Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday Study Time

Since I do not go out to the bars and party on Friday night, I usually sleep in until 8:00 on Saturday morning and go out to Dunkin Donuts and then study until noon. My fellow classmate Jeff, sleeps in late on the weekends so the house is nice and quiet while I do my Saturday Study Session.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Turf School Day Eighteen

Finally Friday!!!!!!
We had our soils class this morning. We had a quiz and then went over the soil formation factors. The soil formation factors are Climate, Living Organisms, Time, Topography, Parent Material, and Man. So far we have not been very in-depth in our soil studying. I am hoping that in the next few weeks we learn more about amendments that can be made to the soil and different things we as managers can do to improve the soil quality.
In our golf course construction class we are continuing to discuss proper irrigation installation techniques.
Our day ended with a turfgrass identification quiz. We had a written turf id quiz last week and I received a 95/100 on that quiz. We went over our grades immediately after the quiz and I should be getting a 100% on the turf identification quiz.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Turf School Day Seventeen

Today we had our landscape plant and weed identification classes. These classes I enjoy because we get to learn about different plants. I am still familiar with the trees that we are learning and I was familiar with some of the weeds.
We also had another class on stress physiology with Dr. Bingru Huang. Todays class was about the different macro- and micro- nutrients and their function in the plant. We also went over the plant's symptoms when these nutrients are deficient. I feel confident in my knowledge of the material, so it makes class interesting because I know what is going on.

We have recieved official grades for four of our classes.
  • Botany: 11/10 (1 quiz completed)
  • Turf Development: 22/20 (2 quizzes completed)
  • Pest Management: 15/20 (2 quizzes completed)
  • Turf Diseases: 19/20 (2 quizzes completed)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Turf School Day Sixteen

Today we had more communications classes. Our first class was all about our credibility and how we can improve our trust levels with employees. We discussed how our credibility is related to our integrity and our intent. The class is taught by the director of the turf program and he uses numerous real-world examples to help us apply what he is teaching us.
In our second communications class we discussed more about the resume'. We talked about what should always be included and what items can be included to fill space. I got some more good ideas today of different items that I can incorporate into my resume that will set me apart from the competition. The whole class is built around the concept that employers have problems and we have solutions. With our solutions we are supposed to differentiate ourselves from competitors.
We ended the day with an irrigation class. We learned the proper method of cutting and using primer and glue to put pipe and fitting together. The primer used on pvc pipe softens the pipe and allows the solvent cement to "melt" the pipe and the fitting together.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Interesting Discovery

This morning (day fifteen) I met with one of the instructors to go over my resume'. I thought that my resume' was good, but I wanted to see if he thought that I could improve it. We met before class in a little computer lab. As we sat down he looked at me and asked. "Do you have Mobius?" I was pretty shocked that he would ask the question. He then told me how his child has a friend who also has Mobius. He told me that he had volunteered at a recent convention and was amazed at the support and dedication given by family and friends of individuals with Mobius. This has nothing to do with school, but I thought it was amazing that he knew about the condition and knew that I had it from our limited interactions in the classroom.

Turf School Day Fifteen

Today we had another turf development class. One of the hardest things about this course is that some times you go weeks between classes and other days they are back to back. Our turf development class covered material abou the production of the turfgrass flower and seeds. I had never thought this was important because we are constantly mowing the turf, but it is important to know about proper mowing practices when the turf is beginning to flower. If the turf is cut when the plant is flowering it will take time for the plant to regenerate because the plant that is flower is dying. New growth must occur to take the place of the dying plant.
We had our first effective communications class today. We talked about qualities of individuals who speak to us and or teach us that we respect. We discussed how we need to present ourselves in order to get respect from potential employers and to get respect from employees and greens committees.
We ended the day discussing turf transpiration and water use. We have been learning how the turf plant keeps itself cool through transpiration. Transpiration is like sweating, the plant sweats to keep itself cool. We also talked about how the different watering schedules and watering practices affect root and shoot growth. It is very interesting subject matter, but it is hard to understand Dr. Bingru Huang.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Turf School Day Fourteen

What a wonderful Monday! It rained today for about 7 hours (maybe more, but I was asleep), then it let up for about 45 minutes and now it has started to rain again. It makes it enjoyable to sit inside and learn.
In our turf development class we learned about the growth of turf. How the plant tolerates mowing because it grows from the soil surface, unlike trees which grow from the top. We had a quiz today and once again, I got a great grade. I now know what it must have been like for my friends to do bad on tests and quizzes. At bYu I would just shrug off my bad grades and would settle for mediocrity. Now I am trying to be the best and it makes me mad when I get problems wrong. I think if I would have understood more and cared more about the subject matter at bYu, I could have recieved really good grades.
In our pest management class we learned the fifteen tools for scouting pests. These vary from getting on you hands and knees to sending samples to scientists, but all are effective and will be useful in the future.
In our turf disease course we learned about four diseases. Red thread, Pink patch, Pink snow mold, and gray snow mold. We learned the various turf species they infect, when they are most likely to occur, and how to prevent them and treat them if they do occur. This is the subject that I wanted to learn about, so while my fellow students are complaining about this class I am enjoying it and am trying to master the material.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Turf School Day Thirteen

Today was the official end of our second week. Only eight more weeks!
We had our landscape management class this morning. The class was focused on the ecosystem of the pebble beach area. They have implemented several environmental practices into their maintenance such as, boardwalks along the coast, an extensive recycling program- both garbage and water, electric vehicles, and many other things. We also talked about the use of plants in the landscape. How plants can be used to enhance and protect the landscape as well as be used to provide privacy.
In our golf course construction class we talked all about drainage and its proper installation. I think most of the class has worked at courses that have improperly installed drainage.
We ended the class with a turf identification quiz. Luckily we only hav that class for two more weeks. The teacher is very boring.
Well week two is done, and week three should be exciting!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Turf School Day Twelve

Today we had our landscape plant and weed identification classes. I was still familiar with about 75% of the trees we will need to identify, but I had only heard of 5 or 6 of the weeds we are required to identify.
We ended the day with our math class. I think I got another 100% on my math test, but only time will tell.
All is well in New Jersey. There is a lot of local buzz about the New York Jets. I am not that big of a fan, but I hope they keep winning. I like Rex Ryan and his leadership style. J.....E.......T........S...... JETS................JETS.......................JETS!!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Turf School Day Eleven

Today was a great day at Turf School!
We had our two management communication courses today. The one course about our management style is my favorite course thus far. I have really enjoyed thinking about how I want to perform my duties as a manager. I like to think about the different managers I have had at different golf courses and how I can implement all their best attributes into my managerial plans. I have enjoyed this class because it is extremely practical and it is unlike any class I attended at bYu.
I am learning a lot here at Rutgers, not only about turf but about managing people as well.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Turf School Day Ten

We started our day in turf maintenance class. Our discussion today was on the history of mowers and the various types of mowers being used today. All the information was review and not too difficult.
We then had a disease lab. This class is designed to help us understand the different turf diseases that we learn each week in our turf disease class. The teacher re-taught us all the information we learned yesterday and made it understandable. She drew diagrams and gave simple definitions and now I feel like I understand the different members of the Kingdom Fungi.
We had a pretty easy day, usually we have three classes, but because we have the disease lab, they split us into two groups so after the lab we went to a "study group" while the other half of the class was in disease lab.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Turf School Day Nine

I thought today would really suck. We had a quiz scheduled in each of our three classes. The teachers told us they would be really hard and how we would hate them after the quizzes, but they were not too bad.
I will say that Mondays will be difficult for the next 3-4 weeks. We have turf development, pest management, and turf diseases every Monday.
In turf development we started to talk about the make-up of the seed today. Basically how the seed feeds the young plant until the plant emerges from the ground and begins photosynthesis.
The we had pest management. The class so far has not been very difficult, mainly common sense. I really enjoy how straightforward it has all been thus far.
We ended our day with turf diseases. the class was about the Fungi Kingdom. Actinomycetes, Basidiomycetes, and a bunch of other stuff that did not make sense to me. I recall some of the information from classes at bYu, but now it is in much greater depth and detail. The teacher told us that for the next week or two, we would be lost, but then everything would make sense and we would fully comprehend what he was teaching us. Unfortunately we have to wait a few weeks.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Turf School Day Eight

This morning we had our first quiz in Soils. The teacher is a nice lady, but as we went over our answers today she seemed like she was giving us answers that were contrary to what she taught us in class. After our quiz we went over more information about the soil horizons and how they are formed. This class will be interesting, because the things I learned at bYu are different than what I am learning now. I am going to ask her if what I know will be sufficient for her tests, or if I need to relearn "her" terms for the definitions on tests. All the information is the same, but she uses different terms to describe the same definitions.
We had our Golf Course Construction class today. We went over contours and contour lines. We also went over the proper use of an engineering scale. I thought that I knew how to use the scale, but we were rushed through a homework assignment that the majority of the class wanted to do in class instead of at home.
We ended the day with Turf Identification. The class will be helpful, but the teacher is not very interesting. I now all the turf names, now I need to put to memory different identification characteristics for each turf type.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Turf School Day Seven

We had a landscape plants identification and a weed identification class. The landscape plants class includes memorizing about 40 different trees. Luckily, just a few months ago I memorized the majority of the trees we need to know for a course at bYu. The weed identification course will be difficult, because most of the weeds are not found in the mountains of Utah or Idaho, and we also have to know the plants by both common name and botanical (latin) name.
We also had our botany class again today. We had a quiz over the material we learned yesterday, which I got 100% of the problems correct. We then talked at length about the process of photosynthesis and respiration. Photosynthesis uses H2O and CO2 and converts it into C6H12O6 and O2. Respiration uses C6H12O6 and O2 and converts it into H2O and CO2 that can be used by the plant. Luckily for us the plant produces more O2 during photosynthesis than it uses during respiration.

So far I have had 2 quizzes and have aced both of them. I hope my perfect streak will continue, we have more difficult quizzes at the beginning of the week!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Turf School Day Six

Today we had our first Botany class. Our botany class is taught by the same guy who teaches our Landscape Management class. In Botany class we learned about the plant cell and the functions of the different organelles (or parts) of the plant cell, for example we learned about the nucleus, chloroplasts, cell wall, and cell membrane.
We also had our Landscape Management class today. We continued our discussion from last week about landscapes requiring work to keep them from becoming climax forests. A climax forest is similar to what happens to New York City in the movie "I am Legend." The climax forest is a complete conversion from a manicured landscape back to "nature." In this class we discuss the principles of landscape management, then we look at pictures to help us visualize the principles.
We finished our day with our Management Communications class. Today we discussed paradigms and how we need to keep an open mind while working and managing because everyone has a different background and different experiences they draw on in the work. We also took a personality/management style test which is called the Keirsey Temperment Sorter. We have to write a paper about our management style for this course and this test is what we are going to use to write the paper about our style and how we can improve.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Turf School Day Five

Today we had a class about turfgrass maintenance. We were split into groups and with our groups will have to develop a maintenance plan for our "course." Our group was assigned a exclusively private course. For the project we will decide our management budget and how we will maintain our course.
We also had another Management Communications course. One of our teachers for the course is focusing on our style of management, and today's instructor is focusing on our writing abilities for resumes and cover letters etc. Today in this class we discussed the needs of potential employers and how we can provide a solution to the employers needs.
We finished the day with a math class. The class started with an open book/open note quiz that everyone thought was extremely hard. I do not understand how an open book/open note quiz can be all that challenging, but for some it was. After our quiz we got into fertilizer and chemical calculations and now people are really freaking out. I can honestly say I understand the all the math we have gone over and am looking forward to completing all my homework and assignments for that class!!!!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Turf School Day Four

Yesterday I went to Church at the East Brunswick Ward. I am excited for ward basketball and I think I am going to start attending Institute. Living with Jeff most of what we talk about school and golf courses, so it will be nice to get out and have some fun both playing bball and learning more about the Gospel.

Today we had a Communications class. I think it will be similar to MCom, but with more emphasis on the management, less on the boring english assignments and research projects. The class is focused on our managerial style and improving our style. We do have to write or improve our resumes. We also had our first Pest Management and Plant Pathology class. These two classes were taught by the same instructor. It is fun to come to a school like Rutgers where so much research is conducted and actually meet the instructors that I have heard about or read research from. Our Pest management and Plant Path. teacher is Richard Buckley and he is VERY smart. Both classes were introductory in material and not too intense. Pest Management covered material about Integrated Pest Managment or IPM. IPM is a program that focuses on the plant and how to help the plant be healthy to fight off diseases and other pests as opposed to simply dumping pesticides on the plant to alleviate problems. At bYu many of the professor refer to it as plant health care.
Our Plant Pathology was all about diseases, viruses, bacteria, nematodes, and viroids. This is the subject that I came to Rutgers to study. I am excited about the information we learned today. I am also nervous because what little disease information I learned at bYu was difficult for me to remember and most of the knowledge did not apply to turfgrass. Luckily, I think that most of the class is in the same situation and we will all be struggling together.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Turf School Day Three

Today was FRIDAY!!!!! We started the day with a soil science class. Most soil science classes I have had were from the soils perspective, but this soils class will be from the edaphic or plants perspective. We discussed the different materials that make up soils and the varous soil horizons. O, A, B, C, R. O for the organic matter on the soil surface, A for the topsoil layer, B for the zone of accumulation, C for weathering soil, and R for the parent material. We then had a golf course design class. The instructor is a local golf course designer who has designed 20 courses and worked or consulted for about 300 across the country. We discussed the use of aerial photographs and topographical maps today. We ended with turfgrass identification. This class was similar to the turfgrass development class we had on Wednesday, it is like a lab portion for that course. We discussed and looked in detail at the differences between the baldes of different turf types and the ligules, auricles, sheaths, vernations. So far most of the material has been very familiar to what I learned at BYU, but all the material has been golf course specific as opposed to landscape or other agricultural applications.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Turf School Day Two

Today we had Math, Introduction to Mowers, and Landscape Management. Tha math was all about solving the areas of different shapes and areas. The mowing class was about clip rates and making sure that your mower is set up with the correct number of blades to cut at the needed height. We discussed the difference between rotary and reel mowers; the pros and cons of each. We finished up the day with Landscape Management. We discussed the difference between management and maintenance. We also discussed the importance of managing the golf course and landscape to the intent of the designer.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Turf School Day One

Today was my first day of turf school. It was an interesting experience... Most of the terminology and things we discussed in class I was familiar with. Today we had our introduction session and orientation. Our classes last for an hour and a half. We have several different subjects, some we have weekly for the ten week session and others we have weekly for five weeks, then we have a different class for the remainder of the five weeks. Today we had an irrigation class and a turf development class. I will continue to provide updates throughout the session.