Friday, August 22, 2014

Get Involved in Your Kid's School

My wife and I just signed our oldest daughter up for Kindergarten this year.  We choose a local private school only because we really like the curriculum and since that's where she went to preschool, we already know and love the teachers there.  It is a good fit for us and my daughter gets to keep some of the same friends that she has been around for the last couple years.  However, It wasn't until we signed her up that I realized that they required parents to volunteer within the school.

What!?  Me volunteer?

I think not.  I have things to do, work, a life...

It wasn't until I started thinking about it that I realized what a wonderful idea this was. My wife is a middle school teacher and she tells me these stories of kids and their parents, and how hard it is to contact the parents in times that their kids really need them.  During most parent-teacher conferences it usually ends up with 80% of the parents being a no-show.  Where are the parents?  Don't we care about our kids' education?  We should.

I can't explain the rationale for previous generations but my generation needs to get off there butts and attend a school function.  Be active in your child's life.  There is a saying that I've heard often:
"Be here now."
To me it means to be active in the present.  Stop daydreaming and pay attention to what is going on around you.  Be observant of your surroundings.  At this point we've lived through some troubling times;  the decline in the economy in 2008, a high unemployment rate, an ever increasing national debt, a Congress that can't work together, and the list goes on.  How can we expect our children to make good choices in their future if they are uneducated?  We must be active parents and stop being lazy.

Originally I thought that the idea of volunteering was burdensome, but I realize the value of participation.  How would you have felt if your parents participated a little more while you were growing up?  By helping out we can improve the quality of our local education systems, reduce classroom violence, and make a positive influence on our children's quality of life.

NHibernate 4.0 Released

Just to let everyone know that NHibernate 4.0 is out!

Get it here:

Creating a Blank Report in iReport Designer 5.6.0

I recently set out to create a blank report using the Jaspersoft iReport Designer 5.6.0. When I googled for articles trying to find out how to do this (because it wasn't totally obvious to me from the app) I didn't find any good articles explaining this. Moreover, my question posed on Stack Overflow didn't have very many responses. But thanks to Mike Noland for suggesting I use an empty datasource to configure my report, because that's what set me on the path to find what worked.

To set this up, go to the Report Datasources and click the New button.  This will bring up the following dialog.

Select 'Empty data source' and next.  Then choose to add one empty row and set it as your default data source.  Now if you click the Preview button you'll see all your text but with empty data.  This comes in really handy.  Now all you have to do is remove any parameters you might have so your user doesn't get prompted.  That's assuming you're using a report that originally asked for them.

This was much easier to implement then I was originally making it out to be but I thought I'd help the next guy out.  :)