Throwback Thursday: What do you want?


Going through our archives, we came across this great post by Dr. AnnMaria De Mars from September 15, 2014 “What do you want? that we wanted to share in case you missed it the first time around. 

It’s still technically the weekend so I’m not blogging about statistics until tomorrow. After some debate, I do think I have a multivariate stat textbook selected, though, so that’s good.

I got an invitation to go to a luncheon an old friend of mine sets up every few months for a bunch of us that used to work out together back in the 1980s. Almost all of those who attend are retired and three of the guys (they are all guys except for me) passed away in the past year or so. We’re getting to “that age”.

Ten or fifteen years ago, it was everyone’s parents that were dying. I competed in judo for 14 years, and taught it for another 30, so I have a lot of friends and acquaintances who are Japanese. At Japanese Buddhist funerals, at least here in Los Angeles, there is a song they always sing in Japanese. One day, after a half-dozen or more of our friends’ parents had passed away in a pretty short period of time, my friend, Hayward, leaned over to me during the service and said,

You know, I’m getting a little worried. I’m starting to know all of the words to that song.

Now, though, it is our friends and acquaintances who are dying, not their parents. That’s the sort of thing that gives you pause. Every time I go to one of those luncheons, we are talking about the people who we miss who aren’t there any more.

I’ve been working a lot of hours – as always. The Spoiled One talked me into going out with her twice this weekend,

Malibu farmonce to have dinner at the end a pier in Malibu at sunset, and once to go hiking in the Santa Monica mountains. She can be a good influence sometimes. She goes to boarding school during the week and she asked,

I’m only home on the weekends. You have all week to work. Why do you have to work while I’m here?

I didn’t have a really good answer to that.

The Invisible Developer said to me,

You know, I think we’re getting to that age where I don’t think we should have to do much other than what we want to do.

Ignoring the fact for a moment that a) he may be correct and b) that does reflect that we have a privileged life that most people in the world don’t attain, I spent Sunday until midnight writing the budget justification for a grant which was decidedly something I did NOT want to be doing. I have made an adjustment now that at midnight, I try to quit working, no matter what.

I made a major decision to write, at most, one more grant. If we get the Phase I that I’m writing now, I’ll write the Phase II. Other than that, I’m done. Over it. Seriously, after you’ve brought in $30 million or so, is getting $30,100,000 going to make  a difference in your overall accomplishments? That’s why I quit keeping track of grants funded after the first $30 million and just put down the latest ten or so. No, I don’t get to keep that money, either. It gets paid out over the years in salaries, rent, supplies, student scholarships and all of the other stuff the grants were written to do.

Once this grant is done, I will be working on the games and doing nothing else in September and October. Then, there are a few months of teaching classes and another six months after that of just working on the games.

I’m saying, “No” a lot.

  • No, I am not interested in another consulting contract.
  • No, I don’t want to work on a journal article with you.
  • No, I’m not writing another grant.
  • No, I’m not teaching any more classes.
  • No, I will not present at your conference.

I’m throwing all of my eggs in one basket, working on making our games better and better. We’re taking a risk, focusing just on this and hiring more people to work on the games to boot. There is actually a lot of statistics in it, too, both analyzing the data we’re in the middle of collecting and in our next game, under design, which teaches statistics.

Maybe someone else would retire and lay on a beach, but I’ve tried that a few times and I’m a completely failure at it.

2014-09-13 18.47.12The Invisible Developer said that someone asked Bob Dylan why he was still making music and playing shows when he didn’t need the money and Dylan replied,

What else would I do? This is what I do.

It seems like a good answer. As for me, what I do is game design, coding, statistics. I’m just going to do that. It occurs to me that I have just written either the last or next-to-last grant budget I am ever going to write. And that makes me very, very happy.


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