Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bucket Lists (Watt Thoughts)

Bucket Lists (Watt Thoughts)
It has gotten popular to talk about bucket lists or what things people intend to do before they die. Life dos not tell us how long we have so we may have short or long lives and we really can’t plan for which as accidents occur and cause unplanned untimely deaths.

After having taken a major trip last summer out west I have had lots of people say that must have been on my bucket list and what else is on it. Given that and seeing untimely deaths close to me recently I have reflected back on what goals earlier in life were and how well have I done.

Thinking back to high school and college and as I was looking at what I hoped to accomplish in life these are items I remember. A few will be noted as high school or college as they changed then.

1. To see all 50 of the states in the USA
2. To get bachelor’s degree and probably master’s degree
3. To teach biology (high school)
4. To teach about computers (college)
5. Be a successful computer person (college)
6. To write a book
7. To write a newspaper column
8. To travel internationally
9. To do some type Christian ministry including preaching
10. To make enough money to do things want to do and to help others
11. To have wonderful close friends
12. To succeed in politics in some way
13. To do lots of photography
14. To do some type of art

So how have I done?

1. I have been to 49 states and flown over and taken pictures of the one I have not touched which is Alaska. I am pleased with that it is accomplished. I may set foot in Alaska still, but the mission I accomplished.

2. I got a BA in Political Science in 1977 from Winthrop University and then got a MBA in 1979 from Winthrop. In 1983 I got the opportunity to enroll in a doctorate program at University of Georgia and Georgia Southern. In 1989 I earned my EdD thereby going well beyond my education goal. In 2007-2009 I took 3 online graduate courses in computers at Georgia Southwestern toward a graduate certificate in computers but did not complete other the classes. I was busy with consulting work and teaching fulltime.

3. I gave up on the biology teaching idea in college when got into computers. However when I moved in current office at GNTC I sort of completed this one as I am sharing the office with the biology instructors and am across the hall from the biology lab.

4. I have been teaching about computers on the college level since 1979. I have taught programming to microcomputers to networking to database to Internet. I have served on the Georgia statewide committee of CIS technical college instructors as an officer for most of the past 20 years that develops and maintains the state curriculum. I am currently chair of networking and was just re-elected for 2 more years last week. I have served several times as overall chair and also as chair of the programming, microcomputer specialist and database areas.

5. I have done computer consulting on a part time basis since 1979 and di that successfully on a full time basis from 2005 to 2007. I worked as computer operator/assistant programmer back in 1981 at Sea Island and was a Senior Programmer Analyst for PMSC in 1996-97. From 1981 to 1996 in addition to teaching at Swainsboro Tech I developed and maintained their IT structure including writing a multi 100,000 line COBOL program for student records and also did programs for payroll, accounting, etc. I networked the college. I have developed and maintain web pages for a number of organizations starting in 1995 and continuing to now.

6. I have authored one book Structured COBOL for Technical Students which was published by Prentice Hall in 1996. I also have co-authored a book on reviewing for the A+ exam which was published in 1997. I also wrote my dissertation which was printed in hard back form in 1989. In addition I have gotten to serve as a reviewer for a number of technical books and some fiction books also.

7. My watt thoughts article that I started on the Internet back in 1997 has been published at different times in a number of newspapers. I started a question answer article a couple of years ago that is published in the Swainsboro Forest Blade, Walker County Messenger and Catoosa County News each week. I also did a column for about 5 years on technology about once a month for the Georgia Kiwanian. For the last 2 year I have been the editor of the K-T Notes (newsletter for the Kentucky-Tennessee Kiwanis) and do a short article in it.

8. I traveled in Mexico and Canada and the Bahamas in high school and college. In 1999 I had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Brazil. In 2005 I got the opportunity to go to China with a group of presidents of Georgia technical colleges which was a really neat but busy trip. So I have been half way around the world.

9. In high school I had the opportunity to preach several times on youth Sunday. For the past 20 years I have run the sound system at my church which included recording on cassette tape for many years although now on the computer. I put many of those sermons on the church web site. For the past 6 years or so I have also run the video system at church which puts words and notes on screens in the sanctuary which helps many people to follow the sermon or read words to scripture and songs. I have taught Sunday school for about 20 years and for many years was every Sunday but now about once a month. I have been a conference Certified Lay Speaker for the United Methodist church for a number of years and fill in for ministers at several different churches. In addition I speak at the Sunday night service at my church about once a month. I have gotten lots of opportunities to speak in SE Georgia. I also do the web site for two Methodist churches and send out their bulletins each week by email to members.

10. Although I have never made huge amounts of money I have always made enough to do the things I want to do and to be able to help others. I support several ministries and charities and help individuals. I have been able to travel and live a comfortable life. I have also had a couple times where money was tight (fall 1980 when I was unemployed it got down to pennies literally to pay rent and I was doing any type job including cleaning after banquets, cleaning houses, cleaning racquet ball courts including the locker rooms so I have literally cleaned toilets.

11. I have had a number of wonderful friends over the years that I have done lots with and have learned to love and have gotten loved. My friends have been there for me in the good and bad times and meant a lot and I hope I have been the same for them. Who knows how many people I have helped move and how many times people have helped move me. They have listened to me at times and me to them and we have also shared the high moments of life.

12. I majored in Political Science in college. I ran for a number of offices in high school and college serving as student government treasurer in high school and college. Although I won a number of races I also lost my share, but getting my message out was fun. In Jaycees I served on the local level in a number of positions including as president of my club that had about 75 members. I went on to the state level and served as district director, region director and as a state VP. I also served in a few appointed positions. On the national level I served as national representative for the Shooting Education (gun safety for kids) program for three years and traveled to a number of states. In Kiwanis I have served as an officer in 2 different clubs and served as technology chair for the Georgia Kiwanis for about 5 years and am serving for the past 2 years as editor of the K-T Notes for the Kentucky-Tennessee Kiwanis. I am pleased how I have done politically on the local to national level being able to serve people. I have also held positions on local and state levels in several other groups.

13. I sot tons of pictures using film for many years. I shot about 1000 slides and lots of prints. In 1999 I started shooting digital and have shot 10s of thousands of pictures. Last summer while assisting with the DNBBGCM (Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match) I shot about 100 pictures which you can see on their web site and I have done that several years. I also shot about 2000 pictures during July on my trip west. (I am still working on them as I shoot in raw format and then do basic editing to them to get exposure correct). They are at http://tripwestjuly2011.shutterfly.com You can also look at many of the pictures I have shot digitally over the years (and a few show on film) at dwightwatt.shutterfly.com You can see the 1000 or so pictures I shot in China there

14. Although I have never seen myself as an artist I have done a number of different artworks. In college I did some paintings. Since then I learned to do stained glass and did a number of pieces an have several pieces in different stages of development. I learned to blacksmith a few years ago and have done a few items by blacksmithing. I also learned to do molten glass and did some neat things but never have done any more. I have also done lots of photos that I have put in art shows and am proud of the art touch.

I have accomplished the many things I set out to do and if you notice I am still doing a number of them like being elected last week to networking chair again. I am constantly learning new stuff in computers and technology and lots of people showing me things. Working on my trip pictures last night reminded me of several things Michelle had taught me to do when working with my pictures. I continue to shoot pictures and am doing some videos now. I shot a number of one minute or so videos last summer on the trip and at match but have not looked at them yet or posted them but hope to do so soon. The newspaper column gets harder coming up with different topics after over 120 of them.

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