Are You Going to Fail?

Success-Failure-SignI’ve talked about my career and it’s hiccup this past year when I had to get my degree to continue a career path at the ripe old age of 53. Yes, it took almost 38 years to go from graduating High School at 16 through the night classes from ECU at Cherry Point MCAS extension campus to the graduation from SCF in the summer of 2013.

Each step of the way after high school I found an excuse to not reach for great. To not do my best, to not get it done. In fact, lets be honest, I just didn’t want to put in the effort to do it. I was lazy and I will admit it. Working for the Sarasota County School Board I have always given my best. I made it to where I was last year because I had finally decided to work hard and stick with one thing and do it well. I thought that  doing a great job and being the best was good enough, but it wasn’t. I hadn’t paid the price of admittance, which is a college degree. The work, the proof that I could learn, I stayed with it to get the degree and went down the proper path.

When the department reorganized I had to do it. I had to make a decision of whether I wanted to be where I was or if I wanted to just go back to the easy career which was a dead end. Well, I obviously went back to school, took my four courses, made the Presidents List with straight A’s and graduated. I also got a position at the district level that is even more challenging than what I did the last 4 years and I get to tinker with cool technology. As an example, in the last week I worked with coworkers and vendors to finish moving our SharePoint implementation to the Big-IP F5 load balancer. It’s fun, we move a major application that all district employees use everyday from an ISA server implementation to the F5 for authentication and load balancing. I also learned how to code a mobile site, cool stuff!

I cared to follow my dream to do cool things, I didn’t say, “but”, or take the easy way out and take a step back. I am doing “Great.”

Enjoy the video below about Failing to get  that Great Job by Larry Smith from Ted Talks.


College Out Of Reach For Most Americans?

According to a survey by Pew Research most Americans think that college is too expensive and out of reach for our children.

In the survey, 75 percent of U.S. adults said college was unaffordable for most Americans, and almost half said that student loans had made it harder to pay other bills. – Bloomberg

That is an outstanding number of people in our country. The problem is that having a college education is worth about $20,000 a year more than a high school education. So, we have a quandary here, do we continue to fork out outrageous costs or do we try to have our government try to help fix the skyrocketing costs? Honestly, I don’t think it is going to get any better, but we will need to try to find ways to save or work around the system to give our children the best education we can. That means not doing some things that we want to so that we can save that extra money for their future education costs.

Interestingly enough, the college presidents are passing blame to the high schools as not doing a good enough job of preparing our children.

Some 58 percent of college presidents said public high school students arrive at college less well prepared than their counterparts a decade ago, according to the survey. – Bloomberg

That’s just pass the buck and the standardized testing that the government thinks is the way to improve our children. Merit pay, No Child Left Behind, FCAT and other standardized testing is doing more damage than good to our children. Lets work on what we are teaching, funding education and helping the teachers instead of fighting against them. The state of Florida has declared war on teachers with our new Governor Mr. Scott. That is not the way to help, it’s just a way to make Florida the worst state in education. Add to this in that the legislature has for more years than I can count taken money away from the education system because they can’t find a better way to balance their budget deficit. Soon we will be 51st in the US:

Florida is 41st out of 50 states and Washington, D.C. when it comes to the amount of  ”public revenue per student”  it spends, according to annual rankings compiled by the National Education Association. – Orlando Sentinel

Alabama Disaster Trumps Rivalries In College World

As you all know, Alabama was hit pretty hard with Tornadoes this past week. In the world of College where intense rivalries are an everyday event, it is nice to see that people can see that it’s just a college and life is more important. ESPN has reported that the University of Alabama has received offers of aid from 6 different universities, including it’s arch rival Auburn.

Kudos to Auburn, Louisiana State, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Penn State and South Carolina. I hope that more schools ante up in this time of need. If you would like to donate, you can go to the American Red Cross website to find out more.