Dwight Watt Internet Article #116 6/30/2005


#116 The best of times and some not so good (Watt Thoughts)

The past year has had its definite ups for me as II did and learned lots of things I had never done before or got to continue doing. These have been things in my personal life, my professional life and in my spiritual life. Truly some great opportunities and some purely found by chance. Of course a year cannot go perfect so there have been a couple of items that have not been as good.

Highs

As I have noticed looking back over the year many items fell across the lines of personal, professional and spiritual. They often really fell in 2 or more areas.

Personal

I had the opportunity every two months of so to visit my dad in the nursing home and he shared many things with me about his family that I had never known.

I had the opportunity to travel on a personal level in the last year. Last July I was in St. Louis for the Kiwanis International Convention and went back to the top of the arch. From there I went to the IBBGCM in Bowling Green Kentucky. I visited several Lincoln sites as I had planned and enjoyed, but by chance at rest stop in Illinois saw sign for giant Superman and set out to find it. It was behind the courthouse in Metropolis (where else) and was several stories high and was neat to see. In early July this year I get to go to Hawaii for the Kiwanis International Convention. This will be state 49 that I will have set foot in. I only need Alaska, but I did see it from plane in March. In the fall I had the opportunity to go on a cruise to Cozumel Mexico with group from college. We even got an extra day at sea thanks to the hurricane.

I have served as webmaster for a number of organizations this past year. I have been the webmaster and technology chair for the Georgia Kiwanis and have written a monthly article for their magazine. I also do the web site for my church, the Emanuel Arts Council, Swainsboro Kiwanis, Swainsboro Jaycees and IBBGCM along with others. It has been interesting learning as I do these, working from raw HTML in WordPad, although I have learned Dreamweaver last year and use it some.

I was elected to the board of directors for the Emanuel Arts Council. They are very involved across the arts and promoting new artists.

I have worked more closely with Chick Springs Publishing, a small private publisher, in South Carolina this year. I have review novels for them, I enjoy Steve brown's writings for them that are often based in South Carolina, and have taken over as the webmaster for them.

After trying to patch a leak in the roof of my workshop for a year, painting, patching, etc, I gave up and built a new roof (shingle on top of the metal building and a carport by it tall enough to put a horse trailer under. Remembering my fall in December 2002 this is a major accomplishment as I put up most wood, paper and shingles by myself and at times sat there thinking you are right on the edge. I discovered, and also experienced in St. Louis, that much of my fear of heights is gone. The roof no longer leaks and the temperature inside is lower and I have a rain protected area outside. So it went great. And it looks good.

Spiritual

In my spiritual life I continued teaching the Sunday school class, and running the sound system in worship service. I expanded to now also doing video work in the service as we added a computer and projector system. I am doing announcements now on the screens and hope to add scripture and hymns soon. I have continued to work with Crossroads, a Christian youth program not sponsored by a single church and with various denominations in the leadership, that we held once a month in Swainsboro with a speaker or group as the focal point.

In addition I completed the United Methodist Advanced Lay Speaking course and am now a Conference Certified Lay Speaker. We expanded our lay speaking opportunities at my church this year and now I basically give the devotion/sermon each third Sunday evening and assist with the early service the same Sunday during the summer.

College/Professional

At the college and with the department the college is a division of, Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education, I have had a number of accomplishments. I earned two new certifications this year. First was I became a MCSDST (Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician) and was a charter one, meaning one of first 5000 certified in this. In addition I earned my Certified On-line Instructor (COI, not a fish as one friend asked) certification and the letter from LERN said I was in first 25 certified.

I was related IFCC CIS chair in February meaning that I am chair over the organization of all CIS instructors in the technical colleges in Georgia. A major function of the group is to propose and recommend changes in the curriculum to the state. Due to budget limitations the state has not had a person at the state level to coordinate these recommendations for over a year. I finally got all the recommendations together for 2003, 2004 and 2005 for them. They are then sent to the colleges for comments in a document called a probe.

Once again a publisher has hired me a s a professional reviewer of a textbook on a high-level modern computer language. It should come out this fall.

I moved the MCSE Technical Certificate curriculum last fall from Windows 2000 to Windows 2003. this was a time consuming process, but meant my students were being taught the latest software. We added a Network Specialist Diploma in the IT department at my recommendation to offer MCSE and Cisco specializations last fall. The program has started off great and drawn more students that were in the Technical certificates. This was my expectation and I was pleased with its growth.

I spent a fair amount of time in the last year going through the update training and tests to be able to teach the new version 3 of the Cisco CCNA (1-4) and CCNP (1) curricula. The tests were not easy, particularly the hands on, but I made it through and am still a Cisco approved instructor to teach in their academies.

I learned had to setup remote services or terminal services in A Windows 2000/20032 environment through a dual firewall. Although I was doing this for a client it fit very nicely back to what I teach. I have gotten better and better at removing spyware and viruses form computers as I have a number brought to me at home all the time.

Lastly I had a very unique opportunity through the college. The state presidents council planned a trip in March to China to study technical education there and set up some sister college/joint educational agreements. Although I had to pay my own way, my president invited the faculty to attend. The president, his wife and i went from my college with 11 others from other colleges. It was very interesting seeing the sites in China and I shot over a 1000 pictures while there. It was also interesting meeting with the education ministry and several colleges and learning about their education process. This is the furthest I have ever been from home and I guess it will be unless I get to go in space as it was 12 hours different from home. I will have a different article summarizing trip.

Lows

In spite of all these highs there were some lows, but the highs outdid the lows.

In early February my dad passed away and although I miss him, I know he is better off than he was and he had told me he was ready to go. I really appreciate the memories of his and mine visits in the last two years.

My health has suffered since February and they are still not sure why it lingers. I had walking pneumonia in late February, but made it on trip to China. I got a respiratory infection there along with horrible sinuses but enjoyed trip anyway and got to experience Chinese medicine first hand. For about $35US I went to hospital, saw a doctor and got a antibiotic and saw a abacus used with a computer. Since then I have continued having lung problems, but it has not stopped me, slowed me down at times (but then some say that is good) and hopefully we are beating it now.

Lastly in late May I was shocked to learn that my contract at HGTC is not being renewed at HGTVC for 2005-06. They cited low enrollment in the MCSE program. I had been warned one of the other programs may be eliminated and had advocated reorganization of CIS and IT where they would be in on department which the college is moving to. I had advocated this reorganization whether I would be a department chair or only an instructor in that it would clear up internal and external confusion when CIS Microcomputer Specialist was in Business Technology and CIS Networking Specialist along with other computer programs were in the IT department. I am looking for a new position and know that God has something in mind for me. I am trying to leave myself open to following his calling to wherever he wants and doing what he wants. It will work out and I am still being myself. Does mean I can catch up maybe on other projects.

Summary

Hope the last 12 months have been good for you and the next 12 will be our best yet.

Dwight

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