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There were no discussions posted, so I thought I'd start one. This discussion is designed to get the existing group members to identify themselves, and maybe draw in a few more of our fellow alums (and future alums)! Let us know when you graduated and what are your enduring memories/benefits of the educational process.

For starters, I graduated in 1996, before the onset of online learning. I completed quite a few classes using the old correspondence method and a LOT (!) of classes using the one-week residency approach. By far, I enjoyed the one-week residency courses the most. I have a lot of fond memories both of the learning and the evening unwinding experiences. (As Bill Kramer used to say, "We work hard and then we play hard!")

I still appreciate two aspects of the UC experience. Yes, it was an experience, as it took me seven years to finish my BS degree! First, the process taught me that I have to be a life-long learner, because things change very fast in this profession. The technology we work with and around is not static, and we must keep up. The tools we use have changed, the buildings we operate in are different, and the types of fires and emergencies we respond to are more complex than ever.

The second benefit of my educational experience was the relationships developed with faculty, staff, and fellow students. It's always good to run into Bill Kramer, Sandy Franz, or some of the other outstanding instructors I learned from at one of our national conferences. Unfortunately, we don't get to ask Barbara Barkley to help us out anymore--I miss her! She made every interaction a memorable one. But the friendships forged during afternoon study sessions around the pool, dinner out with everyone jamming into one or two cars, or late-night cramming for exams continue to be valuable today.

It's always good to learn that someone in the fire service graduated ahead or behind me from UC. We have an amazing collection of alumni from all over the world. We need to try to capture their experiences for posterity!

I look forward to seeing posts from other alums, whether we know each other or not!


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