Mknac’s Weblog

Diving into the shallow pool of Web 2.0 and Social Media head first!

Senioritis II

The senioritis is really bad now.  I have one big paper left in one class.  A group project with a couple minor loose ends and group presentation left.  That and 3 more weeks.  Can I motivate myself to write this paper?  I’m sure I well but the energy level is mighty low at the moment.

November 19, 2009 Posted by | social media | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Georgetown University at Clarendon Stinks

This is a follow up to a previous posting entitled “How’s graduate school?” We’ll the answer is not so great anymore. Georgetown University in its ultimate wisdom has transferred my entire program to the new Georgetown University at Clarendon. This blows.

I didn’t enroll in Georgetown University at Clarendon. If I had wanted that I would have enrolled in George Washington University or Strayer University. Because the university has done a good job enrolling graduate students into the program they decided that we needed more space so they shipped us out.

Amazingly with all the “communications professors” on the staff of this program they forgot to tell any of the program’s stakeholders, the graduate students, that they were making this decision. Of course we did receive an email stating this decision had been made after the fact but we the students were not included in the decision making process in the least. Not even a heads up warning that there might be some program changes coming the future. Not one word from the program administrators. Gee I wonder who is getting which office and parking space? Unfortunately I’m to far along in the program to switch to another program so I’m stuck attending Georgetown University at Clarendon.

Being on and around campus at Georgetown University is what made this program special. Sure we’ll be in a slick corporate office building with marble floors and wood paneled walls and our diploma’s will even say Georgetown University. The problem is we don’t go to Georgetown University anymore. They say we’ll even have the “full weight of Georgetown University” behind us. What does that mean, we can access the website?

The truth is this is now just another cash cow graduate school program diploma mill at some off-site location not remotely associated with the university whose name it bears. I’m sure there will be a gold Georgetown University seal on the door and our bills of course, but that’s our only association with the university now. At this point just give me my B for paying some $2,250 per class and graduate and be done with it.

Perhaps on-line Georgetown University degrees are next. Talk about cash cows. No need to worry about space for administrators or students and no need to rent that office building in Clarendon.

Georgetown University at Clarendon; this stinks big time.

October 6, 2008 Posted by | social media | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How’s graduate School?

A friend asked me what it’s like going to graduate school at my age.  Lol  Well its great.  I recommend it to everyone.

Healy Hall, Georgetown University

Healy Hall, Georgetown University

I received my first graduate degree, an MBA, in my early forties.  I wish I had done that sooner.  But to be honest I was just going to grad school to get a degree and check the box; get ahead or keep up with my peers.   Even given my professional motivation at the time, I actually learned a great deal in my MBA program.  I ended up enjoying it so much that I actually considered getting a Ph.D. but soon realized I’d never see the return on investment.

So now in mid-40’s I find myself at Georgetown University pursuing another graduate degree, this one in public relations.  And I must say life is great at Georgetown.  Again I find myself learning new things, re-discovering some things I’d forgotten but personally and professionally growing in all aspects.

Now being a grad student is a completely different experience than being an undergraduate.  But I must say Georgetown makes you feel like you’re welcomed part of the university as a graduate student.  Go Hoyas!!!!  (please let the football team win a couple games this season)

My fellow students are great and range in age from the mid-20s to 60’s.  So at least I’m not the oldest grad student in my program.  Many are communications professionals looking to make that next step or mid-careerists looking to get into public relations.  Our faculty is first rate.  Their expertise and willingness to share with my fellow students and I is unending.

You probably heard a saying to the effect “you never stop learning.”  Well that’s true.  I think when you stop learning you’ve stopped growing personally and professionally.

Based on my experience I think if you earned a bachelors degree or masters more than 10-15 years ago you are really educationally behind.  So much has happened, so much has changed.

So how’s graduate school?  Its great!  I hope you decide to go back to school.  I encourage you to go back to school. You’ll find its worthwhile experience at any time in your life.

September 3, 2008 Posted by | social media | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Capital Crescent Trail

The Capital Crescent Trail (CCT) is one of my favorite trails to cycle on. The CCT is a multi-use bicycle, running, walking trail that runs from Bethesda in Maryland to Georgetown in D.C. The 7-mile section from Bethesda to D.C. is paved and approximately 10 feet wide. At 7 miles that’s not enough for a long ride but the great thing about the CCT is that once you get to Georgetown it connects to several other trails that allows you to keep riding.

CCT and terrain profile from my cycle GPS

CCT and terrain profile from my cycle GPS

Generally my favorite route is to park at Roosevelt Island; cross the Potomac; hook around the Kennedy Center then catch the CCT up to Bethesda; come back down; follow the Potomac to Haines Point then head back to Roosevelt Island. Other options include the Rock Creek Park trails and the Vermont trail that starts at Roosevelt Island.

The CCT is heavily trafficked by all types a people. I want to state up front that in my two years of riding the CCT the vast majority of the users on the trail are friendly and considerate of others. But you must be on your toes at all times and particularly on weekends whether you are biking, running, or walking. Accidents between cyclists and runners/walkers are unfortunately commonplace. In my opinion most of the accidents occur because bikers and runners/walkers are inconsiderate to each other, people are ignorant of trail etiquette/rules and speed is always a factor in any accident.

The CCT recently came out new updated safety rules. One of new rules is a 15 MPH speed limit for bikers. I think this is worthwhile but I’m not sure how they will enforce it. Two of the rules are issues I had emailed the CCT about in the past; Not using Ipods/MP3 players when you bike/run and not running 3-4 people abreast blocking the trail.

Clearly running with Ipods/MP3 players places bikers and runners/walkers at risk. Today’s bikes are quiet. Runners/walkers collide with cyclists when they not aware that the cyclist is passing them on their left. Listening to music blocks out the sound of the bike approaching and audible warnings from the cyclist.

Running/walking 3 to 4 abreast is just rude and inconsiderate. These people force cyclists and other runners moving at a faster rate of speed to have to move into the opposite lane and into on-coming traffic to pass. This in turn forces the on-coming traffic to have to avoid this potential collision. Blocking the entire lane is in my experience a runner/walker issue as most cyclists traveling at a fast pace ride single file.

A final issue I’d like to address is children/toddlers. Yes, I know the CCT is open for all people of our community to use. But parents:

THE CCT IS NOT THE PLACE TO TEACH CHILDREN TO RIDE A BIKE

THE CCT IS NOT THE PLACE TO TAKE CHILDREN ON A SUNDAY RIDE/STROLL WITH YOU.

The volume of cyclists and the speed makes the CCT inappropriate for these activities. If children can’t ride in a straight line, are scared by being passed and don’t understand the concept of checking behind and around them before changing lanes (riding or walking) you are placing your child and others at significant risk if you take them on the CCT.  See the CCT use survey for detailed information.

Generally speaking if you ride/run/walk with awareness and consideration for the other users the CCT is a wonderful multi-use trail. As I said earlier, consideration is usually the case for people on the CCT. However it only takes one person to place others in dangerous situations or to get tempers flaring.

July 20, 2008 Posted by | social media | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Georgetown University Is Hard To Get To

As a graduate student at Georgetown University (GU) I’ve discovered Georgetown (Gtown) and GU are hard to get to.  There is no Metro station in Georgetown.  Over the years of working in DC occasionally you see articles about why there is no metro station in Gtown.  I don’t know if they’re true but at this point that doesn’t matter; only the reality that there is no metro stop counts.  So if you don’t live or work within walking distance you’re out luck.

The available options to get to Gtown are driving, DC Metro Bus, Georgetown Circulator bus, taxi or bicycle.  There are some Gtown specific buses that run from Gtown to the Dupont Circle metro and Rosslyn metro, but they have the same issues (see below) as the Metro and Circulator buses.  Also GU has some type of bus system but I’m not familiar enough with the university’s buses to discuss them.

As far driving goes the parking in Gtown is a nightmare.  Driving yourself is the most convenient way to get to Gtown.  Of course you have to fight the DC rush hour and drivers should be wary because the DC meter maids are always out in force generating additional revenue for the city to waste.  They love Gtown because the parking is so bad and residents have special stickers for parking in Gtown.  Take a local spot for more than two hours and you’re likely to have present from the district on your windshield after class.
Georgetown terrain map by Google
Taking a DC Metro Bus or the Georgetown Circulator bus is great for getting to Gtown but not GU.  When I don’t drive to GU I usually take one of these buses from work.  All in all you can’t beat the price of a bus ride on either Metro or the Circulator to Gtown.  However if you ride either of these buses you have to deal with buses where the air conditioning may not work, be packed in the bus like an Army cattle bus and believe it or not sometimes unsavory DC co-riders.  The real problem with the bus is where it drops you off.

You can usually get off either of the various buses some where on M Street or Wisconsin Avenue.  That’s great if you’re going to Gtown.  If you’re going to GU being dropped off at M or Wisconsin isn’t so great.

At GU the term “Hill Top” refers to many things, for good reason.  If you haven’t been to GU when you go there you’ll discover GU is on top of a sizeable hill.  If the bus drops you off at say M and Wisconsin, a popular drop off point, you’ve got a 15 minute walk up hill to GU.  The season really affects the quality of the walk.  Now in the summer, with the typical DC heat and humidity, it’s terrible.  I have to wear a suit to work.  ☹  By the time I get to GU I’m soaked.

Taking a taxi is great because you get dropped off where you want and don’t have to walk up any of Gtown’s hills.  But as you might guess it’s the most expensive way to get to Gtown/GU.  Ten dollars (from the vicinity of the White House) compared to one dollar on the Circulator and I believe one dollar and thirty five cents on the Metro bus.

Being a cyclist myself I’d love to ride my bike to Gtown.  Gtown has a thriving bike community and several high end bicycle shops on the western end of M street for all your biking needs.  However biking from home to work to GU in my suit or bringing a change of clothes and carrying my books and laptop just isn’t going to work so that’s out.

Well it just isn’t easy but is always an adventure trying to get to GU / Gtown.  Too bad Gtown wasn’t included as a stop when the Metro Rail system was built.

June 11, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment