Unintended Consequences

It seems that each life experience brings something new to learn about and understand. Many of my students know that I recently had another round of eye surgery. I am hoping this time I will be able to regain some vision (fingers are crossed). That being said, this happened during the semester. Accordingly the college placed me on leave since I was out more than 3 days. Fair enough. However, this is where my “law of unintended consequences” comes into play. As part of the administrative decision to place me on leave, I was also informed that I can do no work for the college until my doctor formally approves my return to work. Yep, unintended consequences. What this means is that I can do no work for the college… period. Therefore, I can not provide any guidance into the grade calculations for students this semester. I can not answer any email messages and so forth. I can not also review books for the fall semester. Nor can I polish materials for the spring semester classes. Depending on when I am released to return to work, this could have a major impact on the classes I will be teaching in the spring semester. It also means I can not complete many of the year end reports which I am always asked to complete by administration. I find this ironic. Curiously since I have recently created a technology think tank at the college, it also means that I can’t do any thinking for that group. I find this also ironic. Since I have a great deal of time at the moment (I can only use a computer for an hour a day – maximum), one would think (yep, that was a pun) that I would be able to develop a number of flash foresights to assist the think tank initiative. However, that would be work for the college as well. Sigh. This is a prime example of my law of unintended consequences. At the very time I can devote the majority of my time to helping the organization, the organization is preventing me from even thinking about how to help.

So, what am I doing with my time? Learning. I am using my lynda.com account to the maximum (ok, it is only for about an hour a day), but it is still an opportunity for me to learn about various technologies I have not had time to fully investigate. I am also spending more time using other means to communicate with colleagues (remember the phone) and focusing (yep another pun – sorry) on other initiatives which have been on the “back burner” for way too long.

2 thoughts on “Unintended Consequences”

  1. Mark, this is unfortunate news. I really hope you get better. Takes a tough individual to not gloom over bad luck. It would be great to have you visit ISU sometime. Have you considered teaching for ISU Web Development? The professor who teaches the majority of the classes in the web field is strongly disliked by most of students – being one of the reasons why many will choose to not go into web development. Unfortunately, he is the only one that teaches those web classes. Bee Lee Lim (http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=8244). Hopefully you will get better and come visit our campus. Explain to ISU web development what they need to do to turn the web dev program around!

  2. Hi Kevin:

    Thanks for the kind words. You are correct with your insight that students are the ones most affected by this “law of unanticipated consequences.” As Director of Education for WebProfessionals.org, I recommend anyone reading these comments and considering taking classes in web design and development find an accredited Web Professional Academy. There are relatively few in the IS (yes, the one I teach at is one). Personally, I have reviewed a number of programs throughout the US and Canada and have found they are all over the map (ok, that was a pun). Some are great; many are mediocre, and many have not materially been updated in a decade. Unless there is an accrediting body (WebProfessionals.org is a great example), there is no quality control. I am not talking about the broader accreditation that all colleges adhere to; I reference specific accreditation of the individual program (which focuses on the details).


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