Monthly Archive for May, 2012

The Ace Graduates!

Commencement was last night. It was a beautiful ceremony.

That’s the Bishop behind her to the left.

You can see all the photos I took yesterday at my Flickr page.

Memorial Day

I, like many others, tear up every time I see this picture:

Photo Credit: Todd Heisler/The Rocky Mountain News, via Associated Press

You can read a very nice article about the photo here.

Tough Re-Entry

I’ve gone from living on my own for nine months to, upon my return to Dallas, having my parents, 9 of my 10 of my wife’s brothers and sisters, assorted husbands and wives to those people, nieces, nephews, and others here for the weekend.

We are celebrating both my daughter’s graduation from high school and my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday.

It’s been tougher to deal with all the people than the jet lag.

Those of you that know me

Know that I’ve been talking about this for a couple of years.

Let’s put it this way: if you can build a $100 billion company by using the Internet to replace the college yearbook–imagine what you can do if you use the Internet to replace college.

That’s from an article by Robert Tracinski.

I’m certain there are many people trying to do just what Robert suggests is possible, not just the ones he mentions.

I don’t know what the future of higher education will look like exactly (Hell if I knew that I’d be off trying to make the money that will be possible for someone to earn.), but I do know it will be different. I would also be very worried if I were still working at Directional U. I think the future is rather bleak for those small, lesser known, institutions.

Out of Reach Awhile

I’ll be out of reach for about the next 35 hours or so. I don’t have a cell phone that will work in London.

I’ll be back soon to tell any stories of the trip that are worth mentioning.

The Itinerary

I leave the island at 20:50 tonight. I get to London 12 hours later at 5:50am local time. I then have to transfer from Gatwick to Heathrow. I will have to haul my bags too. I will recheck my bags. I then will leave London for Dallas at 12:15 local (London) time. I arrive in Dallas tomorrow afternoon at 16:50 Dallas time.

It will be 1:50am Thursday morning on the island. Yes, that is a 29 hour trip. It is a bitch.

The Whole Experience has been Bittersweet

I’m going back to Dallas tomorrow night.

I’m really looking forward to seeing my wife and children. It’s been over five months since I last saw them. I’m looking forward to seeing all my friends and relatives. I’m also looking forward to enjoying certain food items.

As you can see from a few of my recent posts, I have managed to have some fun while here on the island. It’s kind of hard to leave behind my new friends. My social life has finally started rolling. I even went to a wonderful dinner party Saturday night. The first one in my nine months on the island. As a result of the improved social life, I finally have become comfortable here. It began about 6 weeks ago.

I’m leaving the island. And by any measure the whole nine months has been a failure. I came here all excited about the venture. I was going to be part of starting a new school. A school that over time would grow into an international brand in education. My excitement was crushed my first day on the job when I finally learned about the structure of the organization. It was clear to me that the manner in which the school had been staffed was going to be a problem. It was clear to me that I should have quit on the first day and flown back home to beg for my old job. I decided that I had signed on for a year and I could manage one year anywhere doing anything. I mean, come on! I spent three years on active duty in the Marine Corps. I’ve been married over 20 years. I certainly could handle a tough working environment for one year, right? I was also being paid handsomely to do so. It should have been easy enough.

But a tough job where you don’t get paid really sucks. Nine months away from home when I’m not sending the money I was supposed to send home sucks even worse. A tough job, with no pay, half way around the world from your family Really. Sucks. Big. Time.

I’ve thrown in the towel. I will return to Dallas, landing Wednesday afternoon, more than a little pissed about the whole affair.

I have thoughtfully examined my own effort. I have wondered, did I push hard enough to move the organization in the direction it needed to move? I believe I have. The only thing I could have done more would have been to just throw temper tantrums, yell at people and just be a complete autocrat. I don’t think that would have worked as I would have totally alienated myself from my coworkers and management. I would have been fired. I am comfortable with the effort I’ve put in here. I’m comfortable knowing that if I had been listened to a little more, the school would be in much better condition than it is currently in. I am also comfortable knowing that it would have been tough, under the best of circumstances, given the very limited capital available to the school at the start.

Starting a school is a difficult task. If you don’t have the capital and don’t have good people, there is no chance for success. It is only a matter of time before this place is completely shuttered. I feel sorry for the students.

I have talked to people from other schools, when I tell them how many students we have, how many accredited programs we have, etc. they all tell me that we’ve done an amazing job. I don’t feel like it’s been amazing as I know, acutely, how much financial trouble the organization currently is in.

I do have a return ticket back here. I will come back if I’m not paid. My boss does not want me back. I think it’s a good thing to have my return hanging over his head. I just might get paid what I’m owed.

I’m So Proud to be an American

Really, I am.

It’s not often, as you can see from the post below, that you get to spend an afternoon on the beach while staying on a tropical island. And then to encounter this wonderful example of the U.S. government at work at the same time, well… It was just too much goodness in one afternoon.

I got up from the sand and was walking over to a little shop to get a couple of drinks, when I encountered this small fenced in area pictured here:

What were all those little scrawny plants doing inside this fenced barrier?

When I got around to the side of the fenced area that was facing the beach road, I found this sign:

I can’t believe the U.S. Embassy didn’t invite me to either the planting or the commemoration ceremony. If they had given me advance notice, I could have even live blogged the event.

I was at the beach with a Cypriot. I made her come over to read the sign, just so I could gloat! I did a little victory dance, while telling her to look around the beach. “You don’t see any twigs stuck in the ground courtesy of the Cypriot government do you? The U.S. is awesome!”

I’ve got one more pic. Just look at that tiny little plant that is dying right there to the left of the sign.

The U.S. is just full of the win! I bet the Russian expats are walking past this compound with their heads hung in shame.

/snark

My Last Day at the Beach on the Island

Spent a couple of hours out on the local beach yesterday afternoon.

It was a beautiful day.

 

The temperature was perfect. The water too was a perfect temperature for swimming.

Again, I could learn to like this place if the job didn’t totally suck. In fact it’s not really a job, since I go to work and don’t get paid.

 

I’ve not done this in a while

Went out for dinner and drinks. Got home at 4:00am. Somewhat sober too.