Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Nights in the office

Getting used to the basement office of the new Carmel home. With the dim light and music, I start to enjoy my solitute retreat. Thoughts about reserface the floor, but actually feel the lack of improvement will enable me to work harder.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Old Blogs from etao.blogger.com

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

George Bernard Shaw: The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

Reading the Technology Venture by Dorf and Byers.

Plan: before I resign from my post, I should leave a legacy of "10 opportunities to make CSUMB the best place for student to learn"

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Random thoughts. Organizing my new office in the basement of the new house. Decided not to pave the coarse concrete ground. The harshness, instead of a plush surrounding, might help to remind me the road ahead is far less from comfortable. Often times, comfort is the nemesis of success.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Reviewing a substance change proposal from a private university in Fresno. I can see the struggle a small, private higher-ed institute for the last fifty years. It is interesting to be on the WASC substance change board. One can observe both the disarray and genuine discussion happen in the conference room. The challenge for me is to write the review report with the appropriate tone of language. It is distinctly different from science, engineering or everyday writing.

Read a couple of books these days. One about Tien Chang-Lin, former president of UC
Berkeley. I am intrigued by his quick ascend to the presidency of the most prestigious public university of the world. I was looking for a key point in his life which I am contemplating these days: from academic to administrative. What prompted him to leave the post as professor and Chair of mechanical engineering department to VP of research? Any why after 7 years of Berkeley presidency he resigned abruptly and intend to go back to be a pure academic? The book did not say much. I am very interested to find out.

Another book is "High Salary Club", it listed 10 areas a successful professional should excel in, and people want to join the "club" would need to run the career like a CEO of a business. I should learn more about the theory and practice of marketing, it seems to be the weak part of my knowledge base.

Still struggle everyday with MIST funding, when the university coerces us to move the program from a well-funded, self-support, successful program with more than $700K/year budget to a under-funded, state-support, bureaucracy-ridden one with a meager funding of less than 20% of the original funding, I was rather upset. Especially when I was told that my compensation for running the program will be completely cut. But I never give up, I might retreat from a battle, but I always win the war.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mortality becomes tangible in my life the last couple years. I guess it is a part of the symptoms of mid-age. Whenever I have long term plan, it is no longer next 3 year, 5 years, but what would happen if I pass away.

It does not upset me or unsettle me any more, it is just part of the planning, the exit plan, the conclusion, the hand-over. Overall, I am happy but not satisfied. I will always want more, more achievement, more creation, more resources, more help to others, more spiritual enlightenment, more food, more fun, more excitement and more time to do all these. I also want more time to plan, more time to reflect, more time to relax. I recognize it is not possible to accomplish all these, especially the idea of mortality sets in. So it take planning and prioritizing. It take careful consideration of “to be or not to be”.

Monday, August 28, 2006

It sounds easy. You listened to a great motivational talk and you stayed up at night so excited that you would turn your whole life around just by practicing the what was preached. And then next day you woke up. It is just another disappointing day.

Will this happen to me? Of course not. One of the benefits of having so many failure and challenges in my life is that I know how to turn it around.

So the lesson today is simple: don't spend more than 20% of your time worrying and thinking about the problem. Spend at least 80% of my time working on the solution!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Saturday the campus is peaceful and quiet. Working on finalizing faculty search and reading papers on blended learning. The e-learning field is changing fast and I believe we can make significant contribution in this area.

Planning the trip to Taiwan in the summer, National Health Research institute invited me to run a workshop for online learning instructor training. It is quite a honor and challenge since my background in more in software engineering. But with the years I dedicated to the enhance learning through innovation and technology I am excited to take it on.

I enjoyed most part of my work. Colleague and the management treats me with respect, however, the natural lethargic of large public agency frustrated me often. Mediocrity is prevalent; innovation and high standard many times are avoided by the university. But over the years I have learn that the mountain of public agency can be moved, and indeed it is constantly moving. It is just painfully slow and any moment we stop leaning on it, its tendency is move back to the lowest performance point.

posted by Eric at 12:26 PM

Moving forward is not an option - thoughts while riding my bike

Took my bike out today and rode for about an hour. It is rare to see people biking in Carmel, the steep hills make is all but impossible, especially consider a typical Carmel resident is beyond 55.

Rode the inland side of Hwy 1 and checked upon the tennis courts. Without a regular partner, I was hoping the practice court was available, but saw two rather good players there. Their playing style is interesting; obviously having good forms, but both of them are out of shape so can not run the balls down, they resort to aggressive playing try to end the point with one or two strokes.

On the bike, paddling hard, I have to admit that the age is catching up with me. During regular semester that I can maintain a regular exercising regiment, but during breaks, it is harder. Without exercising for only two weeks, I can feel my stamina sagging fast.

I was very surprised to find another household with last name Tao on the Carmel Hills Dr. It is unusually last name even in China, let along in the US.

While biking, stop is not an option. Moving forward is no only get you to new places, it is the only way to survive. Stopping directly incur failure. Many other entities are like that, e. g. Shark or business. When they stop, it is beginning of death.

Living the dreams

I used to just nod politely saying "just fine", when people ask me "how are you doing?".  I decided to change that. ...