Brett Rants

Diablo Valley College

Ah, to be young again... when a full load of courses only cost a few hundred dollars.


Sure, it has been redacted. I think this one was from 1995.  I may have had one or two others.  I hardly ever used them.  The only real use would have been checking out books.  But I only started doing that the last semester or two.  So, go figure.  Nope.  It could not have been 1995.  My hair was long in 2000.  And those glasses look alot like my current reading glasses.  So, this is likely from my Post CSU Days, during the time of my Addiction Studies Certificate, circa 2004.
Best Guess: Circa 2004


Front Matter

I heard it called Diablo Vacation Center, once or twice... but never by anyone on campus.

I attended on three separate occasions with varying agendas and degrees of success and seriousness.

Rather than pack the front with a lot of generalized information, I think I will include that here-and-there throughout... perhaps, talking about generalities when I cannot remember anything specific about the course at hand.

Further, I will purposely omit any of the negative nitty-gritty. Or if that is not possible (and it must be said), I will include a section at the end wherein I will lump all the negative things together, obfuscating their point of origin. After all, just because I hated any given teacher doesn't mean they weren't any good. I mean, I was surprised at the level of animosity that was directed towards my favourite teacher. So, opinions differer. And one person's good is another's bad.

Though, one thing I will do is compile a short listing of General College Level Advice as I go, posting it right here at the top. In fact, it shall be the next in line.

Nope.

Sorry.

I think A Brief History of My Education should come next, you know, so there's some context. Rhodes Scholars may wish to (and undoubtably will need to) follow a different path, if you know what I mean.

A Brief History of My Education

And there you go. I could have been a contender. But I was not.

Still, I think a bit more detail concerning my time at DVC (call it an overview) is in order.
So, there you are.

I have more Community College Experience than the average bear... like, way more.

And before we get to my individual experience, as follows is some generic advice.

Generic Community College Advice

Nope.

Sorry.

I changed my mind.

Since I will be writing this at the end, I decided to put it at the end.



DISCLAIMER

It's been a long time. I'm not trying to nail anyone. Really, I'm not. For those teachers I did not (and/or do not) like (for personal reasons and/or otherwise), I'm simply skipping that aspect of reality. At this remove, I feel no hostility. There is no personal vendetta at play.

What remains is SUBJECTIVE.

THESE ARE MY MEMORIES.

As with all memories, they should not be relied upon in any way, except in regards to the subjective experience they impart, by virtue of their being a memory that I currently hold (of a time long since past), irrespective of their relationship to historical reality. Meaning, the utility of these memories (if any) resides in their being memories and not in any "facts" which may be imparted, as any "facts" at this remove are dubious at best.


As Such Please Expect

Incorrect Attributions
In any given instance, it is very probable I have switched one course, teacher, or action with another course, teacher, or action. Just because a memory is filed under a heading doesn't mean it actually belongs there. Meaning, more than once, I am sure I've taken a memory from one instance and attributed to another.

{And in fact, as the text will show, I have flipped back-and-forth regarding the appropriate attribution and/or placement of certain memories.}

Incorrect Statements
Hey, just because I said something happened doesn't mean it actually happened or that those around me would interpret said happening in the same way.

And all the other problems inherent in trying to remember details from well over two decades ago, using nothing more than a College Transcript as a Writing Prompt.

As such, it is safe to assume (and therefore, one should assume) that all specific quotes, examples, and so forth are completely fictitious and created from whole cloth. They are included for entertainment purposes only.

Please do not read too much into anything.


Transcription Begins

DVC Transcript
For The Data Junkies

Python Script
{From There To Here}
{From Transcript To Section Headers}

For The Code Monkeys

Shall We Begin?


BUS-109
1992SP: 3.0-A
Intro to Business

Did this course teach me anything? I don't know.

I do know that the teacher (a local executive from a fairly large company, assuming I am making the correct attribution, putting the right teacher with the right course) gave a few tid-bits of generalized advice that I do remember, which all can be summarized as schmoozing with your boss(es) and becoming their Goto Guy... or Goto Gal, there sure did seem to be a lot of gals in that course.
Said executive may have been smart, strategically cunning, and all the rest. But I guess I wasn't smart enough to recognize it, they never bothered to share much more than I've just shared with you, or I simply can no longer remember.

Who really knows?

I hardly paid attention.

And I doubt there were any questions about golf on the final, if you know what I mean.


BUS-186
1992SP: 3.0-A
Principles of Accounting I

I hated everything about this course. Back in '92, if your remember (you do remember don't you, or where you born in '36, ya young whipper-snapper), computers weren't all that common. I got my first computer in '95 (1995, smarty). And I might have had a different opinion about the course if I had been using some Accounting Program. But then, said program would have been QuickBooks, even if GNU Cash is free. So, I'd not have used it much in my life, anyway.

What can I say?

Credit → Left
Debit → Right

And, no. I have no idea if that's correct or not. But it does pretty much sum up the course.

Oh, but if you want me to sing the praises of Accounting, I can. In the previous, when I talked about golf and piloting and all that, I'm sure it wouldn't hurt when it came time to talk the talk if one knew what they were talking about. And accounting is the language of the hostile takeover, you wannabe jackal, you.


COUNS-105
1992SP: 0.5-CR
Orientation to College

Um, yeah.

A complete waste of time.

I would have been much better off reading this here webpage or talking to someone more like myself and less like a professional Dip-Shiite... not that I know if they were Muslim or not, but they were definitely a Dip.
This is a college.
This is a bureaucracy.
You can bend it to you will.
But only after you realize it will not bend.

Master the contradiction, young plebe. And you will be Master of your time here.
I'm really not succeeding on that whole avoiding negativity thing. Suffice to say, I am sure the Counsellor was quite competent at their job. But I was either not ready to hear what they had to say... or it really didn't much apply. For the day (or was it two days... or just a half a day), I was doing time.

But, hey!

A half credit... for completely ignoring the wisdom of my elders!

Score!


ECON-220
1992SP: 3.0-A
Principles of Macro Economics

I took this course at Berkeley. So, I took it again.

Look at that A!

I said LOOK AT IT!

And be impressed!


PSYCH-210
1992SP: 3.0-B
General Psychology

I think I ditched the second half of this course.

If I recall correctly (and this is exactly the type of thing I am prone to remember after thirty years, but possibly attribute to the wrong class), one of the questions on the midterm (and really, not just one of them) went something along the lines of:

On page 113 of the book that I wrote and forced you to buy, read, and take copious notes upon, I wrote something that I found enlightening, but you (Dear Brett, I'm talking directly to you, now, Brett, funny kid, head down, hardly ever pays attention in class, mostly just doodles, but you, Dear Brett) could care less about my book (my labour, my love). Nonetheless, I warned you that it would be an Open Note (as opposed to an Open Book) Test, and I used this exact phrase (THIS EXACT PHRASE mind you, so don't even try to paraphrase the concept or put it into your own words). Anyway, the phrase was:
A: Something Unimportant
B: Something Obscure
C: Perhaps An Endless List
D: Perhaps Not

Actually, I'm pretty sure it was a list of four words.

The word I used in my book was:
A: Happy
B: Elated
C: Joyful
D: Bliss

And you know what? I still don't know what word was used. But I do know that I stopped going to class after the midterm, which was a shame, as the guy sitting next to me was pretty cool and we even spent a day climbing Mt Shasta together.

So, that could have worked out if I wasn't:
A: Petty
B: A Jerk
C: Petty but not A Jerk
D: A Jerk but not Petty
E: All Of The Above
F: None Of The Above
G: E & F
H: A & B but not C, D, E, or F


ASTRO-110
1992FA: 3.0-A
The Visible Universe

We had to memorize the names of ten stars. That was like the midterm. We knew it was coming. We were warned. And that was the hardest part of the class, memorizing ten dots on a sheet of paper (please, call it a star map).

Later, when I lived in Hawaii (hey, have I ever mentioned it, I lived in Hawaii), I'd wake up in the middle of the night (you know, when I lived in Hawaii, next to a horse ranch, in some condo-like subdivision) and go outside (at night, geez, pay attention, night, Hawaii, where I lived once, next to a horse ranch, so it was pitch dark, just as long as I didn't trigger the motion sensing lights, so I got real good at walking with my eyes closed, just in case) and gazed up at the stars in all their glory and wonder.

Scorpio!

Know it!

Love It!
It looks sort of like a primitive fish hook, you know, like the ones they use in Hawaii, which I know about, on account of having lived there once, twice, a couple times really; but this one time, it was next to a horse ranch; they'd come right up to the door, really; just stretch out your hand through the kitchen window... well, I've got long arms; and they'd snatch that there carrot, unless it was night, cause horses sleep at night; but that's OK, because that's when the stars come out; and such stars, you never have seen, unless you've lived in Hawaii, next to a horse ranch...
And to think, if I had paid attention in this class (taken a few more couple dozen and gotten a doctorate), I could have worked on The Mountain at The Observatories late at night, where the stars are even better.

But I didn't.

Let my loss be your gain.
  1. Study Astrophysics
  2. Move To Hawaii
  3. See The Stars
And I was afraid some of these classes would not generate much content for a writing project such as this.

Pshaw!


COMSC-100
1992FA: 3.0-B
Intro to Computers & Data Processing

Now, this one I do not remember much. I remember sitting all the way in back in the top row. And I could be wrong, but I think the teacher almost encouraged us not to attend, maybe saying we didn't have to and the midterm and final would count for everything.

I don't think I touched a computer.

Nor do I believe I wrote a single line of code.

Actually, it's quite odd how many times I touched computers and never cared about them. But then, let's be honest, the only reason I ever did learn to code was for the money... well, the hope of money.



COMSC-100L
1992FA: 1.0-B
Intro to Computers & Data Proc Lab

Ah, so this is where I was supposed to touch a computer.

This class was silly.

I learned about word processors, spreadsheets, and the like. But as the work was inane busy-work (do these exact things in this exact way in this exact order), I did not like it.


GEOL-120
1992FA: 3.0-A
General Physical Geology

Rocks!

Tests included a lab portion, which meant looking through microscopes or in other ways handling mineral specimens. I got the A. But I had to work for it.

Sorry, no other stories, really.
Oh, but this time in Hawaii, small island, middle of the ocean, middle of nowhere really. Anyway, they got lava there, great big fields of lava. They got your Aha Lava, named as such because it sneaks up on you. And they got your Poi-Poi Lava, named after that famous Hawaiian delicacy.
Aha Lava: Rocky. Makes a rumbling sound when it flows. "Ah! Ah! Ah!"

Poi-Poi [sic, seriously, you may want to check the spelling]: Liquid Lava. It's what folks think of when they think lava. It will sneak up on you... if smoke, burning trees, and thousand degree temperatures are the type of things you are likely to fail to notice.

Pele's Tears: Glass Globes, like strings, look oblong, sort of like tears or raindrops. You know what. Even though I lived in Hawaii for years and spent endless hours walking through lava fields, I never once saw any of these so called Pele's Tears.

Ku: The God of War. It, also, means friend. So, a Ku is someone you're willing to fight for. I, also, have a sneaking suspicion it refers to a sacrifice, as well. I guess, it's all about context.


GEOL-122
1992FA: 1.0-A
Geology Laboratory

Sorry, I don't remember this as a different class.

I've nothing else to say, really.

So, I might as well talk about Hawaii, again... and again... and again.

One time, I got caught in a rip tide. Apparently, I'd gone a half mile up and down the coast, while I just thought I'd swum out to the break and back. Good thing I was wearing flippers. Boy was I winded.

This other time, Pele came to me in my dreams, which is supposed to be a great honor. She called me Kaha'la'la, because "I was more LaLa than the rest." So, she nailed it. Though, whether it was Pele or not, I really could not say, because when I asked her name, she wsa sort of disgusted and said, "It wouldn't matter if I told you or not, you'd never pronouce it right."

Anyway, remember when I discussed Ku above (and if not, perhaps you should review your notes, as there will be a test at the end)? Well, memories fade, but I'm pretty sure Kaha'la'la Ku figures into the story somewhere. And in fact, that might have been my name... or preferred outcome as far as The Goddess was concerned. I really don't know.

The important thing is that I lived in Hawaii once. And if you think I'm going to drop it or let you forget, you've got another thing coming.


MATH-192
1992FA: 4.0-A
Analytic Geometry & Calculus I

Nailed It!

Remember (and please, even if you don't remember, just do us all a favour and lie and say that you do remember) when I mentioned I flunked out of Berkeley on account of my dismal performance in both Math & Physics... my putative major?

Well, this here was my redemption!

Booyah!

I could follow along in class and everything.


PHILO-120
1992FA: 3.0-A
Introduction to Philosophy

I did not want to learn what Spinoza (or anybody else, for that matter) had to say. I wanted to discuss Philosophy.

Idiot Says This and Idiot Says That is not an overly engaging way to approach a subject... even it that's exactly how I approach writing. But then, you're reading the words of an Idiot. So, like, what did you expect?

Anyway, my understanding of My Self, Universe, or Social Condition was not moved forward by this course. I wanted that which it was not... as did many of my classmates.

On the other hand...
"Shut Up! All of you! Shut Up! You're idiots! All of you! No, you too, smug guy, back in the corner, especially you! You're the biggest idiot in this classroom. No, I don't care what your feed says, the fancy things you read on the Internet, or what some stupid celebrity had to say! They're idiots! And you're idiots! You're all idiots!"

-pause-

-heavy breathing-

-inhale-

-reflection-

"Now, you know who wasn't an idiot? No, put down your hand. It wasn't The Fonz. I'm talking about Spinoza. Spinoza was a pretty smart guy... for his day, at least. And he had a few clever things to say about his world, so clever he managed to change the dominant paradigm."
And yet, I cannot remember thing one about Spinoza... or even if his name was ever mentioned in this course.


ENGL-122
1993SP: 3.0-A
Freshman English: Comp & Reading

In addition to Typed Assignments there were (possibly in class) Free Hand Assignments.

IN THE FEW YEARS PRIOR TO THIS COURSE, I HAD TRAINED MYSELF TO WRITE IN ALL CAPITALS, AS THAT'S A WELL ESTABLISHED ENGINEERING NORM.

The teacher did not like the style and insisted I change my ways.

I did.

I SHOULD HAVE DROPPED THE COURSE, INSTEAD. THE SIMPLE TRUTH IS THAT ALL CAPITALS SUITED MY NEEDS.

It was hard enough to change the first time. I never tried again.

But since that all seems a bit negative, I will say that there was tons of Group Discussion in this class. And if I weren't so annoyed at the teacher on account of that writing thing, I may have appreciated my time in this class a lot more.


MATH-193
1993SP: 4.0-C
Analytic Geometry & Calculus II

I did not do so well in The Second Class of the Calculus Sequence. Certainly (and perhaps, quite obviously) it was harder.

But I think the pertinent difference was that this instructor thought it was important for Answers to be Reduced to Final Form.

CALC I: 3 + 7
CALC II: 10

Sorry, I don't remember the details well enough to give a better example

CALC I: Calculus
CALC II: Calculus + Algebraic Reduction

The same sort of issue would arise in my Linear Algebra Class, later on.


Chemistry Midterm
High Score

These Five Images comprise The Chemistry Midterm as discussed below First two comprise the test, the next three the show your work notes

CHEM-120
1993FA: 5.0-A
General College Chemistry

Nailed It!

I got The Highest Score in the class (out of fifty or so, as it was really out of two sections) on The Midterm.

In fact, I was The Only One who got one of the questions correct: NH4N02 or something like that, the trick being to double the ratios (after deriving them from a gaseous mixture) prior to naming.

But I think it is clear, I've forgotten most of that, as well.

Anyway, I think I understand Enthalpy but not Entropy.

They were short students for CHEM-121 the next semester. And the professor (a nice guy, we got along) called me up to try to get me to enroll. But I was pretty burnt out at this point. And decided to take a semester off.

It would be Four Years before I took another class.

And really, any tricks I might have learned about college were definitely not learned by me at this point.


{Like I said, I took a few years off, here. As is relevant, I did a bit of Independent Study in this time.

Probably not right away, but rather than re-enroll, I went down to The UC Berkeley Book Store and picked up a few books, two of which I remember.

PHYSICS: It was Calculus Based. And since the answers were in the back, I got through the first half. I don't think I ever really understood (could solve) rotation problems.

CIRCUIT ANALYSIS: Once again, I did pretty good... until they started doing this "Matrix Math". It was before The Internet. And what the book would do was set up a Matrix; and then, leave it to the reader to solve, which may well be a trivial thing for one who understands Linear Algebra. But at the time, I didn't even know that Linear Algebra was called Linear Algebra. If I had, I might have picked up a Linear Algebra Textbook.

Whatever.

I'd gotten as far as I could and it was time for some help. So, I went back to school.}


HIST-120
1997FA: 3.0-A
History of the United States

I did an Oral Report on Andrew Jackson, who was An Unethical F!
"So, like, this brings up a good point, class. You don't have to like the person on which you are doing your report."
Um, yeah. There's another History Course a few entries down. I have no idea in which one this comment should be located.


HSCI-124
1997FA: 3.0-A
Ecology of Human Health

I don't know when I decided to get my AA. But this class was clearly a requirement. It is, also, quite possible I was trying to fulfil the requirements to Transfer to Berkeley. And in fact, that seems more likely, as I'm pretty sure I gave up Transferring to Berkeley towards the end of my Electronics Certificate (a few years later). I'd sort of wanted to be an Electrical Engineer. But by then, I'd realized I'd basically have to re-start my education, taking all the Engineering Courses if that was the path I wished to pursue.

So, I was still shooting in the dark. This was clearly a prerequisite. So, might as well get it out of the way.

Anyhow, as to this specific course, we had a Pair of Cross-Dressing Trans-Women come speak to us, which was fairly progressive for the time. I guess they'd just be women, today. But if others had worked out the syntax, such nuances had certainly not diffused into my awareness, as of yet.

A Progressive Class
Full of Progressive Ideas

Um, I hated it.


HUMAN-105
1997FA: 3.0-A
Intro to Humanities R-OK

Oh, me and this teacher just clicked. I think he was glad to have someone to talk to.

Now, we disagreed on the relative merits of Opera versus Musicals.

But, hey.

You can't have everything.

It was a Survey Course full of plenty of new modes of expression (for me, anyway). Opera comes rapidly to mind. Probably, Classical Music, as well. And I'll go out on a limb and guess some exposure to The Iliad was included.

Years later (after I was done will schooling, like completely), I'd be introduced to the concept of Taking Teachers Not Courses. Well, this is a teacher I should have taken.

Clicking is important.

Perhaps, more on target, he was (I will assume) looking for students to teach, students who could be taught.

And that's really important.

But then, the idea of having a teacher as a friend (or really, being much more than polite, not even friendly) never really crossed my mind.

I should have nurtured the relationship.

I think I'll add that to the Lessons Learned Section down at the bottom.


PSYCH-122
1997FA: 3.0-A
Psychology in Modern Life

This course was taught by a Brain Damaged Hawkeye Pierce.

I mean, fine.

I may be confusing this course with another. Memories fade. But I will assume this course is that course and not some other course.

Anyway, this guy (who taught that course, which might not be this course, so I may be talking about some other guy) was totally and completely out of control. I doubt he lasted more than a few more semesters.

I'm pretty sure he swore non-stop.

The first or second week of class, he just stood right there and announced to the class (or rather, to all the girls in the class) that he'd be happy to go out with them... if they weren't his student. So, like, they'd have to drop the course or wait until next semester to date him.

The details matter not.

That was the gist.

It was a Psychology Course.

And like, for the first six weeks, he gave an epic introduction into the conflict in the far east that was The Vietnam War.

And he was in trouble.

The administration was trying to remove him... you know, on account of the sexual harassment lawsuit that everyone knew was coming down the pike, because he could not keep his mouth shut.

And the guy was great.

Oh, he sucked as a Psych Teacher. I think towards the end he said something like, "Well, this is a Psychology Course, so I should at least spend a day or two talking about Psychology."

So, he wasn't teaching the prescribed (or at least, advertised) curriculum.

But his class was loaded, standing room only, students on the floor, every chair taken, a good ten, twenty, maybe even thirty students that first day hoping for a spot on the waiting list.

Let's just say, he presented as being completely racist but in a benign way. Fit the profile and you'd get into his class... and probably get an A.

No tests.

No homework.

Just one Massive (and it truly was Massive) Take Home Final, consisting of a Semester's worth of notes, which were handed in as three ring binders, and which he laboriously reviewed over the course of a single class... maybe a single class hour.

He might have weighed those notebooks.

"Yeah, feels about right."

Or simply flipped through them.
"Hey, dude. You're missing an entire section. I can't give you an A if you're missing an entire section."
His class went fast.

He is fun to talk about.

There is not a chance (not that I would know) that he lasted more than a year or two.

But then, he was a smart cookie. Maybe, all he wanted was administrative leave so he could collect disability.

I mean, he laid it all out there... and was perhaps lying from word one.

Heck.

It'd be funny if he was running an experiment.

But no.

It was a little too much of a Full Court Press Against The Younger (and cuter) Members of The Student Body. Though, he was smart enough not to abuse the High Schoolers in attendance. But maybe, not smart enough not to point those very same High Schoolers out. And he swore non-stop... or that's how I remember it. We are talking twenty to twenty-five years later.

But man.

My notebook was full. I did the assignment in full. And it was not light. It took me weekend after weekend. Eh, twenty to forty hours. Which compared to some of these other classes was an insane amount of homework.

So, I did learn the material.

I had a great time.

And I wish nothing but the best for him, his boat, and his tireless quest for true love.

Seriously, change a few things around and you've got yourself a movie.

This man knew how to live.

Oh, right.

His claim was Brain Damage, sustained during 'Nam. He was self-aware enough to know that it had fried his restrictive circuits... but you know, no restrictive circuits, no filter, no edit, no restraint, no ability to not to Lay It All Out There, utterly and completely.

He may well get the longest entry.

And I feel certain he would love it.

After all, there is not an ounce of hostility in my heart towards him.

And the second or third week, he had us write a One Page Essay about him, critically (truthfully, positively or negatively) evaluating him as a teacher, which he said he'd hand in to the administration (in response to a swearing complaint, if I remember). And he liked mine enough to mention The Hawkeye Pierce bit.

So, I don't feel like I am nailing him or betraying a trust.

Truth is, he'd likely (once again, how would I know, for he never said he'd) be happier collecting disability and sailing his boat up and down the coast.
Brain Damaged?

Fools!
Eh, I got nothing else.


DISCLAIMER!

I'm sure there is an administrative record (somewhere) where The Facts of The Case may be discovered.

This is merely my subjective memory, twenty years old.

The same could be said of all these entries.

You know what's really odd?
An hour ago, I would have said there was nothing I could remember about this course.

And once again, maybe I didn't.
Maybe I am remembering a different course, altogether.


{I wrote my Red Boxed Disclaimer (far, far above) more-or-less immediately after writing the preceding entry.

This guy was both one of the best and one of the worst teachers I've ever had.

It's a hard mix to describe with any degree of accuracy.

He sucked.
He was great.

He didn't do his job.
He did more than his job.

So, which way do you want to go?

I mean, he is exactly why one might want to give (and/or not give) College Professors Tenure.}


ECON-221
1998SP: 3.0-A
Principles of Microeconomics

And this is a course about which I actually do remember nothing.


ELTRN-101B
1998SP: 4.0-A
AC Circuits

I took AC Circuits?

I don't remember that.

I likely transferred credit for 101A DC Circuits from another Community College, a subject which will not be covered in this post.


HIST-121
1998SP: 3.0-A
History of the United States

I may have switched the details about from the other History Course with this one.

I remember nothing pertinent about the one or the other, whichever one that might be.


HUMAN-112
1998SP: 3.0-A
Intro Humanities: the Modern World

I, also, had a few Humanities Courses. So, once again, it is easy to imagine I got the two switched. But in this case, I think I remember the order.

This (if this is, indeed, the class I am talking about) was a fine class.

At the start of the next semester, I encountered the teacher at random and he asked if I wanted to be his Teacher's Assistant.

I don't think it was because I was special.

I think it had more to do with a Teacher's Assistant being Unpaid (not that he'd care about this part) Free Help.

But I wasn't interested.

So, the conversation lasted about thirty seconds.

Course-wise, it was my introduction to some of the major painting styles and movements, which rose to prominence in The Modern Era.

I got Extra Credit for trying my hand at Cubism, Fauvism, and such, which was well worth the price of admission.

{As I edit, I believe it is more-and-more probable I am confusing this course with the other Humanities course. So, like, it really is easy to scramble things up after twenty years. And as such, it is inevitable (or at least, very-very likely) I am attributing some of these memories to the wrong course and/or instructor.

And then, a few days later, I'm happy with the original order.

I just don't know.}


MATH-194
1998SP: 3.0-A
Linear Algebra

I bought myself a TI-92; and thereby, passed the course.
"Hey, teach. So, like, you said we could use calculators on the tests and stuff. So, like, can I use this one?"

"That's a calculator?"

"Yeah. It's kind of fancy, programmable. It's pretty powerful."

"Sure, use whatever you want."
The conversation may not have been this long. And I may have undersold the calculator.
"So, like, can I use this calculator?"

"That's a calculator?"

"Yes."

"OK. Sure."
I asked this more or less after the first class meeting. In fact, I may (or may not have) gotten the calculator (a TI-92) on some cross-country trip. I'd stopped by some Big Name Store. I forget which. But a Big Chain. And they were having a Grand Opening Celebration, giving away Game Pieces. I'd gone in for something trivial, Soda or something, maybe a Snack, Beef Jerky, who knows? And when I go to check out, the clerk is like, "You got a 50% Off Coupon, there. You sure you don't want to buy anything else?" So, I shopped and got myself a Calculator. I have no idea if it was the TI-92. Maybe, this story belonged to my TI-83 and I just plopped down $200+ for the TI-92 upon enrolling in this course.

At this remove, who knows?

Anyhow, a TI-92.

It's programmable. Um, it does Differential Equations. It does Algebra. Um, it does Linear Algebra. And it would do Linear Algebra that utilized Differential Equations.

Well, maybe not.

I mean, I don't know. I don't have The Specs memorized.

But let's put it this way. All I had to do to pass the tests (and numerous tests there were, indeed) was to type the question into that there TI-92 and hit SOLVE. And it did the rest.

Sorry, I'm not great at Third Degree Polynomials. But I got an A because I spent the money on a Real Calculator and learned how to use it.

As to Linear Algebra (what I still call Matrix Math), I'm a bit sketchy. I have a rough idea. But it is rough and non-intuitive.

I've had other Math Classes wherein either Calculators were not allowed or "Sure, use them." But they weren't going to do any good, because it was simple stuff... except for the new stuff.

This is Linear Algebra.
|1 0 2 0|
|3 4 1 0|
|5 2 0 0|
So, is this.
|x3+y z5+z x 0|
|z2+z y2+y y 0|
|x3+y z9+z z 0|
The second I saw crap like that second one on the test, I pretty much bailed and became a Button Pusher.

I literally could not do The Base Math, let alone The Base Math twisted up into a Linear Algebra Problem.

But I got an A.

And I didn't cheat.

Suck It!


PE-150
1998SP: 1.0-A
Aikido R-OK

Very quickly I decided it would be better to take my lumps if I ever got into a fight than take my lumps week-after-week learning how to fight.

This well may be the class I hated the most.

Hated!

Despised!

Loathed!

But I needed 2 CR in PE and this counted for 1, so I persevered.

And how, you may ask, did I manage to secure an A?

Well, one day, towards the end of the semester, the teacher told us to take out a piece of paper (perhaps, paper and pencils were provided, as I doubt I brought these to class) and write down the grade we thought we deserved and an explanation as to why.
A

The syllabus states grades will be determined by attendance. And my attendance meets the requirements for an A.
Others of my acquaintance felt they deserved less. And not unsurprisingly, they got less... for the same level of attendance, I might add.

Damn.

But this course blew.
"Hey, first day of class, you said we would never have to do anything we didn't want to do. And I don't feel like getting slammed against the ground anymore, today. So, I'm sitting this round out."
I F!'ing Loathed This Class!


PE-162
1998SU: 0.5-A
Golf R-OK

It was an easy A.

I recall there being some BS for the final, like, "Hit this ball with that ball using a putter, if you want to pass the course."

But mostly (after a short lecture), the class just headed down to The Local Driving Range. And if you could afford it, you bought a discounted basket of balls. And if you couldn't, the teacher would share his endless supply of comped balls.


ANTHR-120
1998FA: 3.0-A
Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion

Pure Fun!

I did an Oral Report on Tea Leaf Reading, in which I bored the class to tears.

Since I thought it was a group project, I gave my Bibliography to another, so it would seem like we'd worked as a group. And then, the teacher went and marked me down, because I didn't have a Bibliography.

Anyhow, I think that got settled.

Oh, and this will let you know what type of student I was. By the second week of class, I'd read two out of the three books. So, when we were to write a paper on the first, I did a Comedy Comparison of the first two. The teacher loved it. Read it in class. But she didn't out me and I didn't feel like outing myself, on account of Extreme Social Anxiety, which to a large extent I am over. Or at least, when it comes to bragging half-way down a gigantic wall of text in an obscure corner of The Internet, I am over caring about what others think.

I believe the title of my paper was Fupped Duck and slammed together a book called Fup (about a duck) with another on Vampires & Revenants.

Since the second book hadn't been assigned yet, I doubt much of the class understood. But the teacher got it.

Score!

{Surprise! Surprise!

I found a copy of FUP Duck!

And it is nothing like I remember.}


ELTRN-102A
1998FA: 4.0-A
Electronic Devices

I can no longer differentiate the stories from one Electronics Course with those from another. The same thing is true of The Substance Abuse Courses.

Devices? What does that mean?

Hey, working with Oscilloscopes was fun. But they're more of an AC or Three Phase tool. I guess we got lights to flash at some point. Eh, it was so long ago, I barely remember anything.

At some point, we'll get down to Electronic Fabrication or something like that. In that course, I built my Power Switch from the prescribed Gauge Wire... or maybe, it was wire two or three Gauges too thick. Whatever the case, it didn't look so hot.

Oh, well.

That's not the part I want to brag about. See, someone else in class was blowing a bunch of fuses during the test. The test being not to blow a fuse. Anyway, he couldn't figure it out. But after a few minutes of staring at his wiring, I told him what to do, how to switch about his wires. And his gizmo no longer blew the fuse... and he got a better grade than I did.

Grumble.

Grumble.

But now that I've gotten that off my chest, hopefully the next story or two will be a bit more uplifting.

Or funny.

It seems like it's been awhile since I've said anything funny.
"Oh, about three years by my reckoning. But who's counting?"

"Everybody's a joker."

"Yep, everybody but you."


ELTRN-201A
1998FA: 4.0-A
Digital Circuits

The second year in or so, one of My Lab Partners suggested we get together over the summer.

I regret not taking him up on the offer.
Dude! Man! You do not know how to tell a joke.

What's next?

This one time, At Band Camp, it was late at night, and I was out in the woods all by myself, and a Bear mauled me. I was in traction for months.

It's just not a joke.

Here. I'll set you up.

A Student, Student, and a Student were in the Electronics Lab, when...

-pause-

-longer pause-

-uncomfortably long pause-

OK.

Let's try again.

A Student, Student, and a Student were in the Electronics Lab, when...

-not much of a pause, at all-

Come on! You're killing me.

Maybe, you should just most on.


ENGL-170
1998FA: 3.0-A
World Mythology

This guy was great!
Word. Word. Another word. Derivation. History. Latin. Greek. Old Celt. Maybe, Early Germanic. Modern Slang. Twist. And on. And on.
He'd be, like, talking...
Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk.

Stories. Old stuff.

Oh, hey. Here's a word.
And then, he'd be off, tracing that sucker back as far as he could go, just rattling off its pedigree at full-speed.

Fine.

Now that I think about it, maybe he had himself some notes.

But I never considered it at the time. He just took off running, right in the middle of a sentence.
Hocus, from Hokum, the addition of Pocus was modern, likely phallic, having to do with trickery, so a Tricky Dick, if you don't mind the vernacular, sanitized and made pretty and clean for the masses in its modern derivation: Hocus-Pocus.
Not that he ever said any such thing. And not that I can remember a single example. But he was a joy to listen to, just mesmerizing.

Also, I spent hour-upon-hour writing one of my essays, rereading that sucker ten, fifteen times, with endless edits. And a fellow student was all, "Oh, that's due today?" So, they asked to borrow a piece of paper and cranked that sucker out on the spot, handwritten, pencil. They did it in like fifteen minutes, probably finished as attendance was taken.

Oh, sure.

I got an A and they got a C. But it was a C+.

And really, considering I never did anything with my degree, never took it further, never got a pay-raise on account of, or parleyed any of my degrees it into anything resembling a paying gig (keeping the same job all through and after), I did sort of take The Grades overly seriously.

Who would have thought, a fifteen minute stretch of time right before the bell rang (yeah, I'm pretty sure there were bells) was enough time to write a theme?


PE-162
1998FA: 0.5-A
Golf R-OK

R-OK: One can repeat this class for credit. There was some limit, maybe five repeats. I'm told some folks used the college like a Fitness Club, enrolling in one class (perhaps, Swimming) for the use of the Pool, Courts, Weight Room and what not.

But after this class, I'd gotten the Two Credits I needed. And so, I was done with PE.
A Clang Association is when One Thing reminds someone of Another Thing not (at first glance) seemingly related to That First Thing. Upon writing the above (i.e. the aforementioned) "Two Credits", The Author (that would be me, Buddy Boy) instantly thought about:
A: The General Ed PE Requirement he so despised.
B: Pinball & Video Games.
C: That Gift Certificate in his wallet.
D: "I want my Two Dollars!" And a Young Bicycle Riding Entrepreneur, as featured in the movie Better Off Dead.

College is where you will:
A: Go!
B: Stop!
C: Collect $200!
C: Learn about Classic Late Century Culture.

It's weird, but:
A: I'm weird.
B: You're weird.
C: We're all weird.
D: There's something about integrating Multiple Point Questions into LITERATURE (yes, this is LITERATURE, you HEATHEN) that really Jiggers my Jangles, by Jove.

{And that's where I'll stop on the night. It's my Second Day of (non-consecutive) writing on this project for those keeping score at home.}


ELTRN-102B
1999SP: 4.0-A
Linear Circuits

So, this one time, in Electronics Lab...

Eh, all the courses sort of blend together. There were two or three classrooms. But only one lab.

I sat in the same place in the lab the entire time (back row, middle) and likely acquired My Lab Partners from who sat next to me.

I can only remember two of My Lab Partners. There may have been more. No, I take that back... three. But there's not much to say about them that wouldn't feel like invading their privacy. So, I will not.

If I were a different person, they would have (all three of them) made great friends. But I am not a different person and friendships are not something I've spent my life collecting.

We never met outside of class... nor did we interact in The Parking Lot (or other campus location) before or after class, except for the bare minimum politeness might require.

Believe it or not, between My Sweetie and writing to an unknown (and possibly, non-existent) audience, My Social Needs are met.

{Well, that last is questionable. I often romanticize an idealized social presence: i.e. being famous and loved by all. But I will not be working towards that goal anytime soon... nor do I think such a reality would be all sugar and sweetness. I imagine it can be difficult not to lose oneself under such circumstances, becoming a caricature... and not even a caricature of oneself, but of what the public desires.}


ENGL-126
1999SP: 3.0-A
Critical Thinking: Shap Mean in Lang

My needs and the needs of The Instructor (perhaps, as defined by the needs of The Course Description) did not match.

Fine.

Sarcasm does not translate to the written word. It really doesn't.
Stupid -----!
Am I being serious or making a joke. It require more knowledge about my state of being than the average Compulsory Reader (i.e. teacher) is willing to put forth.

Now, it becomes easier in a long winded essay like this... I hope, I presume.

But in a Five Paragraph Argumentative Theme there is not a lot of room for Reverse Psychology and the like... and even less when the reader has little interest in the words before them, which is how I believe I would react to the musings of the typical 18 Year Old Community College Attending Fool.

I think this course was a requirement (for the AA or to transfer).

But since I'd much rather write random nonsense (and I already knew how to stitch together a Five Paragraph Theme), I didn't get much out of it... except for some insight into how hard it is to write to/for the competition.
A Five Paragraph Theme includes:
A: A Thesis... underlined.
B: Five Paragraphs... duh.
C: Three directly relevant arguments.
D: Three sub-arguments for each argument.
E: And Nothing Else!


FILM-160
1999SP: 3.0-A
American Cultures in Film

So, this was the first Film Class I took.

DVC had a wonderful Theater.

Yeah, sure. Sometimes a Big Wig would give a talk there. But I think it got more play as a Movie Theater. And come Friday Night (and during the day, whenever a movie class was scheduled), they'd show some Ageing Classic.

Have I mentioned how I did not have much of a life during these years? I really was looking for something to do. And getting credit to watch a few movies fit the bill.

As to the class, I got a C on my first paper. I believe because the teacher disagreed with my analysis. So, I got revenge in the writing of my second paper by using un-tractable nouns, while discussing some Foreign Film about Neighbouring Apartment Dwellers.
The Unnamed Character Who Lived In Apartment 201-A (henceforth, simply referred to as 201-A) can be Compared & Contrasted with their nemesis (The Unnamed Character Who Lived Next Door in Apartment 201-B; henceforth, 201-B) in a number of interesting ways.
To start, 201-A... 201-B...
201-A... 201-B...
201-A... 201-B...
201-A... 201-B...
201-A... 201-B...
The piece was incomprehensible by design. By the end, even I couldn't Proofread it with any degree of accuracy. Fact-Checking was impossible. And I got a higher score (I forget whether it was an A or a B) than I'd gotten for my first essay.

F! U!

Just like the Electronics, Substance Abuse, and One Day Seminars (to which we have not yet gotten), I am unable to reliably differentiate between the different Movie Classes... based on the names, at least.

Whatever.
It's a business.

No matter how much you think it's about the money, you're wrong. It's all about the money.
I can't put together the exact quote. But I heard some paradoxical statement much like the above a great deal in this class.


SPCH-120
1999SP: 3.0-B
Fundamentals of Speech

The Instructor Died Over Spring Break!

Pneumonia or something.

I was displeased with the individual who took his place, as the rules of the game were unilaterally changed from Everybody Gets an A to You Got To Earn It, which of course, differed from the guidelines set forth in the syllabus, which most definitely outlined the former rather than the later.

Truthfully, who knows?

But I'm pretty sure (according to the syllabus) if you bothered to pretend to do the assignment and stood up in front of the class, you were going to get an A. The requirement was to give a speech... not a good speech, but a speech.

As such, as much as I liked the first guy (for, the world lost a great teacher of oration when this great man fell), I despised the second. And it was totally and completely based upon the way I was to be graded.

Look, you may have gathered by now that I am not much of a People Person. The First Instructor was great and (as far as I am concerned) The Second Instructor was not.

Yes, I am petty.

Have we not already established that fact?

I wanted an A. And if I was promised an A on the first day of class for just showing up (is this even accurate, I can no longer really say), then by gone it, I deserved an A.

Now, that all seems like a bit of a slam on The Second Instructor. {And why should it not be?} So, let me just say that my impression (based upon a rapidly fading memory) was that The Second Instructor was Younger (you ageist, you), Hungrier (by which I mean academically ambitious rather than caloriecally deficient), More Professional (-ly attired, at least, if memory serves), and clearly was a bit more Ernest (causing him to actually want to separate the wheat from the chaff and I was most definitely the chaff).

Who knows who I would have preferred had I cared about Public Speaking?

And in fact, if I cared about Public Speaking, I would have likely welcomed the change (but obviously, not the reason for the change), as this would have given me additional feedback from two sets of eyes.


{I am sure I will tire of noting the break points. Suffice to say, the fourth day of writing begins here, after a two week hiatus. So, if I start to get a wee bit repetitive, that might be one of the reasons; general tiresome boorishness, might be another.}


BUSMG-151E (9241)
1999SU: 0.5-CR
Self-Esteem & Self-Management

Ah, this looks to be the first of the One Day Seminar Courses. Mostly, they were worthless. Mostly, I had nothing better to do with my time.

I will note (however directly or indirectly this relates to the course material), Assertiveness is a fine line to walk, as Newly Assertive People are often a bit jerkish, if you know what I mean.


BUSMG-151P (9249)
1999SU: 0.5-CR
Assertive & Handling Criticism

Well, there you are. Please attach the previous comment to this course... and it may or may not be more accurately placed.

As I recall, The Seminars tended to be One Day Classes. And they really were not as well attended as one might think... only 25-30 Students, a standard load.

Anyway, though I can remember few of my fellow students with any degree of clarity, I'd often made a Friend for the Day, whoever I was sitting next to.

Ironically, one of my Seat-Mates fancied himself a writer. Though, as he tried to explain (at my urging and as best as he could), I got the feeling The Heroine was more like a Fantasy Wet Dream.

Of course, it takes one to know one. So, perhaps, I should quietly move on.

{Let us assume I lack one or more of the social graces. But I was capable of disguising this fact for short periods of time. Thus, I tended to interact with others more towards the start of a class or semester and less towards the end. One day seminars, therefore, gave me a fairly large social bang for the buck. And even if they were a complete washout, the pain ended rather quickly.}


FILM-150A (9376)
1999SU: 1.0-CR
Films of Orson Welles

I'd never seen Citizen Kane before. I'd be guessing at the other films shown, perhaps Giant.

This class was held at a small Satellite Campus tucked into a Shopping Center. The Movie Room was particularly ill suited for the purpose, as it was fairly wide. Though, the seats were set-up on a flat staircase that went up a few flights. So, that's why it was selected as the venue, I am sure.
10 Seats Wide
 5 Seats Deep
     Ascending 6-12" Per Row
This was likely near the high point of my college career, the point at which I was most engaged with the process.

After I transferred to CSU Hayward, I burned out fairly quickly. And when I returned to DVC later, I was not in the mood to take much of anything too seriously.


BIOSC-101 (2683)
1999FA: 3.0-A
Fundamentals of Bio Science
Your humble narrator claims that this was near the "high point" of his college career from a studious, studential, and/or study-ly point of view. But we know he is lying because:
A: He is a lying liar who lies.
B: This whole post is fiction.
C: I mean, he's such a liar, the author is even lying when he calls this fiction.
D: Eh, maybe it has more to do with skipping the laboratory component in a course that would have otherwise been easily transferable.
Eh, in truth, I may have already started to burn-out, here.

I could have added a Laboratory Component. But I didn't feel like spending the time.

Laboratory - Yes: Fully Transferable
Laboratory - No : Only Good for AA

A Semester or two prior, I had looked at my transcript and decided I would be best served by moving on, forgetting Berkeley, transferring to State, and just getting a degree, any degree.

Thus, this course was a requirement for either The AA or prior to transferring to State. Though, I don't think they actually turned down transfer requests. It simply was cheaper to take courses at DVC than CSU. So, why not get it out of the way?


ELTRN-140 (5220)
1999FA: 2.0-B
Electronics Fabrication

Doing things over... I would have lived my life from top-to-bottom differently. I've done it this way, thank you very much. So, let's try something else. But at core, I am a slacker, so I would still slack.

Anyway, I never did anything with my Electronics Knowledge, hardly more than a home improvement project. So, it was a lot of wheel spinning without getting anywhere.

Whatever.

In true Junior College Tradition, an entire 18 Week Semester went into the construction of a Power Switch or something simple like that. Let's just say, this could have been a Weekend Course. And if so, many would not have had much reason to show up on Sunday, having gotten everything done on Saturday.

But it's not the weenie-est course I took.

More importantly, this was the last course required for The Basic Electronic Certificate. I never got the Advanced One. By this point, I was quite ready to move on.

* * *

It's unfortunate. But I don't feel like I've shed much light on my time achieving an Electronics Certificate. So, I'm going to make a list
Eh, I guess I don't find this period of my life all that interesting at the moment.


FILM-150C (9437)
1999FA: 1.0-CR
Film Noir

Film New
I'd just gotten done with your standard Cheating Husband/Wife Case. I forget which. It hardly ever matters. He cheats. So, she cheats. Or she cheats. So, he cheats. Of course, in between the two, the one or the other tends to hire me to catch the other in the act. The cad. The cant. Anyway, there I was, studying the back of my eyelids, while I tried to figure out what to do about the growing lump (of money, you deviant, you) in my pant's pockets, when:
A: She walked through the door.
B: She/He/Him/Herm walked through the door.
C: The sexually confused gender bender knocked on the door, because, you know, locks, I know how to use them.
D: I fell asleep. Them eyelids of mine are only so interesting. And there's something about a cool grand neatly folded over in my back pocket which sort of makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
I'm pretty sure I watched Double Indemnity along with The Maltese Falcon. Earning College Credit to watch a few Oldies but Goodies is quite the scam. Of course, all these Film Classes were electives, of which I already had more than enough. So, it was College Credit for College Credit's Sake. It never led anywhere. No one (other than myself) ever cared.


MATH-142 (55)
1999FA: 4.0-A
Elem Statistics/Probability

I can easily recommend Statistics as one of the most important present-day branches of mathematics.

I took the course as a prerequisite for my degree in Industrial Psychology.

And the thing I remember most about the class is {was, absolutely nothing, as the details that follow come from CSU not DVC} a bearded teacher who incessantly rubbed his nose with chalk covered hands.

Gloriously, The Final was a Take-Home. And most of us got A's.


By-The-By:

AI = Multi-Variate Statistics

So, it's really not AI, at all.

We don't live in The Information Age so much, as The Age of Hype. No one is held accountable. So, it should come as no surprise when no one is.


{At this point, I transferred to CSU Hayward and got myself a degree in Industrial Psychology.

Having no greater plan than getting a degree and having done that, I returned once more to DVC with the intent of treading water; but soon, decided to get an Addiction Studies Certificate as a sort of Pretend Post Graduate Degree.

But that is enough writing for one day, making this The Fourth Sprint on This Writing Project.

Let's see how many more it will take, shall we?}


{The Fifth Day of this write-up occurs two weeks after The Fourth. Such is the usual way (as of late, at least) with these longer projects.

I will argue that it is fitting, as I did take a few years off (to go to CSU Hayward) in-between these two DVC Classes, making this last section qualitatively different from the preceding. For one thing, I cared much less about Academic Progress.}


ADS-101 (8133)
2003SU: 3.0-A
Intro Substance Abuse & Treatm

ADS: Alcohol, Drugs, & Substance Abuse... I presume.

At this point, I had Graduated from CSU Hayward with a BS in Industrial Psychology... with Honors, no less.

I would have happily gone on to get a Masters in Business... an MBA, I guess, they call it. But when I went to The Fair (or meeting, round-up, or whatever) and talked to The Dean of Business (or whoever or whatever), they seemed repulsed (and perhaps, rightly so) by my lackadaisical approach to the furtherance of my education. I was looking to take one or two classes a semester. And they were looking to push me through the system with a full course load as quickly as possible.

It was not a match.

Moving on, treading water, making time (or its opposite, doing time), I decided to take a few courses at DVC while I figured it all out.

As was my habit, I got myself a Class Schedule (which were still printed things in those days) and went through it page-by-page and line-by-line, basically crossing out every class that would not apply (sorry, Tagalong, not learning it) and highlighting those which looked promising (Introduction to Handguns always being the one that got away).

The ADS Coursework seemed like a natural extension of Industrial Psychology. And within a few weeks of the first class, I decided to work The Certificate... at least, until something better came along.

{Handgun Training (whatever the name) was listed under PE. But I believe it was part of the Law Enforcement Program. Every year, I would list it as a possibility, as I narrowed down the courses in which I was interested (so, on first pass). And every year, it didn't quite fit into my schedule. Finally, the last year, I could have made it fit. But I didn't want to spend the time. It might have been MWF-9-10:30 or something silly like that. Three days during work hours. No thanks.

There's another Law Enforcement Class in here, never mentioned, as I dropped it. I did go on the field trip to the local Juvenile Hall. And it would have been great fun to tour San Quentin (the prison). But staying enrolled in the class just wasn't going to work out for me, as I had no desire to do the coursework.}


ADS-102 (8517)
2003FA: 3.0-A
Intro to Motivatnl Interv Skls

Almost everyone in the ADS Classes was going for The Certificates: one of which could be earned soley from classwork; whereas, the other required an internship.

Classwork is easy.

An Internship is hard... hard to get and hard to work, especially after considering that one was going to be quite lucky to be paid absolutely anything at all.

I question how eager I would have been to earn The First Certificate if I knew how out of reach (and mostly worthless) The Second Certificate was going to be.

As it was (or at least, as I remember), I did all the work for both Certificates except The Internship. Sorry, I had a job. And nobody really wanted me to intern, anyhow. There were more students going through the program (I would estimate) than the number of local internships available... and even fewer paid positions were going to be available to anyone who got State Certified, of which school certification was only the first (and possibly avoidable) step.

I wasn't going to work that hard.

And in fact, I did not.

{Memories fade, but I think in these sort of situations, what tends to be required is so many hours worked, of which schooling can be a partial replacement.

The details, of course, vary from speciality to speciality and across both jurisdiction and time.

But whatever the case, if I had ever been serious about being a Counsellor or Therapist, a Masters in Psychology (or whatever) would have been far more useful.}


ADS-163 (8474)
2003FA: 3.0-A
Pharm/Medical Aspcs of Alcohol

I remember little about any of these courses, specifically, as differentiated from the others.

Suffice to say, just the other day, I was wondering what effect alcohol has on the brain, what is its modus of operation, and I did not know the answer. So, I may have been taught this. But it did not stick.

Rather, what I remember much more vividly are My Fellow Classmates and the stories they told.

There was a certain competitive aspect to some of the stories. "My Bottom was lower than yours." But over time, I came to respect the unknown bottom (low point in their decline/existence) of those who would not (dared not) talk about their personal journey into Hell.

Waking up in the gutter, pants soiled, covered in puke can be pretty bad. But it doesn't compare to the same story turbo-boosted into the realms of self-loathing and depravity by way of introducing a baby, small child, or other dependent into the story.

I guess, at some point, I should mention that I've gone to a lot of AA Meetings... as many meetings as anyone who does not consider themselves either a Member of AA or an Alcoholic is likely to have gone to. I mention this only because some of the hardest hitting stories that I heard, I heard at Meetings. The ADS Curriculum was not Focused on Confession or Personal Anecdote.


ADJUS-284 (8518)
2004SP: 0.0-W
Interviewing & Counseling

{Oh, hey. See here. This is the Administration of Justice Class I mentioned a wee bit back. And here it is (during my third and final edit) when I finally realize this isn't an ADS Course but that San Quentin Field Trip Course.

I liked the teacher but didn't want to deal with the coursework, so I dropped it.

I signed up for the class based on the name and it's association with my ADS Work. In another life, I could have easily continued on with an Administration of Law Certificate. Instead, I moved to Hawaii, which I may or may not have mentioned.

Thus, this stands as another glaring example of how easy it is for me to confuse things.}

After the first class or two, I knew most of those in the program, taking classes. Let us guess (and it is just a guess) that there were a short hundred of us working The Program at any one time and thirty or so in any one class. Thus, I saw a lot of familiar faces.

If I were more outgoing, there were plenty of folks in these classes I would have been happy to have become friendly with, have become friends with. But that did not happen.

Though, there were those I enjoyed sitting next to and gabbing with prior to the start of class.

For a typical class, I'd get there up to forty-five minute early, even an hour at times. I had my books. I'd read. I liked having my pick of the chairs. And I loathed entering a room full of people, having to select who to sit next to. I'd much rather force the decision on others.

Also, I've pretty much always had time. Today, writing this bit is as close to work or obligation as I shall get.

Somewhere after my Twenty-Fifth Birthday, I hardly ever worked more than 35 Hours a Week... with 25 Hours being a good goto number, often enough. So, I had time on my hands, time enough to sit and wait for class to begin.

I, also, spent a fair amount of time hanging out in The Quad, Library, and Cafeteria. But as I was unwilling to initiate contact and most of the students were a good ten to twenty years younger than myself (depending upon the where and when), I spent most my time alone.


ADS-103 (8905)
2004SP: 2.0-A
Group Process

Group was without a doubt the most important class.

Group was Psuedo Group Therapy with the Active Group surrounded by a Silent Observing Group. First, one spent a semester in the center talking. Then, one spent a semester listening.

As much as it was supposed to be about others, I mostly only remember myself... or those who were exasperating enough for the teacher to make comment about.

{OK. That last is a lie. I do not remember all the members of my group. But I remember many of them. Who I do not remember (all that terribly well) are the members of the inner group when I was in the outer (and even less so, those in the outer when I was in the inner). Their stories faded rather quickly. I'm sure I drifted off, day dreamed, and spent a lot of time thinking about other things.}


ADS-151 (8906)
2004SP: 1.5-A
Ethical/Legal Concerns for Ads

The Ethics portion of this class (and in all classes of this nature) was was stupid.

Ethics is opinion.
Legality is law.

In the face of Law (and/or Terms of Employment) one's opinion matters not one iota.

I mean, fine, there are (likely) numerous unspoken assumptions involved in the creation of any Code of Conduct. But then, not really. It just doesn't take that many words to say:

No Lying.
No Cheating.
No Stealing.

No Sex.
No Drugs.
No Rock 'n Roll.

No Gifts.
No Tips.
No Food.

Food was an odd one. And may well have been the most important idea conveyed. I mean, it's, perhaps, clear how Money or Sex can muck up the works. But by accepting Food, one is opening the floodgates... to revenge via food poisoning, if nothing else.

So, best to simply say, "No, thanks!" And call it a day.

Of course, I say all that. And then, I will point out that never did I have so many End of Semester Potluck Parties as in these ADS Classes.

I think the best thing I ever brought to a Potluck was Chicken Wings. Real Food was always welcome.


ADS-170 (8018)
2004SP: 3.0-A
Intro Codependency/Family Iss

I drank a whole heck of a lot in my early twenties.

I recall (so, who knows about the accuracy of this statement) the definition of Heavy Drinking (for purposes of the program) as being Five Drinks in a Sitting or Ten Drinks during Any One Week.

By this standard, I was a Heavy Drinker. There were times in Arkansas (with me, all alone in the forest, nothing but the moon, a fire, and a bottle of wine to keep me company) where I consumed 2-5 Glass of Wine (but seriously, I wasn't counting, I was tilting a Gallon Jug back) 5-7 Nights a Week (with it often being closer to seven).

I remember lying down on the ground, using a rock as a pillow (my land was very rocky, nothing but rocks, really), and deciding to sleep there.

And I remember stumbling home in the cold from a bar (in another state where snow actually accumulates), thinking it might be nice to just lay down in a snow drift: freezing to death being the least of my worries.

So, I'm not saying I didn't drink.

What I am saying is that I never considered myself an Alcoholic.

And at some point, wanting to spend my afternoons playing with power tools, pretending to be a wood worker, I simply stopped Cold Turkey.

Thus, by the time I'd started taking these ADS Classes, I was drinking 1-2 Bottles of Cheap Grape Wine per Year, sipping a thimbleful whenever I got the inkling.

So, like, I didn't feel like I had a problem... even if others accused me of being a Dry Drunk: all the scandalous behaviour with none of the intoxicating effects.

Whatever.

Hitting Bottom tends to rip families apart. The addict abusing familial relations in order to feed the addiction... and/or the family turning their back on the addict as they flounder. Either way, it tends to cause problems.

I mean, sure, some families might pull together. But these type of stories were far outnumbered by those resulting in loneliness and alienation.

Anyway, in this class, we were supposed to contact everyone in our family, whatever that means. And put together some sort of Family Tree or Report.

I did not.
I lied.

I question how much of the class lied. This project was amazingly unpopular. After all, some folks drink because of their family...


ADS-154 (8345)
2004SU: 3.0-A
Dual Disorders

In which (I am sure) the term Self Medication was used extensively.


ADS-168 (8606)
2004SU: 2.0-C
Group Leadership

If this course was about Group Leadership, I can assure you it did not take.

Perhaps, more cynically, one might ask how one teaches a group of individuals to all become leaders.

I certainly put more faith in the dictum: Lead, Follow, or Get Out of The Way.

And if I were to make some sort of catch phrase for The Philosophy of ADS, I might latch onto something akin to ADS being about teaching, showing, or leading another in The Art of Getting Out of Their Own Way.

As much as I like certain of my teachers, I cannot say I believe any of them lived by this motto.

Sure, it may be easier not to do this if one doesn't do that. But not doing that is not a prerequisite for not to doing this. And as this, that, the situation, and the people in question are so variable, any definitive path or process is going to fall short for many... if not most.

I stopped drinking because I wanted to use Wood Working Tools, which intrinsically scare me, and for which drinking Alcohol prior to their use seemed like a good way to loose an appendage.

Sure, lots more goes into it.

But it was far more of a desire to get on with life than a desire to leave drinking behind, which altered my course.


ADS-152 (8471)
2004FA: 3.0-A
Relapse Prevention

I believe (confirmed slightly by looking at the list ahead), this was my last real ADS Class.

We spent (if I remember the class correctly) 18 Weeks (about 17 more than I would say is required) doing a simple project:
So, like, a person, might have some sort of list that goes:
And the person working the exercise might say they decided to drink at one of the later steps: when deciding to visit the old neighborhood, getting on the train, entering a bar, or whatever. But for many in the class, they were shown that they invariably started drinking (later in the day) if they withdrew money from an ATM. That this preparatory step was key. If they got the money, they always spent it on drink. And for others, the tipping point would be Skipping Lunch or some other similarly inoffensive act.

Anyhow, if ATM leads to Drink as sure as shine, then it is at the ATM that one is deciding to drink... or so, the story goes.

Many in the class found this exercise wonderfully insightful... and well worth the time spent.

I did not have a drinking problem, as I'd literally given up all drink for the duration of my coursework, as a way of playing along.
"I know how hard it was for me to give up my two bottles a year. So, I have some idea of the difficulties facing someone whose desire to drink is that much more than mine."
Anyway, not having a (current) drinking problem (at least, at the time), there was no Aha Moment for me.

It was an empty project and a silly class.

It's unfortunate.

Especially when one considers that at the time, I was spending $1-2,000/year on The Lottery. Some may well say that's a rather high number. But when I proposed doing my project on Gambling, the teacher shot it down.

As such, the class meant little to me and to this day, I am less than impressed by the totality of the teacher's being.

On the plus side, it was pretty much the easiest three college credits I would ever earn. So, who can say what I am really complaining about?

I found a drawn-out hyper-specific activity that was hand-tailored to the vast majority of those in the classroom, who in turn found it to be amazingly informative, to be worthless as it did not address my needs.

Go Figure!

Perhaps, the teacher should, instead, be judged by the praise heaped upon them by the many others, who benefited from the experience.


PEDAN-160 (8545)
2004FA: 0.0-W
Begin Ballroom/Social Dance

W = Withdrawn

I am not much of a dancer. Now, I like my Freeform Dance. But as to Classical Dance, I really am an uncoordinated idiot.
"OK, class. That's snapping your fingers. Now, we're going to mix it up a little by clapping our hands in-between finger snaps."
Nope. Not going to happen. Finger snaps were all I could manage. And when hand claps were added in, it all came tumbling down.

Maybe, I should have practiced on my own time. But I did not.

Also, there was some threat regarding manditory participation in some End of Semester Dance Performance Thing, which seemed more like a feather in the teacher's hat than anything else to me, and in which I had no desire to participate.


ADS-155 (8907)
2005SP: 3.0-A
Diverse Communities & Soc Serv

Everybody got an A. This may have been softly stated during the first class meeting. I did not believe it... or no, I had my doubts. I still did some Extra Credit. I earned that A. I got an A. So did everyone else.

Ethics!
Honour!
Equality!

In an absolute sense (starting with a Nihilist or Relativist Philosophy), all points of view may well be equal.

But I do not hold all points of view to be of equal.

Thus, not all Sub-Cultures (as they impart varying degrees of importance on differing ideas) are equal in my mind.

Preconceptions protect me. Preconceptions serve me well.

I will not throw out all preconceptions. I will not throw the baby (honour and so forth) out with the bathwater.

Thus (in my ever so humble opinion), the issue is not so much one of Unconditional Love or Open Ended Acceptance. But rather, one of recognizing Honour for Honour, Ethics for Ethics, and Legality for Legality despite any differences in surface veneer.

I can't say I believe I learned that much in this class. I heard a bunch of stories. But I do not remember the underlying assumptions ever being unpacked.
Tolerance?
Of what?
For what?
And why?
In the end, these really are Religious (or at least, Spiritual) and Moral Questions.

Without a shared Morality or Ethical System, they mean little.

But I do not remember any explicit Morality being advocated. And such, the class was so much feel-good emptiness and air.


BUSMG-151L (8635)
2005SP: 0.5-CR
Teamwork & Team-Building Skill

We built some sort of Newspaper Tower (in this or one of the other workshop classes) as part of a group project. I do not remember if ours was particularly tall, strong, or stable.

But if I had to guess, I'd say we nailed it.


BUSMG-151S (8120)
2005SP: 0.5-CR
Listening Skills
"What? Say again."
There was one teacher in ADS, who stood out, head and shoulder above the rest... in my estimation.

And I remember their advice much better than anything from this class.
"If you drift off, just own up to it and ask them to repeat themselves. There really isn't much else you can do."
Or words to that effect.

I think it is good advice.

As far as this class goes, it was a Weekend Workshop. And if I remember correctly, it could have easily been replaced by a Ten Item Checklist:
And other items of the ilk.

Ironically, many of these Workshops were put on by folks (teachers, mostly), who charged a pretty penny (whenever they could) to put on the show for Business Clients; whereas, I was getting them for close to free.

{There were administrative fees, which could add up to several hundred dollars per semester. But when I started, the cost per credit hour was a mere $13 rising to maybe $78 at the end. Which means, at one time, this class cost $6.50. And that price point is pretty darn hard to beat.}


BUSMG-152D (8625)
2005SP: 0.5-CR
Interviewing Skills

More of the same.

Another Workshop.


PSYCH-230 (8028)
2005SU: 3.0-A
Abnormal Psychology

Got me?


BUSMG-151U (8638)
2005FA: 0.5-CR
Project Management

I worked 25 Years as a Project Manager... whatever that means. So, like, I have every expectation it could mean whatever it was that I did in this class.

And without remembering much of anything specific about this Workshop, I am sure (quite sure), it too could have been replaced by a ten, fifteen, or twenty item Checklist.


BUSMG-152F (8639)
2005FA: 0.5-CR
Negotiation Skills

I question my belief in the superiority of others in this skill.

There is no Free Lunch.

Everything comes at a price.

So, I am sure others are more gifted in soliciting certain outcomes.

But it does not follow that these outcomes are better, everything coming at a cost...


PHYS-113 (8858)
2005FA: 3.0-A
From Atoms to the Big Bang:

Gosh!

Not a single memory.

I wonder why?


SPCH-161 (2653)
2005FA: 0.0-W
Projects in Debate

I dropped this class.

It has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Suffice to say, the intent was to provide Credit (and funding) for The Speech Team, while it practised. Anyway, I was not on nor overly desirous of joining The Speech Team. And as such, I was specifically excluded from class participation.

Odd how obvious this became once the term for open enrolment ended.

They got my funding.
They got my money.
They, also, got my hate.

But that is empty... hate.

So, let me kick Debate more specifically.

As I experienced it, Debate is about argument for argument's sake with no (not just a little, but absolutely no) regard for the quality of the arguments involved.

I care more about Truth... or at least, interesting arguments. So, it's not like I lost that much.

But I did sign up for the class. And I was there early, waiting. And I was not allowed to participate, as the class was put on hold for late arriving members of the team.

Eh, serves me right for trying to buck the system and/or enrolling in a class in which I fundamentally was not welcome.


BUS-150L (8715)
2006SP: 0.5-A
Write a Resume That Works

It didn't take.

I have loads of Resumes somewhere on this site... and not a single job to show for all of them.

Like many Social Communication Problems, I am sure there is an Art & Science to Writing Resumes. But I question how much it can be taught.

HSCI-126 (8931)
2006SP: 3.0-A
Stress Management and Health

It was a nice easy class.

I knew I would be moving to Hawaii, shortly. And I recall making some sort of Drawing of The Island, which was intended to convey Fears, Worries, and that sort of thing.

I, also, took to wearing Sandals non-stop at this point in my life, in preparation for Island Life.

{And that's that.

I'll end The Fifth Day here, starting The Sixth with some sort of Final Debriefing, whatever that might mean.}

Generic Community College (Not) Advice

First, it's Not Advice. I mean, in the colloquial sense, it is advice. But as I went to DVC on three separate occasions, in many ways for three separate reasons (or at least, with different priorities each of those times), it could be hard to come up with any listing of overriding values that would carry through for my diverse experience, let alone someone else's. So rather than advice, let us call these ideas and get on with it.

Money is everything... and hardly matters at all. In relation to a College Education, Money (on the backside by way of employment opportunities) indicates the value society (a nebulous concept at best) puts on an education. It might make sense to maximize that money. But then, money is not the only way to keep score. So, go at it. But one really might want to keep score and pay attention to whether other folks care about your scoring system. My website (this website) would be a vastly different affair if I cared about money... for good or ill.

Eh, this isn't advice... nor do I wish it to be.

As such, this format (if only mental in nature) isn't working for me.

I'm going to start over.

Play A Game
I certainly would have been better off it I had Played A Game with my Education and had tried to win. This falls into the Money Category. And it falls into the Collecting Certificates Category. Money is important. I would have had a different life if I had prioritized money. Though, the same thing can be said for friendships. I don't think it is too much to ask to make a friend or acquaintance in every class. I did not. I would have had a different life if I had. Oh, sure. I would have been a different person, as well. But that's entirely beside the point... or is the point, altogether. After all, the act of seeking advice is fuelled by a personal desire to transform into a different person. And the act of giving advice (in my personal experience, not that this is advice) arises from the awareness of the mistakes one has made in their own life... or is a recounting of one's successes amid the failures of others.

Anyhow, the point is, I could hardly give advice to myself, as my needs changed over time. To whom, exactly, am I giving advice? What are their shortcomings and strengths?

So, anyway, it's not so much advice, as a listing of items (of dubious value), which I have found to be worthy of consideration... or at least, wish to include in such a list.
Certainly, I'm going to take a moment to reiterate (once again) that this isn't advice... nor is it particularly useful, focused, comprehensive, or informative.

If I had to do it over, I'd do it all over. And as such, what I would do over is highly dependent upon the situational assumptions of where and when that over starts.

The truth is, I should have gotten a better job and taken courses as would have supported that endeavour.

And failing that, I should have specialized earlier. I learned computers on my own after I was done with College. Sure, I don't know much. But I am as knowledgeable about computers as I am on anything I studied in school.

Finally, I could have created some sort of Social Society for myself. And I should have... or should have realized earlier that being part of a Social Group is not something I overly care about.

So, I guess I really don't have that much to say. But Buying Books Early and Signing Up & Dropping Loads of Classes certainly worked for me.
"Weekly Quizzes, Two Essays, Group Project, Individual Presentation, Final, Midterm, and Forced Extra-Curricular activities? You can just have your syllabus back right now. I'm out of here."
I liked to sit through the first class. But sometimes, I didn't last past the break. And at least once, I did not even last that long...

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I like to think of this Website as my Graduate Level Work. It may be garbage. But there is no reason to believe any Academic Career would have been any better.

Seriously, don't ask me why I still try.

Boredom, I guess.


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