Life is bigger than this, but this is a start...

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by friendorfoe, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Hi all,

    I used to spend a ton of time here and other places talking about distance education, elearning, accreditation, etc. These days I suddenly find myself being the "old guy". I never thought it would happen, but life has a way of going on no matter what we busy ourselves doing. For those who recognize my name, it's been a while so forgive me for not being here as much as I used to. For those who don't, allow me to introduce myself...

    I first read Dr. Bear's Guide to Distance Education a lifetime ago. From his book I earned an Associate of Science in Criminal Justice from Ashworth College (not sure if they are still called that) accredited by the then Distance Education and Training Council. From there, at the encouragement of my friends here, I moved on to a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice from Southwestern College (a school I still love). Not to be satisfied and moving on to management in law enforcement, I earned a Master of Business Administration from Ashford University (after a brief stint at St. Joseph's College of Maine) and a Master of Science in Management Information Systems from Bellevue University. Along the way I picked up various certificates, moved along in my career, but my prized accomplishment (humble thought it may be) was a stint of classes at Stanford University in their now defunct Advanced Project Management Program, studying alongside many employees of companies you've heard of.

    Personally, my journey has taken a turn. I've met a lot of fascinating people, done a lot of interesting things...some involving guns, some involving Microsoft Project :) but life is weird and on this father's day I find myself nostalgic. I have attained the fabled "corner office" in a major downtown area for a large financial interest. I have been through a horrible divorce, a few health ailments, and somehow landed on my feet with custody of my children. I have learned that quibbling over accreditation of your school, who went to where, all of the end of the kind of inconsequential. My lessons learned (here 3 1/2 years shy of my 20 year retirement) are (for what they are worth):

    1. A degree gets you an interview. It's up to you after that.
    2. A degree doesn't mean you have skills. It should mean you can think critically, read, write, and discern.
    3. Where your degree comes from means far less than what you majored in.
    4. Certifications are important.
    5. What you can actually articulate and apply are far more important than certifications.
    6. When you get the job, you've only just begun. It gets harder and more demanding.
    7. Management sucks. Don't do it if you can avoid it.
    8. The "corner office" sucks...if you get there you'll never enjoy it, because you'll always be in meetings and working 24/7. Just don't if you can help it.
    9. Your health is your #1 priority. Take care of it.
    10. Your family is your #2, #3, and #4 priority, take care of them. Your career comes somewhere farther down the line.

    Finally I can say this...Steve Foerster (jeez I forgot how to spell his name) and Gregg DesElms are prophets. Listen to them. Heed their warnings and take their advice. They are smarter than you or me and far more well meaning. Last I heard Gregg had a bout with illness that changed his paradigm, so he may not be here anymore. I am in much the same boat. But I feel like I should finish out one more thread to contribute to this awesome community of wonderful and well meaning people. I'm not dying, don't freak out (or giggle) but I am moving on to other things in life.

    Anyway, study hard. Be a life long learner. Don't quibble over the trivial things like National vs. Regional accreditation when you should be focusing on your major, your skills, your family, your friends, your knowledge, and most of all...your purpose.

    I'm back momentarily. Good to see you all. Bruce still a cop? :D

    (Edit) I am editing this to acknowledge that upon a brief search, my long lost friend Gregg DesElms has passed on. The world is a lesser place. He was a sage and benefited me and my family tremendously. God bless him.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
    chrisjm18 and Helpful2013 like this.
  2. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Nice to hear from you!
  3. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Great to hear from you also. I know what you mean about "old guy". When I first started posting here 15 years ago under another nom de plume (Little Fauss) I was an underemployed guy in my 30s, trying to learn about DL and find a way into academia. It worked! Now in my 50s, and happily employed, I find there are tradeoffs. Namely, I'm getting old. The wife said the other day "You sure are starting to get cranky!" A younger colleague saw me heading up the stairs the other day on campus and said "My, you look spry!" Cranky and spry! Can it be that we've gotten old? So sorry to hear about DesElms, he was one of the most prominent ones back in the heyday.
  4. sideman

    sideman Active Member

    Welcome back, even if it's just to drop by. I remember following your posts and learning from your experiences. Also I go back to when you, Steve Foerster and a young lady named Tammy (now Sanantone) commented on Elearners. Can't remember what your pseudonym was but when they revamped the site all the threads went into that black hole that's now common in the here today, gone tomorrow internet world. Enjoyed the banter between the three of you and got some good laughs out of it as well. Sorry to hear about your health and marriage. You are blessed to have custody of your children. After my wife passed I had a lot of time to reflect on my past and current life. I agree with your 10 points and would add on to number 7 and 8....especially if you're an entrepreneur. I'm semi-retired now and don't have to continuously supervise the 15 employees and fleet of vehicles that were always circulating around the clock. I also feel that it's a vast waste of time to argue the merits of RA vs. NA but it does make for some lively threads nonetheless.

    I wish you well in this marathon and journey that's known as life. I try to live life without regrets, but God knows I have some. Take care of your health and kids and best of luck moving forward.
  5. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    I'm entering my 40ies (not quite), and already feel this way. At times I feel cranky as all heck, especially thanks to my various interactions with my community. I even got to use my DL knowledge from this forum, and Dr. Bear's generous help, in one extended episode (that culminated in me writing a portion of a court application, laying out the details of U. S. accreditation system). I also met and got disappointed by a lot of my compatriots (including public servants and elected officials). Life sure is draining at times.
  6. msganti

    msganti Active Member

    I agree with and attest to each and every line on the list. I learnt ALL of them the hard way. I wish I can go back in time 30 years with this knowledge.
  7. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Sorry you went through that period of disillusionment. My brother-in-law did an internship in D.C. with a congressman back in undergrad. He left D.C. disappointed with many of his heroes and cynical about the process. Found himself, a staunch Democrat, thinking Ted Kennedy was not such a great guy after all, but that Jessie Helms, whom of course he detested politically, was not such a bad guy after all. Left the place kind of dizzy and a lot less sure of himself. Life is draining.
  8. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    Hi - Sorry to hear about your challenges, however, great to see that you're on your feet and successful! It sounds like you have your health and children. Everything else is gravy... Best of luck to you in all of your future pursuits!

    I came across this site back in 2004 via the old website (which I see is still accessible!). I for one can't thank this site enough for helping me in my long, long quest to obtain an associates and bachelors. Many current and former members of this site helped answer my numerous questions as I seemed to switch majors on a weekly basis for a while there! I really appreciate everyone's input and assistance. Very sorry to hear about DesElms. He was one of a kind.

    I completed my A.S. from Excelsior in 2008, followed by a B.S. in Behavioral Science from Bellevue University in 2009. The B.S. allowed me to obtain a promotion in 2010 which I later parlayed into a management role (I've been with the same pharma company for 18+ years now). Without this degree I would still two levels below where I am now with much lower pay. No corner office for me as they did away with offices for managers the year before I became one! Haha

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