Page 7 of 8« First...45678

Is Daytona State College not cool?

I see that Lisa Hill published this blog post yesterday: Daytona Beach Now Has a State College!. It’s a sales pitch for real estate; apparently having a “state college” in the town is great for property values. I like her enthusiasm. “Daytona Beach has a state college! This should be a big draw for students from all over the country.” Umm, it’s the same college as before. It hasn’t changed a bit, really. They just changed the name. I could change this blog to “The Daytona State College Chronicles” and it wouldn’t make one difference because it would be the same stuff.

But enough of that. This is the paragraph that hit home for me:

My own daughter obtained one of Florida’s Bright Future’s Scholarships and will be starting her college of choice next week. (Apparently, attending college in the same county where you were born and raised is not cool.)

I got the same thing from a lot of people before joining the college. “When will you be moving off to college?” “I’m not, I’m going to DBCC and staying with my parents.” “You baby!”

Even if your moving out of the house, if you’re staying in the same area to go to college, a lot of people think it’s “not cool.” Like you have to prove something to the world by moving away and spending lots of money on an apartment / dorm room and being around strangers and being away from your family / girlfriend / boyfriend. Let me tell you now, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone. It makes no difference if you go to Daytona State or Harvard. You think it does, and other people think it does, but it actually means nothing. It only means something if it means something to you, but if it does you’re on the wrong path because this stuff shouldn’t matter to you to start with. There are more important things in life, like finding your purpose, making money by independently doing what you love, motivation, intellect, and more, none of which you’ll learn in college. In fact you’ll be worse off because you’ll be using your college education as a crutch. Don’t do that.

I know that most of my Daytona State colleagues are a smart bunch. They don’t fall for the stigma of going to a local college or the stigma of a community college (err, maybe a little). They don’t care about coolness. They’re above coolness. I hope I am too, but when pressured to answer, I say that DSC is undoubtedly cool. Any college that has a room with 150 computers has got to be cool (building 500, the “Advanced Technology Center” student computer lab). But the classes are fascinating too. We’ve got QUANTA, which is the coolest thing ever.

Daytona State is as good as every other college, even the bigger ones. I believe that college is not valuable; I’m just going their for the prestige. 😀 There’s a great community at the college, everyone is friendly, and the administrators only revoke scholarships occasionally. The BrightFutures program really is great; it pays for all my tuition and half of my books. You can’t get that at a “cool” college.

Do you think the college is cool? Is attending a local college in general uncool? Are community colleges cool? Does coolness even matter? Let me know in the comments section. I spent the last day reprogramming the comments system, and it’s looking fantastic now, if I do say so myself. If I get a few interesting comments I’ll feature them in an upcoming blog post.

2008-08-24 Update:: Read Lisa’s follow-up, The “Cool” College in Daytona Beach vs “un-cool” colleges. My reply:

I wasn’t thinking of the gradual evolution of the college, but you’re right, it has gotten a lot grander over the years, and is much more worthy of the “state” title now. The dual-enrollment thing is great, particularly for being free. I thought about using it but didn’t because I was far enough ahead in high school and had the BrightFutures scholarship coming.

Short Hours at Daytona State 2008 August 23

Got this email from Daytona State College at midnight (20 hours ago):

“Due to the inclement weather the College’s enrollment services offices on all Campuses will be open on Saturday, August 23 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

The bookstore on the Daytona and DeLand Campuses will also be open from 9:00-1:00 pm.

The offices that will be open are Admissions, Assessment, Advising, Financial Aid, Student Accounts, and Records.

Classes will begin Monday, August 25th as scheduled.”

Richard L. Pastor, Ed.D
Dean of Enrollment Management
Daytona State College
1200 West International Speedway Boulevard
PO Box 2811
Daytona Beach, FL 32120-2811
Phone – 386-506-4414
Fax – 386-506-4489

So they’re only open 4 hours on Saturday for enrollment. Interesting, though poorly targeted since I’m already enrolled. I’m not sure what the inclement weather is. We have tropical storm Fay over us right now (I’m in Ormond Beach), but won’t that be out of here by Saturday? We had a tree in our yard fall, but it didn’t hit anything and this storm has been much weaker than the 2004 hurricanes. The news reporters make a big deal out of a little rain.

Classes start on August 25, leaving 4 days left, so this is the last chance for enrollment. I signed up for my classes months ago, so I’ll be starting Monday in Calculus I, Physics I, Biology, and Speech. This begins my second and last year at Daytona State, after which I’ll be studying computer science online with Florida State University. Wish me luck! I’ll be blogging a lot in a few days.

Daytona State’s Palm Coast Campus Growing

Check out today’s article from the Flagler County section of the News-Journal, College’s growth includes Flagler County.

Rand Spiwak is the executive vice president of DSC (Kent Sharples is president). He acknowledged the two name changes in the past month: Daytona Beach Community College to Daytona Beach College to Daytona State College. He also said the college will remain a community.

“We’ve taken ‘community’ away from our name, but not away from our soul.”

Why not keep the community then? I recall reading that they could’ve kept the name DBCC even while offering Bachelor’s degrees, because it could be considered to be a college for the “Daytona Beach community.” I guess they like to change names to buy new stationary and signs and such.

Enrollment at the Palm Coast campus has gone up 26% in the past two years. They’re going to expand the campus, but are using portable buildings in the interim. Another plan is to build a pool, gym, and “fitness center” near the Palm Coast parkway, with tax funding from Volusia and Flagler counties. Then, the YMCA will run the thing in a lease agreement. Sounds interesting.

A new building for the Mike Curb School of Arts and Entertainment is going to be built at the Daytona Beach campus. I’ve never heard of Mike Curb. Read this from Wikipedia. He’s a rich guy who donates millions of dollars to colleges to get them to name programs after him. Daytona State will be no exception.

Another plan is to add a campus (campus #7) at Ponce Inlet, for marine and environmental sciences. I like the idea. Students would be right near the water, so they could study the fish without leaving the campus.

How to Ace a Daytona State Online Exam

I learned some tricks when I took my human nutrition course (HUN1201) online last fall. The college offers many courses online through a program called Florida Online, which was previously Virtual College.

They use Desire2Learn Learning Environment for their online classes and tests. With the exception of finals, teachers create their own tests, usually with multiple-choice answers, but sometimes essays or fill-in-the-blanks. The latter is harder for most students, but also harder for the teacher to grade, so you don’t see it often.

The time limits vary quite widely. My teacher, Myra Vergani, had six tests, with 50 multiple choice questions each, and a limit of 45 minutes on each one. This means you have to work quickly. You can cheat as much as you want through Google or by looking things up in the book, but unless you have a good system you won’t get to the information fast enough.

The answers for all the test questions are in the book, often worded exactly the same. There is no answer list in the book because the teacher makes the tests. The questions are jumbled up to discourage cheating. The surefire way to get an A is to know the material by rote so answering the questions is no problem. This would take about 10 hours of studying for each test in human nutrition. I spent about 2 hours studying and consistently got A’s. My study area looked like this:

1. An index of the chapter is open in a text file.
2. Google is open in one window for fast searching.
3. The encyclopedic CD that came with the book is open in another window.
4. The book is in my lap.

First, let’s give some background info. You need a fast Internet connection. Any time spent waiting for web pages is time wasted. Get DSL before you start the semester. I use it; it’s $20 through AT&T around Daytona Beach. Brighthouse Internet is even better because it’s faster, but it’s really not necessary.

You also need a good computer. Windows XP or Vista is fine, but if you’ve been having problems with it crashing, use another computer. Go to the Academic Support Center at the college (building 500). They have plenty of computers that you can take your tests on. If you’re on a home computer, restart, then close all the programs that run on the system tray or in the background before beginning the exam. I don’t know what would happen if you lost power or your computer burned up during the test. You might be able to ask your instructor to re-take it, but it’s better to avoid the situation to start with.

I recommend Mozilla Firefox over Internet Explorer, for it’s find command (Ctrl + F). Internet Explorer’s in-text searching is hard to use, but with Firefox it jumps right to the text, you can highlight all instances, and there’s no clunky dialog box to get in the way; just a toolbar at the bottom of the screen. The college computers have v0.93, which is really old but works. You can download Portable Firefox and run it from a flash drive on the school computers if you want the newer version. I’ve tested this and it works.

Next, you have to submit the test before the time is up. I thought it would shut off automatically, but what happens is the test goes into “overtime” and you start losing points. I did this once and just for being a few seconds over I lost 2 points. I don’t know how quickly your test score goes down, but you want to avoid it to begin with by submitting early. When the test timer on the page says “> 1 minute,” scroll down and click “Submit” immediately.

Okay. Let’s start with the second point. Google is open so you can look up the definitions for stuff like aneurysm, aorta, and platelets real quick. Wikipedia will often be the top result, and I recommend using it. Even if misinformation makes you get 2 questions wrong, it’s only 4 points off a 50-question test and it’s worth it for the encyclopedia’s clarity.

Point 4. The book is in your lap so you can check things in it quickly. This isn’t useful without the index (coming up).

Point 3. My human nutrition book had a CD with a small nutritional encyclopedia on it, which you could load up in your web browser. I kept this open and used Firefox’s find command to search for definitions of words mentioned in test questions. It’s often a better resource than Google, because the definitions match the wording of the book, which matches the teacher’s wording in the text.

I’ve saved point 1 for last, as it’s the most important. Create an index of the test chapter in a text file on your computer. Even Notepad will work fine, but I like metapad because if you’re at the bottom of a file, it will ask you if you want to start searching from the top when you use it’s find command. The index should have the page numbers of everything in the chapter you think will be important. Don’t write a novel. You’re going to use this index to look things up in the book. Even in a 45 minute test with 50 questions, there’s enough time if you look quickly.

Let me show you the index I made for the last test in my human nutrition course:

394: Nutrition and Immunity
395: Lead causes of death chart
396: defs: AIDS, risk factors, protein-energy malnutrition
397: Degenerative diseases and diet risk factors
398-399: defs: artherosclerosis, plaques, macrophages, cardivascular diseases, warning signs
400: defs: aneurysm, aorta, platelets, thrombus, thrombosis, embolus, heart attack, stroke
401: heart disease and cardiovascular disease risk factors
402: hypertension, diabetes, blood lipids chart
403: heart disease risk chart
404-405: more risk factors, atherogenic diet = lots of LDL cholesterol, saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol; def: metabolic syndrome
406-407: risk factors and good foods to eat to avoid heart disease; stats on college students drinking, alcohol and CVD
408: more dietary factors that prevent CVD, nutrition and hypertension info
409: defs: systolic, diastolic
410-411: DASH eating plan, hypertension and nutrition, blood pressure annotated image
412-413: nutrition and cancer, def: cancer, chart of cancer risk factors
414-415: all about herbal medicines and alternative therapies
416-421: lots about cancer, foods to eat, foods to avoid, etc. defs: 416: carcinogen, initiation, carcinogenesis, promoters, metastasis; 417: caloric effect; 418: acrylamide; 420: anticarcinogens, cruciferous vegetables
421-422, 424: diet as a preventative medicine, tips
423: chart of foods to lower disease risks
426-431: controversy 11: the obesity epidemic
482: defs: fetus, embryo, fertility, low birthweight (less than 5.5 pounds), uterus, placenta, gestation, amniotic
483: about the placenta
484: events of pregnancy, defs: lactation, ovum, zygote, implantation, trimester, crticial period
485: nutrition and pregnancy
486: chart of nutrient recommendations
487: sample meal plan
488: defs: neural tube, neural tube defect (NTD), anencephaly, spina bigida; about spina bifida
489: good folate sources, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc in pregnancy
490: defs: cesarean, prenatal, Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, And Children (WIC)
491: weight gain in pregnancy
492: physical activity for pregnant woman
493: teen pregnancy, cravings
494: relieving discomforts of pregnancy
495: smoking, medicinal drugs, herbal supplements, street drugs, and environmental contaminents for pregnant women, def: environmental tobacco smoke (ETS)
496: more: foodborne illness, vitamin-mineral megadoses, dieting, sugar substitues, caffeine; def: listeriosis (with a list of foods to avoid and good practices)
497: Drinking during pregnancy; defs: apgar score, fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), alcohold-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD)
498-499: fetal alcohol syndrome symptoms; defs: gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, edema
500-506: all about lactation; defs: 500: certified lactation consultant; 505: alpha-lactalbumin, lactoferrin; 506: colostrum
507: formula feeding; def: hypoallergenic formulas
508: formula’s advertising advantage
509: solid foods for infants, chart of development
510-511: foods to avoid, meal plan, def: milk anemia
512: nursing bottle syndrome
514-518: controversy 13: childhood diabetes and obesity
520: bar graph of children with bad diets
521: weight gain in infants and toddlers
522: dieting concerns: iron-rich foods, vitamins, minerals, fat, etc.
523: children’s food pyramid
524-525: meals and snacks, food skills of preschoolders
526: danger of lead
527: food alergies, preventing lead poisoning, def: allergy
528: managing food alergies; defs: antigen, antibodies, histamine, anaphylactic shock, epinephrine
529: Diet and hyperactivity; defs: food intolerance, food aversion, hyperactivity, learning disability
530: childhood obesity, the problem of inactivity, lifestyle choices to prevent obesity
531: dental cavities (caries), how to avoid them, food list
532: nourishment of school lunches
533: school lunches for different ages, teen years
534: iron in adolescence, bone growth; defs: growth spurt, epiphyseal
535: body changes of adolescence, bar graph of increasing soft drink consumption; def: premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
536: Bar graphs of milk consumption in girls and daily physical education classes, acne and eating patterns; defs: acne, gatekeeper
537: nutrition and PMS
538: later years, planning for ages; defs: life expectancy, life span, longevity
539: physical changes of aging: digestive tract, hormones, mouth, sensory organs, body composition
540-541: protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and fats in old age; def: arthritis
542-543: vitamins, water, and minerals in old age; def: cataracts
544: summary chart of nutrient concerns in old age, unavoidable changes, maximum life span of rats, spiders, and protozoans
545: Alzheimer’s Disease and nutrition; def: senile dementia
546: List of possible links between nutrition and Alzheimer’s Disease
547: List of DETERMINE (acronym) predictors of malnutrition in the elderly
548: Checklist for nutrition in older Americans
548-550: Single Survival and Nutrition on the Run
550: Convenience foods tips
552-558: Controversy 14: nutrient-drug interactions

It looks like a lot of work, but it’s a lot less work than learning the material thoroughly, and it’s more fun too. In fact, as you’re skimming through the book to write this index, you’ll probably learn more than you would by just reading the chapter outright.

To look up stuff in the index, use your text editor’s find command. So when I didn’t remember what the textbook said about diabetes, I searched “diabetes,” saw that it was on page 402, flipped to that page in the book, found the answer, and clicked the right box on the online test.

I don’t recommend using the book’s index, because you can’t search the text like on the computer. It’s fine for tests without strict time limits, but too slow to use otherwise.

My first idea was to scan in the whole chapter with a scanner, use optical character-recognition software to convert it to text, export it to a Microsoft Word document, and search that to find answers. This is fine in theory, but when you have a chapter that’s 70 pages, it’s just too much. I doubt it would work too well either. It’s tedious and boring. The whole point of avoiding learning is to avoid tedium. It just isn’t a good solution. Making an index is much better.

Another thing that helps is to have 2 monitors instead of 1. I have a special video card (~$60) to do this. I kept the text file open on the right monitor, and the test open on the left, with Firefox tabs open for Google and the CD encyclopedia. When I move my mouse to the edge of the screen, the arrow jumps over to the other. This makes work a lot quicker, once you’re accustomed to it.

I haven’t taken a math course online, but it’s a good idea because then you won’t have to memorize all the formulas in algebra, trigonometry, precalculus, and onward. You could just have them printed out in front of you. Also, take advantage of equation calculators, which can often solve an equation and show you all the steps to get to the solution. Here’s a Google Search query for equation calculators.

I wish you good luck with all your online tests! Keep learning.

DSC Registers DaytonaStateOne.com

I see the college, or in fact, Higher One on their behalf, registered this new domain, presumably for students to access their debit card accounts. DaytonaStateOne.com is currently inactive. It says “Omnis Network: This web page is parked free.” That means their registrar is omnis.com.

It’s curious that they waited till August 5 to do this; a month and a half after the name change. Someone could have easily snatched up the domain name first. I wonder if they wanted DSCone.com, but picked the longer name because they were beaten to the punch? The old name was DBCCone.com.

DSC hasn’t been proactive about name management with this latest change. They have dbcc.biz, dbcc.us, dbcc.info, and every permutation of daytonacollege: .com, .net, .org, .us, .info, .biz. But they’ve done nothing with securing domains similar to daytonastate.edu: I have .org, .net, .us, .info, and .biz, and others have taken daytonastate.com and daytonastatecollege.com, all after the name change.

Daytona State to Buy News-Journal Center, Replacing Theater

Daytona Beach News-Journal Center

I just read read that Daytona State College is buying the Daytona Beach News-Journal Center.

Have you seen the newspaper’s huge building at 221 North Beach Street, near International Speedway Boulevard, pictured above? The college is buying that. The Foundation, the philanthropic wing of Daytona State, is spending $2.6 million to pay off the terrible debt the Journal owes.

Even now, the building is not for the newspaper’s production; it’s a theater and “cultural community center.” The DSC foundation president, William Olivari, made this statement to the press:

With the college getting ready for a renovation of its own arts center, we thought this would be a great addition, since it’s (the News Journal Center) a new building, and we can use the land under the (college’s) center for new classrooms rather than spend millions in renovating.”

So they’re going to convert the Theater Center to classroom space on the campus, and then use the News-Journal building as the college theater.

My concern is the travel distance. Right now, the theater is conveniently at the Daytona Beach campus. How far away is the News-Journal Center? I wanted to know, so I looked it up on MapQuest. It’s 2.92 miles. Moving something as essential as the theater miles off-campus doesn’t seem right to me.

Kent Sharples has been talking to the Daytona Beach commissioners this week to get them to transfer the land the building rests on to the college. The land is leased from the state of Florida to the city of Daytona Beach to the News-Journal, so there are many layers of bureaucracy. The red tape will take a while to cut through. Daytona Beach appears to be paying a token sum of $1 per year for the land, so the college may not be paying a lot for the acquisition. The News-Journal quotes the transfer as a “gift agreement.” I’m sure it won’t cost 2.6 million dollars to the college, though. This will find some way to cost at least $5M.

It’s going to be more work for DSC to own the News-Journal center outright; it has to appear before the state legislature in March of 2009. So the plan is to lease it in the interim. Eventually, the name will be changed to “The News-Journal Center at Daytona State College” if possible. The new website will be thenews-journalcenteratdaytonastate.com. Nah, just kidding about the last part. 😎

Still, I wonder how this will affect the college. This positions the theater as an entirely separate branch of the college, by placing such distance between them, and will impede non-theater students who casually visit. Still, the new building is much more impressive, so the college will be able to put on more grandiose and culturally enriching performances. I’ll be tracking the progress of the transfer over the next weeks and months.

DaytonaState.org Email Accounts Available!

2008-08-23 Update: Unfortunately, you won’t get emails from DaytonaState.org if you use your DaytonaState.org email address for your DaytonaState.org account. I just use a separate Gmail account for my DaytonaState.org / Thripp.com profile which forwards to my main email at richardxthripp@thripp.com. You can do that too.

I have some great news: DaytonaState.org email accounts are available to everyone. This is through Google Apps Email, so it’s just like Gmail except your address is you@daytonastate.org, and the part before the @ can be as short as one character (six is the minimum with Gmail).

You can’t register yourself, but send me an email at thrippr@daytonastate.org with the address you’d like, or make a comment on this post. Let me know if you’d like to appear with your name on a public list of DaytonaState.org email users I’ll be adding to the site. With Gmail’s spam protection, posting your email publicly is no big deal (I get ~200 spam messages daily).

I’ve taken thrippr@daytonastate.org, richard_thripp@daytonastate.org, and richardxthripp@daytonastate.org, but everything else is available. Right now, there are 149 accounts available.

The great thing about Gmail is the nice interface, searching, forwarding, POP and IMAP access, good spam filtering, and reliability. Unlike with Daytona State College’s email accounts, DaytonaState.org addresses don’t change and don’t expire (I plan to pay each year for the domain without ever giving it up). Also, your DSC email account has changed three times: from @falconmail.dbcc.edu to @falconmail.dbc.edu to @falconmail.daytonastate.edu, with support for the old accounts being dropped. Not so with your @daytonastate.org email.

Once I’ve registered your account, you can log in at mail.daytonastate.org.

This is a bad photo

DSC ugly title photo

Am I the only one who thinks this photo on the Daytona State College home page is ugly? She’s a pretty lady with a nice smile, but she’s squinting. Not even that makes the photo bad, though. The terrible JPEG artifacts around her eyes make it ugly. Why would they do this? There’s no reason for visible artifacts. Did they compress this 8 times in a row or something? At 27KB, the file size isn’t even small for the image’s size and algorithmic complexity. There’s no reason for it to look like this.

If you’ve seen daytonastate.edu anytime recently, you’ve noticed that the home page randomly displays one of three photos of students. The other two are fine. This one needs to go; or they need to go back to the source file and save a clean copy.

I’m surprised “YourSpace” is one word. Is Daytona State competing with MySpace? I can only wonder why a college with such wonderful English professors doesn’t use proper English on its home page.

DaytonaState.edu inaccessible?

I got this support request from Bob in my email account on the 1st. I’ve been on a self-imposed vacation, so I didn’t get to read it till today:

Hi,

My name is Bob. My daughter, Amy, will start at DB next semester. I am able to connect to the DB website from work, but at home it’s a different story. We attempt to connect at both dbc.edu and daytonastate.edu but all we get is the white screen of “duh” before timing out. At first I thought this may be Vista attempting to protect me from the evils that lurk behind the scene at DB, but Amy’s computer runs on XP and she has the same connectivity issue. Is there something I’m missing here? Any help is appreciated.

Thanks.

Bob

My reply:

Hello Bob,

Sorry for not getting back to you quicker; I’ve been on a vacation from email and my website.

While the requirements for the virtual college are higher, the main site is plain old HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, so it should load fine. Since it’s not, it’s either the college, your Internet provider, or your computer that’s having problems. daytonastate.edu has been working fine for me, so it’s likely not the first, and your Internet provider is unlikely to be blocking the college. So it comes down to your computer.

If you have firewall software, shut it off (usually by right-clicking the icon in the system tray, and then left-clicking “disable”). If the college site works, you know it’s the program’s fault. Look for a “whitelist” or “allowed sites” page in the options, and add daytonastate.edu to the list. This should keep the firewall from blocking you.

If you use Mozilla Firefox, try accessing it in Internet Explorer, and vice-versa.

Try accessing the site at the old address, http://www.dbcc.cc.fl.us/ .

If you have a router, it may have an in-built firewall over-riding your computer. Try resetting it, or check the manual. This is probably not the culprit, because daytonastate.edu shouldn’t be blocked unless you added it to the blocked sites list.

Other than that, call and complain! The number is 386-506-3000. Maybe the techs themselves can shed some light on it.

If your daughter is taking online courses, caution her not to wait till the last minute for any assignments. Get them done a few days early if possible. You never know when the site will go down, or when your Internet connection or computer may have problems. You don’t want to miss the deadlines. Usually, the last second to submit any essays or projects is 11:59:59 P.M. on the due date.

Good luck!
Richard

If you have any support requests and are finding the college unresponsive, feel free to send them on over to thrippr@daytonastate.org or call me at 386-675-4472. I’m a student at DSC, but I’m not taking online courses now so I can’t troubleshoot DSC virtual college (except basic stuff). More and more courses, even completely offline ones, are requiring Internet access for assignments and projects. Unfortunately it’s easy to bump into problems with today’s computers, so it’s always good to have a would-be expert available.

Incidentally, dbcc.edu has been completely obliterated. It’s a shame. dbcc.edu should do an HTTP 301 redirect to daytonastate.edu. Not accounting for subdomains, in Apache, that’s as easy as a .htaccess file in the root of dbcc.edu with this:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST}    ^(www\.)?dbcc\.edu$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)           http://daytonastate.edu/$1  [R=301,L]
</IfModule>

There’s so much printed material bearing the dbcc.edu web address that it pains me to see the college overlooking this. Even dbc.edu and dbcc.cc.fl.us aren’t doing a 301 redirect, so they show up as duplicate content in Google, reducing the college’s PageRank.

They should hire me. 😎

I’m a Loser, Says Daytona State College

This lovely letter turned up in my mailbox:

Scholarship loser 2008-08-01

Here’s the text, for those of you who can’t read JPEGs:

August 1, 2008

Richard Thripp
1829 NELSON AVE
ORMOND BEACH FL 0

Dear     Richard:

Thank you for your on-line application and interest in the DSC Foundation Donor Scholarship opportunity for the fall 2008 semester. Regretfully, you were not chosen to receive an award at this time.

However, the next scholarship cycle for the spring 2009 semester will begin on August 25, 2008. You are encouraged to apply again. Please refer to the scholarship website: dsc.scholarships.nelnet.net for additional information.

If you have any questions concerning this matter or need further directions for applying for scholarships on-line, please contact me at (386) 506-4422 or Bernadette Ramsey (386) 506-3013.

I wish you much success as you continue your academic and career endeavors!

Sincerely,

Charlene Solomon

Charlene Solomon
Financial Aid Services/Scholarships

Darn it. I was really expecting to win another $1500 scholarship. I won $3000 in scholarships from the foundation in fall 2007 and spring 2008, but the last was revoked because I couldn’t receive two at once. I only found at way after receiving my award letter, of course.

You know why I didn’t win? It’s because of that B+ in photography. My GPA slipped from 4.0 to 3.95. That killed my chances.

It’s amazing what Daytona State College spends on postage. What could easily be communicated by phone or email gets a 42 cent letter, not to mention the printing and labeling costs. If 1000 students entered (the Daytona Beach campus alone has 8500 students), they wasted $700 easily. And they do stuff like this all the time. We still get mail for my mother from DSC, and she hasn’t gone there for 13 years. Heck, she hasn’t even lived in the state of Florida for 10 years.

I love the format of the letter. It reads like a Dear John letter. “You were not chosen at this time.” As if that’s going to change later. The encouragement. The wish of success. The letter that informs you of your lack of success wishes you success.

The hyphenation of “on-line” is just too cool. It’s so 1994. How come Charlene’s name is typed twice? I’d expect one of those to be a facsimile signature. Why does “Dear Richard” have a big space between the wods? Why is my zip code 0? Really, it’s on the envelope like that.

Okay, I’ve done enough complaining. I had to pay $143 out-of-pocket because, despite having BrightFuture’s Academic Scholars award, only $157 was allotted for books. It used to be $300, but recently became $225, and was even less for me because of lab fees and tuition hikes. My books were $301. 5800 pages. Here’s what they’re looking like:

My fall 2008 textbooks

See the measly paperback, Between One and Many? That’s for my speech class (SPC2600). It’s among the most expensive at $50. Even the University Physics one was cheaper ($48). I got the international versions for biology and physics. They say “not for sale or use in the U.S.A. or Canada,” but they’re cheaper and exactly the same. Buying these from the DSC bookstore would be $600+.

Page 7 of 8« First...45678