school posts

Officially Done With School

Finally, after two months, I’ve got real word from Tri-C about my graduation. They sent me a congratulation letter and transcript. The letter verifies that I have completed my degree. It also explains that, indeed, they have just one ceremony in May. I will not receive my actual diploma until June, but I’ve got this letter until then. The transcript finally tells me my GPA, which is 3.93. I had been listing it as 3.8, the last verified number I had.

What can I do with my two degrees? Hopefully something that involves monetary compensation. Hopefully at least as much as I made as a line cook.

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Done with school

School

I’m done with school. The semester is over, finished on Wednesday.  I also happened to have finished the last classes for my degree.  For all intents and purposes, I have graduated.  I’m not sure when it is official or what not.  In fact, I’ve received almost no information on graduation, the ceremony, anything.  As I recall at Kent, they were sure to tell us not only about the upcoming graduation but about the cap and gown we needed to purchase, etc.  I was much more aware of what was going on.  At Tri-C, I’ve only recently come to the conclusion that the ceremony is most likely only done once a year, in May.  Not sure if I get my degree before then or what.

So now I have little to do.  I have no job and no school, two of the more time consuming parts of my life thus far.  I am considering taking another web-based class or two next semester.  That could be nice if they aren’t too hard.  If they are, it might be hard to enter into a full-time job (hopefully), work some freelance projects (hopefully), etc, and still do alright.  If they are too easy, I might as well just get books and use online resources instead, and be able to learn exactly what I want at my own pace.  I’m still thinking on this.

Jobs

As my monetary reserves drain, I am in the process of looking for a job, and will look much harder now than I had while still in school.

I did have promising possibilities come up at a recent Tri-C IT event.

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Potential Freelance Group

I am very excited about this.  Last week I asked Nadia, a girl from my Web II class who is good with design, if she would like to form a freelance-like group with me.  She had mentioned earlier in the semester that she didn’t like the idea of going fully freelance, being totally alone.  She liked to have people to critique ideas and collaborate with, as well as to share expertise.  I had thought when she mentioned that to ask her about forming a group, but my shyness and unsurity made me wait.  I finally did it, and she said yes, and was excited about it as well.

We talked a bit (via email) and she wondered who else we could include in this group, so I mentioned Jason, another good designer from our class.  We asked him the next day of class, and he said yes.  He, of course, was also excited by the prospects.  And he has had experience with freelance design.

They are both very good at design, which I am not.  They can do flash and drawings and what not.  I am fairly good working with scripting and data, and have, and have some experience turning designs into HTML/CSS.  So we should complement each other well.  We seem to work together in class well as well, which will hopefully make things work smoothly.

So we’ve been talking a bit via email and class.  We have to figure out things such as what sort of business entity to become, how we will handle money (don’t want any disputes with this), what sort of contract we will use, etc.   We will probably want to become an entity like a partnership, with a separate name from our own, so that we have a brand and people can pay that single entity.  This will also make sense for tax purposes.

Part of the idea of this is to be like freelancing, but with the support and image of the other members of the group, so we don’t want it to start off as something complicated and expensive.  It is also going to be set up as something that can be done on the side of a full time job.  We want it to be easy for people to come and go if need be, and maybe even have only part of the team work on some projects.  Our entity and other choices will have to reflect this.

We’ve discussed where to find clients, and we may start with some free sites, such as for non-profits, to figure out how things will work and get a group portfolio going.  Those shouldn’t be too hard to find.

We will continue talking, get things going, and hopefully it’ll work out.

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WordPress.com blog

I have created another blog, separate from this one, on wordpress.com.  I did so as a requirement for the Web Design II class I am taking at Tri-C.  It mainly stores information about the project we are working on for the class.  Since it is my first project of this sort, full from start to finish for a client, it contains my first workings and views on parts of the process.

I am not sure how to handle this blog though when I am done with class.  It obviously will no longer be needed for that, and maintaining two completely separate blogs has its problems, what with increased maintenance time, separated data that all may be related, separate presences, etc.  It may work though if they have two distinct purposes.  I’m not sure that I really need it separate though.

WordPress.com has a number of features, such as integrated stats and greater connection to other blogs, but it has limited features and some important features such as style need to be payed for.  So I may not want to keep the account.

So I could potentially just merge it onto here.  I have also been thinking about maintaining two blogs or one blog that has a fully separated category of posts from the front end with completely different appearance and no access to the other categories.  I would do this on my planned portfolio site for my “professional” posts while I maintain the other blog for my personal posts.  So I could potentially place the wordpress.com content on the professional blog and move some of my older web and server related posts there as well, maybe after a bit of cleanup.

I am also considering breaking away from wordpress by building my own blog ware.  This would give me more control over the data, the blog functionality, and integration into the rest of the site.  But this would take some time, and I have a lot of other projects that would have priority over that.  Getting it anywhere near the capabilities that I like from wordpress especially would take a while (don’t even know how to handle pingbacks/trackbacks).

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Unemployed

This is a little late perhaps, but I am now unemployed. My internship at RPM had been done for school purposes at the end of spring semester, but I had continued on to train the next intern. I of course had quit out at the Lizard around the end of spring as well. I finished at RPM at the end of August there, and have since been without a job.

I haven’t really been looking that hard for a new one. I have little motivation to at the moment, and am working on doing some things around the house and some other personal issues for the moment. I also want to get together a good portfolio before I really start looking.

Ronda Leffel, who is the new director of the eBusiness program I am in at Tri-C, has been and will continue to look for jobs for me. There is the possibility of a job at Sherwin Williams, who is headquartered in Cleveland and recently partnered with the school. The program is touted as having a 100% placement rate for students. Though I do know one who never got placed, I am fairly confident that I’ll get something at some point.

I luckily have a fair amount of savings from my years of working at the Lizard combined with thrifty spending and careful saving. I should be fine for about six months. I’m not sure if I really want to eat all of my savings that isn’t in stocks or cds, but I may risk it. If I get worried about available funds, I’m sure I could quickly find a job at a restaurant again.

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Education done like work flex-time

*** reasons
scheduling classs around work, home, and other parts of life can be very difficult
especially when a rigid schedule week after week is required and
required classes frequently have few available scheduling options
long, fixed terms mean students must plan in advance and be scheduled for months

*** possible implementation characteristics
* semesters
no more fixed semesters or similar fixed periods
students attend lectures, office hours, etc. whenever they want
each lecture, etc is offered at one of many pre-scheduled times
students can pick and choose which time they want to go
times and frequency chosen based on previous demand
student must attend a certain set of lectures, plus perhaps some from an optional collection
can take as long as they want to complete a course
take tests/evaluations/projects when they feel they are ready
tests given in a testing center where they can be taken any time
monitored, students from many classes take tests at once
much harder than current tests to give flexibility in determining competency
getting 50% of the questions right probably good target normal grade
one on one type evaluations scheduled with prof for most convenient time
at least as important as tests
profs spend time with student determining their capabilities
projects are like homework, but larger and with a more defined purpose
projects last a certain duration, must be finished by a due date
some longer and bigger, some short and small
groups projects will require students signing up, running once a quota is reached
competencies rather than grades
not fixed
students can keep going until they achieve desired/required level of competency
profs decide competency based on tests, projects, evaluations, time spent with in class and office-hours
many profs involved, whole department perhaps
no homework per se normally
in class, supervised work only most of the time
perhaps some courses will have some continuity between some lectures with coursework given between
required to be taken in a certain order
should be rare
projects will be the majority of work done outside of class
Office-hours/tutoring
Some students obtain and undertand information in certain classes very easily while other students need a lot of help.
Part of profs time will be spent in an office hours / tutoring like teaching methodology where students are encouraged to seek assistance from the profs
in a larger capacity setting than an office.
An entire class should be able to show up and be handled in this setting.
Possible student activities would be private study with occasional questions to prof or longer discussions with prof about certain points.

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Internship

It looks like I’ve got an internship for the eBusiness Managment program I’ve recently begun at Tri-C. It will be involving web development, which was my primary interest in going to Tri-C. RPM International is the company, a multi-national conglomerate mainly focused on coatings and sealants, including Rustoleum. The main company sort of owns many smaller companies, and it has web people to build web sites for these smaller companies. The company also does a lot of charity work, including helping non-profit group make web sites. I will be learning while helping RPM’s web people.

The company uses some Visual Basic and ASP stuff along with Microsoft’s SQL Server, so I will be learning those. I’ve never used them before, coming from a PHP MySQL background. But the concepts are all the same, and the syntax and what not involved will be very good to learn. I will also learn much more complex and sophisticated things than I’ve been able to do thus far. It’s been slow going learning on my own.

This will be my second actual job ever. I’m going to continue at the Winking Lizard for a while, but reduce my hours. The internship is 3 days a week, and I’ll probably end up with that at the Lizard as well. It will be six days with no chance of overtime, but I’m fine with that given the circumstances. Once school starts, I’ll probably leave the Lizard completely so I can focus fully on the eBusiness program. It’ll be nice to finally be free of that place. It’s been rough going there every day for so long.

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