Can’t sleep

Can’t sleep. This is tougher than I imagined. I think I’m losing it, actually. I haven’t slept well now for about a week.

I’ve sold our home, moved my wife and three kids to a rental home in Colorado Springs. It’s tough on everyone, leaving our home of six years. Right now, I’m not even sure why I’ve done it.

But, Charita (my wife) and I are both enrolled in college full time this semester. Guess that’s why.

I’m getting ahead of myself. After all, you don’t even know the whole story. Or any of it, for that matter.

It started in mid-January, for all intents, when I quit my $75,000 a year job at BearingPoint, an international tech consulting firm. I’d worked there for just over two years, during the thick of the tech downturn. Seems like I’m bragging a bit here, but with purpose — I actually managed to be promoted during this time to Senior Consultant while many at BearingPoint and industry wide endured layoffs. I only bring this up to illustrate that I was a compentent and valuable member of my group, which is an important distinction to make in the context of what happened.

Next step

I’ve decided to enroll at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Here’s my letter of application:

I am a 34 year old man on a mission, one half of a husband-wife team intent on changing our lives. Neither my wife nor I have a Bachelor’s degree, and eight years into rearing our three children, we’ve come to understand that living an example is the best method for raising confident, independent, honest children.

There are many reasons upon which I could hinge a letter of application. This one, however, rings truest and matters most.

As a young man, I was full of spit and fire, and was too quick to start my life as an adult, which I equated with drawing a paycheck. I passed up a multitude of educational opportunities that came with being a National Honor Student with ACT scores in the top 3% nationally. I jumped feet-first into life, and my eyes quickly turned away from my earlier goals of obtaining a degree in engineering.

The next 17 years were spent pursuing a number of seemingly unrelated interests, including obtaining two Associate’s Degrees. During this time, I founded and ran several businesses, including a regional entertainment newspaper and an Internet development company. Additionally, I sang professionally in an award-winning original band, and taught technology to children in grades Kindergarten through eighth grade at a local elementary school.

Three years ago I turned my back on this rather Renaissance approach, and began pursuing a career as a UNIX systems administrator in the corporate world. It was during this time, when my creative spirit was kept at bay, that I came to realize the powerful need within me to invent and build. It dawned on me that the very structure of my being is grounded in the quest for knowledge, which serves as the framework for my inventive output.

And so, 17 years later, I find myself at the beginning again. I’ve firmly made the choice to illustrate to my children, to my wife, and to myself that it is never too late to chart one’s own course. I have resigned my position at the company where I was employed, and with this letter, am staking my claim on the knowledge I will gain from attending your university.

Thank you for the opportunity to apply.


Chris Brewer

The beginning

Here’s how it all started, with an email to my new direct supervisor and her boss. My new boss was on a tear to build an empire, and had began a systematic process of tearing apart the group, in order to replace my hard-working coworkers with her cronies. How sad: We were a well-oiled machine that had brought our datacenter from the non-perfoming to a top facility. I was her first target. Though I had several years of excellent reviews, winning promotions even amidst the crumbling of the tech revolution and its many layoffs and dismissals, she began an unrelenting attack on my character and skills that lasted three months. Finally, I couldn’t take it any more: