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Daytona Beach City Commission to Vote 2008 Sept. 3 on News-Journal Center Acquisition

An update on the News-Journal situation: it’s getting closer. Daytona State’s board of trustees has said yes to leasing the News-Journal theater center from the Lively Arts Center for one year.

The Lively Arts Center is giving $800,000 to the college, but I suppose the college will pay even more back. However, the state has to match this gift, so the college will get 1.6 million dollars. That should help a little.

The transfer is in fact mandated by a judge, because the Seaside Music Theater isn’t paying for the center anymore. The News-Journal won’t either, and the land is the city’s, so a profitable tenant must be found. Enter Daytona State College.

Kent Sharples (DSC president) says the state legislature needs to vote too, because they’ll be paying $700,000 per year toward the operating costs if the transfer goes through.

Clay Henderson of the Lively Arts Center’s board of directors said something interesting:

“We all are trying to keep everything going in the same way Tippen Davidson envisioned. Because that could not happen, this is the best way.”

Tippen Davidson was the News-Journal president till his death in 2007 January. He was the “driving force” behind the News-Journal Center, says the News-Journal. Apparently, he’d be rolling in his grave now, because Daytona State’s acquisition of his center is repugnant to his beautiful vision.

Either way, I’m excited that the college’s classes resume tomorrow at 8 A.M. My schedule: Calculus I 8-9 A.M., Speech 9-10, Physics I 10-11, and Biology 11-12. I wish my bag had wheels. The books are so heavy.

Daytona State College has no marketing sense

Eight-week schedules – accelerate degree completion by taking eight-week classes instead of the traditional 16-week class in a semester.”

I’m sorry, that just doesn’t cut it. It has no heart, no spirit, no feeling. It sounds cheap, shallow, and robotic. It should be this:

Eight-week schedules available for ambitious students. Do you pick up new skills quickly? Learn at a faster pace with more rigorous and engaging courses.”

I hope they change it to my suggestion. State-funded colleges can be bad at self-promotion, but we can change that. The page the quote is from is their save gas initiative, where you save gas by taking online courses (clever, huh?). Check it out. I like the “comprehensive college experience” part.

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 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.

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. 😎

Fall 2008 Textbooks

Finally got around to ordering my textbooks for fall 2008.

It’s hard to find the textbooks you need at daytonastate.edu, because all the faculty pages are gone. They switched over to a new system, and the new faculty pages don’t yet have any information. Last semester, it was easy to find the books I needed because each professor would describe them in detail. Not so this time around.

The only resource available is the unuseful bookstore, which I’ve redirected at books.daytonastate.org because it’s hard to find on DSC’s site. Their prices are ridiculously high; it would’ve cost me $700 to buy my books, even used, from them. The only thing it’s good for is to find what books you need, and even for that it isn’t great. This is what I found upon looking up PHY2048, my University Physics course:

University Physics w/Modern Physics
Used $153.00
Author: Young Edition:12th

University Physics (V1:SSM)
Used $25.00
Author: Young Edition:12th

University Physics (V2 & V3:SSM)
Used $24.00
Author:Young Edition:12th

Why can’t they at least give me some ISBN numbers? What’s “SSM” mean? I found out it was Student Solutions Manual, and 12th means 12th edition, but it it’s risky without ISBN numbers and with such vaugeness.

The courses I’m taking are Calculus 1 w/ Lab (MAC2311 / L), University Physics I w/ Lab (PHY2048 / L), Speech (SPC2600), and Biology (BSC1005). I ordered the study guides too, because they’re awfully helpful for leading you to the answers. Here’s the books I needed:

0130084077: Calculus, Early Transcendentals (6th Edition)
0495012408: Student Solutions Manual for Single Variable Calculus
080532187X: University Physics with Modern Physics (12th Edition)
0321500636: University Physics Student Solutions Manual, Vol. 1
0321500385: University Physics Student Solutions Manual, Vols. 2 and 3
0805368426: Essential Biology, 3rd Edition
0805304894: Study Guide for Essential Biology with Physiology, 2nd Edition
0073385034: Between One and Many: The Art and Science of Public Speaking

I ordered most of them from abebooks.com because they had the best prices. A few I got from half.com because Abe Books was too expensive. I spent $301 in all. The eight books are a whopping 5793 pages. I won’t be carrying all those on my back at once.

It’s unfortunate that the Florida Academic Scholars award (the highest BrightFutures scholarship) has been dropped from $300 for books to $225. I only got $157 because lab fees gobbled up some money, so despite my relentless academic efforts, I’m still paying out of pocket. I’m hearing that by the time I finish with BrightFutures in 2011, there may be no money left at all. So I’m glad for what I have.

If you’re still waiting to order your books for Daytona State College, look them up at the bookstore and get hunting online. Don’t buy them from the bookstore; check out the sites I mentioned. Alibris is also good. Don’t wait! There’s one month left, but you want to have plenty of time in case of shipping delays or other mishaps.

The Spring 2008 Awards

I was happy to cover photography for the college’s spring awards ceremony on April 16. Some of the highlights:

Kent Sharples hands out awards

Kent Sharples, the DSC president, preparing to hand out one of many awards.

DSC faculty applauds

An applauding faculty member in the audience.

The QUANTA gang

The QUANTA gang says hello. QUANTA is a community for a collection of core subjects at building 300 in the fall and spring at the college; it’s one of the premier learning communities in academia. I had a lot of fun studying and making friends their over the 2007-2008 year, and recommend it to any prospective students. Read my story here. A great book we traditionally read at the end of the spring semester is Seven Life Lessons of Chaos. Brilliant stuff; you won’t find this level of reflection and personal development in any normal class. Their motto is “don’t think either/or—think both and,” which is a welcome departure from the typical rigid mindset you find in the classroom.

It’s funny looking back, because Kent was so happy to announce that he knew the name Daytona Beach College was about to be approved, and already it’s Daytona State College.

I shot all these on black and white 35mm film, but am looking forward to shooting the next ceremony with my excellent Canon Rebel XTi and EF 50mm 1:1.4 lens. No one is camera-shy at the college, likely because of the prestigious photography presence. Unfortunately a lot of the photography department’s links are broken at the moment, but there’s some good info on that page.

The State of the Name

Daytona State College’s name has been all over the place. In October of 2007, the school stripped “Community” from its name, becoming Daytona Beach College instead of Daytona Beach Community College. Then on 2008 June 20, a press release was posted to the website announcing the new name as Daytona State College. I passed the college on International Speedway Blvd. on 2008 July 14, and this is what I saw:

New Sign for Daytona State College

However, there are signs all around the campus still saying DBCC or DBC. Even the enrollment banner above the DSC sign still has the old name and website. It must be awfully confusing to visitors or prospective students.

The state of the domain name is even worse. The name has been lengthened to daytonastate.edu, even though early announcements said DSC had procured dsc.edu. All of the faculty and student email addresses are going through another change. My address is the incredibly lengthy richard_thripp@falconmail.daytonastate.edu.

As for the old addresses, DSC’s performance has been abysmal. dbcc.edu was redirecting to dbc.edu a week ago, but now goes nowhere. dbc.edu and daytonastate.edu are currently existing in parallel, and there are links to different domains all over the place. Many links are broken. Hasn’t DSC every heard of HTTP 301 redirects? When I changed richardxthripp.com to thripp.com two weeks ago, I had no problems using them to redirect every page over to the new address. You’d think their sysadmins could do that.

All falconmail.dbcc.edu email addresses are irrevocably broken. I just received this email from the college on the 14th:

Dear Daytona State Student:

Name Change: You may have heard the college Trustees voted to change our name to Daytona State College. Our new name will allow us to build upon the core mission and values that have been central to the college for more than 50 years, while expanding into affordable baccalaureate degree programs. We look to the future for new ways to provide opportunities to our students and to help foster economic development, culture and quality of life in the communities we serve.

Email Address Change: You may have noticed that your FalconMail address has been updated to be first_last@ falconmail.dbc.edu. As of Monday, July 14th, please start using your address as first_last@ falconmail.DaytonaState.edu. If you experience difficulties, your dbc.edu account will work for two additional weeks.

Please note: As of July 11, 2008 the dbcc.edu address will no longer be valid and no mail will be delivered.

Email address for staff will also be changing to the DaytonaState.edu, please review the college website for more information.

To reach the enrollment services offices, you can email:

Admissions@DaytonaState.edu
Advising@DaytonaState.edu
Assessment@DaytonaState.edu
Financial Aid@DaytonaState.edu
Registration@DaytonaSate.edu
Records@DaytonaState.edu
StudentAccounts@DaytonaState.edu

Thank you. If you have any questions about the use of FalconMail you can contact the Helpdesk at helpdesk@dbc.edu.

So apparently, I’ve got 8 days to tell everyone about my new address before richard_thripp@falconmail.dbc.edu breaks. Why can’t every email address and domain work forever? It isn’t that hard to set up.

WCEU Channel 15 is supposed to become WDSC eventually. Their website still says Daytona Beach College, and their programming is just as bad. Some shows say DBCC, some DBC, and probably DSC by now if I was still watching.

I hope they’re sticking with Daytona State College and daytonastate.edu now.

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