Newsletter, September 2011

Go Fly a Kite!

KitesHaving trouble connecting with your creative side? Christine Lochrie has four words of advice: Go fly a kite. Stress, busy schedules and daily routines are the enemies of creativity. Play helps nurture it. "One of the major blocks to reaching our inner creativity is that adults tend to be too serious. They don't let themselves play," said Ms. Lochrie, a freelance writer who is teaching an online class for UCR Extension called "Freeing Your Creativity."

"That's what it's all about. As adults, we often want to be perfect immediately. It's okay to just play and allow yourself to be a beginner and try something fresh." Ms. Lochrie, a veteran journalist who lives in Vancouver, Washington, encourages her students to try new things, do something frivolous and have fun. She steers her students through a series of exercises designed to free their creativity. In addition to daily journaling, Ms. Lochrie advises her students to do things like writing with their left hand if they are right-handed and vice versa. Students are urged to pay attention to their environment. She suggests they choose one sense, such as hearing, and just sit and focus on the sounds around them. The next day choose another sense, such as touch or smell.

"People who want to be more creative have got to get out of the day-to-day life they've built," she said. Ms. Lochrie's favorite part of teaching is watching her students blossom and grow. "I love watching people discover themselves and explore new ideas," she said. Once you have freed your creativity, how about trying it out on a series of writing classes offered by UCR Extension? Fall classes include: "Beginning Fiction Techniques" and "Screenwriting Workshop I."

Find out more about writing classes offered at the UCR Extension.

Beware of your cell phone: it can and will be used against you in a court of law!

Anthony PelatoDigital forensics examiners can find incriminating evidence in websites you've visited, emails and phone calls you've sent and received, and data files you've downloaded and deleted. "The way files are stored on a hard drive allows computer forensics examiners to recover the items that the user believes were deleted," said Anthony Pelato, a digital forensics expert with a local law enforcement agency.

While virtually unheard of a decade ago, digital forensics is now as common as dusting for fingerprints and swabbing for DNA at crime scenes. Digital forensics can help solve every kind of crime including: homicide, sexual abuse, child molestation, stalking, harassment, theft, burglary, espionage and terrorism. Mr. Pelato is teaching "Introduction to Computer and Digital Media Forensics" for UCR Extension beginning September 19. The class is an elective for UCR Extension's Certificate in Crime Scene Investigation, but is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about this subject. The course provides an introduction to the technical, investigative and legal issues related to computer and digital forensics.

Unlike as depicted on television shows like CSI or NCIS, digital forensics exams typically aren't done in seconds or minutes. It takes days, weeks and even months to comb through 1 million files on somebody's hard drive and either rule them out or find them relevant to a case. Examiners also have to abide by privacy laws and privilege concerns governing the relationships between attorneys and clients and husbands and wives. And, police officers can't just routinely confiscate someone's computer during a criminal investigation. They need to have probable cause to believe the device was used in the commission of a crime.

Digital forensics examiners are in great demand today. The field is open to existing law enforcement officers or civilians working for the government or on contract with a police department.

Learn more about the class and UCR Extension's Certificate in Crime Scene Analysis.

Turning on the Light Bulb

Light BulbRandall Hatch believes that learning has to be exciting. "Textbooks are wonderful, but they're dry. I strongly believe we need a good text with background, but the class should be instructed with personal anecdotes showing how to apply the concepts to everyday life." Mr. Hatch teaches a series of interior design courses at UCR Extension to rave reviews from his students, including one who wrote on the evaluation form:

"Randall Hatch is a truly amazing instructor. This is the first class I have ever taken at the Extension Center, and his inspiring enthusiasm and extensive knowledge of interior design has completely convinced me that I want to pursue a career in interior design. I am going to take every class required for the certificate. I can't wait!"

Mr. Hatch wanted to be a designer since he was a child, and was put in charge of decorating the family Christmas tree every year. He grew up learning from professional designers hired by his parents, and broadened his horizons over five summers when he traveled the world with his grandmother. "The more you can see, feel and understand, the better designer you'll be," he said. After earning a graduate degree in design, Mr. Hatch worked for several prestigious designers in New York and Los Angeles before launching his own company. He started teaching interior design courses at UCR Extension about four year ago, and also is teaching a Color Theory class at UCLA.

His students are required to present their ideas in front of the class because as Mr. Hatch put it, "If you can't sell your products, you're a failure." They also discuss specific designers and what they like or don't like about their work. He encourages his students to critique each others' work in a friendly manner then he asks the hard questions like "Why do you like that?" or "What's the style of furniture?"

Mr. Hatch teaches the basic principles like form, shape and mass, and the elements like color, texture and rhythm of design. But then, he moves beyond the basics and encourages his students to develop their own personal styles. "I tell them the first week, start learning who you are and your preferences." What he loves best is "seeing the light bulbs going on in their eyes. My joy is when they get it!" His next classes are: "Introduction to Interior Design," beginning September 15, and "Space Planning," which starts on September 19.

Learn more about Mr. Hatch's classes and UCR Extension's Interior Design Certificate program.

Fun Facts About Crayola Crayons

CrayonsNow that children are heading back to school, what better time to pay homage to the humble blend of paraffin and pigment that has been a staple of school supplies for more than a century.

  1. For a lot of us, our lifelong love affairs with color began with these wax sticks and a blank sheet of paper. According to a Yale University study, the scent of Crayola crayons is among the 20 most recognizable to American adults. Coffee and peanut butter are 1 and 2.
  2. Crayola crayons were invented by Edward Binney and Harold Smith, and named "Crayola" by Alice Binney, who combined the French word for chalk (craie) and "ola" to signify the petroleum base of the new product.
  3. The first box of Crayola crayons sold for a nickel in 1903. The box included the same colors that are available in the eight-count box today: red, blue, yellow, green, violet, orange, black and brown. Currently, the company makes 120 different colors.
  4. In 1996 the 100 billionth crayon was sold.
  5. Children in the U.S. collectively spend 6.3 billion hours each year coloring with crayons.
  6. Over the years, the company has voluntarily changed the name of three crayons in response to public sentiment. Prussian Blue became Midnight Blue in 1958, and Flesh became Peach in 1962. Indian Red was changed in 1999 to Chestnut. In 1992, Crayola introduced a box of 16 multicultural crayons, intended to give children an assortment of skin tone-based colors.
  7. The Crayola crayon was featured on a U.S. postage stamp in 1998. That year, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., added a 1958, 64-count box of Crayola crayons to the permanent collection of the National Museum of American History.


What do you know about Labor Day?

Labor DayWhy is Labor Day always the first Monday in September?

  1. It's the international day to celebrate workers.
  2. It's halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving.
  3. It's the only day the original organizers could get a parade permit.

Labor Day was created by labor unions to celebrate the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. It was first celebrated with a parade and festival in New York City on Sept. 5, 1882, and declared a national holiday by President Grover Cleveland in 1894.

Take a few moments to test your knowledge of the holiday and American workers in general.

1) Why did the workers' unions choose the first Monday in September to be Labor Day?

  1. Because it was halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving.
  2. Because other countries like China and Brazil celebrated their workers on that day.
  3. Because that was the only time they could get a parade permit.

2) Membership in labor unions in the United States reached an all-time high in the 1950s when about 40 percent of the work force belonged to unions. What is the current percentage of union membership in the United States?

  1. 20%
  2. 14%
  3. 6%

3) Labor Day marks the beginning of what season?

  1. Deer hunting
  2. Bird watching
  3. Football

4) What fashion faux pas is commonly associated with the months following Labor Day?

  1. Wearing shoes without socks
  2. Wearing white
  3. Wearing patent leather shoes

5) What is ergophobia?

  1. Fear of work
  2. Fear of public speaking at work
  3. Fear of socializing with co-workers

Answers: 1) a; 2) b; 3) c; 4) b; 5) a

Share Your Expertise

Kit AlvarezDo you have a particular skill or expertise that you would like to share with high school students? Would you like to teach teenagers some practical skills to go along with their academic education? The recently revised Career Technical Education credential may be just what you are looking for. Designed to allow real world practitioners from graphic artists to veterinary assistants learn how to share their skills in an academic setting, the credential is CTC approved.

Historically, high school students who weren't considered college material were steered to vocational education classes as an alternative to academic courses. Today, vocational education is considered a complement to academic courses and a 2006 study by the University of California, Riverside, showed that students enrolled in these courses went to college at the same rate as those who were not.

"These classes are important because they help build connections between what the students learn in their academic studies and how it applies in the real world," said Kit Alvarez, an administrator for the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Regional Occupational Program (ROP).

Alvarez coordinates the UCR Extension's Career Technical Education Credentialing program for individuals with experience in a broad range of vocations from photography to auto mechanics, who want to share their knowledge with others.

Alvarez said the credentialing program recently underwent significant revisions by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Basic requirements for a preliminary credential include a high school diploma or equivalent and three years of work experience in the field to be taught, according to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

UCR Extension's program is unique among similar programs in the area because teachers are allowed to start working with a preliminary credential while they complete the program. Once they complete the program and several required courses including CPR and First Aid, they have to complete two years of supervised teaching and compile a portfolio to earn their clear credential, which is good for five years and can be renewed on line.

Students learn how to structure lesson plans, develop assessments and how to work with students, including those who speak languages other than English.

"Most of the people I work with and see in the program generally want to give back to the community," Alvarez said. "They believe they have an expertise and skill and they want to share it."

Career and Technical Education Credentials authorize individuals to teach in one of 15 different industry sectors ranging from Agriculture and Natural Resources to Transportation. Alvarez said the types of ROP classes offered in an area are aligned to the regional job market. For example, Health Science and Medical Technology ROP programs are very common in Riverside and San Bernardino counties because the medical industry is so strong in this region.

Other programs include: automotive technician; manufacturing technology; veterinary assistant; graphic arts; computer information technology and marketing and business.

Find out more about the new Career and Technical Education Credentials program.

Rising Star

Frederick Ying Fu LeeAs a crime analyst intern for the Los Angeles Police Department, Frederick Ying Fu Lee maps crime "hot spots" to help officers predict where the next crimes may occur and how to stop them. Crime mapping and analysis were among the many skills he learned through UCR Extension's Crime and Intelligence Analysis Certificate Program.

Frederick uses maps and computers to analyze where and when crimes are occurring, what property is being taken and what vehicles are involved. His daily reports are distributed to patrol officers and specialized units that are zeroing in on the problem. "I gather as much information as possible so when the officers go out into field they are not blindfolded and can target specific locations," Frederick said.

He enrolled in the certificate program after graduating from UC Riverside in 2008 with a Bachelor's degree in psychology. Even though he had given up a childhood dream of being an LAPD officer after losing hearing in his left ear, he still wanted to be involved with law enforcement. While Googling career opportunities, Frederick found UCR Extension's Crime and Intelligence Analysis Certificate Program and decided to enroll in "Introduction to Criminal Justice." After one class, he was hooked.

Retired West Covina Police Chief John Distelrath, like the other instructors Lee encountered, used real -life cases and experiences in the field to make the course interesting. "He really made us see what it takes to be a police officer, the dangers, the stress, and the importance of all you're trying to do," Frederick said. "It was captivating." The program requires students to do 400 hours of internship with the crime analysis unit of a law enforcement agency. When Frederick applied to the LAPD for an internship position, he was hired by a supervisor, who had graduated from a similar program at Cal State Fullerton that was taught by some of the same instructors who teach at UCR Extension.

After completing the certificate program in October, Frederick volunteered to stay on as an intern to gain additional experience since the LAPD had a hiring freeze. Currently, he is pursuing a temporary position as a crime analyst with the Riverside Police Department. Frederick still hopes to one day become a police officer, despite his hearing loss, so he can combine his crime analysis skills with real-life crime investigations.

Learn more about the Crime and Intelligence Analysis Certificate Program.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

UC Riverside Extension Center
1200 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92507-4596

UCR Extension Center

Tel: Work(951) 827-4105 or Toll-Free(800) 442-4990 toll-free
Fax: Fax(951) 827-7273