Yes, I’m an actuary, to begin with. I work at a pension consulting firm, and I blog anonymously just in order to maintain a separation between my professional world and my blogging world. The actuary in me is interested in, first of all, retirement-related topics, and, secondly, picking apart reports and studies and demanding that data be used correctly and intelligently.
I’m a Catholic, too, and that perspective carries through to greater or lesser degrees depending on the topic. Mind you, my history in this respect is a bit complicated, having grown up Lutheran but entering the Catholic Church while in grad school . . .
. . . where I studied medieval history. So the historian in me demands an awareness of the bigger picture and the historical context for current events. How did I end up as an actuary? Well, that’s a whole ‘nother story. But history wasn’t even my original major in college; that was public policy, so, in a way, blogging is a return to my roots.
I grew up in a Detroit suburb, where my introduction to politics was a Ronald Regan rally at a nearby park, followed by an early habit of reading the newspaper; Dad was a full-career employee with GM for whom the purchase of a non-American car is a betrayal. I now live in the Chicago area, where I’ve learned that not just cities, but state governments can be corrupt, too.
And besides all that: I’m a mother, to three boys, from elementary to high school. A wife — and, yes, my husband’s an actuary, too, and German by birth to boot, which adds another perspective. I also like to remind my readers occasionally that I work part-time, from home — so don’t get the wrong idea about a mid-day blog post! I blog about, well, pretty much anything. I comment on the latest headlines, and developments in politics and society in the news. I tell you about books that I’ve read, or reports that I’ve picked apart. On occasion, I’ll tell you what’s going on in my family and personal life, when it seems broadly relevant and reasonably respectful of the privacy of my family. I try not to venture into topics where I don’t know much, or don’t really have much to offer, except when I really just need to vent, or want to ask a question and get my readers’ collective opinion, and if, in any given post, my thoughts seem a bit half-baked, well, they probably are, to the extent that I’m using a blog post to work out some ideas.
My motivations are simple: blogging lets me share whatever thoughts I have that I believe or at least hope others might find worthwhile, it gives me an outlet for my inner public-policy nerd that’s more meaningful than comments on other blogs or news sites or perpetually unpublished, too-wordy letters to the editor, and, besides, it’s fun!