“So Dennis, what did you learn in school today?”…Part 2

Putting the Starbucks thing to rest!  Finding the Good Vibe Spot

Ok, I think I have this thing settled about working away from my desk.  Despite my early skepticism I’ve come to like it!  Coming to you live now from the Student University Center at Clayton State University.  I just completed my second week of classes.  What I decided to do was spend the day on each school’s campus, avoiding  the hassle of traveling into drive time traffic to get to school, while also enjoying the secondary benefit of exploring.

Books-a-Million and Barnes and Nobles’ major drawback was the lack of power outlets.  Somehow for me, this Mac is giving just about  three hours of juice.  Of course I’m running iTunes at the same time but that shouldn’t have that much impact.  Maybe it’s all in my mind,  but last week I posted from B&N, and it seemed like I was using almost a third of the power per hour.  I ended up switching over to my iPad to complete the draft, synced it, and then go back to the Mac to post, with about 18% power showing as I start posting.

So two major goals for campus trip: a lot of power outlets and seats with good views.   My first out of office experience at Books found me  sitting damn near behind the coffee counter.  There was only one outlet that had a simple power strip plugged into the bottom socket and I had to stretch my cord to the max to use it.  B&N had a nice table I commandeered near a window, but no power.  With those two requirements in mind I was hoping for a good experience.

Student 2.0

First up was Clayton State, home of my voiceover course, and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a much nicer campus than I expected.  Confession time: I had a negative pre-conceived notion based on the county it was in.  Whenever I’ve been proven wrong about a negative assumption or statement I’ve always responded with “Glad to be wrong!”  I  don’t have to aways be right, especially on a negative thing.  Why would I not want a good thing to happen?  In this case, I have to give the school it props!!!

As I was walking around the campus I kept looking for “the spot”, a seat with power and a good view.  Discovering all the good ones taken, I ended up in a cubicle in the library.  NEVER AGAIN.  I write in bursts, lots of words flowing fast and furious (and mis-spelled) for a few minutes.  Then I’ll sit back, think about what I wrote, take in what’s happening around me,  and  then dive in again.  No scenery in the cubicle, and what I could see in the library was boring!  This visit today finds me sitting upstairs in the student center,  a good spot that meets my requirements.

Yesterday was Emory’s turn, where I’m taking my writing classes.  I had a negative preconception  blown away at CSU, and my positive expectations for Emory didn’t even come close to matching what I encountered!  Everything I expected and more.  As I did at CSU, my first task was to cruise the campus.  One of the things that never crossed my mind till just now, I never gave a thought about my age, being n the midst of all of these students.  And as I think about it now, I decide it’s nothing to think further about.  It’s not striking me as something to dwell on. What’s foremost  in my mind is just absorbing the fact that here I am again learning!  Student 2.0  Not my old corporate training, but training for MY goals!  Here’s  tangible, physical proof that everything I planned to do in Dennis 2.0 is now in play… and yesterday was the day I really, truly felt so good about it.  I’ve got books, homework, and a student ID number. The Christian in me gave many Thanks to God for this and for the wife’s support.

So it was another Good Vibe Spot search in Emory’s Woodruff library,  where I found a seat on the third floor bridge level.  Before getting there  I ran into a scene that stuck into my mind.   On the first floor there is a whiteboard along an entire length of wall, with several tables and chairs arranged a log it.  There were students at a few of them, and I watched one table where a young lady began drawing  what I think were molecular diagrams, or something of that type. I decided I would find out what it was, and as I’m thinking the,  the feelings I described started to pop up.  A few tables away a group of students had just left, and based on what they boarded they must have been the med students.

X———-> A) No Disease

Y————–> B) Disease

I was really impressed with how serious they all seemed.  “This,” I thought, “is where cures are going to be found.”

After I  settled in I wanted to get some shots for this post.  Regrettably, I had left my camera  home, so it was the phone camera to the rescue.  Emory has an exhibition going on in the gallery on the floor I was on: “Shadows of the Sun:  The Cosby’s, the Black Sun Press & the Lost Generation”   It focuses on the writers, artists, jazz musicians, and others who left America for Paris in the 1920’s, including people such as Josephine Baker and Paul Robeson.  The exhibit featured postcards written by many of them, and I thought I’d get  a few pictures for this post.  Ah, bad move.  AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT… that’s the moment an administrator happened to juuuust be exiting the elevator near where I was.  I have to give her credit, she was very nice about it, but I had committed a sin: NO pictures allowed.  So this one shot was it.  There were lots more to see on all four sides of the gallery.  Based on the quality of this shot, I’m glad I didn’t take any more pics.  Lesson learned:  go ahead and keep the camera a lot closer than where it was in the car trunk yesterday… a lesson applied today.

Unfortunately, that has led to anther lesson learned.  I’m carrying a laptop case with my Mac and iPad, and I’m also carrying  a camera messenger bag … and that stuff gets heavy!!! I need to look at maybe getting a backpack that can house both the camera and laptop and iPad and the 10,000 pencils, pens, highlighters, sheets of paper, paper clips, folders, mini-stapler, etc. that I insist on carrying around.  Never know when you might have to turn in a term paper on the spot!

“Oh, I see now. You’re a Continuing Ed student wanting internet access, huh?”

The only negative in my campus fun is the fact that the Continuing Education buildings are NOT on the main campus but close by, less than about 5 minutes away if no traffic.  Why is that???  What consigns us to the East Campus or the Briarcliff campus?  Is it our gray hairs??  I need to ask questions!  Getting a few administrative things done on the main campus has sometimes been a little frustrating.

Well, I’ve doubled the recommended word count for  a readable blog, so the next time I come back to this topic (you’ve been warned) I’ll talk about the classes.  I’ve learned a LOT in these two weeks, and one of those things prompts me to issue an apology.  I’ve avoided using a lot of adjectives and adverbs.  I didn’t drop in any prose about  “how the walls echoed with the laughter, frustrations, and aspirations of those young souls who, like me at their age, never gave a thought to the obligations beyond the world of their laughter, frustrations, and aspirations…”


I painted just a “dry” setting for “what I learned.”  I know now I should work a little harder to paint better word pictures, but I swear to you I won’t go “metaphysically deep!”  Remember, this a journal chronicling my growth repeat growth.  So please stick with me.  Not sure I can turn in a three page essay about a brick just yet.  If the brick talked to me, well then it’s on!



  1. Great to hear you are enjoying your classes. You might not have painted a world with wild descriptive words but your enjoy of your exploration came through none the less 🙂

    I think finding that perfect spot for writing is very tricky. My only suggestion would be to get an extra battery to take with you along with the rest of your necessary kit. Might I suggest a forklift truck to carry your equipment? Giggle.

    Oh, and the student centre looks amazing! Happy Writing!

    1. Thanks!!!! I seriously carry way too much stuff around with me! This weekend I moved from being awestruck to “oh crap, I DO have homework!” So my walking around in starry-eyed wonder is over.

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