‘Twas the night before eCore holiday break and all through the Georgia ONmyLINE
Not a keyboard was clicking; the fingers had all stopped;
The books were all stacked on the shelves now with care,
The students had closed them, hardly remembering they were thar’,

The eCore students felt relieved to be resting at last,
Finally they could go to sleep without seeing 3 AM come & go past;
They felt like a load had been taken off their shoulders,
Not until January would they have to open any more folders!

While the students were all busy planning their spectacular holiday tastes,
The instructors were frantic grading papers in eCore deadline haste;
Rushing to the malls to buy presents, presents and more presents,
The students eagerly awaited the warm butter crescents.

“This is the life” one of them said to the other;
“I’m so glad we are out of school”, no more of the smother
Peppermint Mocha lattes at Starbucks taste so wonderful,
How can we make this holiday more grateful;

When going to the mall to buy gifts, for all that shopping fun;
They came across a soup kitchen and knew what had to be done,
Not once were they thinking about their computers at home all alone,
Just the holiday lights and how brightly they shone!

Celebrating the holiday, they never thought about school once;
No sitting in front of a screen, under the dimly lit sconce,
There was shopping and eating, gift wrapping and parties;
They had get-togethers, sleep overs, show times, those little smarties!

The computers were so bored; never challenged during break,
Most the time they leave them on hibernate,
They were getting no action whatsoever,
Not even the mouse,
Facebook and Twitter was the highlight of their day,
and even that didn’t light up the house.

Time is running low, only a few more days for fun and folly
eCore registration has now begun,
The dazzle of the lights is starting to dim,
 All of this holiday nonsense wearing them thin.

They know the important thing in life is their education,
So back to classes they go with virile satiation;
As well eCore instructors eagerly await the students return
For teaching these classes, their passions do burn!

It won’t be long now…the students will begin logging into classes,
The first day is January 9th, they will come in large masses;
The students will take down textbooks from dusty shelves,
And back to studying they will focus as they discipline themselves.

They spring to their desks as computer screens are aglow,
Then they think to themselves “Oh boy! Here we go!”

eCore students login, make introductions, and start this grand journey,
It’s an adventure…online eCore learning;
Discussion Boards come alive with activity,
As the students begin learning as is their proclivity!

Happy Holidays to all and to all a Nice Break!

– Written by Dawn Senfeld & Corri Johansen
eCore student, Steven Dunn, is flying high on a cloud of success in his General Manager position at Priority Jet. He is a former deputy sheriff, firefighter and emergency medical technician. In 2006 he took off in a different direction to begin a career in a field where his passion lies with 3001, Inc., as an Airborne Sensor Operator.

In 2009, Steven joined Priority Jet and then in May of this year he was promoted to General Manager! “Without this particular class [eCore COMM 1100], I may not be where I am today in my career. Learning how to articulate plans and communicate those plans to peers and business clients is one of the most valuable aspects a manager can exhibit. Using the lessons learned throughout this course played an integral part of having the leadership skills needed to take Priority Jet, as a team, to new heights,” Steven says.

Steven says that he has “always had a love for aviation and airplanes in general. I can remember as a child, parking on Loop Rd. at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson with my parents and just watching the airplanes take off and land. When I was 3 or 4 years old, I flew from California to Georgia on an airliner and recall keeping my nose stuck to the window while watching the fun things happening with the wings during flight. Back then you could also talk to the pilots in the cockpit because they weren’t required to keep their door closed. I remember the Delta Airlines flight attendant giving me my first set of “wings” that I still keep in a trunk in my attic.” When he decided to get a degree, Steven says he wanted to do something that would keep his interest through each class, so he decided to major in something he loves.

Steven added, "Believe it or not, I have a fear of heights. I love flying airplanes but you can’t force me on the roof of a small house. The only thing I fear more than heights is public speaking. I dreaded the thought of being required to take this COMM 1100 course. Wow, what an experience! My instructor, Dr. Mike Rogers, has a great sense of humor and chimed in on our discussions to keep them alive. I have never had a class where the students were so passionate about the aspects of the course. We learned quickly that everyone in the class shared the same fear of speaking in public. For some, meeting a single person in public was as stressful as speaking to a group of people. The textbook and course taught me how to deal with those fears while understanding that anxiety is normal. We were encouraged to speak on topics we were passionate about.  It was amazing to see how each of us progressed throughout the course through communicating.  I learned a great deal about my past personal experiences and how I could better communicate, given the same situation, in the future by doing something as simple as “listening”. Imagine a new world, post-class atmosphere, where you view each conversation in a new light while absorbing valuable information you may have previously missed. This is what I walked away with and use every day."

When asked what would you say to other eCore students in your position, what would it be? Steven stated, “Life is short and waiting for tomorrow will mean another day wasted. It is NEVER too late to start or finish what you have always wanted to do. Integrity and hard work do pay well, but more than likely when you least expect it. Managing a business, raising a family on a single income, and juggling a college curriculum simultaneously is one of the hardest things that I have ever tried to accomplish; however, the greatest things in life are well worth the extra effort. Obtaining a college education in Georgia is one the most cost effective ways you can boost self-confidence – thanks to Federal Grants and HOPE, it is almost free! While I sit at my desk after work or browse the internet at home, my CSU classes are never more than a few clicks away. It’s great!”

Steven’s success can be an inspiration to us all!

As our eCore semester gets into full swing, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed and drowning in a sea of stress. I know I do at times! Let’s talk about ways to deal with and alleviate some of this stress before it becomes unmanageable:

1. Time is your GREATEST asset in life. Try to stay organized. Plan your work & work your plan. Everything is manageable if you have a plan.

2. Time management means learning to say "NO". Prioritize. Decide that this is not selfish. When you take care of yourself first, you will have more energy for others later.

3. Skipping class means MORE stress. In the case of online class, this would be skipping assignments or discussions. If you miss these crucial aspects of your course, you will get behind and this causes more stress.  

4. Sleep SAVES time. Sleep deprivation can cause more fatigue and therefore studying
will take even longer. 

5. Procrastinators CAN master time management.
  • Break large tasks up into bite-sized pieces and estimate how much time each piece will take. Working backwards from your deadline, schedule in each piece of your task.
  • Take breaks often. Every 45 minutes take a 15-minute break. Do something totally different that relaxes you or invigorates you - take a walk, listen to music, whatever refreshes you and reduces stress.
  • Know yourself. What time of day do you have the most energy? If you are a morning person, don't attempt overwhelming tasks at night and vice versa. 
  • Study with a friend. Just make sure you choose friends that won't help you procrastinate! (Ex. Talking too much!)
Share your ideas and thoughts with us here.  I'm sure your fellow eCore students are interested in hearing how you manage your time.You never know how your ideas could help someone else!

Watch eCore's own Dr. Roger Marietta showcase his rapping talents in his face-to-face classroom. As an associate professor and politician, Dr. Roger Marietta continually engages both students and constituents with his wit and clever approaches to the serious business of politics.
An associate professor of political science at Darton College, Dr. Marietta has also been teaching Political Science 1101 with UWG eCore for half a decade (5 years!). However, he is no newbie to online learning; he is a seasoned distance learning professor. He taught web-based as well as cable TV courses during his career. Wow...online learning has really evolved since then!

Dr. Marietta is also the former mayor of Fayetteville, GA, and is presently the elected Ward 4 Commissioner in the City of Albany. He also serves on the Dougherty County Board of health and the Albany Aviation Commission.