Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Can you hear me now? Sort of?

I  always seem to get poor cell reception when I am at home. This has been a problem in Acworth, Kennesaw, and Smyrna across numerous providers including AT&T, T-Mobile, and now Verizon. 

After several unsuccessful attempts to call Jenna on my way home I decided to stop by my local Verizon store. I walked in, added myself to the electronic queue, and started to browse phones. I received service extremely quickly and I was pleased with the entire experience. I purchased the Samsung Smooth, a relatively cheap phone, with the expectation of upgrading to an Android device once available. The Smooth is a CMDA phone and has four possible bars of reception.

I placed a couple of calls after leaving the store - each of which were perfectly clear. I only had three bars; however, my hopes were getting higher. In contrast my AT&T phone did have perfect signal outside of the store.

Once I arrived home the new started to feel just like the old. My signal dipped to 2 bars and then started dropping to one or zero at random. I placed another call which lasted about 15 minutes and it sounded pretty clear. There were a few small issues, what I can only describe as sound artifacts, but nothing major. While the call quality was ok it's not enough of an improvement for me to sacrifice my Android device, pay $200 for a low-end phone, and still deal with poor signal.

Tomorrow I plan on going to my local AT&T store to purchase a MicroCell device which I only hope improves things. It will, of course, be returned if it fails.  My Verizon account will be cancelled within the next couple of days as well.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

No more online classes.

Over the past 8 weeks I have been taking Calculus I as an online course from Kennesaw State University. Throughout the entire course I have complained about the structure, content, and complete lack of instructor interaction. Tonight I decided to withdraw from the class.

This course has been a burden and overwhelming source of stress. I expected the course to be challenging when I enrolled; however, I did not expect it to consume nearly all of my time outside of work. Every night I came home to eat and work on assignments. This really reduced the amount of time I could spend with Jenna or Logan. All of this and I still do not feel I have a true understanding of the content.

I have watched numerous videos that did not fully explain the content, read cryptic passages in my text, and completed homework tasks that would make sense but not form a complete picture. I feel cheated that I had to pay an additional $100 per credit hour to take an online course that resulted in a professor answering a few emails and grading 3 tests - one take home and 2 given by an assistant.

I am very disappointed that I was unable to complete the online course but I cannot dedicate the amount of time required for now. I am already preparing to register for next semester so I may take the course on campus.