"Ignorance isn't only for deep things." -Dragon Lady
Question #77056 posted on 04/04/2014 7:12 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

For reunion week: What are all the retired writers up to now? How does your life now compare to what you imagined for yourself while you were writing?



Constant Reader:

(For reference, I wrote when I was 19-20, and I'm 26 now.) I work full-time as a writer, I'm moving into a real-person apartment this week, and I've been going steady for a while now.

When I wrote for the Board, the field I'm working in didn't exist in the form it does now. There has simply been an explosion in technology. The economy crumbled the month I retired, and hasn't fully recovered. I thought I would go to graduate school, but that didn't happen—although I'd guess I would have ended up with a similar job anyway. Seven years seemed quite far in the future: I probably thought I would be married by now, though I do think I wanted to be focused on a career in my mid-twenties at any rate. 

Mostly, I don't think my actual vs. ideal self is better or worse, just different. 



Dear Reader,

It's been like a month and a half. I'm now a successful businesswoman, engaged to be married to the son of a billionaire, and we just purchased a lovely island in the Maldives for our honeymoon. 

More seriously, nothing much has changed. I finished my internship, moved back to Provo and resumed school. I graduate in a year, so I've started studying for the Foreign Service Officer Test. I'm back to working my usual three part-time jobs, I still drive around aimlessly a lot and I'm not looking forward to another spring and summer full of classes and work here in soon-to-be sweltering Provo. 



Dear Reader,

About three years ago, I finished my master's degree in science education and now I teach physics and engineering at a suburban high school near Boston. Next month I will have been married to my wife for two years and by the time you read this, my first daughter will have been born.

Wow. In two sentences, that feels like a lot. It is a lot. My life is pretty great.

The Man with a Mustache


Dear Reader,

I figured out what I wanted to do while I was a writer, now it's just a matter of executing it. While I was a writer, I got married and had a kid, so pretty much everything eternally important to me happened while I was at BYU. I did set a few goals a long time ago, so I'll share my progress with you.

  • Have an interesting job.  This one is about 10% fulfilled. I work in a cave. I literally work in a cave, and that's pretty cool. My job certainly can be interesting, when I am not blinded by the frustration from the soul crushing monotony.  I get to go play Army on the occasional weekend, which is the only worthwhile work I feel I do. I am about as unsatisfied with my day job as a man could possibly be.
  • Continue my education. I'm in grad school pursuing an MA in Military History. When I decided to go to grad school, I couldn't decide between useful and interesting. I narrowed it down to an MBA (useful) or an MA in Military History (interesting.) I looked at my bookshelves and noticed that I have over 250 books on military matters, and one book tangentially related to business; Freakonomics. That made the choice pretty easy.
  • Have a family. I have two awesome, rambunctious, physically active sons, and I'm still married to my hot wife, my three (soon to be four) biggest blessings in my life. I cannot stress enough how much I love my wife and sons, and how excited I am to have three kids!
  • Create. I have gotten into woodworking and I just built a workshop and acquired a bunch of tools. It's a great release for the stresses of life. I go into my Ron Swanson place while I'm in my shop. I have made a toy box for my kids, a bunk bed (with a climbing wall!), a few cutting boards, my own mallet for chisel work, and a hammer as a gift for my outgoing company commander. My next major purchase will be a lathe. I want to make legs for a rocking chair and bassinet for my wife/next child.
  • Stay active. I got really into CrossFit and weight lifting for a while, but I'm not super consistent on those anymore now that I am in grad school. I don't go shooting or play hockey nearly enough. The Army is sending me to the Tactical Combatives Course to learn hand-to-hand combat skills, which is pretty cool. I got sent to the Basic Combatives Course last summer, and it was the most physically taxing thing I have done in a while. I broke three ribs, my nose, and my eardrum. I'm a staff officer, so during the training I had to take a break from fighting guys twice my size to brief my battalion commander about some communications something-or-other. I had a huge black eye, he thought it was pretty funny. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
  • Stay active in the Church. I think I'm okay here. Sometimes SGT Sentry melts down in nursery, and we just have to go take a walk at the park across the street. I'm not perfect, I use this as an excuse to skip out on classes sometimes, especially when they are boring and poorly taught (sorry President Eyring, some meetings are just plain boring). I am a Scout leader, but I still slough mutual as frequently as I did when I was in Young Mens. If we don't have Scouts, I don't go. My justification is that I was called into the Scouts, not the Young Mens, and we have seven Young Mens leaders for about ten kids, so the other six guys can handle playing dodge ball for mutual for weeks on end. Just call me when you need a Scout leader. Again, I'm not perfect and I can be rebellious and have a bad attitude sometimes. I'm working on perfecting myself, which is kind of the point, right?


Really, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life while I was in college, that's most of the reason why I'm dissatisfied with my career. It will change, though. It will just take a lot of hard work, which I am more willing to do now that I am out of college. I feel that I have so much wasted potential, but instead of dwelling on it and being a baby, I and going to just hitch up my pants and fix it.

Dr. Smeed


Dear reader,

I'm still in medical school on the east coast, but will soon be moving to the west coast to continue my studies at a hospital out there. I'm dating an absolutely lovely woman and we're both currently in denial about the fact that our relationship will either change to long-distance (or end) in a few short months. 

My life is centered less and less around the LDS faith. While I still attend sacrament meeting with frequency, my lifestyle certainly isn't what I thought it would be when I graduated from BYU. That said, I still hold dear many aspects of the faith: the community, the focus on selflessness and love for our fellow human beings, and the emphasis on healthy and happy families. Most importantly, I'm in a healthy place compared to when I retired from the Board. While my position in the Church is still in flux, I no longer harbor bitterness toward the faith and its community, nor anxiety regarding my religious experience. I'm at peace and content with my life. 



Dear Reader,

Since I have left BYU and writership, I have moved to a completely unexpected location in Utah, been at my "real-life, grown-up job" for four years, and am loving it.  I'm also over halfway done with my master's program, and not looking forward to writing my thesis.  I'm still single, although this doesn't surprise me too much.  However, I've been quite surprised at the diversity of guys I have dated since I left BYU.  I'm also discovering more and more how much I love being independent.  Although I'd love to get married an have a family someday, I'm really starting to embrace the perks of being single.

Yep, life's good.



Dear Reader,

When I retired (around Dec. 2012, after not posting much since about August), I was engaged; I've since gotten married. It's good. With luck there could be a baby Kirkling within a year or so.

Professionally, I imagined I'd have a job doing engineering for a big oil company. This has also worked out well; I'm about to start a new job for a Fortune 10 oil company. I imagined I'd be working in the upstream side of things (drilling and the like), not with glorified plumbing or whatever they do in refining. Since then, I've warmed up quite a bit to refining and actually shifted my career that direction. The engineering issues involved with 11" thick, 1600-ton steel refinery pressure vessels slowly being eaten from the inside by corrosive oil at 2000 psi and 900°F turn out to be pretty interesting.

In the Church/volunteer/everything else categories, I expected to be an active, happy member who reads a lot and tries to serve in his free time, and I am.  I guess I also probably expected to have some obscure calling, and I'm a ward sunday school secretary (check).

So, overall, I'm more or less where I expected to be. Life is good.

~Professor Kirke


Dear Reader,

I've only been retired for about six months (but it's not like the masses were clamoring for my story before that). The most significant development is definitely the continual, relentless gestation of baby #3, a boy this time (who I dubbed Baby Ascending, to go along with his sisters, Baby Pending and Baby Trending). He'll show up in only about three more weeks.

I'm still in graduate school for a PhD in Immunology and, since last year, my project has actually really taken off. I found a unique population of white blood cells (neutrophils) in Brazilian patients with the parasitic disease leishmaniasis, and it was a unique enough finding that my boss paid for me to spend more than a month in a small clinic in a tiny town in rural Brazil to study the disease. The fun of that experience was mitigated by the guilt of leaving a very pregnant wife at her sister's house with two kids, but it was pretty darn cool. Grad school has turned out to be much better than I could have expected (something that I'm sure most grad students aren't lucky enough to be able to say, unfortunately).

One of the things that eased the transition away from writing (because, man, I've missed this) was knowing that I'd be able to come back for the reunion week and it has not disappointed. So even though it's only been a couple of months, life been a roller coaster that's only going up, so I have no complaints.

- Rating Pending (who could probably think of some complaints if he just tried a little harder. Oh, the whole rise of vaccine-preventable diseases in the USA is driving him up the wall. So there you go - complaint.)


Hello reader,

Oh, you know. I moved out of Provo. I've been freelance writing, feministing, and trying to get over my depression. Good times. I started therapy recently and it's awesome, so that's good. I'm actually happy to report that I'm starting to feel sorta... normal again! Everybody feel happy for Marzipan, yaaaaay!!!!

And to answer your other question, my real life compared to my four-years-ago-imagined life is very different. I obviously didn't imagine that I'd wind up in a depressive episode that dragged on for three years, derailing all my life plans. I did picture myself married, and I am married, so that's one thing that happened for realsies. 



Dear Reader,

Well, it's only been a little over a year since I retired (though it seems like so much longer), and things really haven't changed all that much. They are, however, about to change drastically in the next couple of months as my husband prepares to (finally) graduate from physical therapy school. Hooray!

Let's see, we still have three kids (well, one was a fetus when I retired, I admit), we still have two dogs and some chickens, we still live in New Jersey, we still pretty much have the same hobbies and such. My daughter goes to pre-school now and I just recently registered her for kindergarten this fall. Pretty sure I was suffering from some prenatal depression but now that that nonsense is over with I'm feeling great and I'm getting back into yoga again and I've started up horseback riding lessons, too. My two-year-old son has developed an obsession with a certain octopus, boats and my step-dad. My seven-month-old son loves staring at himself in the mirror and will probably start crawling any day now. 

Yes, life is pretty low-key around here most days, but that's just how we like it.

-Sky Bones 


Dear friend--

My life is essentially 0% what I imagined it would be like when I wrote for the Board (for reference, I wrote when I was 17-18, and now I am 25).

These days I'm married, have a house and kids, a publishing deal and a fledgling alternative medicine practice. The handicapped brother I used to write about a lot passed away a few months ago and my family is kind of regrouping (I was a primary caretaker for my brother for the half-decade leading up to his death). My life has gotten crazy and awesome. I love it. The end.

- Lexi Khan


Dear Reader,

I started writing for the Board in 2007 (I was 22). When I retired, I was 24 (now I'm 29) and working at my first job after college, editing a magazine. I was single and getting super bored of living where I was living (though, the job was pretty rad). I knew I wanted to get out of that town, but I didn't have any solid plans. I had a bunch of friends in Houston and was also on the verge of dating someone who lived in Houston, so not long after my retirement I was thinking pretty seriously about moving there. I was thinking I would either apply for a communications job there or work my magazine job long distance, but the Houston-boy relationship broke up and when it was time for me to move out, I ended up choosing a different city.

So I guess right around my retirement, I thought I might be married and living in Houston, working in PR for an airline or oil-related company (since, you know, Houston). I imagine I probably thought I'd have a kid or two by five years in the future, but honestly at that point in my life I wasn't a big life planner. I did the interesting work that crossed my desk and dated the interesting guys who crossed my path, which is not the worst way to be.

I ended up moving to California and working in market research for awhile. I met my husband within a few weeks of arriving and we got married a year later. We're still in California and I'm a freelance journalist, an English tutor, a piano teacher, and we're having our first baby in a few months. So I guess the location and the guy are different, but the field is related and the situation is similar to the vague picture I had five years ago.

Also, my mindset is different about a lot of things now than it was then, but I'm pretty sure that's par for the course when you are a human who learns and grows.



Dear Redder,

My life is pretty much exactly what I imagined for myself. I'm married to my still-hot wife and have four awesome kids, living the suburban dream. I have a cushy software development office job that pays me more money than I need. I have a nice house less than a mile from church with a garage containing two paid-off vehicles. I have a baby grand piano and plenty of electronic toys. It's not exactly sunbathing off the southern coast of St. Bart's with spider monkeys (tripping on acid)*, but I'm very happy with where I am.

Remember kids, stay in school! (Unless you're getting a liberal arts degree, then... yeah, I got nothin'.)

-=Optimus Prime=-


Dear Reader,

After I retired, I married my husband and then dropped out of my master's program in English literature. Sometimes I regret dropping out, but there's no way to go back and finish now (I checked). I tried to get into videogame journalism for a while, and did an internship with the Kill Screen, but it turns out the supply and demand for videogame reviews means they don't pay very well. I tried to get pregnant for two years, and had unexplained infertility, and somehow I got pregnant last year and I'm due in June. I've gotten much better at playing the organ and I've memorized a bit of Japanese kanji. I helped my sister write a newlywed relationship survival simulation game. 

I imagined myself getting a PhD, at least when I was an undergrad. I was rejected from all the PhD programs I applied to in psychology, and then after I got a job working with people I decided that maybe working in psychology wasn't for me (this was in 2008 and the job market was crap). I was really happy my first year in the MA program, especially since it gave me healthcare and a job and a plan for the next two years. But after I got married, I felt like I didn't need to teach first-year writing to survive, and from there it seemed like if I didn't really like teaching, why was I torturing myself with this thesis thing? Sometimes I wonder if marriage made me less ambitious. It freed me from the necessity of supporting myself so I could pursue fun things I might not have otherwise, like videogame journalism. But in taking that pressure off, maybe I shied away from doing hard things (like finishing my thesis).

I can't change the past, and my future holds an infant who promises to challenge me in all sorts of ways. 



Dear Reader,

I pinch myself all the time because life is nothing like I expected it to be (I was 22-23). I don't think I had a clear picture of what I imagined, but it was generally either single and living alone somewhere amazing, or married and dealing with things like "home ownership," etc. I always had a hard time picturing myself as a mother.

Now I'm 29, mother to the greatest 5-month-old baby, and married to someone that was at the bottom of the list of people I ever thought I'd marry (we had dated and broken up, then he dated my roommate and a bunch of insane drama went down during and after my retirement). He's doing a PhD at Harvard, which is something we pinch ourselves about every day. I'm currently working as a teaching assistant for one of the most famous (and infamous) economists around (I don't want to totally give away anonymity) and bring my baby to work meetings. I'll spend my 30th birthday living in the Harvard undergrad dorms, where we'll be mentoring/advising the kids. I probably won't have a dishwasher or any quality furniture until I'm 32. Never in a million gazillion years would I have predicted that. 

It's all better than anything I could have envisioned for myself.



Dear Reader,

I answered Board Question #71848 during the reunion tour last year with an update about how my life is going, and nothing much has changed since then. (Since I'm a person who likes change, this fact unsettles me slightly.) I'm still married, still backpacking (just got back from a trip about an hour ago), still traveling (went to Ireland in September and India in January and currently planning a trip to Sri Lanka in June), still reading a lot, still living in and loving the Bay Area, and still at the same company (though I switched roles again, for the fourth time in four years).

When I was writing, I envisioned the life of an academic, probably single, but hopefully in an urban area and with lots of traveling and reading. I'm very, very happy with what life has brought me instead.



Dear Fred,

Umm... I didn't retire that long ago. I'm still doing what I was doing when I did retire, only I've also just recently been accepted into a very competitive program at my university and I'm starting to freak out about finals. Neither of these things were unexpected, though. However, I did have a mini flood in my office this weekend due to a broken/frozen pipe in my wall, and that is not a part of life that I was anticipating ever happening where I live. 



Dear Reader ~

Not a lot has changed since Board Question #71848 last year.  The two main differences I can see are 1) a month after I wrote that I was called as the Stake Primary president, at age 29.  Did not see that coming.  And sometimes I still freak out a little bit about it.  I thought stake callings were reserved for the 40+ crowd!  2) I'm now pregnant with Baby 3.0, due in early June.  But I don't think that's off from what I expected as a writer.  

As for anything else that's changed... I've had a lot more thoughts and opinions on gay marriage and ordaining women.  I have a different view of drama and conflict than I did then.  Mostly I've realized that it takes a real toll on me emotionally and carries throughout my everyday life, so I tend to avoid situations I know will place me in the midst of drama instead of letting myself be surrounded by it, and life has been a lot happier.  Oh, and I'm considering the possibility of maybe liking family history.  To an extent anyway.  My newly-retired self would be horrified.  And a little bit intrigued to know how in the world that change came about.

I'm also far less into pranks and spontaneity.  I'm not entirely sure that's an improvement.  I'm hoping that having kids growing up more will help me break out of that hermit shell I've crawled into.  Dragon Baby brought home an April Fools Day card from preschool today that made me laugh, which made her laugh and think she was the greatest thing ever.  Which, by the way, she is.  But it made me realize that she may have more fun with April Fools Day than I expected she would this young.  I keep trying to think of ways to have fun with this tomorrow.  But my tired pregnant self is rebelling against the thought of having to do even more stuff.  See?  I'm becoming boring.  [sigh]

~ Dragon Lady


Dear Reader

I wrote while I was in grad school and I now teach English at a university while the Mrs. adjuncts in the Psychology department (maybe we'll be switching that up sometime, who knows). Teaching at a university is pretty much what I envisioned for myself, so that has worked out thus far.

I edit a series of essay collections called The Ages of the Superheroes. Thus far The Ages of Superman and The Ages of Wonder Woman are out (check how reasonably priced they are as e-books!). The Ages of the X-Men and The Ages of the Avengers should be out this year. Also, my doctoral dissertation is being published as book titled X-Men and the Mutant Metaphor.

AoS.jpg AoWW.jpgAoX_1.jpg


-Humble Master

P.S. Clever readers may deduce my real name from this answer...



I'm not really sure what I expected from life, when I left the Board for good. That I would keep moving toward the best version of myself, I guess, but that I wasn't sure exactly what that would entail.

Here's what happened: I graduated with a BA in English from BYU, jumped over to UVU to get my teaching certification, and have been subbing for the last year in an effort to bulk up my resume and my connections. I think it's been working. Now I'm trying to convince high schools to hire me to teach their students English. Still single with no prospects in sight, but I'll probably be moving in a few months, and I'll have all new romantic and regular-friend prospects soon, which I'm excited about. I love the gospel, but I'm coming to grips with the fact that some questions and assertions rub me the wrong way or confuse me. The more I'm honest about that, the more I find that many other people feel the same way, and it's odd that my worries and grumbles with the church make me feel more at home with its members, but it's true. Sometimes I worry that I'm not as far along the marriage and job and spirituality tracks as a more ambitious or dedicated person might be, but mostly I see where I am now compared to where I was a few months or years ago, and I'm pleased with my progress. I think I am moving toward the best version of myself, even though I still am not sure what that will look like.

-Uffish Thought


Dear Reader,

I retired almost four years ago, when I was nearly 22. It was a hard time for me, emotionally and developmentally. I was on the cusp of being honest with others about my sexuality and other big things. I'm not sure what I thought my life would be at that time. I was scared and confused. When I started writing, I was 20 years old, and I expected that by now (a couple months shy of 26) I would have a master's degree and that I would be married in the temple. I expected then that I would certainly have a plan for children by this time.

Of course, nothing turned out quite the way I expected at 20 or 22. I'm sure my 22-year-old self is relieved.

I'm in a stable relationship with my boyfriend of some time, though I am not engaged or married. I'm in a master's program, but I'm on a leave of absence due to investing energy in my mental health. I have a job that I love, but it is a job I have done before because I love it and it is what I need right now. This is a different strategy than I've had up to this point, when I have advanced at work at a feverish pace. Everything about my perspectives has changed, but my relationships are thriving. I like where I am and where I'm going, and that's peaceful.

- The Black Sheep


Dear Reader,

Short update. I wrote for a brief stint from 2005-2006. When I left the Board I thought I might do something in the healthcare field, though I wasn't sure exactly what I would do. I thought I might be married and had a kid by now. I hoped I would have an advanced degree or at least be working on it.

Flash forward seven and a half years, I am in the healthcare field. I am a paramedic working for a moderately large city in Texas. I am single, and I am under no illusions why. It requires asking people out, and that isn't something I really do. Part of it is anxiety over dating, yes. Some of it is depression and fatalistic thinking, true. I tend to talk myself out of a lot of opportunities. It is easier and less stressful, but definitely not worth it.

I am glad for some things that happened over the last few years. I have had experiences and met people in my work that have enriched my life. I have good roommates now that are helping me feel more comfortable socially. I am attending an addiction recovery group to deal with some root problems that I had to admit I have, and that aren't going away.

I am learning again that I can do hard things, and maybe next week that includes going on another date with the girl I asked out last month. It is a pitiful start, I agree. Compared to no progress at all, though? I'll get there.

Have Fun Storming the Castle,

-Il Guanaco


Dear Reader,

After I graduated in 2008 I moved back to the Pacific Northwest and got a job as an actuary. I've been working at the same company for almost 6 (!) years now. Seems like a long time when I think about it. But I guess it is longer than I've done any one other thing in my life.

Back when I was a writer I'm not sure I thought all that much about where I would be in 2014. I guess I imagined I would probably have a career somewhere. I probably thought I would have moved around more and not stayed in one place for so long, but well, inertia is powerful. I'm happy with where I am now anyway, so there's nothing big pushing me to change.



Dear You,

When I was in college and wrote full time for The Board I figured I would be married with kids and have a job doing something social work-esque by the time I was in my late 20's.  

Instead I'm single and living in a state that I honestly didn't think I would be living in.  On the bright side I have a very successful career in the business world that I enjoy, I am well integrated into the community where I live, I do a lot of work with volunteer groups and with the Church, and I get to go to the beach on a regular basis. 

I'm nowhere near where I thought I would be but I'm pretty happy with life!



Hey there, reader!

I am currently in Canada, wrapping up my second grad degree, packing my apartment for a move, about to have a baby, and (a couple months later) start a full-time job as a scientist!  This is pretty much exactly what I expected minus the baby and husband.  I was kinda convinced I would always be single.

Life is going pretty well.  Canada, or rather, Edmonton turned out to be awful not what I had hoped.  For example, to take my dog on a walk the other day, I had to step over three piles of frozen vomit (it's still well below freezing) and then keep my dog from sniffing the discarded heroin needles on the ground.  Charming.  So my husband and I are getting out of Dodge and moving back to the US in a few weeks.  Because moving internationally at 33-weeks pregnant is preferable to having a child in this city. 

I got a great job offer and will be pursuing a career as a fluid dynamicist/scientist, which is exactly what I was hoping to do!  A few years ago, I wasn't sure if I wanted to do industry or academia.  But after 3 more years of grad work, I have decided that getting paid for work is just the bee's knees.  So industry it is!

And, finally, to be a total sap, when I was a writer, I didn't think I could love someone as much as I love my husband.  Daaaaw.  

- Hypatia


Dear Reader,

Wow, I just sat and read Board-life histories of people that I never knew as Board writers. Such a diverse group of people.

As for me, here's what I visioned for my life when I first started writing for the Board:

  • Earn a business degree and maybe go to graduate school if I felt like it
  • Get married (because it happened to everyone else in my family)
  • Move out of Provo
  • Work as an at-home writer/editor
  • Buy a house and live blissfully happy with some children
Years and years later, here's what has actually happened:
  • Earned a BA in English (with a minor in business) and then earned an MS in Technical Communication
  • Have not gotten married...but all my siblings have! (good for one's self esteem, right?) 
  • Moved out of Provo (YAY)
  • Worked as an administrative assistant AND THEN as a writer/editor... and then 3 jobs and 2 layoffs later I decided I hated marketing and completely switched careers and industries to be a technical writer (doesn't make me rich but I love it)
  • Traveled to a whole lot of AWESOME places in the world (priceless experiences)
  • Looking to buy a house sometime soon—with no children (unless my nieces and nephews come to visit)

Dear Reader,

My life hasn't changed much since last year's reunion tour.  I'm still working for a natural gas company in Pennsylvania and am generally enjoying life. 

This is boring, but my life is pretty much the way I pictured it would be back when I was a writer (2006 - 2007ish).  I have a job in my field and I am doing what I expected to be doing.  I always planned to finish school, work as an engineer for a few years and then go back to school and get an MBA.  I just took the GMAT and will probably start business school in the fall of 2015.  I figured that I would stay in Ohio (where I'm from), but I currently live only about 15 miles from the Ohio border. I suppose that I probably figured that I would be married with kids by now, but it seems like everything else has panned out the way I planned.

I sure hope this helps.  Please don't hate me.

- Brutus


Dear Curious One,

Oh yes... first of all, I need to figure out what I expected my life to be like the last time I was Horatio.  Back then, my alter ego was filled with all these repressed opinions and rants.  I was highly opinionated on a lot of subjects, and liked to pontificate about them behind the veil of anonymity provided by the Board.  I had all these plans for global domination.  I had an unexpected harem of women who liked my rants.  I went on dates with a few of them, which was... odd.

I made it out of BYU without a wife, a problem for which I am trying to demand a refund (but then I realized how much most universities cost for tuition, and realized that I TOTALLY got a sweet deal!).  I turned down a bunch of CIA/NSA jobs who only wanted me for my backwards scribblings.  I spent two years working with an NGO in Doha, Qatar. I then joined the fundraising team for Mitt Romney in 2008.  That is where I realized that the whole POTUS job is totally NOT worth the interview process.  I was a huge Mitt Romney fan, but then watched him try to fit in the ever changing mold that is the Republican Party (especially at the state level) and bend himself into a pretzel--twice.  I think it officially destroyed my latent desire to enter politics.

Then, I spent 5 years at Skullcandy as the man behind the curtain.  That was really fun (until it wasn't).  In the meantime, I joined the Salt City Roller Derby as a skating referee, bought a pair of skates, and hung out with counter-culture folks for a while.  That was an interesting "missionary" experience, since I was pretty much the only Mormon that most of them had ever talked to.  So, I got to teach Derby Girls that Mormons don't hate them.  It was a step in the right direction.

After I found my amazing wife, I got married and have the cutest, most brilliant, most devious little two year old boy on the planet.  I'll even prove it to you:


In that process, I moved to the Peoples Republic of California, the one state to which I always said I had zero desire to return.  I now know exactly why people are fleeing this state in droves (taxes and government).  I also know why people are spending ridiculous amounts of money to stay here (wearing shorts and flip flops in December).  I got my MBA at USC (and if ANYONE at BYU EVER complains about tuition costs, I may have to slap you... seriously).

I'm now semi-unemployed, consulting with a bunch of companies, and trying to figure out how to finally build the empire I always wanted.

So, yeah... pretty much exactly as I planned it.

That is all.



Dear Reader,

I believe my last "official" post was sometime this last summer, so it hasn't been too long since I retired. I graduated in Psychology back in August, and now I'm back in Portland, working at a t-shirt printing company and living with my parents since I have no money. My plans at this point are to go back to school for another degree, tentatively in computer science or bioinformatics, though nursing school, law school, or business school are all still technically on the table. 

I've had my first kiss, started inventing a board game, watched every episode of The Good Wife in rapid succession (because it is darn good television), and played Skyrim for an embarrassing number of hours. Mostly I am just a lot more at peace with my life as a whole. I haven't figured everything out, but I'm less anxious about trying to have all of the answers. 



Dear whatever,

I work at a job that pays me dollars, I still talk to one of the brothers HFACCK and No Dice every day, I still regularly give Art Vandelay a hard time about being unwedded, and my coworker asked me today what my deal was with butt jokes.

My life is exactly as I expected.



Dear you,

We sure have an awesomely diverse alumni.

I started writing for the Board when I was 21 and I am now 28.  I am just a few weeks from finishing grad school (yay!) and still work in a hospital laboratory and teach a lab at BYU for the MMBio department.  And none of my students knew about the Board this year.  For shame.  We have two boys, now 4 1/2 and 3, Disgruntled is still with the Army, and life is pretty good.  The new-writer me thought I would have moved away from Utah Valley by now.  I am quite a bit more liberal than I used to be.  Okay, a lot more. 

- steen


Dear Person,

Here's what you need to know about me since my forceful expulsion from The Board upon graduation:

1. I thought once I left Provo the fawning women would leave me alone but I was wrong. 

2. Yes, I still have a six pack. No, you can't touch it.

3. My job pays well enough that I've been able to travel a bit which I've enjoyed.

4. Still active in the Church and loving it. My testimony continues to grow and I'm thankful for my time at BYU.

5. If you like Ryan Gosling's abs you should 1. thank me (I trained him) and 2. see mine.

- Mighty Quinn


Dear Insatiable Soul,

Blissfully married almost 10 years now to a charming, smart, hilarious, and downright gorgeous woman. Three kids, one more on the way. House. Two cars (thankfully paid off). Good job. Big yard. Still into Apple stuff. Still writing. Still trying to overcome self-doubt and insecurities and figure who I want to be when I grow up.

Yes, it's kind of what I saw myself doing (or at least, hoping I would be doing) but it's much more challenging and much more wonderful than I imagined it would be. I'm serving as ward mission leader which I enjoy immensely. I settled in Utah which I never thought I would do, but still get home to Oregon on a semi-regular basis which always makes me homesick and ask, "Why do I put up with Utah?"

And I'm thrilled they let me come back and write once in a while.

- Beemer Boy


Dear you,

I started writing in 2007 for the Board at the age of 23. I just turned 30. (Has it really been that long? Wow.)

I've been happily married to Mrs. Cognoscente for over 3 years now. It's the greatest feeling in the world to be able to spend your life with your best friend. I recommend it to everyone!

I'm still living in Utah. Still working full time, doing lots of interesting system administrator and engineer stuff, and trying to finish what seems to be an interminably long undergrad in computer science. In case you ever wonder about not taking school seriously in your college years—TAKE SCHOOL SERIOUSLY IN YOUR COLLEGE YEARS. Trying to balance your time between putting in the hours to pay the bills and making it to part-time night classes and spending quality time with your family is a tremendous challenge. I've learned to accept my own shortcomings, the choices I've made and the consequences of those choices, but I'd be lying if I said I thought I wouldn't be graduated by this point in my life. Thank goodness I'm in a lucrative field with a reasonable amount of knowledge and experience. Never give up.

Music is still a passion of mine, and I spend a part of every day listening to and thinking about music critically. It's been a goal of mine this year to learn more about classical music as well, a field in which I am painfully ignorant. Even the relatively few masterpieces I've taken the time to get to know so far have been extremely rewarding. If you've never been, I can tell you that you will struggle to ever find a classier date idea than dressing to the nines and attending the Utah Symphony. Last month, the wife and I attended the performance of Dvořák's "New World Symphony" at Abravanel Hall. Utterly fantastic.

Finally, I've found that it is difficult, but worth it in the long run, to learn to trust yourself. There is so much light and truth and goodness in the Gospel. However, there are certain beliefs I hold that have come to be very important to me, especially matters of social justice, that would be considered heterodox. I spent a great deal of my twenties trying to resolve the dissonance I felt. I think I'm in agreement with several of my fellow alumni on this question that, well, heterodoxy may be a part of development and coming to terms with who you are. Trust your reason and your conscience, and be true to yourself.



Dear Reader,

As I told Duchess yesterday, I'm lead writer for a new sitcom about Lamar's life after Khloe called Odom to Joy. Lamar's new love interest is Joy, a bottle of dishwashing detergent that plays a sort of Wilson-From-Castaway type of character.