financial compensation. Don't get me wrong.. pay me fairly, but I'm not going to be bummed if I don't get a huge raise every year. The pay check doesn't get me to work, the people do.

      25 votes
    6. Male dominated fields

      Are you in a male dominated field or have you been in a male dominated field in the past? What was your experience like? Any funny/heartbreaking/etc. stories or interactions you would like to...

      Are you in a male dominated field or have you been in a male dominated field in the past? What was your experience like? Any funny/heartbreaking/etc. stories or interactions you would like to share? What do/did you like/dislike about it? What would you change? How would the field change if males were no longer the majority? What advice would you give to anyone coming into a male dominated field?

      19 votes