Spring and summer flew by in a flash – as you might tell from my total lack of updates. I am still alive and I am still plugging along with life, which consists mainly of work and school (some play from time to time).
I officially took over at the Computer Information Systems Department Chair at PCC on Sept 1. However, I began learning the ropes well before that. The dept chair job is not a seat you want to sit in when it’s cold. There are plenty of moving parts and the more you are prepared for, the better. The big things as dept chair are class scheduling, student complaints and managing the adjunct faculty. This is my first step in the management, so there is some nervousness there.
I took over for Scott Quinn, who served as chair for well over 4 years. He left some big shoes to fill. I owe him a lot for his mentorship and guidance.
As I ramp up in that job, I have the regular job of teaching to keep me occupied. So far the term has been quiet. Much quieter than previous fall terms. My class load is reduced slightly due to my dept chair duties. I am teaching two classed, CIS 289M (Active Directory) and CIS 288M (Network Administration). I began the process updating them from Server 2008 to Server 2012 over the summer and the process is mostly done. 289M is about 90% done & 288M, well that’s a different story. Still needs significant work, but I’m making progress.
I am in my very last class, Action Research. I really wanted to take Advanced Qualitative Research, but it wasn’t being offered anytime soon, so I took a class that would be close to my research methodology and topic. I’ve managed to frame my dissertation topic into an Action Research study for the purpose of the class. So there is some progress. I had hoped to spend more time doing research and finding sources related to my topic, at this stage in the game I do not see it happening.
Overall I am fairly apathetic towards this class. It became fairly evident that the instructor is not…. tuned into the class or going to provide any sort of earth shattering insight. This became apparent when it became clear that a fellow student was plagiarizing his work. The best part, plagiarizing from a fellow student, in the same class! Talk about brass one?! I was stunned, and even more stunned with the student plagiarized a second time. I called the instructor during office hours (this is an online class) to express my concerns. The instructor was genuinely unaware and the plagiarism was blatant and pointed out by another student in the class. That left such a bad taste in my mouth. I shifted to, just get through it.
Need to get on my topic research. Once this class is done, I’ll have about a month off before I start my comprehensive exam prep class. Comprehensive exam is Mid-January, hope to be All But Dissertation (ABD) by Mid-February. The goal is to have Chapters 1 thru 3 of my dissertation written by May 2014. Then a year of research? Hope it doesn’t take that long, but I want to give myself a realistic target.
My topic remains college completion at the community college.
A Personal Observation
For years, many, many, many years I have been trying to increase how much read. This was directed at professional reading, reading for leisure, anything. I recognized that growing my knowledge of any topic was going to come from reading. It is what successful people do. Well that has finally started to happen. I’ve read 6 books for leisure in 6 months, that is an amazing accomplishment for me!
I knew I would have to start reading more once I started down the path to Dr. Roberts. I expected it to be a difficult uphill battle. The transition from leisure reading to academic reading hasn’t been hard.
I combined two activities that are not on my yeah list, exercise and reading. So now when I’m on the treadmill I make sure I’ve got something to read. That has helped the reading habit to develop. It takes my mind off of walking so the time goes by faster.
All this personal growth!
I’ve been very focused on roleplaying games for my leisure activity. I’m playing in 2 games (Marvel Superheroes & an indie game adapted to sci-fi) & I’m running 2 games (Outbreak Undead & Pathfinder). I have enjoyed all four. The Outbreak Undead game is taking place in Portland, that’s been fun putting together and the group has managed to meet some regularity. I have the same GM for both the Marvel Superheroes game and the indie game. And Mike is fantastic! Both games have been a lot of fun and challenge my creativity and keep me on my toes.
The Pathfinder game hasn’t actually started yet. It will be done via Virtual Desktop. Now this is going to be interesting! We will be using Infrno.net to host the game. I’ve got 4 players to start. We will be using one of the pre-made campaign settings. I’m hoping this makes for easy setup and play since it is all pre-designed. Setting up for this game has totally lured me into the Pathfinder setting. It’s a very detailed & makes for interesting reading and the collection of books, lots of new books. The virtual desktop allows for more flexibility in assembling players and allows my buddy on the east coast to join in.
I haven’t done much of anything with minis or Magic the gathering. I have Magic decks & I play from time to time, but not with a hint of frequency. I get tempted to build a deck from time to time, but its fleeting. I would like to get out and play Freebooter’s fate a few times, before my Drake Kickstarter shows up. Drake is a dragon based minis game & I’ve got a thing for Dragons.