Break Update

Doctoral Studies

Well another one down! Sunday (6/24) I conducted my last conference call and submitted my final paper, presentation, & my final journal entry. I was very pleased with course. While the bar wasn’t set very high after the last course, this course exceeded my expectations.

The instructor was outstanding, she gave me the flexibility to set my own direction in the course. I outlined  what I want to learn and how did I want to go about it. I was a little surprised that I didn’t take the opportunity to take the easy road and do less. I went the opposite direction and use this as opportunity to really dive into the subject, expand my knowledge and escape my comfort zone.

The way I see it, my course classes are the foundation for my comprehensive exam and I want to be as prepared for that exam as possible.

Unfortunately, not a lot of breathing room. Access to my next two classes opened quickly and before I knew it, I was diving headlong into them. I downloaded the text books (4 books, 2 per class). Both classes are directed study. The one instructor I had last class, the other is new. So far it’s going well. Lots of reading, but I guess that is what happened when you have 4 books to get through. Work load, not to bad considering I’m not teaching. I’m keeping up.

More interviews, but awesome topics, Community College Leadership & Governance & Organization of community colleges. There is a fair share of overlap between these courses.

Teaching (Kinda)

On the course development front, I am working on a handful of things. 1st is CIS 225 – End User Support. I am converting this from an on campus course to an online course.  While somewhat time consuming, overall the conversion is not a very difficult process. However, I am a little worried about capturing the  essence of the course, the communication aspect of user support. I am not sure if it can be captured, but I’m going to give it a shot. Putting a fair share of emphasis on discussion. I expect the first time through to be…. Rough. I’ll get through it.  This course should be off for review by distance education today (7/7).

Next up will be adding a lecture and assignment that supports the CIS department’s assessment process. The assignment is used to see if students are meeting the objectives of the class, the objectives of the CIS degree and ultimately the objectives of the college.   I developed the assessment process and assignment for the CIS 140M class a few years ago, so I’m fairly familiar with the end goal.

There are a few odds and ends, but they will have to wait, my biggest challenge of the break, writing CIS 287M Microsoft Server Security for a campus course from scratch. I’ve got the book, always the best starting point. This is going to take some time to fully flesh out. Hopefully I come up with a vision/direction for the course early on.  While I know security and the concepts, it can be a fairly challenging topic.

Gaming

I am not ALL work, I am getting in some fun when I can. I started playing Privateer Press’ WarMachine (WM) again. Technically, I’m playing Hordes, but the games are pretty much the same. I have had a Troll army for a long time, but had not played them for some time. I love my smaller games, but actually getting in game time can be a challenge. SO, I just picked up something that required less work. There are people playing WM/Hordes all over the place.

Started playing Magic again. It’s a card game, the games go pretty fast and there’s 0 setup. Get out your deck and go. I’ve got a few decks that tend to do pretty well. Most of my decks were built for me, or at least tricked out by someone else. I can’t seem to wrap my mind around deck building. Which is probably why I got beat down at a Magic draft tournament.

[For those that don't know, a draft event is where you open packs in a group and pass cards around selecting cards to build a deck. It is a simple format that involves a lot of chance vs. going to an event where people have put hundreds of dollars into their decks.]

I am going to GenCon this year. Last time I was there was 2010. Looking forward to it. My true break and it so happens that my courses will be done by then.  Fun, fun!

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