Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

So it been a while since I’ve written here, actually it’s been since the semester ended all the way back in December.  The last few months have been filled with lots of new and exciting things.  First of all I’m only taking 6 credits this semester, after earning my Business Management degree last semester I decided to take a couple more classes for myself.  I wanted to take a few classes that would expand on the web experience I’ve gathered through my internship so I’m taking couple online Dreamweaver and HTML classes.  This has also given me the opportunity to expand my internship and be a part of some really cool projects before I disembark.

A little over a year and a half ago I began the journey that soon turned into Impressions From an Intern, my very first attempt at stepping into the blogosphere.  It’s tough to imagine that when the internship opening first appeared on my radar, I almost let it slip away.  I was barreling down on graduation and so focused on what I thought I was supposed to be doing.  If not for a push from a few of my favorite instructors (Sandy and Teri) I might be sitting in a very different chair than the one I currently occupy.  Anyways, I got the internship and with it I got to create this blog.  Possibly the coolest project I’ve gotten to work on, it exposed an interest for web design I didn’t really know I had.  I guess for as long as I can remember I’ve had this kind of nerdy sided secretly tucked away, but now that I’m embracing it I’m finding completely new avenues and opportunities  to explore.  It’s really exciting to finally be enjoying what I do every day; but that was the reason I came to FVTC – to find my passion.

That passion has guided me to where I am now. Like I mentioned earlier, pursuing some web development credits has afforded me the opportunity to be a part of a few other projects that might be considered outside the scope of my normal duties.  Currently under development is a blog to showcase innovation here at FVTC.  Guided by our very own VP for Instructional Services, Chris Matheny, Innovation 365 will give you an inside look at how FVTC is innovating everyday.

Another exciting project that will get underway soon is picking a student to replace me in my role as a student blogger.  When the whole blogging endeavor began it was just me, my goal being not only to set up my blog but to pave the way for what could be future blogs.  Shortly after launching this blog I was enthusiastically joined by our college President, Dr. Susan May as a way for her to share some of her personal perspectives.  With the added success of Dr. May’s blog the decision was made that it was time for the addition of another student blogger, and in September of last year me met Becca!!  As a non-traditional student studying Culinary Arts and Hotel/Restaurant Management Becca shares her unique insights in A Fox in the Kitchen.

As I write my final chapter as an FVTC student, there are hundreds of new students out there just beginning to write their futures.  You came here wanting to be nurses, teachers, fire fighters and mechanics, with drive and dedication I know you will leave FVTC prepared for whatever the future holds for you. Who knows, you may even be the NEXT student blogger!  My advice to you is simple: take it all in, go watch Foxes basketball games, crowd into the commons for lunch time music, join a club or two, volunteer for Breakfast with Santa – because it’s so much more than just late nights of homework.

Thank you to everyone who made all this possible, it’s been incredible!!

Dan

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Happy Holidays

Posted: December 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

There is no doubt in my mind, winter is finally here; Ask and I shall receive… eventually that is.  No, it’s not just because I had to get up early today and shovel the driveway, although a fresh dusting of the white stuff does help set the spirit.  Its the holiday season again, and with this semester finally wrapped up (as of 2pm today) I have just a few more short days to take it all in.  I’ve procrastinated so much more this year that in the past and for that I will pay; looks like I’ll be out Friday with the rest of the last minute shoppers fighting for parking spots and places in line.

The holidays can be a spectacular time of the year, surrounded by friends and family, enjoying good company and good food but the true meaning of the holiday has always been the same.  It’s a time to be thankful for what you do have and even more importantly, a time to share with those who have fallen victim to their circumstances and need a little cheer.  Something seemingly as insignificant as dropping your change into the red kettel outside the grocery store could have a profound impact.  It’s inspiring to take a walk through the hallways here and see so many students who have made sacrifices to help fill the Toys for Tots and Coats for Kids boxes.  With all the commotion of finals week its hard to believe that there was even time to organize a Make a Wish fundraiser at a Foxes basketball game, or set up holiday auctions; but somehow they found time.

I think that’s what it all comes down to, finding time.  As students we are masters (or apprentices) at finding time and for the past 18 weeks we have prioritized, sacrificed and gridded it out.  Now its time to reap the benefits, find some time for yourself over the next few weeks of winter break and just relax; you deserve it!!

Happy Holidays

Dan

Mid-semester update

Posted: October 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

It seems like the semester just started yesterday, but the reality is we have reached the halfway point of the semester! I can’t believe how quickly the last 9 weeks have flown past, but I’m looking forward to the next 9 weeks going by just as quickly.  I wrapped up two of the classes I was taking online this past weekend, Photovoltaic Basics & Safety and Overview of Renewable Energies.  Both of the classes were really interesting but at times could be a little confusing and challenging with my lack of direct knowledge about electricity.  The last alternative energy class I have this semester is Photovoltaic Systems Overview, and now that I’m through the first few chapters I’m glad I decided to wait to start it until after I finished the other two classes.  I feel like I flew through the beginning and really hope that things will continue to keep clicking for me.

I have also taken a lot of the material to heart, like it or not alternative energy will only continue to develop and make up a larger portion of the energy we consume; there’s no use fighting it.  If you’re a business it might mean your required to buy energy credits to offset your carbon footprint (if it’s too big), but if you’re just a regular consumer like me you have the power to make small changes that can save huge amounts of energy and money.  There’s no need to go out and do everything at once, but when it comes time to replace a light bulb, shower head, water heater, furnace, washer & dryer, etc. start by checking for energy star approval.  By buying products that meet industry standards for energy consumption you know they will be efficient, but did you know that many of these products qualify for federal tax credits?

I rent a modest size apartment built sometime shortly before the 1920’s and it looks like it hasn’t had much updating since the 1970’s which is evident from the dark paneling on the walls, windows that let in almost as much air when closed as when open, and a toilet that uses 10 gallons per flush.  I’ve been there just over a year now, and have seen a steady decrease in my energy bills because of small changes.  Obviously because I’m renting, replacing major appliances doesn’t make much sense (my landlord is a pretty nice guy but not quite nice enough that I’m going to replace appliances for him) all I’ve done are the little things like using CFLs when replacing light bulbs, making sure all the faucets in the house have aerators, and soon I’ll be installing some stylish plastic sheeting over all the windows.  I’d like to leave you with this final challenge, next time you have a repair/replace decision step back for a minute and consult Google, phone a friend, stop in at Sears, or do whatever it takes to make the most informed decision possible, it’s a win-win situation.

We all know that to be a college student in this day and age you need to be capable of balancing too much, functioning without sleep, finding time where none exists and squeezing the very last penny out of every dollar.  These are just a few of the thing we do day in and day out and if your anything like me your always looking for way to take back control.  So what is it exactly that I do??  I embrace technology, not only am I on the lookout for the next YouTube or Facebook but also for free stuff that can improve my daily routines. In the handful of years I’ve been seeking higher education I’ve collected a few tips, tricks and shortcuts; here are a couple of my free favorites….

1.  Paint.net
Ever wanted to make some simple touchups on a photo?  The Paint program preloaded on windows computers is great, right?…if you just wanna just view the picture. I discovered this program just recently, actually after completing a Photoshop class here at FVTC.  I needed something powerful yet economical, and what paint.net gave me was FREE!  It runs on pretty much any machine and isn’t a resource hog making it extra appealing for you netbook owners.  Packed full of features like layering, automatic updates and an unlimited history; it’s a no brainer this is where I take my photos for a quick fix.  It’s not a direct replacement for Photoshop, but if you’re not a design major you might not even notice.

2.  Google Voice
This is a relatively new service that Google is offering, well new to most of the internet.  About a year ago I was asked to beta test this application by Google while I was still riding the Google Wave hype.  Unlike Wave, Google Voice has shown it can be successfully integrated into Gmail for an even better user experience. So why does this matter at all?  The list goes on and on, but my three favorite features are the ability to choose any area code within the US for your Google voice number, send and receive SMS text messages from your internet browser and last but not least is the ability to creates personalized greetings for individual contacts or groups.  Oh yeah, and it’s totally free if your call stays within the USA!

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