I am Accepting Applications

I am accepting applications from employers who want to hire me. In May I will have my Master of Science in Public Policy and Management.


  • Your company or organization should not be evil.
  • Your company or organization should not make weapons or make it easier for others to make weapons.
  • You should pay for me to travel abroad at least twice a year.
  • I would like a salary that lets me as a single male live comfortably and pay off my loans.
  • Competitive benefits package.

Please send all applications to joshuaferris [a] cmu [dot ] edu.

I am willing to live anywhere. I do like being able to see water and I like cities. Heat and I do not get along.

Money is Dumb

When I moved back to the United States in May, I applied for a Graduate PLUS loan to live off of while I was in school. My application came back denied, because it said that I had bad credit. I was a little shocked and called PNC Bank to find out what had happened.   My old car insurance agency, Safeco, had billed me $92.57 on my last month of insurance.   I never received that bill while I was out of the country and thus it went unpaid. This eventually made its way to a collection agency called IC Systems Inc., who put a big old spot on my credit report.

I do not even think I owed Safeco any additional money, but to file a dispute with Safeco would take a lot of time and in May I did not even have enough money to buy books so I was in need of my student loan. I paid $92.57 to IC Systems, plus an additional $25.00 for them to fax PNC Bank to let them know I paid.

They did and my loan went through.

Now it is November. I am running a little short on cash due to my move in August so applied for an extra $1000 to help me out until January. Guess what? I get denied because of a $92.57 Safeco problem on my credit report. AES can’t find the letter, nor can PNC Bank.

I called TransUnion credit reporting agency where they say they will investigate the $92.57 IC Systems Inc credit is equal to that of the $92.57 Safeco problem.

What is the status of my loan? Denied until further notice.

The semester is coming to an end

My first semester of graduate work is coming to an end. I am pretty tired, but have enjoyed myself a lot. Probably because I am not working, but enjoyment prevailed none the less. Today I must finish statistics homework (four problems on simple linear regression), write two healthcare policy memos, and a 3 page essay for my course in globalization.

My last exam is on the 6th of August and then I am leaving for a train trip to Portland, OR a few days later. I am super excited, except that my camera is not working and I do not think I can get it repaired before I go.   

I am really enjoying being back in Pittsburgh. It is sort of sad to think that the sort of work I want to do will probably not allow me to stay here after next May. Lots of my friends are here and I really enjoy the town. Just another adventure to be had I guess.

Listened to: Sun Will Set from the album “One Cello x 16: Natoma” by Zoë Keating

People are massive

Yesterday I was sitting in class and this woman decided to eat her dinner while we were there. She had a huge roast beef hoagie, a bowl of grapes, cookies, and some sort of tea. She was as big as a house and the amount of food was incredible. The hoagie was so big that she would shake when she opened her mouth in order to eat it. The quivering was not from excitement, but she had to stretch her jaw more than was naturally allowed in order to get her lips around it. I think it took her about 3.5 minutes to eat the entire thing.

My First Week Back

I arrived in Pittsburgh a little over a week ago and have been settling in. I am living with a gay couple in Highland Park who have been really great to me. They have a few odd idiosyncrasies, but I will speak to those at a later time, and I am not particularly interested in making news of those who are kind to me.

On Monday I walked to the Apple Store and CMU so that I could see how long it would take. It is an hour walk and I am going to try to do it a couple times a week. I think that is going to be a great way for me to get some exercise. My time in the Apple store was less productive, because to get my cd-rom fixed they told me it will probably cost around $300 and I will lose my laptop for a week. I am not really sure what to do about this right now.

On Tuesday we had our first day of orientation. It was pretty lame, but I met some nice people. They forced us to do a city wide scavenger hunt and my team won. It makes me laugh about how seriously I took the competition, but I think they international students appreciated the enthusiasm.

Later in the week we were scheduled for exemption exams. I failed all of the ones I took. Most of these were expected, but I was really hoping to get out of the writing course. That didn’t happen so now I am taking a pretty standard course load. I do have a meeting with a professor tomorrow concerning two courses: Introduction to Database Management & Introduction to Communication Technologies. I am expecting to exempt out of both of these courses. I think it would be ridiculous to take a course that I could probably teach (databases) or one that I am pretty sure I could sleep through (web development).

I did a lot of good shopping while I have been here. I went to the strip district for vegetables and spices yesterday. While I was there I had a korean pancake for lunch. It was so delicious. Early in the week I also went to the Indian grocer on Craig street. It was so great. I bought a ton of stuff. I hope to do a lot of good cooking this summer. I made a great eggplant and okra curry one night.

This program is going to be a little strange, but I think it is going to be good for me. I am excited to be back, but it is a little difficult so far. I haven’t even started processing how different everything around me is. I am in love with all of the strong back coffee around me. I’ll write more about all of the friends who have been here to help me later. I am really like to have all of them here.