500 Words At A Time: Unfinished Business

As this experience comes to an end I have found myself making a list of the college related things I have unfinished. Some of these are beyond my control, some I am done with, and some I will finish on my own time.


I was attempting to leave here with a minor in communication and philosophy. Now, I decided to get these minors when it was pointed out how close I was to having the minors last year. What neither Sandy nor I took into account was the weird, to me, scheduling of classes. Such as two classes required for a communication degree (major and minor), one each semester, one class, at a time that never fit any of my schedules. I hope that the schedule worked for the majority, but never worked out for me.

On Volunteering

On Volunteering was the first book I wrote while here. After spending a year as a parent volunteer, I wanted to write about my experiences, offer advice to parents looking to volunteer, and offer suggestions to local schools to utilize volunteers better and in a more rewarding fashion. The writing was finished, the edits completed, and On Volunteering was being shown to administrators at local schools, who were interested. Unfortunately, some asshat shot up a school and overnight school security went on lock down and remains on lockdown to this day. Most of my suggestions required a freedom of movement in and around the schools that is unimaginable today, less than five years later. I may return to On Volunteering to see if there is a way to rework my suggestions to work with the security in most schools.


As weird as this sounds, and it is probably a me thing, but there are a couple of larger paper/projects that I would like to go back and finish right. At the time for one reason or another ranging from much hated group work where I had the project dumped in my lap at the last minute to finally figured out what I wanted to write about at the last second, these papers/projects were completed, but not to my satisfaction. These things happen and I was okay with what I turned in, but I know I could have done better. Most of them I will not go back and finish, but there are a couple that have some relevance to me now and in the future, those will get the attention they deserved.

FU! Slow Cooker

I wrote the original FU! Crockpot before taking classes, however I was never pleased with how the cookbook turned out. Way too much missing, layout was a mess, and so on. One of the things I made sure to do was take classes to learn how to make FU! Slow Cooker (Crockpot is a brand) better. I got lucky and met Mary and Andrew two students who spent an entire semester teaching me more than I would have gotten out of any one class. Unfortunately, the more I learned about how to create a book the more I realized that the recipes were a disaster. Thus, while I have knowledge to make the book I want, I have been working on getting the recipes up to snuff. So finished on one hand, but unfinished on the other.

Summer Research

This will be the subject of a couple 500 Words, so this may not make sense, but for a while-over a year-I was conducting research with Paul Zube on the affects/effects of voice-to-text technology on writers and readers. For whatever reason, our proposal to continue the research was denied and it broke my desire to continue research. Interestingly enough, other people, not here at Ferris but in other parts of the world, have been conducting their own research studies. The subject did not die off (plus they are actual researchers with schools that support them) and the results are as interesting as we thought they would be, thus I am pleased with that. However, my research didn’t have an end. I am hoping the 500 Words on the subject are an end for me, but if they are not I will finish up my experiences.



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