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Back to College March 1, 2011

Filed under: Everything — Jason Olson @ 7:08 pm
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I am soo excited! Now that Jaimie has completed her degree, it is finally my turn and I get to wrap up my 4 year degree. After a lot of looking around and consideration, I have settled on Western Governors University, which is an online, competency  based, university which is regionally accredited. What does that mean? Well most trade and online schools are nationally accredited, which might sound more impressive, but the “true” accreditation that counts, the one most people are really talking about are the regional accreditation. It shares the same accreditation that the local state universities have, and that is what counts.

What makes them different is that they are competency based, which means that you receive course credit when you can establish that you are competent in a subject. So if the subject takes you 5 weeks or 5 months to become competent, it doesn’t matter. Whenever you are ready, you can take the exam, which takes many different forms. What this enables is for you to accelerate the pace in which you take courses if you already have a lot of life experience.  This also helps people which need more time to grasp a subject, so they don’t have a deadline, per se, of the final or mid-term coming up and it is a pass/fail and if you don’t grasp it then you take the entire course all over again. Instead you have all the time in the world to master the subject. Of course, with any college program, you are expected to make academic progress to risk going on probation, but you would expect that of any legitimate institution.

So what degree am I pursuing? I am looking at completing my Bachelors of Science in Information Technology – Network Design Emphasis. This program will take be around 24 months to complete, give or take, based on the course load I can handle while working 50 hour weeks, and spending quality family time 🙂

If you’re interested, you can check them out at http://www.wgu.edu — of course, if you let me know I could send you a link which waives your application fee, and I might get a little bonus as well. Just let me know!

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Beach Day: Whiskytown Lake May 19, 2009

Filed under: Everything — Jason Olson @ 6:38 am
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Ready for the lake!

Ready for the lake!

It was a beautifully hot day here Redding, about 106 around our house. So we decided to pull out the 2-man raft we purchased three years ago, and see how it works on the lake. We took a short drive down to Whiskytown Lake, just 8 miles outside of Redding.

The first thing we noticed is that the temperature dropped almost 10 degrees in this short little drive. When we arrived, we (meaning I), pumped up the raft. We stopped on the Western side of the lake where there is a camp group and beach with a protected swimming area. The raft, while stating it is a two-man raft, really fits one-man and a small boy. I have no idea how my wife and I would actually fit in here without our legs hanging out the ends – very uncomfortable at that.

Hi Mama!

Hi Mama!

Mathias and I climbed in and started to row out, while Jaimie found a nice shady spot to read. We had a blast but before long, the first oar broke at the join – which made it a real pain to get around. Then again, Ti was just having fun splashing the oars in the water getting us both really, really wet! His favorite thing was to have be row with one-and-a-half oars after the ducks and to pull along side drift wood, which he’d pickup. Then he’d dip the wood in the water, and let it drip on my legs, and then repeat.

A bit later on, we pulled up along side Jaimie for a snack break. And somewhere between bit 3 and 4, Mathias pushed the boat away from the shore and hopped in, waving and saying “see you later”. Fortunately I had my water bottle connected to the tether, which slowly floated along with him, and was able to grab him without any problems. And we set out again to go around the swimming hole, and go around in circles chasing the ducks who know a lot more about moving around in the water than the two of us!

See you later daddy

See you later daddy

Eventually it was time to go home, so we rowed towards the ramp area and got out of the boat, which Mathias was pretty hesitant to do. And after I got out and started organizing everything, guess what he tried to do? Yep, set sail again. So Jaimie and I picked-up the raft by the side handles and carried the raft with Ti in it. About 50 feet down the way, we set to boat down, so he could walk and I could simply carry the raft. Before Jaimie had a chance to grab his hand, he was off like a shot back towards the lake! He just couldn’t get enough of the water! So I had to drag him, kicking and screaming all the way back to the car.

Once in the warm car, he was pretty happy, especially since we were heading home for dinner.

[Edit: I corrected the title on 5/20 because we were at Whiskytown, not Weaverville – which is around an hour long drive outside of Redding and without any significant lake or beach to speak of.]