June 23, 2003
it's OFFICIAL

Okay, so while on a certain level I think it's ridiculous for me to announce this here, I am able, so why not:

For anyone who cares (who reads this thing anyway?) I am LEAVING NPR.org on July 24, 2003.

In the FIVE PHREAKING YEARS since I've been there I've been (in this order):

Production Supervisor '98 - '01
Executive Producer (a job which I was the first to have) '01, '02 - '03
Acting Vice-President July - November '01
Content Architect Jan '03 - July '03

Now, five years later, I am unbloodied but a bit bowed, somewhat burnt-out and crispy yet very, very relieved.

It's been an incredible ride. To give a little perspective, eight years ago (1995) I had:
a bachelor's degree (BM U of A 1988), two master's (MM Composition, MM Computer Music, Peabody Inst of JHU), all of the coursework for a doctorate (Peabody Inst of JHU), a year of study at the Liszt Ferenc Zeneakademia, (all of which I still technically "have") two somewhat prestigeous (sp?) but low-paying teaching jobs (one at the Peabody Preparatory, one at the Baltimore HS of the performing Arts) resulting in my having had no phone for 3 years and no electricity for 6 or 7 months. (March '95 - October '95)

Sometime in '95 during all of this I went to a coffee bar in philly (it was called "Quarry St Cafe" and owned by a young guy named Avram, I think) and I saw a guy doing HTML on a laptop - I asked what he was doing ('cause it looked like he was just putting tags around things, which was, of course, what he was doing), he told me, I said it looked easy, he said it was, and then I asked "How much do you get paid for doing that?"

"I make $125 an hour" he said.

$125 an hour was more than I made in a week. When I got home, I went to Peabody, downloaded the HTML 1.0 Spec, read it through, started making web pages, got a job @ Soundprint for two years where I did EVERYTHING from building websites to fishing cat 5 wire through the walls and punching it down to installing DLT drives and backing things up to creating a distributed mirrored network to installing the automatic ice maker in the fridge.

Then I went to NPR in '98

All along I've continued making music. In my mind the jobs I've had have been corporate versions of working in an ice cream shop - they've made me money, but were always in my mind part-time phenomena. (of course, 60 hours a week is hardly part time...)

So, now, or very soon really, I'm free. I feel like an announcement for a new video game: "MANDRA III: New adventures; new challenges; new levels! Check it out!"

More later. I'm in London w/ Andrea. Things are great.
chris

Posted by mandra at 07:02 AM