[Actionchix] Intro, and questions.

Leslie Vincent lvincent at dtcc.edu
Wed May 17 07:31:47 EST 2006

Hello! I guess I should introduce myself and give my pedigree before I 
start hitting people up for help!

My name is Leslie, and I just discovered LinuxChix and I'm thrilled 
about it! I'm an oldtimer when it comes to IT (first programming course 
in 1975 at age 16, and I've not stepped away from the computer since 
then), but I'm relatively new to Linux. In my first life, post-BS in 
Systems Engineering, I was a programmer, using fortran & assembler 
language to develop CAD/CAM system routines, first as an intern in '78 
then full time in 1980. That lasted 3 years until my skull was about to 
explode from boredom; I was a good programmer, I just didn't like doing 
it 8-10 hours a day. I did a short stint in graduate school (mega debt, 
no degree), then finally moved into the training and support side of 
the fence, first with minis and programming, then PCs, and finally 
networking (mostly Banyan - anyone remember that? it was UNIX based!) 
which became my niche. It was all corporate world stuff until '99 when 
I had my midlife crisis, moved to the Delaware beaches, and was lucky 
enough to get my dream job teaching here at the local community 
college. I teach networking topics, plus some applications and XP as 

I'm in the process of FINALLY replacing our one-semester Novell course 
with a Linux course, which I'll teach starting this fall. My "problem" 
is that I'm not someone who is content to just grab a textbook and just 
spew whatever that says out to the students for the whole semester, or 
focus just on preparing the students to take a certification test, 
though either of those options would be much easier for me to do! I try 
to design my classes to reflect as much of the "real world" as 
possible. But this is the first course I've taught or developed here 
for which I have zero "real world" experience, so I'm looking for as 
much feedback from professionals in the field as I can get.

And fyi, I've also joined the "NewChix" list because I'll be the first 
to admit, even directly to my students, that Linux is all relatively 
new to me. Having 30+ years of putzing around with computers, even as a 
"professional," doesn't mean I automatically understand stuff I haven't 
used in the real world yet. I'm going to admit freely to what I don't 
know before I give a B.S. answer to a student while will later PROVE 
how much I don't know!

So finally, here is my primary request: If any of you have a few 
minutes, I would greatly appreciate your looking over my course 
outline. I list the basic goals and audience for this class, then break 
down what I plan to cover each week. I also have some questions about 
recommended resources. I'm seriously considering not using a regular 
textbook at all, but instead having students purchase a really good 
reference manual, and use a combination of some of the open source 
training materials that are out there, together with materials that I 
develop myself. I just haven't found any textbook that comes close to 
having the type of focus that I'm shooting for with this class. I'm not 
sure how you do things here - I can either post what I have to this 
list directly (I'd probably do it as two separate threads, one for 
feedback on the outline, the other for my resource-related questions), 
or I can email what I have to anyone who is willing to review it, to 
keep the material and review comments off-list. FYI, the course outline 
is two pages in Word, plus I have another half-dozen or so questions.

Please let me know which would be the most appropriate way to proceed. 
Thanks in advance for any help you can give!!

Leslie Vincent
CIS Instructor
Delaware Tech
Georgetown, DE 19947
302-856-5400 x2040

More information about the Actionchix mailing list