1. #51
    FossilMedic

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    metro Washingon DC
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    Default Going to college or getting the badge

    In my preferred world, a high school graduate will attend college and obtain an undergraduate bachelor’s degree PRIOR to getting a “real” job. GeorgeWendtCFI illustrates the values of going to college and getting to experiment and become an adult in a semi-protective environment.

    My teaching experience goes from high school vocational EMT (three years) to community college (20 years) through university (four years). My personal educational journey includes flunking out of engineering school, while living in a fire station and spending my parent’s money. I returned to obtain a bachelor and master degree years later.

    Firefighting is one of the few middle-class jobs not requiring college education as a pre-employment requirement. I think that distinction will evaporate in the next generation.

    THE BRUTALITY OF THE HIRING PROCESS

    Fire departments continue to hire as if it was 1899 – you are a slab of meat evaluated for your physical, mental and moral capabilities. The regional or local fire academy will provide the needed on-the-job training. Most of them do not care about your volunteer experience or existing fire service certifications. But many will treat you preferentially if you are a National Registry EMT/Paramedic.

    You may have forgotten what it is like to be on the outside with a burning desire to be a full-time firefighter. That desire results in an endless “what-if” game that reminds me of high school dating.

    I do not completely agree with Captain Bob’s approach, but his focus on only doing things to get the BADGE is like the suggestions I provide to younger wanna-be’s.

    There may be another reason why an 18 year old wants to go to work right away. Many graduates of American high schools lack the reading, mathematic or study skills to start freshman college.

    In the 1990’s the largest growth in Virginia undergraduate programs was the preparatory classes to raise incoming freshman skill sets in writing (English 001) and math (Math 003).

    MORE RECRUITS START THE JOB IN 2005 WITH COLLEGE EXPERIENCE

    My experience in the metro Washington DC area shows that the percentage of recruit firefighter candidates with college education is continuing to rise. From my Spring 2005 FIR program evaluation report:

    Newer firefighters are starting the job better educated. About 75% of new recruits will have 15 or more semester hours PRIOR to employment. Of that group, about half already have a bachelor degree. A few have graduate or professional degrees.

    Just like preparing for the Candidate Physical Aptitude Test, I believe that a career firefighter candidate will need to have a college education to succeed once off probation.

    IT IS EASIER GOING TO COLLEGE AT 19 THAN 29

    It is a no-brainer to appreciate that a single 19 year old living in a dorm will have an easier time completing college than a married 29 year old parent working as a firefighter.

    COLLEGE EDUCATED FIREFIGHTERS DO MUCH BETTER ON PROMOTIONAL EXAMS

    In a 1984 survey, 85% of the northern Virginia firefighters who scored high on the Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain or Battalion Chief promotional exam had taken at least 15 semester hours of college. I work with a career development coordinator for a large suburban fire department – that statistic remains valid in 2004.

    THE BRUTALITY OF RETIREMENT

    Many of the firefighters that started the job in the 1970’s are retiring. Most of them took a couple of fire science courses in preparing for promotional exams. They are discovering that they cannot use their valuable emergency service experience in their second career because they HAVE NO COLLEGE DEGREE.

    Over a third of the community college students I work with are the 40 to 50 somethings that are suddenly trying to cram credits so that they can qualify for federal homeland security jobs, positions as federal arson investigators or other real world jobs that require a bachelor degree as a pre-entry requirement.

    It is not pretty - they have the skills and experience but without a degree they never get past the application process.

    THE REALITY OF 21ST CENTURY FIRE SERVICE PROMOTIONS
    Right behind them are the 30 to 40 somethings that have to deal with a “sudden” change in department policy. They now need 30 semester hours of college credit to take the next Captain exam, or the new fire chief is passing over promotion candidates that do not have a degree. Some departments are requiring a two-year degree for first line supervisor and a bachelor degree for battalion chief and higher.

    MY OPINION:
    If you can, go to college and get a bachelor degree. Have fun, try out new things, see the world. Get your degree in whatever interests you, since 80% of your fellow graduates end up in jobs different than what their degree says.

    After you get your badge and get off probation, you can take whatever fire science, emergency management, WMD, ICS, or XYZ classes required by your department. Generally, they will pay for those classes.

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeWard; 02-13-2005 at 09:19 AM.

  2. #52
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    Default

    Why "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Certainly there are other things in life that are far more important than a badge. Family, health, friends, happiness and all those areas that have been covered here and more.

    The reason I use this slogan is because I often hear candidates who don't have a badge us these excuses. I have education, experience, training, been a volunteer, bunked, and have a burning desire to get this job. Got degrees, certificates, have every merit badge you could think of, yada, yada, yada. If it’s your real desire to become a firefighter, none of this is going to matter if you don't get a badge. You will still be the bridesmaid.

    I get calls from candidates all the time telling me about all their wonderful credentials. They have been testing 3, 5 or 7 years, have been number 30 on this list, 22 on that list, volunteer firefighter, AA in Fire Technology, BA degrees some medics and every certificate and merit badge you could imagine. I have to stop them before they get into warp speed with all their stuff. I do this with one simple statement: Do you have a badge? They go off again with more of their great stuff. I bring them back with: But, you do not have a badge? You are the bridesmaid. Never the bride. They may have great credentials but can't present the package at the interview. And if you can’t present the package, no matter what your credentilas, you will never, ever see a badge . . . Period!

    Many write e-mails like this: I know I have what it takes to make it as a full-timer.

    My reply: Yeah, they all say that. You know that. But you have to convince the oral board panel that you really do.

    SLAN wrote:
    “However, Captain Bob can "teach" people how to pass these interviews, and thus get a job, even though they really don't fit it.”

    Firebird wrote:
    “He did not tell me how to answer the questions from the board, he helped show me how my own personal life experiences related to the fire service and why my experiences were relevant.”

    People that are critical of our program usually don’t have a clue what we do. We try to shorten the learning curve to the closest point between candidate and the badge. Like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, we’re not going to give you anything you don’t already have. We’re just going to show you where it is.

    We don’t try to place a candidate in a profile. We encourage candidates to lace their answers with personal life experiences. Since no one else can tell a candidate’s life experience stories they can’t be placed in the mold of a profile. They become unique, fresh and convincing. In a recent fire academy half the recruits were our candidates. You couldn’t tell one from the other in the oral board because they were using their own stuff. Not a profile clone of everyone else.

    Why is it that candidates will pay big money for college programs, certification classes, EMT programs, books, fire academies, paramedic programs, put their life, relations and other careers on hold for a fire career? Then, there seems to be something sinister or wrong for someone to provide products with a proven track record for the part of the hiring process that is 100% of your score to get hired. The oral board.

    This is a life long passion to help candidates achieve their goal as a firefighter and gain that (yes) badge. No, it’s not about the money. With long-term investments in rental real estate, retirement system and deferred compensation we are set for life.

    We’ve been available for years to answer the large volume of phone calls and e-mails at no cost. Free college programs. Free articles. A web site with over 200 pages of Free "Inside Secrets How to Get a Badge", a weekly Free drawing for products that would improve you chances in getting a badge. A Free email newsletter.

    I work with candidates all the time like the following that never spent a dime on our programs. They utilized the FREE information off our web site, have phone calls and e-mail messages answered in helping them pursuit their badge:

    Today I'm writing with a sigh of relief. I have been offered a position with a dept. in Oregon. I want to thank everyone for the help and encouragement down the long path. I want to say a special thank you to Capt. Bob, for without his words of wisdom, I don't think I would be writing this letter. He took me under his wing and guided me through the dark waters of the orals and phych.

    This guy is for real, and for everyone who is unsure he never once made me feel like he was lobbying for my money. He just wanted me to succeed. There are some people out there who bash Capt. Bob and to those people I would like to say if you spent just fifteen minutes talking with him, or going through his web site you would quickly become a believer. Again, thank you everyone and good luck to you all! Josh

    Yes, we have products. We don’t hold a gun to any ones head to buy them. Do any of the classes or programs offer a refund if you’re not satisfied? Nope. We do. We offer a no questions asked full refund if someone is not satisfied with our products. We will refund their money and misery. No one has ever lost a penny with our products. They are at no risk except they might get a badge.

    It's a great feeling if you can be a part of the change in someone's life. Multiply that by over 2,246 candidates and counting that have received their badges through our program. Thousands more have been hired by using the free information on our web site and having their questions answered by phone or e-mail. I hope you will understand this is my reward. I have a great passion in seeing candidates get a badge. This is serious work.

    Here's Dan's testimony:

    Subject: I Got The Call!!

    Well after five years and 24 tests I finally got the call I have been waiting for. I got the job of my dreams. I can not even begin to express what this is like. I can finally move on with my life.

    For the last 5 to 6 years every bit of my time outside of work has been consumed with trying to get this job. I have missed family events and weddings to go take test. I quit a good paying job to take one that paid about half as much, so I could have more time to go school and to test. I have charged up my credit cards to travel around and take every test I could. I have broken plans so many times with my girlfriend, it is amazing she still with me. It has not been easy by any means.

    I have gotten a lot of help and support from family and friends and for that I am so thankful. But their is one person I can not even begin to thank, and that person is Capt. Bob. With out his help I would not be writing this long e-mail. Capt Bob shows you the tools to make your dream come true. He is willing to help you with any stage of the testing process.

    For me the biggest help was the private coaching for the oral board. What a difference it made. Getting the job is a game and Capt. Bob helps you to learn how to play the game! For those of you who are critical of Capt. Bob, Know this. I would not have this job with out the help of Capt. Bob.

    MY only regret is that I did not call him sooner! So if you feel stuck and that you may never get this job, check out his web site. See what he is all about. It's not about the money. The little bit of money I spent was so worth it. What do you have to lose?

    Thanks Capt. Bob and thanks to your son Rob as well. I am forever grateful to you both.
    "Dan"

    Remember: "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!" Ask Dan

    If that isn't enough to dispel the myth, there are 55 more pages of success stories. I encourage you Look at the results other people just like you have gotten by using our formula. They simply got positive results by putting simple techniques into action. You can review what they had to say here: http://eatstress.com/New_Folder7/badgesnew.htm

    You can find more on testing secrets in the Career Article section from the Jobs drop down menu just above this posting.

    Fire "Captain Bob" Author, Becoming A Firefighter and
    Conquer Fire Department Oral Boards

    www.eatstress.com

    888-238-3959
    Last edited by CaptBob; 02-13-2005 at 10:08 AM.

  3. #53
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    Jan 2005
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    Default

    Why can’t everybody be right?

    I don’t think it would be a mistake to get a degree, and I don’t think it would be a mistake to get hired and then work on completing it afterward.

    I know people who got hired and worked hard for a long time to finish a degree; a lot of them are the people who are saying you should get it before you get hired. They learned from experience. I know people I work with that wish they had gotten hired four years earlier so they could retire sooner. Life is full of choices.

    Why don’t we give our opinions and let the kid who asked the question a chance to decide. Instead we argue about what it means to be accredited, Cut and paste other peoples posts to prove something, George calls Capt Bob- Bobby, and Billy dipped Peggy-Sue’s pigtails in the ink well.

    Lets give adult advice to those who ask, and the rest can go blow it out their Breathalyzer. Before you post, why not look back to the original question and frame your response around that, or start a new thread where you can argue.

  4. #54
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    Aug 2002
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    San Francisco Bay Area
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    2,470

    Default Promotions

    MacInnis wrote:

    Every time this topic comes up you show stories about guys getting THE BADGE with out degrees. Well like most stuff you can show and prove to anyone what you want. Lets see the stories of guys you got promoted faster, or was able to use their degree to advance themselves in the fire service. You can't just look at were you are going to be tom, you need to look at were you want to be in a year.
    OK, deal!

    Once you’re hired it will be some time before you can even take a promotional test (not just in one year). Maybe 3 years for
    engineer. Probably more like 5 years or more to be even considered for any promotion. If you can’t put together a plan, like you did to get hired, to be ready in advance of a promotion test others get ahead of you.

    I knew six years from the first year I was hired there were going to be 27 officers and engineers who could retire, not including medical retirements. I set out a plan to complete my degree (on their dime), experience and have officer certifications in place before that year. Even though the tests had not been announced, I was studying and practicing up to four hours almost every day at the beginning of that magical year. In February, they announced the engineers test two months out. Just before the engineers test they announced the Captains test two months out.

    I placed number 2 on the engineers test and was promoted to operator engineer 30 days later. Since my testing skill set was up to speed and I had perfected my assessment oral board presentation skills I came out number two on the captains test, beating out many angry senior members who just didn’t prepare. Six weeks later I was riding in the right seat with a new captains badge.

    The real secret in getting hired and promoted is gaining the necessary oral board presentation skills to place your self high enough on the list to get a shot at the badge. Much of this skill set works for entry level and promotions too.

    If you have all the education, experience and the burning desire to get that badge, you’re not getting hired, having to cool your heels in another position waiting for that next opportunity (not a bad ideal), you have be asking yourself why? You can talk all you want about what we do here, how you want it or think it should be, but the candidates you are reading about in my postings are a lot like you. The big difference is they figured out how to maximize the points in their oral boards, are now riding big red and are taking home a pay check.

    Here’s how they did it. Since oral board scores are calculated in hundredths of points (82.15, 87.63, 90.87, etc), the goal is to keep building on a few hundredths of points here on this question, a few hundredths there on that answer, gaining a few more hundredths with their signature personalized life experience stories at the appropriate time, delivering the all powerful “Nugget” answers that no one else can tell, and pulling away from the parrot salvo dropping clones.

    Before the clone candidates realize what has happened, these candidates have added on extra points to their score placing them in a position to be invited to the chiefs interview where they get a real shot at the badge. Just being 1 to 2 points out of the running can decide whether you will go forward in the hiring process or not.

    MacInnis requested: Lets see the stories of guys you got promoted faster, or was able to use their degree to advance themselves in the fire service.

    Here tis:

    Captain Bob: About 6 1/2 years ago, I called you and ordered your package for entry-level firefighters. I was happy to report that the information in your program was invaluable! Out of close to 3,000 people who tested, I was hired in the first class of 30!!!
    Two months ago, I was eligible to take a promotional exam for the rank of Fire Captain. I remembered how much your entry-level program helped me, so I ordered your promotional program. Once again, I am extremely happy to report that you have another success story. Out of 181 candidates who took the written test, 70 moved on to the assessment center. I was one of the 70. My final ranking in this testing process is 14!! The department is due to promote 22 in the next 30 days. Your program advice on the employee conflict, in-basket, and fire scenario were extremely helpful. I am once again recommending your program to everyone I know. Thanks again. Sincerely, Jon Dorman DeKalb County, GA

    Captain Bob, Just writing to let you know the results of our promotional process. I need to start out by saying that my interviewing skills have always been my downfall. I went from a number four spot after my written and physical in my first entry level hiring process to a number nine spot from a poor interview. Fortunately I did get hired that time around. Since that process I have participated in two other hiring processes being knocked out both times at the interview portion.

    I always knew what I wanted to say but could never make the words come out together the right way. I tried to clone to many answers without show casing the real me. When the opportunity came to try for a Lieutenant promotion I knew I had to do something to turn the tables. I found your tapes while doing a google search for fire department promotion help.

    After reading your site I was sold on the program. I scored first on the written test, but was still apprehensive about the interview and assessment center. When I called I felt like you took a genuine interest in my situation and valued your suggestion of a personal coaching session. This step is what turned the table.

    The experience I gained from the more than two hours you dedicated to helping me is unfathomable. I learned how to compose my answers in a sure fire way to draw and hold the attention of the board. Learning how to use my "nuggets" and draw on past experience was amazing.

    For anyone reading this when Captain Bob says you can feel the switch flip on in the back of your head and feel yourself "in the zone" you can believe it is true! I would recommend the programs to anyone who asks it is an invaluable tool for any interview you may face. Oh yeah and by the way I finished number #1 my first time out in the promotion process. Beating out our department "interviewing master" Thanks Captain Bob!
    New Lieutenant
    Billy MacLeod
    Franklin Twp Fire Dep

    Greetings Captain Bob!
    It was my second crack at the Captains promotional and I didn't want to leave any rocks unturned. I had heard about "Captain Bob" in a class I took in San Francisco and thought it was definitely worth a try. I called Captain Bob and got started by ordering his audio and video tape "Promotional Program".

    Almost immediately I felt his enthusiasm and support, I felt my motivation increasing as we spoke on the phone. We got started by cleaning up my resume and making it more readable, what a difference when we were done! The oral board complimented me on submitting just a one page resume.

    After receiving my package in the mail I got to work with my tape recorder, it felt a little strange in the beginning but I was going to conquer anything that got in my way of that Captains badge. I especially liked the CD and would listen to it every time I drove in the car. I found that the tape would put me in a frame of mind that would have "my nuggets" popping in to my head.

    The time passed quickly and the day of the written exam had arrived, this was just the warm up. I was prepared and passed it in the high 80's.

    Next came the oral exam, this is where you can separate the men from the boys and or the women from the girls. I couldn't believe how well my interview went, I was answering the questions and adding my own signature stories when appropriate.

    The interview panel was looking at me like I had invented electricity, I could tell that no one else had answered this way. I had the number one score in that portion of the exam. While waiting for the assessment, which was to be six weeks later I took a neighboring cities Captain exam. Why not, I had the golden ticket to communicating.

    After the assessment center was over I was invited to a Chief's interview and I didn't hesitate to call Captain Bob for more help. Captain Bob reminded me of my strengths and gave me a couple additional nuggets that would let them know I was the one for this job.

    After the final Chiefs interview was given the Chief called me and informed me that I had finished #1 and that he wanted me to be one of his new Captains, I couldn't believe my ears, I was going to be a Captain. What was most interesting was the number #2 candidate was the "Oral Board Guru" who teaches interview skills at the community college.

    I love my new job. I have been placed in the training division and am planning an in-house academy in April. I am also on several committee's and task forces that meet on a regular basis. The thing I like the most is that now I am in a position to get things accomplished, no more complaining about the bosses now I am one.
    Captain Bob was there for me from the beginning. I did the work and he gave me the support I needed. Thanks Captain Bob!!!!! Your friend, Chris

    I recently tested for LT. and Captain. After using your program I am
    now #1 on the Lt. list and #2 on the Captains. Prior to your program I was #8 on the Captains and did not make the LT. Thanks.

    Another milestone:

    Captain Bob, thanks for your help. You gave me an oral coaching session over the summer. I doubled my competitions score and topped the oral board/assessment center. I got the Captain’s badge last week. So far you helped 3 guys from our department and your system worked for all 3 of us. 1 top score, 1 captains badge, and 1 chiefs badge. Thanks again. John

    Subject: Promotional Exam

    Captain Bob, the journey is done, and with success. After all the protests have been review and six weeks have past, the test results are finally official. Of the 40 candidates that took the written portion of the test, only 20 proceeded to the assessment center. Of those only 14 passed the promotional process.

    I am happy to say that my performance in the assessment center put me in the number 2 position in the overall ranking. I am currently filling a long-term captains position.

    Bob, the true formula to success of any promotional exam is time, dedication and tutoring. It takes dedication of your family, friends and company. You can't get through it without their help. And without seeking the proper tutoring "the cream will not rise to the top".

    This is where I would like to thank you for your help. The "nuggets" you provided greatly assisted me with my success. Running with the pack is not good enough anymore. This reminds me of a saying I once heard, "Life is like a dog sled team, if your not the lead dog the view never changes."

    The view is changing for me, during the life of this promotional list our department will open a new station, and with the retirements expected the captains promotions should exceed 8 positions.

    Again, thank you, without your help the results would not have been quite the same. If I can be of any assistance to you or your students please do not hesitate to let me know.
    Jeff Breasher, Engineer, (A/Capt. Sta. 39B) San Ramon Valley Fire District

    This just in:

    I wanted to tell you that I attended a workshop last Tuesday put on by our Fire Chief's Assn. (They also do a majority of Promotional Testing assessment and interviews) They charge $85each for an 8 hour class on a variety of topics--like assessment centers, in-basket, oral interviews. I found out about it after my coaching session with you on Monday so I figured it couldn't hurt. Everything you said was RIGHT ON THE MONEY!!! The afternoon session was a mock interview where actual Chiefs asked the questions. My first question was "Why do you think you are a better candidate than the rest" It was SHOWTIME! Some guys that were watching actually clapped, and a LT sitting next to me said, "I'd promote you today!" The point is all of this stuff is starting to make a little bit of sense and I could not have done it without you--so, THANKS AGAIN! I also told everyone in the class about your website.

    So, Thanks again--and if you have any advice about the closing statement or advice about my weakness answer--I'd really appreciate it!

    Thanks again!--Jeff J

    Well, Low and behold this follow up just arrived from Jeff after his first promotional up against 19 other candidates:
    So, it went something like this....

    Monday was the Oral Exam--the part I was dreading. It was 5 questions in a group interview format and I thought I did pretty well. The results were posted on Tuesday and I scored a 12.76 out of 15--not bad considering the top score was 13.20. I remained at the top of the list from the previously scored professional achievement points, seniority, and department evaluations. I felt confident that I had done the best I could have in the interview. I was A LOT more prepared than I would have been had I not used your program.

    Now, I'm not from some big city department--my town has 40 full time firefighters. And, $$$$ bucks is some big money--but, it was worth every penny! It gave me the confidence and encouragement to do the best job I could! THANK YOU!

    Today was the written exam--worth 40%. I scored in the top 3 and remained at the top of the list. I should get my (LT) badge in January.

    I read all of the other candidates emails on your site and I thought that maybe your program works for them---on BIG departments---but it might not work for me. I could not have been more wrong! Your entire program from the video to the tape to the handouts worked like a charm. And the private coaching was awesome. I'll tell you what really sold me---when took the time to call me on the phone and answered every one of my questions. That really meant a lot!
    So, if you have anyone that is skeptical, send 'em my way. If you're ever in Chicago, let me know, I'll buy you dinner. AND THANKS A MILLION!

    And you were right---THERE'S NO BETTER FEELING IN THE WORLD!
    Be safe!--Firefghter Jeff Janus

    It happened! The 2100 badge in our program. It just happened to be a candidate we helped get a firefighter job and now his first captains badge.

    Here's how:
    “Getting the job is like winning the lottery” We’ve all seen the California Lottery commercial telling us “You have to play to win”. Capt. Bob will teach you to play.

    As a student firefighter I use to avoid Capt. Bob when he was on duty. As I would pass he would always ask me one of the dreaded interview questions, which I didn’t have any clue how to answer. He would then ask me how I was preparing for the “process”. I would tell him anything to save myself the humiliation of not having a clue.

    Capt. Bob knew that I had the training, education, and experience to get the job. He also knew that I had the answer to all those questions I avoided. I just needed a script to present my package. Capt. Bob offered personnel coaching repeatedly. I finally broke down and accepted the fact that someone could help me.

    Two weeks after the coaching session, I had two interviews on the same day. Both cities offered me a badge…Capt. Bob was at the ceremony were my wife pinned my badge; It was a very proud moment.
    I have been with my department for almost eight years. I gave Capt. Bob a call to let him know that I would be taking the Captains Test and again he offered coaching. I did not hesitate taking him up on this most recent offer.

    I have been to the other promotional workshops out there. They will teach you what an Assessment Center is, but not how to master it.
    I reviewed my Assessment Center scores with the Personnel Director; She could not believe this was my first time to take the test. I missed being number 1 on the Captains list by 1/8 of a point. Had I handled my role-play exercise as Capt. Bob advised me, I could have been number 1 by a several points. Most importantly, I have recently been appointed to Captain.

    The Promotional Program, coaching and inside secrets for the chief’s interview placed me in #2 position. Everything happened the way he said it would. Everything. Even nailing my badge the first time out.

    Capt. Bob tells me this is badge #2100. This number would be much higher if he counted all the badges his students have been offered, not just the badges they are wearing.

    You don’t know what you don’t know. Capt. Bob will teach you to play. Thank you Captain Bob., Jarrett Anderson CAPTAIN!!!!

    Follow up:
    Captain Bob, It's funny your e-mail came today, this morning at a mutual aid drill I was approached by a BC from another Dept. He was a rater on my assessment center fire simulation. He congratulated me on my new position and stated that my simulation was one of the best he had ever seen. He stressed ever, and he is not a young guy. He continued with how imprested he was with my "command presence". Thank you again for the great coaching. By the way, the job has exceeded every expectation and more.

    My driver has been a medic in the department for 22 years, and my tailboard is about to make permanent status. I have a great crew. Thanks, Captain Jarrett Anderson

    Captain Bob,
    I had to write to thank you for making your program available. Over a year ago I ordered your promotion program to see if it could help me fine tune my assessment skills. The department that I work at was months away from having one of three Battalion Chiefs retire. At the time I had been in the fire service 14 years and had successfully passed the assessments for promotions to my then current level of Captain. I had been working to graduate from college with a fire science degree in order to meet the education qualifications for the position. I already meet the requirements of time in grade as a Captain. The other candidates that I would have to go against for
    the position had 19, 25, and 27 years on the job and had extensive
    experience as acting Battalion Chiefs.

    I followed what you said by buying a tape recorder and practicing my part. I knew that I had to set the mark after drawing numbers and being selected to go first in front of the interviewing panel. I walked in totally prepared for anything that I could imagine that could come up. I even had a bucket full of "nuggets". I handed out notebooks to each panel member that I had prepared in order to show them the different things that I had done as a supervisor that made me ready to take on the roll of Battalion Chief. I walked in with facts and figures ("nuggets") not dreams and ideas. You were
    right, they all stopped and watched as I performed. It was hard to keep from cracking up. I left knowing that those that followed me were in trouble.

    To make this story short, I came in NUMBER ONE. Your program gave me the edge that I needed. THANKS and keep up the excellent work.

    Battalion Chief David Eddins
    Albany Fire Department
    Albany, Georgia

    PS: If anybody passes up on buying your program they are CRAZY!!!

    Paul was going for a captain’s position for LA City. He faxed me his proposed script for his presentation. Buried in the third page was his true strength . . . Training! Paul had a long history training in his department, sheriff’s department, and county swift water rescue. Once training was moved to his opening and main theme, he was operating from his strength.

    Paul's was going for his first Captain's test. He tested with 500 other candidates at LA City. He was fighting seniority credits and experience. All he was hoping to do was get on the list and get some acting time.

    In his second interview, a panel member from training asked him what part training would play as an officer? Paul asked to use the white board to demonstrate. It was show time! It was Paul’s true love and strength. He was in his element up at the board asking more questions and demonstrating he was an experienced trainer. The training chief beamed. Paul’s confidence exploded. How could they not consider him for the position? He blew the doors off his oral board panel.

    He didn't just make the list. He ended up number six out of five hundred his first time out. A month later he was one of the first 20 badges hired off that list.

    How about a new fire chief:

    Bob & Rob,
    Been reading your stuff for years, apparently it worked. The city didn't even interview anybody else. Keep pushing people to be where they need to be.

    Here's the press announcement: http://www.wekz.com/home/news.cfm?date=1/25/2005

    You guys are the real deal. I couldn't believe you took the time to call and congratulate me. This department really is the climax of my career. Not a busy dept by any means, but just what I was looking for to finish my career. We are a small P-O-C department with 4 engines, and a truck, 52 members and only about 200 calls a year. It is the greatest place in the world to be Chief. We work on a first name basis, and have a true two way dialogue about department issues. This is my third department, and it feels like this is where I "grew up". Not many people are lucky enough to have the opportunity to lead two departments and make a difference. All of this is because of the nuggets I picked up from you. Hey, guys THIS WORKS FOR PROMOTION TOO! I would, and will wholeheartedly recommend your program to anyone who is looking to advance to the upper echelon's of management.

    Thanks again, and you will always be welcome at our house!

    Daryl A. Rausch, Fire Chief
    Monroe Fire Department 1110 Eighteenth Avenue Monroe, WI
    608-329-2575 drausch@cityofmonroe.org

    More success stories here: http://eatstress.com/promobadges.htm

    You can find more on testing secrets in the Career Article section from the Jobs drop down menu just above this posting.

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob" Author, Becoming A Firefighter and
    Conquer Fire Department Oral Boards

    www.eatstress.com

    888-238-3959

  5. #55
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    Default My phone rang! I almost passed out!!!

    Just to keep fresh and current, this came in at 1:39 pm Sunday:

    I got the call!! Wow! What an awesome feeling.

    I am very proud to say that I will be starting the Tower with Tacoma Fire Department on March 14. My home town!! I could not be more excited!!

    I sincerely appreciate this forum and the members who care enough to post their thoughts, advice and experiences. I am fairly new to the "fire service career search",about 2 years, and I feel very fortunate that I was hired so early in my journey. I understand that many people spend many years trying to achieve this goal, and I sincerely admire them for not giving up. Well the journey is not over. I still have a lot of hard work ahead of me.

    Capt. Bob and Rob. I would not have gotten to this point without the info you provide...Most of it free I might add... A very simple approach that truly shortened my path to getting hired. Thank you!

    Brink

    Na, it can't be done.

    Reply:

    Bravo! Congrats on the success in gaining your badge! Thank you for sharing your journey and letting us be part of your pursuit. We here by bestow upon you our badge number 2,248 in our program. You have proved once again that there is an easier way.

    Everyone reading this knows how difficult the hiring process is with Tacoma. You we meet more candidates who went through our program when you start the academy (16 starting) and many of our alumni who are already on line like this one http://eatstress.com/treadwater.htm

    You have a great career ahead of you.

    To help you get started in the academy and as a new rookie here are a couple of Secrets to read:

    http://www.eatstress.com/academy.htm

    http://www.eatstress.com/new.htm

    You can find more on testing secrets in the Career Article section from the Jobs drop down menu just above this posting.

    Fire "Captain Bob" Author, Becoming A Firefighter and
    Conquer Fire Department Oral Boards

    www.eatstress.com

    888-238-3959
    Last edited by CaptBob; 02-13-2005 at 07:23 PM.

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    I am not entering into all of this bickering. I am a senior at EKU and am pursuing a F&SET degree, option of industrial safety and risk management. I was a Fir, Arson, Explosion major until last semester. I reccomend that you pursue something on the Fire & Safety Engineering Technologht side of the house, or whatever it is called elsewhere, I can no longer recall. I feel that the bebefits of this degree are netter then the fire science degree.


    That's my thoughts. Good Luck cutting through all the crap in this thread robby.
    The opinions I post to these forums do not represent any entity to which I am affiliated.

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    Default

    First of all.. Not every post has to be a commercial for your program. Secondly you are saying that becuase I decided to focus on my degree now, instead of waiting until I HAVE THE BADGE is wrong. Well its my choice.

    This topic started about from a guy asking a simple question. Several us provided him with links to several universities with a Fire Science, Fire Protection or Fire and Safety Degree. There more to learn at college then just getting the badge. No one has agrued with you on the fact that it normally doesn't help get the job. But there are other things you can gain from going to school.

    Its just seems to me that you are Anti-College, becuase no matter what the question is regarding going to college. You always pop up with it doesn't matter if you don't have The Badge. It like I also am involved in Civil War Reenacting. And there is a guy that shows up to my view of the hobby claiming he can make you more authentic with thses simple little tips, only x amount a month. Sorry but you can't learn everything in the same spot.

    I am not saying your program doesn't have good results no. But to make a blanket statement thats yours is the only way to go is too broad. One last thing I asked for examples of firefighters advancing faster then others with degrees. Not who got the new job becuase of your program.
    Last edited by MacInnis; 02-13-2005 at 08:35 PM.
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    Default

    Secondly you are saying that becuase I decided to focus on my degree now, instead of waiting until I HAVE THE BADGE is wrong. Well its my choice. . . Its just seems to me that you are Anti-College, becuase no matter what the question is regarding going to college.
    Here's what I wrote in my first posting on this topic and have kept repeating:

    First leave no doubt that I believe in education.

    Everyone has an opinion, there are exceptions and more than one road to a badge and there are no guarantees in life which ever path you take.

    You always pop up with it doesn't matter if you don't have The Badge.
    You might have missed my posting above why I use this statement.

    But to make a blanket statement thats yours is the only way to go is too broad.
    Again, I wrote: Everyone has an opinion, there are exceptions and more than one road to a badge and there are no guarantees in life which ever path you take.

    I always honor the path a candidate elects to pursuit and I honor yours. Many don't have the option to attend a pretigious university like you. I would be one of the first to congratulate you on gaining your badge as I have on the candidate above.

    Captain Bob

    www.eatstress.com
    Last edited by CaptBob; 02-13-2005 at 09:52 PM.

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    Default

    Can we put a character limit on posts? It gets really boring flipping through 16 pages of one of Bob's posts.

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    But, is what you say going to get this young lad the J-O-B before he runs out of time, money, hope, and putting other jobs and relationships on hold?
    That's how you characterize going to college? And you try to convince the most gullible among us that you "Support education"? You are an out and out phony, fake and fraud.

    It has taken me some time to respond to this post because I am so outraged by this phony that I wanted to make sure that I didn't get myself kicked off of here.

    Bobby, your condescending attitude also outrages me. You see, you don't know anything about me. I am also one of "those at the college and university level across the country". I am an adjunct professor in a fire science program at the community college level. It certainly is not as large as some of the top programs, but I am proud of what we do. I know all about what it means to have a degree. I am also an expert, from my personal experiences, on how hard it is to go back after you stop...regardless of who is paying for it. So spare me any future condescending lectures.

    Every high school senior who has the brains, grades and ability should be counseled to go to college. Of course you can't make them go. But counseling along the lines of "Screw it! Work in that auto parts store until you have paid me enough money and you get "the badge". Then, if you feel like it, you can go to college off the government" is BS. Being pushed to do something you didn't think you could do is something that someone posing as a mentor should be doing.

    But you see, you can't do that. It goes against the business plan. If you did that, you wouldn't sell as money books, tapes and videos. You might not get as many "motivational speaking" gigs.

    Don't get me wrong. I do not begrudge you your business. But be a man and just come out and tell people what you are about. Don't hide behind this charade of "free advice". Its insulting.

    BTW, while we are talking about being a man, are you ever going to man up and apologize for the absolutely ludicrous advice you gave to fire fighters that they should buy a breathalyzer to try to beat the system and not get a DUI?

    Now a word to the people on the forums. I, for one, have had enough of Cap'n Bobby's commercials. I have reported his posts to the WT and have asked them to hold Cap'n Bobby to the same standard they demand from the rest of us. I would ask those of you who feel the same way to report these posts as well.

    Secondly, if you have the grades, by all means, go to college. College and "the badge" are not mutually exclusive. Nobody ever said, "Damn, I wish I didn't get my degree". It also doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. There is no shame in community college. In NJ, there is a program for HS seniors who graduate in the top 25% of their class. The program is simple. Tuition is zero dollars. Two years of college credit for nothing. You can then move on to a four-year university with two years of maturity, more money in your pocket and a clear picture of what you want to do with you life.

    Lastly, do not blindly follow advice like Cap'n Bobby's without careful thought, critical evaluation and some deep introspection. In this particular case, Cap'n Bobby couldn't be more wrong.

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    I would just like to say that it is obvious in our department which guys under the age of 35 have their four year degrees and which don't. The 35-45 year olds seem to have reached the equal level of maturity, but the guys with degrees are finding it easier to get promoted with the sheep skin in hand, and most of the guys over 45 are from an age when degrees were the exception and not the rule for most of society.

    Wither it is easier to get started/hired with or without a degree is very debatable. But with only a few exceptions, the 24 year old with the degree is going to be more mature around the station, and will have the advantage in future contests for promotion over the guy with out the degree. Additionally if the guy with out the degree is going to want to be promote in the future and move his way up the ladder he is going to eventually need a degree, and it is easier to get when you are 18-22 then it will be from 30-50.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  12. #62
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    Default Expanded overview on available degrees

    I have updated the posting I made about the various degrees available to emergency service folks. I have included weblinks to all of the colleges/universities/programs mentioned.

    If your include ems and emergency management there are dozens of programs. Some of them are on-line and aimed at the working professional.

    If you are interested, go to:

    http://www.nvcc.edu/home/mward/

    Click "Academic Advising Tidbits"
    Opens to page with the NFA education/experience triangle

    Click "A description of fire science degrees"
    Last edited by MikeWard; 02-14-2005 at 02:56 PM.

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    I have been looking back through past post to try and figure out why George is sooo mad a Capt Bob. While it does seem no one is allowed to disagree or express a different point of view from Goerge, but he takes special care of following Capt Bob around to shoot spit balls at him. There seem to be dozens of examples where Capt Bob will post an opinion, or answer a question, and George comes right in with an attack on this retired guy, not on his opinion or advise, but his person. Why would somebody do this? I think I figured it out. He is jealous. Capt Bob retired from a career as a fireman, George is a teacher. Capt Bob is a positive thinker and does all of this stuff because he likes to help people, I’m sure he makes some money from selling stuff, but I’ll bet it’s not much. George seems to have a very aggressive, almost mean attitude when he posts. I really think he wishes he was Capt Bob.

    George, if you want to report him, do it, don’t tell us, just do it. If you want to talk with him about how mad he makes you, why not send him a personal message, the rest of us are getting tired of it. Is this Firehouse.com, or “Don’t disagree with George.com”?

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    Originally posted by Poodle
    I have been looking back through past post to try and figure out why George is sooo mad a Capt Bob. While it does seem no one is allowed to disagree or express a different point of view from Goerge, but he takes special care of following Capt Bob around to shoot spit balls at him. There seem to be dozens of examples where Capt Bob will post an opinion, or answer a question, and George comes right in with an attack on this retired guy, not on his opinion or advise, but his person. Why would somebody do this? I think I figured it out. He is jealous. Capt Bob retired from a career as a fireman, George is a teacher. Capt Bob is a positive thinker and does all of this stuff because he likes to help people, I’m sure he makes some money from selling stuff, but I’ll bet it’s not much. George seems to have a very aggressive, almost mean attitude when he posts. I really think he wishes he was Capt Bob.

    George, if you want to report him, do it, don’t tell us, just do it. If you want to talk with him about how mad he makes you, why not send him a personal message, the rest of us are getting tired of it. Is this Firehouse.com, or “Don’t disagree with George.com”?
    Capt. Bob posted some bad advice about buying a breathalyzer in response to a candidate worrying if a past DUI would affect his getting a job on a career FD. He has yet to retract it.

    Capt. Bob isn't infallible, you know...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    I missed the one about the breathalyzer, but I know George has had a long-running beef with Captain Bob's thinly disguised advertisements. His infomercials may be spot-on (and from what I have read I think most of his info is perfectly valid) but the TOS clearly states that the forums are not to be used for advertising. In this respect I believe George's arguments are well founded.
    ullrichk
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    As far as advertising goes, I could care less, if I start reading something I don't like I skip it.
    But in regards to advise that may differ from yours, i.e. breathalyzers, why can't they be differing opinions, not right and wrong. I think the breathalyzer thing was good advise, as does the CHP and most DMV's from my research.
    But, this is just my opinion, not right or wrong. If you have a different one, I respect that. Heck, we can't get guys to agree what to have for dinner in the station, let alone things that are important.

  17. #67
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    Originally posted by Poodle
    I think I figured it out. He is jealous. Capt Bob retired from a career as a fireman, George is a teacher. Capt Bob is a positive thinker and does all of this stuff because he likes to help people, I’m sure he makes some money from selling stuff, but I’ll bet it’s not much. George seems to have a very aggressive, almost mean attitude when he posts. I really think he wishes he was Capt Bob.
    hahahahaha!!! Poodle, that has to be one of the funniest statements I've ever read on these forums!!!! I think your relatively new here, so let me let you in on a little secret about our beloved Norm. He is one of the most arrogant, pig headed, and stubborn people I've ever met on FH.com. He loves to argue, and thinks he's never wrong. and he can be a tad abbrasive at times.

    that being said, he isn't a teacher. He's a recently retired Arson Investigator, a Detective/Supervisor, a member of the Morris County Arson Task Force, and probably knows more about Arson and fire investigations than anyone who posts on these boards. he's also been a volunteer FF for 20 or so year, as well as has worked as an part-time EMT in an urban enviorment. He is also not a teacher, but rather an adjunct professor. adjunct professors are given that title based on their real world experience, not on their ability to research. just wanted to share that.

    and capt. bob isn't giving advice out of the goodness of his heart, but rather in an effort to support his bussiness, eatstress.com. and that is why GWCFI is constantly complaining about (and he might have a valid claim, but that's up to the WT to make that determination).

    that being said, if I could redo my college expeirnce, I would go to a community college for 2 years, and then transfer to a 4 year school. this way you get the name of a 4 year school with a much lower cost. I also liked living away from home, as it was more enjoyable than commuting (but i did like being able to come home once in a a while).

    right now I think you can get away with just a HS diploma and maybe an associate degree, but in the future (ie, 3 to 10 years) you will need a bachelor's to get hired, and a masters to get promoted.
    Last edited by DrParasite; 02-16-2005 at 03:02 PM.
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    You know I don't have a problem with CaptBob as a person. Just hate the plug in for his compnay thats all.

    DrP. Although you have a valid point about transfering from a community college to a 4 year becuase of cost. Let me say this to others out there. The reason I went to EKU first instead of attending the local community college in Maine was the price. Believe it or not it cost me the same to attend EKU as an out of state student then to attend the local place. So I figured in the long run it was cheaper. So for you that haven't gotten that far yet, you might want to look around the country, becuase the southern schools (at least when I was looking) offered the same but were cheaper.
    Thanks
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  19. #69
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    Originally posted by Poodle
    I have been looking back through past post to try and figure out why George is sooo mad a Capt Bob. While it does seem no one is allowed to disagree or express a different point of view from Goerge, but he takes special care of following Capt Bob around to shoot spit balls at him. There seem to be dozens of examples where Capt Bob will post an opinion, or answer a question, and George comes right in with an attack on this retired guy, not on his opinion or advise, but his person. Why would somebody do this? I think I figured it out. He is jealous. Capt Bob retired from a career as a fireman, George is a teacher. Capt Bob is a positive thinker and does all of this stuff because he likes to help people, I’m sure he makes some money from selling stuff, but I’ll bet it’s not much. George seems to have a very aggressive, almost mean attitude when he posts. I really think he wishes he was Capt Bob.

    George, if you want to report him, do it, don’t tell us, just do it. If you want to talk with him about how mad he makes you, why not send him a personal message, the rest of us are getting tired of it. Is this Firehouse.com, or “Don’t disagree with George.com”?
    Thank you for the kind words Dr. P.

    Poodle. 11 whole posts and you know me? Take a hike.

    There are only two things that I have to say.

    1. I do not follow Cap'n Bobby around. I rarely post on any other forum u this one. I complained about him a year or so ago and I was advised that I was wrong. Since that time I have not commented on anything he does until he posts in a thread I am participating in. I, also, have no personal problem with Cap'n Bobby. He has every right in the world to run a business and to make money off his years of experience. I don't disagree with much of his advice. However, he has provided two stupid peices of advice in the last several weeks and I have and will call him on it.

    2. I did report his TOS violations before I posted it. I posted that I did so the people that I respect on here (not you) would know that I was not afraid to stnad up to him. i have not heard back from the WT yet but I hope that Cap'n Bobby will no longer be able to use the forums as an infomercial.

    That said, get ready for this thread to be shut down. That is what happens when you complain about Cap'n Bobby.

  20. #70
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    Default Persistence

    Press On

    Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent (all powerful).

    Author Unknown

  21. #71
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    Default Re: Fire Science Degree

    Robby I hope you haven't abandoned your thread.
    Back to the original topic:

    Originally posted by RobbyJR307
    Ok. Im thinking about going to college (in 6 months) for a fire science degree. I'v been talking with my father and he says that if I go for this nothing will come of it. So is it worth going to college for it and also what all will I get?
    I'm not sure how exactly it is done out by you, but where I am many departments are requiring you have 60 hours college credit (equivalent to an associates degree(here).

    The pros to having a degree is if it is required, you have it. If not that you are ahead of the group. It shows you are disciplined and are acceptale to learning; since you will be in training till at least the end of your career. All so if you are looking to become promoted, most likely a degree is required.

    The cons, yes it takes time and money. The time can be shortened on how much of a class load you can handle and what kind of degree you are going for. The money can also be reduced by grants, scholarships, is there a different price for where you live? Also financial assistance.

    Firecadet598
    Not trying to stray off topic, but what kinds of classes are associated with a Fire Science degree. I am taking FFI and some wildland classes. Do they count towards a fire science degree or just a degree in fire fighting.
    RobbyJR307:
    598 I was just getting ready to ask that question also.
    Yes, some of the classes can be transferable to other degrees. It is important to check whitch ones are, not all will be. Check with a counselor on what classes are needed and what can be used for both or other degrees. Also it wouldn't hurt to talk the the head of the fire division. When looking into schools some may have state fire marshal approved classes. Find out who is teaching them too and are the credits and classes transferable to other schools.

    It is possible to test or work for a fire department while working on your degree. I'm currently an EMT-B, working on my fire science degree, looking for paramedic classes and testing for departments. If it does occur that I'm hired before completing my degree. I'll put the degree on hold while completing the requirements for the department.


    Most important this is your life, your career, your decision. No one else can make this decision for you.

    Please note my signature...
    An education is only wasted when the taught individual chooses not to recognize the value of the lesson.

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    Talking A quick story I'd like to share with all:

    A professor pulls out a 10 gallon bucket and places it on his desk. He asks his class "Is the bucket full?" The class responds "No." The professor then fills the bucket with large rocks till no more will fit, and asks again "Is the bucket full?" The class responds "Yes." "Wrong." the professor says and pours in small pebbles. The pebbles slide into the space between the rocks. Again the professor asks his class "Is the bucket full?" The class is quiet not sure what to say, but one responds "Yes", seeing as no more pebbles will fit. "No.", claims the professor; pulling out a large bag of sand and pours as much as the bucket will hold. "Is the bucket full now?" The class catching on then replies "No." "Good." states the professor. He then pours water into the bucket to the brim, and asks again "Is the bucket full?" The class assuring nothing else will fit answers "Yes." "Very good class, the bucket is now full." One student in the back asks "What is the point in this?" As the professor responds he says thus,

    "This bucket is you life. If you fill it with the sand first you will never be able to put the rocks in. You need to identify what is most important to you, the large rocks, and then the pebbles, followed by the sand then the water. If you can not prioritize your life to what is the most important to the least you will never have a full life, just water."


    I've only shared this story with those I care about, so to this I say to all fill your life!
    An education is only wasted when the taught individual chooses not to recognize the value of the lesson.

  23. #73
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    Nice touch jorieH....and so very true.

    The original intent of this thread was to ask "should I or should I not get my degree?" by the initiater. I think Jorie sums it up well. And I will add my 3 cents worth again.... GET your degree young man. There is a long story behind it, but not having my degree cost me a promotion and I left a department I had worked in for 20 years over it. Now, I will say I ended up better off in the end, because I was at a point there that I was not happy...but....I am finishing my degree now.
    Last edited by captstanm1; 02-18-2005 at 03:57 AM.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    Thank you Stan. ...and bump....
    An education is only wasted when the taught individual chooses not to recognize the value of the lesson.

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    On 4/15, I visited UMd with my daughter, who is entering college in the fall as an English Ed major. (I would have announced it earlier, but the security requirements would have been prohibitive). She has been accepted at 5 colleges and is whittling down her list.

    All I can say is WOW! What a beautiful facility. I was completely impressed. It's neat, clean, well maintained, the people, especially the kids, were very friendly and helpful and the entire visit was positive. The only negative experience? The traffic sucks!

    Also, PG County Station 12 (right outside the U). We should take up a collection for them. It's a shame they have to live in such horrible conditions!

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