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Why I’m Excited To Study Digital Marketing At Udacity


Although I have accomplished plenty in my 24 years of life on this Earth, I never expected to find myself studying digital marketing at Udacity, an online school based in the San Francisco area. During the summer months of 2017, I was at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay, Wisconsin with the hopes of completing an associate’s degree in laboratory science. I was optimistic in the beginning, but by August and near the end of the semester, I wasn’t happy being there anymore. I had taken courses that were repetitive and progressed slowly to where I was overly bored despite the massive workload I always quickly completed.  In many cases, I completed assignments several weeks ahead of my classmates.

To keep myself from being bored with school, I started exploring the courses in the Android Basics program at Udacity, which I was deeply excited by despite the overall difficulty of the curriculum. Out of everything I could have done instead to diminish my boredom during that semester, I picked that for one reason alone: I was interested in the subject because I needed the skillset for a business idea I have.

On that note, I returned to Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin, where I originally started my education to use the internet at that campus instead. However, as I was slowly progressing through the curriculum in the Android Basics program at Udacity, I found myself intrigued by another program: digital marketing. Like most things in life, I wasn’t interested in something until I decided to check out the details for myself. I clicked on the link that brought me to the webpage and watched the short video on the Nanodegree. Before the video ended, I was already blown away by what I had viewed. Digital marketing, a skillset I never was interested in, turned out to be something I needed desperately for two reasons. Reason number one, I’m a creative writer, and I had been searching for a way to discover how to market my books to potentially make a living from my writing. Reason number two, digital marketing was a skillset necessary for the successfulness of my business idea: start a blockchain business meant to disrupt the publishing industry.

With less than three days until the September term for digital marketing at Udacity began, I purchased access to the curriculum and waited to begin on that Monday. I sat down at a small desk in the library at Fox Valley Technical College near the wall of windows on the far east side and watched the videos that featured the Udacity digital marketing instructors. I knew I was in the right place though I know Udacity isn’t the last institution I will learn new skills through. I felt relieved I finally had found what I needed to do most: follow my passions rather than the crowd. Thank goodness for this second chance at doing what’s most important to me.

The Mountain


The peak reaches an impressive height

An altitude of nearly 20 thousand feet

There’s snow above the tree line

Where avalanches are very possible

Within the valleys below

The foothills found on three sides

They are immersed in shades of green

There’s a forest of conifers

Mainly a collection of pine and spruce

Covering the consistent changes in elevation

There is a shepherd tending their herd

About two hundred in all

The pastures are lined with stonewalls

On occasion, a chorus of sheep sounds

Echoes throughout this particular valley

The shepherd seems in a hurry

He’s herding the flock toward a nearby barn

Because in the distance

Flashes of lightning are visible


Halfway up the slope

There’s a rock climber

Who’s dressed in tight-fit clothing

Half blaze orange

Half hot pink

She’s alone on this slope

The exception being an occasional goat

Several meters above her

A bolt of lightning strikes the slope

Sharp rocks drop towards her

She manages to dodge this volley of death

Unfortunately, new challenges have emerged

A steady rain soaks her to the skin

She must head for shelter

To her fortune

There’s a cave nearby

But her electronic device is useless

She’s unable to detect a signal

Unable to contact the outside world

A rock climber’s worst nightmare

One hand hold at a time

She continues to ascend the slope

As she has for the past two days


A helicopter has entered this particular valley

There’s a searchlight scanning the vicinity

Someone is looking for her

Wondering if she’s alright

She grabs a two-way radio

A last resort measure

And flashes a light from the cave entrance

With both devices in hand

She guides the whirlybird to her location

A bag of supplies is dropped by parachute

Landing on a nearby ledge

Which then the helicopter flies away

Leaving this female climber to her devices

She unpacks the supplies and organizes them

< >

Before she sleeps on this night

She tells herself the following:

‘I will continue the climb once the storm passes’

‘I can’t give up since I’ve come this far’

‘I’ve spent the last 15 years preparing for this moment’

‘I cannot quit while I’m on top’

‘I must keeping going’

‘I must rest while I can’

‘This mountain may try to stop me’

‘No matter the difficulties’

‘I shall persevere’

‘No matter how long it takes to reach that peak’

I’m A Phlebotomist

Hello, I’m a phlebotomist

I request patients to roll up their sleeves

But first, what is your first and last name?

How about your date of birth?

Who is your doctor?

Let me check your wristband too

That is, if you have one

Otherwise I will need to find the nurse first

For patient identification is vital

Within the healthcare environment

< >

Hello, I’m a phlebotomist

I use a tourniquet to help anchor your veins

I use a finger to palpate for them

Have you drank plenty of water?

Have you fasted for twelve hours?

I understand your hunger pains

Unfortunately, breakfast can wait for now

I know you want coffee and creamer

Please provide me a few minutes

I will be done here shortly

< >

Hello, I’m a phlebotomist

I’m almost ready to draw your blood

My needle equipment has been assembled

The tubes and sterile gauze are all within reach

Please keep your arm straight and don’t move

Here we go

Depending on your veins

They are either shallow or deep

Highly visible or invisible altogether

Regardless, I’ve struck a lively oil

And my tubes are filling fast

< >

Hello, I’m a phlebotomist

Are you feeling alright?

I mean, I am removing blood from your system

If you’re not, please take a deep breath

I’ll have someone grab a juice

And before you realize it

The blood draw is over in seconds

I’ll place an initialed label on each tube

Then confirm the information is correct

With your acknowledgement of course

< >

Hello, I’m a phlebotomist

I’m sorry, but I need a urine sample too

Don’t worry, I won’t stand in the bathroom with you

Unless you request my assistance

But if you’re here for a drug screening

I will request the door remain slightly ajar

I have many more duties

Like collecting throat swabs

Listening to a patient’s stories

Because I am a phlebotomist

And no matter the situation I’m thrown into

No matter the tasks involved today

And the days that follow this one

Patient confidentiality and comfort

They always come first

I Had To Say Something ( [A] Christina Epiphany )

Alongside everyone else who still has a soft side, I’m also deeply saddened by Christina Grimmie’s death, even though that was a year ago now. This is a poem I wrote, which will be included in my book Millennial On The March, in the minutes following the moment I heard the news. I never knew Christina personally or attended any of her shows, but I still feel a strong connection to her music. Once more, if only she were still here to compose new songs. Why do those who make this world a little more unique always seem to be taken away from us too soon?

A Christina Epiphany

I’ve been a fan for less than one year

The comfort of her pop music in my ears

Now I’m told the selfless young woman is deceased

Such tragedy like none before for me

I usually feel disconnected when events like this occur

Someone I never knew personally or indirectly

Someone who never influenced positivity in my life

Her lyrics empowered everyone to promote change

To make this world dominated by evil a far better place

This incident has struck home for me

I cannot believe there’s a reason for everything

Why did this young woman whose music I loved must be killed?

What physical or thought crimes did she commit?

Maybe there is a reason for why such creative beauty was prematurely ended

Even if somebody within the billions that resoundingly disagree believes it was a righteous one

Musicians like Christina always breathed love and devotion

Always outpouring to those in need of a helping hand

I noticed her recent campaign to help animals needing homes

This proves how passionate she was as an individual

Her unfortunately short legacy should never be forgotten

I must transition my attention to the currently anonymous murderer

What crime was committed by Christina?

I have found no empirical evidence to prove such accusations

What went wrong inside your mind whoever you are?

I realize life can be more difficult than veteran level in video games

What made you snap inside to seek attention through 15 minutes of fame?

The questions about this immoral character have abounded inside my head

Had a former best friend betrayed you?

Did your boyfriend/girlfriend dump you without a precise explanation?

Did you fail an important course in high school or college?

Did you lose the source of income that kept you off the streets?

Unfortunately, the world will never know

More importantly, why hadn’t we noticed this individual was gasping to be heard?

To release the tensions of a tormented mind that felt abandoned

There’s a gift card on my desk still unclaimed 

I entered the code and bought Christina’s album

‘With Love’ with a double meaning 

One to financially support her heartbroken family

Two because that’s the title of this musical masterpiece

How bittersweet that’s what it took to decide

Whose album to purchase with the gift card on my desk

I might be a nobody compared to Christina

The contestant on a nationally televised show

An artist that’s toured the world

While I’m struggling to promote myself online

Though I’ve written one published novel

With five more books on the way

As part of my poetry series under development

This one’s for you Christina

All because someone like you through your lyrics 

Inspired someone like myself to keep moving forward

No matter how difficult this life as a writer becomes

At least I have individuals like yourself to inspire everyone

I wish this wasn’t a goodbye poem 

Sincerely, Joel Hovell 

A Christina Grimmie Fan

Beyond Our Cosmos

Humanity failed to explore

Beyond the Earth’s moon

All while probes, satellites, and rovers

Have been sent beyond our closest neighbor

Many of which have reached

The edge of the Solar System itself

What about Homo sapiens?

Don’t we deserve better than this?

Manned space exploration

The holy grail of the 21st century

After nearly five decades

Where humans never left low-Earth orbit

Forget about the innumerable risks

Where space could kill us immediately

Should we escape the protection

Of our spacesuits and spacecraft alike

< >

All the hype derived from films and books

Especially those from the last ten years

The drive to explore space is understandable

We wish to journey for the Red Planet

And this journey is very possible soon

What about other celestial bodies?

How about colonizing Venus?

Once we eliminate the sulfurous clouds

Is the Moon a suitable home too?

How about Phobos and Deimos?

The two moons of the planet Mars

Doesn’t matter which are viable sites

For future populations of homo sapiens

Humanity is going

Whether the haters outnumber us

Or not

< >

In the year 1492

Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean

From east to west

Was considered risky if not fatal


People would greet Columbus

And they could help him return to Spain

Unfortunately for space pioneers

Besides those stationed in low-Earth orbit

Those who venture farther out

Will have nobody to rescue them

Should a major problem occur

They will need to rely on each other

< >

Due to my vivid imagination

I can perceive how humanity can live elsewhere

Somewhere beyond the edges of the Solar System

Here’s a good question

What’s really beyond the asteroid belt?

You know

This humongous ring of big rocks

Found between Mars and Jupiter

If only we knew the answer to this question:

What’s beyond the dwarf planet Pluto?

I’ve watched the space pioneers

During their quest to search the heavens

Where they found hundreds of planets

All situated in distant galaxies

The time between these discoveries

And when humans venture towards them

Could be measured in centuries

We might be an ambitious, intelligent species

If exploring space beyond our system is desired

The first step we make

No matter the impact it makes

Must be made soon

< >

Why not now today?

Humanity possess the technology

Companies are preparing to mine asteroids

To provide resources for use on Earth

To construct infrastructure in outer space

For use in colonizing the cosmos

We’ve taken risks before

Look at our history on this planet

We colonized the Earth over thousands of years

Acclimating ourselves to various climates

Forging the crudest of weapons and tools

To find ourselves possessing great potential

Our species is almost entirely interconnected

Our technology more advanced

Than those days on the plains of Africa

Several million years ago

In other words

Humanity has come a long way

And despite the journey thus far

We’re far from anything associated with finish lines

< >

In respect to human exploration

This is the beginning of our journey

New systems to colonize

New galaxies inhabit

On these untamed planets

With their foreign habitats and exotic suns

Many people are not afraid

Or understanding firsthand

By putting boots on the ground

In the name of science

And carbon based life forms itself

I’m aware of the ongoing bloodshed

The widespread poverty and chronic illness

Which afflicts this species of ours

There’s no better time in human history

Than the current era we’re in

We have some of the boldest thinkers

Who continue to question everyone

And everything at our disposal now

< >

Why didn’t we head out sooner?

The technology meant for space exploration

Has been around for several decades

We have already set foot on the Moon

Long before I took my first steps during infancy

Space technology has improved exponentially

Since those days during the space race

Another competition like long ago

Through free market competition

A similar attitude can be achieved

Forget the antics of the pessimistic

Humanity will be reaching out again

With the help of ambitious souls

To colonize Mars and the Moon

To venture towards the edge of the Solar System

Without question