A Man Called Blessed

Blessed Ted Dekker has great skills in telling a story. This review is on the sequel to Blessed Child entitled, “A Man Called Blessed.” Ted Dekker  and Bill Bright co-authored this interesting title. The story is a hunt for the location of the Ark of the Covenant. Which, in my personal  opinion is a storyline that has been overused. Though I feel that way about the topic, these authors do make the story interesting and  worth the reading. As is Dekker’s practice, this book is packed with moments of mystery. Read On

365 Days Later

It was January 3rd, 2013, on what appeared to be an ordinary day. Getting up in the morning, getting to my office and attending spring semester faculty meetings, I didn’t recognize anything that should alarm me. Little did I know that the rest of the month, and semester were going to be quite different than I had intended. Read On

Surviving Your Serengeti

Stefan Swanepoel has written an interesting, and business skill book. However, I would not say that the content of the book was a “game changer” per se. Then again, the objective was most likely to do something different and longer lasting that that. What Swanepoel has done is present seven foundational business skills set against one of the seven wonders of Africa, Serengeti. The way it is presented, demonstrates these skills with its occupants as an allegorical example of each of the seven skills. Stefan Swanepoel’s book is Surviving Your Serengeti: 7 Skills to Master Business and Life.
Read the Rest

First Day of fall Semester 2013

Well, the first day of classes usually has only a minor impact on my work in the CTE. However, this semester I am taking a course, Language Acquisition.  Now I must go down the road to see if I can find the text book at a reasonable price. I am excited about this class, as I lobe the subject matter. 

I hope to learn from this course and other language courses to enhance my ability to understand language learning to the extent that I can assist others.

This is not much of a post because I am posting from my new Galaxy S4…not a computer. I will be writing more soon though…so stay tuned.

Where has time gone?

Well, my last post told that I was going to Ukraine in December… and I did go to Ukraine, Lviv, Poltava etc.  However, upon my return, I went to Florida to spend time with family for Christmas.  Though I had all intentions to blog about my trip as soon as I got back, life got busy … then it got CRAZY!!!!!   continue reading this.

What’s ahead – Lviv, Ukraine

As an opportunity to work with a few churches and the Kiev Theological Seminary, I am going to Ukraine in just a few days.  Specifically, I am leaving on the morning of December 6th.  Arriving in Kiev on December 7, 2012, I will then go to Poltava and arrive around 8:30pm (Ukraine time) which is 1:30pm Friday afternoon. 

If possible, I will contact my family via email shortly after I arrive in Poltava.  After a few days, I will leave on a train from Poltava to Lviv. An image of winter time in Lviv is shared here just to give an idea of what the weather is that I am headed into.  Along with my meetings with pastors and now some planned seminars for Active Learning Strategies that I will teach, I also hope to do some landscape photography of the gorgeous winter scenes that can be captured.  Similar to the photo here, the opportunity to photo snow on monasteries will be great.

Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, has had a number of snow falls already.  Lviv, as well has experienced a number of snow showers in the past week and will have more during my time of arrival according to the forecasts.   At the Kiev Theological Seminary, I am hoping to make connections for my church to participate in a missions trip to assist evangelical churches in Ukraine.  The International Missions Board has sponsored a portion of the work at the seminary.  The school of planting churches is sponsored by the IMB.

After returning to Poltava from Lviv, I will be teaching a few seminars on Active Learning Strategies.  This allows me to share my knowledge and practice what I like to share with other teachers.  This trip may be the opening of missions opportunities for my church; however, the teaching aspect of this trip may be the conclusion of Lee University’s connections to the Pedagogical University. I certainly hope it isn’t, but that is just how things may go.

More about the trip will come as I am traveling if the connectivity is as good as it was on my last visit.   Keeping in touch —

Catching up on Blogging

Well, here we are again, at the conclusion of 2012 almost and my last posting on here was January 2012.  Life has been busy, but I have decided to be very intentional about blogging assign myself one post every-other week for starts.  After doing that for a while, I should be able to transfer to once a week, and then possibly even more frequently.  At least this is my goal. We shall see.  Life has been busy, interesting, weird, and about anything else you can think of. In May, I took students to Ukraine.  It was an experience for the 10th year I have done this trip, but it was the first year I led the trip as the only one with any knowledge of how and what Ukraine is all about. In June, I took the month off and can’t really tell you what I did.  NO!!! It’s not a secret …. at least I don’t think it is.  I simply don’t recall what I did in June.  July was good because I was teaching and we did a few things as a family.  Then August was quite dead since students were gone home. However, I had to gear up for two newly re-vamped courses.  Those courses being Intro to Web Design and Advanced Web Design.  Advanced was more of a drastic change that the intro.  My students in Advanced Web Design developed WordPress sites and some even widgets within WordPress.  It turned out “ok” but not up to my standards.  The course has been approved and has eight students signed up so far to teach it again in January.

The big event/project that I didn’t even mention was the iBook project that I was asked to be the consultant, programmer, and project manager for.  Some of June was figuring out how to accomplish the iBook.  Apple produced an application called iBooks Author, which is quite intuitive to use, unless you want some extras… and those cost. The cost is not simply money either.  The time consumed in my efforts to get an understanding of some programming was unbelievable.  Here I am still trying to work with a team of workers and trying to get this out of the way.  It isn’t moving fast enough for me.  I want to say “it’s done” but it isn’t. So, with three other people on the team to get this accomplished by Christmas, we are pushing extremely hard to see it come to fruition.  Developing an iBook isn’t difficult in itself, however, if you have creative leaders that want more than is possible, then you find yourself in a tight spot.  That is my scenario.  Nothing wrong with creativity… just have to know your realistic boundaries.

iBooks Author is an awesome application.  Users must keep in mind that the word “Book” is within the name of the application for a reason. It is not for developing “Games” and it is for the purpose of doing some extras with the Book itself.  It has limitations, as Apple has made many of the options that one would think possible, quite difficult to accomplish, if not impossible. I fully intend on using this for developing an iBook using this for my “Intro to Web Design.” I will keep updating this and letting everyone know where this is going.

Till later…

Year 2012

Well, here we are at the brink of yet another semester at Lee. The Christmas break was good for all; I especially found it to be a good opportunity to rethink my teaching and work plans. As for the teaching, I am only teaching one course this semester (spring 2012). The web design course that I have been teaching since 1999; is still the one I seem to put time into as I try to perfect the course and assure that my students comprehend the presented content.

Brett Deaton has been amazingly helpful assisting in this class. The coding of websites is simply natural for Brett. He has picked up on the ways to get the information across. With my teaching and Brett’s assistance, this course has already improved double-fold. This semester will be a time to prepare students for taking the advanced web course, which will focus on designing sites using WordPress. The full coverage intended is not yet known as the revamping is still in progress.

The other areas I had the opportunity to think about was my work in the CTE. As the semester starts up, I will help a number of faculty begin to use Adobe Connect. Adobe Connect is a synchronous online system. Teachers will be able to teach onlive, live! Teaching online is not the same as classroom teaching, and I hope to assist faculty in crossing over from the classroom to the online environment in their practice. Additionally, I am hoping to start the process of videoing the use of various technologies purchased via Title III funds. Dr. Austin Patty has developed a video of this sort, of which I would like to model our videos after.

Since I will be leading a trip to Ukraine in May, I also have two courses to teach before the trip. The Russian language will be part of the preparations for the trip as well. In addition, Abbey and I will call numerous meetings that will pertain to the culture, peoples, practices, and language of Ukraine. As we did for the 2010 trip, we will aim to have students well prepared and psyched for the trip. This trip is going to be fantastic, especially with a group of ten.

Lastly, but certainly not least, I intend to offer training online for using Moodle in a manner that would be sequecial and traing of using the Promethium Interactive Whiteboard. With the above goals in hand, this should be a productive and busy semester.

Attending to needs of others

As I see opportunities, I find myslelf intentionally avoiding them. I think before I act…this leads to the avoidance behavior.
So, what kind of opportunities am I avoding? You ask! Every day I find numerous opportunities before me to be selfish and ONLY think of my concerns, wants, needs etc. However, with growth it has become an intentional act on my part to try and STOP thinking of myself. The “stuff” the “junk” the “toys” that many find so dear are far less dear than the people that surround us …they are God’s creation and He wants us to tend to their needs…not our own!!!
So why am I writing this? Certainly not to boast and suggest that I have arrived …spiritually speaking. I am blogging about this because I am so amazed that God has stayed with me to bring me to a point where “self” has become less important than others. My family, friends(here and in Ukraine) and my students are all so dear to me. I want to be the best husband, father, teacher, and friend that one could have. In order to do that, I must put myself aside and tend to others. In order for any ministering to occur, we all must put our “stuff” and our “wants” aside and seek God’s face…just as we were told before in Jeremiah 33:3 ….
Thank you my Lord!!!

Are teacher more like doctors – or used car salesmen?

Dana Goldstein‘s piece in the American Prospect, “The Test Generation,” presents a fascinating and disturbing juxtaposition. On one side is Harrison School District 2, a Colorado Springs-area district of about 17,000 students. School officials there recently set up a pay-for-performance scheme where “performance” means improved test scores, even for subjects like art and P.E. Godstein opens the story with a description of such an art test.
Read the rest …at Getting Schooled.