(Circa 2003 stuff; my recent research is here)
So the question is "How can I make what I love a bigger part of my life?" The answer may be to simply make it a bigger part of my life. So I'm studying education, and really think that Flying Moose Lodge is a valuable learning experience. What do I do? I focus on experiential education, make FML the focus of a case study on cultural models.
Even more interesting, I am looking at the cultural models of the original founders, through the cultural artefacts of their legacy. What does this mean? Well, the first direcotrs of FML took pictures of the camp and set up a slideshow of "what camp was like" to show to prospective campers and their parents. Later, he and then his successors made short silent films of camp -- like infomercials. So I'm looking at those old films, slides, and camp songs, and using a book that a previous director wrote to try to determine what their cultural models were of boyhood, and masculinity, and camp and things like that. Ultimately, I expect to draw this all into a thesis that ties Communities of Practice to Culture, as well as to cognition.
It is. I'm basically setting myself up as an experiential education researcher who focuses on wilderness-based, or expeditionary learning. This does a couple things. It means that I am dedicated to experiential education, and to preserving wilderness. It means that I think we learn important things about ourselves, others, and the world when we engage with others in outside our protected lives. I believe in making and learning from mistakes. And, hold it, this is beginning to sound like a manifesto -- let me just stop here with John Dewey: "Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself."
How I've managed (so far) to keep doing what I love.