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R. Craig Collins, 1997,2005/15
Auto Biography is not the story of a car...
- I am R. Craig Collins, father of two girls. Both tested at the college
level in 5th grade, both took the SAT in the 7th grade.
- I am a professional teacher and trainer. Before I began teaching at colleges,
I was a scuba instructor, a private aircraft pilot, a restaurant manager,
a profession education trainer, and a text book author. I hope each one of these jobs helped shape who I am
today. But sometimes, my past causes me trouble; for instance, when I go swimming, I often take my prescription ground
mask and snorkel, though I leave my 12 inch dive knife and flippers at home.
- I am a pilot, or at least I used to be. Aside from loving to pilot, I like to ride. I have flown on
707s, 727s, 737s, 747s, 757s, 767, 777s, 787s, Airbus 320s, Airbus 330s, Airbus 340s, Airbus 350's, Airbus 380, DC 10s, and even a DC 3. But
I have also flown in a hot air balloon, a helicopter, a sea plane, and many
different single and twin engine aircraft.
- I am a traveler. Aside from living in Los Angeles, Albuquerque, El Paso,
Houston, Orlando, and Central Texas, I have been to 50 States and the District
of Columbia. During my domestic travels I have visited most of the 50 largest US cities, and most
of the cities in Texas.
I have also traveled outside the United States, experiencing
Windsor and Toronto Ontario plus Vancouver and Victoria, BC, Canada; London England; Edinburgh Scotland; Brussels
Belgium; Cuidad Juarez Mexico; Amsterdam the Netherlands; Munich Germany;
Salzburg Austria; Rome Italy; Zurich Switzerland; Paris, France; Prague in
the Czech Republic; Dublin, Ireland; Copenhagen, Denmark; Madrid, Spain; Budapest, Hungary; Zurich Switzerland, Lichtenstein. Belfast Northern Ireland, Istanbul Turkey, Bucharest Romania and Bulgaria; Luxembourg; Andorra; Finland; Estonia; Iceland; Poland; Portugal, Norway in 2019,
and Croatia and Slovenia in 2020, and Monaco in 2022
. See image below...
- I am a cook. While many of you may have trouble getting toast made for
your breakfast, I actually worked in a place that could serve 1000 people
an hour, and vividly remember making over 100 pies one afternoon. Now I cook low salt low fat food, with lots of spice to make up for it.
- I am somewhat successful, at least at being a geek. I have found that students
will pay a little more attention to you if, like the Tin Man in the 'Wizard
of Oz,' you have some sort of award or two that indicates you may have learned
a little something. While finishing up my BBA in Computer Information Systems
at the University of Texas El Paso, I was named to Who's Who in American Colleges
and Universities, The National Dean's List, Men of Mines, was inducted into
Alpha Chi National Honor Society, The Data Processing and Management Association,
the Management Honor Society, received a Honors Program Certificate, recognition
for Academic Achievement, was awarded my diploma with Honors (Cum Laude) and
was selected a Top Ten Senior. Since then, I have been named to Who's Who
in America several times, as well as being honored in Who's Who Among America's
Teachers and Who's Who in American Education. I was recently invited to speak at a round table meeting at Oxford, in London.
- I am a techie. I used to have a watch that 'talked' to a computer, and reminded me
of birthdays and important dates. I have a 1 TB storage device. I have a wireless
presentation mouse. I have a midi keyboard. In my lab and office right now, I have
a WIndows workstation, a Windows server, a Linux server, a Windows Mobile
device, and a tablet computer... plus two Macintosh computers, not to mention
the netbook, iPod touch, and laptops at home.
- I am an author. I have published poetry and computer books, and am currently
working on several novels.
- I am on a diet. Driving so much makes it hard to get into the gym, but I
have come up with a good schedule and am really watching what I eat. I am down 20 lb, but my goal
is to get to my original weight... 6 lb. 8 oz.
- I am still a student, and probably will always be taking one class or another.
Next area of study, history.
I was raised by a troop of apes... wait that was someone else... Actually I
was born to Robert Claude Collins (Bob or R.C.) and Eunice Howellyn Smith Collins
(Lyn) in El Paso, Texas just weeks after the US launched its first satellite,
Explorer I… so I am truly a product of the space age, or truly a space cadet,
depending on your point of view.
My father was a former parachutist in the Army, learning to fly private aircraft
at the time, and worked for a company involved in the then new field of electronic
office equipment. My mother was about to graduate with her History degree from
Texas Western College. About a year later my brother Glenn joined me, and then
about the time Kennedy was elected, my brother Steve joined us, and we moved to Houston.
Later, moved back to El Paso, had a life, and attended UTEP... got a job in management, and decided to go back to school so I could teach...
When I graduated from UTEP with my BBA in Computer Information Systems, I had already co-written 5 college text books on
computing, and was president of every major honor society (okay only three).
I was named one of the top ten seniors in a school with 17,000 students, graduated
with honors and honors program certification, and I received UTEP's highest
award, Men of Mines.
The day classes ended, I left my produce job, and we all moved to Central Texas
to allow me to pursue my graduate degrees (there are none in my field at UTEP).
I started at Texas State Technical College teaching computer literacy, operating
systems, applications, the Internet, before being promoted to assistant department
chair. From there I took over as program chair for the digital media department,
and added writing, graphics, and animation to my vita.
When I received my Masters degree in Computer Education and Cognitive Systems,
the time was ripe to move on from TSTC, and I found a great job with CORD (the
Center for Occupational Research and Design) writing curricula material and
running the website for their joint effort with NAF (National Academy Foundation)
called AOIT (Academy of Information Technology) as I began my PhD in Educational
Computing, and began teaching part time at Cedar Valley College and the University
of Mary Hardin-Baylor. After completing the curriculum project at CORD, I went
to work for my high school English teacher, who was now the president of CEI,
Creative Education Institute to work in tech support, testing software, and
developing a distance support framework.
But I missed full time teaching, so when an opening at Temple College opened
up, there I was.
Well, that's where I am today. Stay turned to see how it turns out from here!
More coming soon