Thinking Technology

Monthly Archives : March, 2014

Making Progress on All Fronts

The comprehensive exam experience (1/13 – 1/19)

Well, talk about best laid plans. Phase one of plan worked out well, I got a good night’s sleep.

Phase two – read everything about the comp exam, questions, guidelines, etc. That’s where things go…. astray. No sign of the exam! It didn’t  show up in my course, my online portal, anywhere. I call support & their network is down! So, here I wait. I was able to get access to my exam by noon-ish. I printed out my questions and went out to eat. Over lunch I absorbed the instructions and the questions (Answer questions 1 & 2, pick one question, question 3 or question 4). Simple enough. I spent the rest of the afternoon researching to answer Question #4 – it looked simple enough. By the end of Monday, I had nothing, not one word writing.

Tuesday was just as rough, if not rougher. Well before lunch time I was beat down and in a state of panic. That sparked an email to Dept Chair and an immediate phone call reply. She talked me down and got ready to do battle. I shifted gears and stepped into Question 1. I was able to find resources pretty quickly and get something written. The rest of the week was pretty good, I got into a flow and tackled about a question a day. On Sunday, I put in some work on a sub-question that was pretty weak. But I hit my goal of submitting the test by noon.

It took about a week to get my results, pass no re-writes! It was the hardest thing I’d ever done & I am so glad that its over.

Next – The Prospectus

I have completed all course work, no more class assignments, busy work or not. It is time to get to the heavy lifting, starting with the prospectus. The prospectus is the foundation for my research. It lays out a lot of the details on what I am going to study and how I plan to frame the study. My topic is the completion agenda and its impact on community colleges in Oregon. I have some of the prospectus written but it is far from complete. Goal is to have it finished in a month before I start on my one on one work with my committee chair, sometime in April.

Teaching
It’s been a good term. After some feedback from a student I decided the lectures for one of my courses needed a work. So I added graphics, made some cosmetic changes and worked to smooth out the lectures a bit. I will have to go back and record the new lectures, when i have time. Overall things have gone smoothly. The transition to Server 2012 was rather painless. You would expect me to be good at it after converting from 2000 to 2003, 2003 to 2008, 2008 to 2008 R2 and now 2008 to 2012. Practice makes perfect.

Spring term, I’ll be teaching 287M – Microsoft Security. Security is not my strong suit but I can get through it. The goal is to get the course in a format that can be given to other instructors. The class is filling up nicely after a few days of registration.

Department Chair
Scheduling and student complaints are the largest part of the job. I am getting more familiar with both. I have also done some hiring of new adjunct faculty. There is plenty of new experiences to be had. I am enjoying the job, so far. It hasn’t been overwhelming in my first year.