Archive for April, 2007

silly things

On Sunday I wrote about being unable to do my English assignment, which is pretty much my problem of procrastination. So the whole issue of procrastination has been bothering me since that post…

So flash forward to today, we are going over quoting and paraphrasing and the professor hands out a sheet with an excerpt from an article on it. What was the article about? PROCRASTINATION! And it gave steps to change habits of procrastination.

I just sat there with a stupid smile on my face as I read it and I am sure the professor must think I am a little nuts. Who doesn’t enjoy a good weird and interesting coincidence?


News spreads fast. The power of the internet

If you ever doubted the ability of the internet to spread information…

So as some may or may have not heard the Free Lance-Star reported, “president of the University of Mary Washington was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol”.

The first place I saw this was posted on the network page of UMW on Facebook. Interestingly enough this is the first day of Facebook’s new look that includes this network page…it already proves itself useful!

I took a walk around campus around 5pm and I could hear people talking about the DUI charge and giving an approving, “Hell yea!” when asked if they had heard. Obviously this sort of things establishes “street cred” among college kids.

It doesn’t stop there, there already 2 Facebook groups dedicated to this incident.

Of course the University issued an e-mail that gives a little more detail:

“[President Frawley] was in an automobile accident yesterday in Northern Virginia and was admitted to Fairfax Inova Hospital. He insisted on leaving the hospital early in the morning, against advice, and returned to Fredericksburg. Earlier today, President Frawley was involved in another incident, the police were involved, and he is currently at Mary Washington Hospital for medical care.

It was a little vague about the incident that took place today…like it even matters now, everyone knows!

Second Life in Paris

Found this article today, in Paris people are using Second Life to showcase ideas for the renovation of Les Halles.

“Les Halles was the central wholesale market for the Paris region until the 1970s when it was razed to the ground to make way for a shopping centre. It is also a major underground hub and redevelopment plans for the area include renovating the garden.

But local residents’ association Accomplir (Accomplish) says residents have not been consulted over the gardens which they say are at the heart of local life.”

So what better way to deal with this problem but to take it online!

The association is urging locals to come up with their own ideas for the area’s gardens and post them in the online world of Second Life…Accomplir will shortlist five of the best projects, which will then be displayed on an island in Second Life.

The winner will be announced at the end of June and receive a reward of 275,000 linden dollars (785 euros, £530), the currency used in Second Life.

Accomplir will then go to the town hall with the winning idea, aiming to put pressure on officials to speed up the redevelopment process.

Oh, the endless possibilities of the internet never cease to amaze me.

I’m a INFJ, what about you?

Found this quiz over at D’Arcy Norman’s blog, it is like I am in high school again, I miss online quizzes.

So the results:

***You Are An INFJ***

The Protector

You live your life with integrity, originality, vision, and creativity.
Independent and stubborn, you rarely stray from your vision – no matter what it is.
You are an excellent listener, with almost infinite patience.
You have complex, deep feelings, and you take great care to express them.

You would make a great photographer, alternative medicine guru, or teacher.

Alternative medicine guru, eh? Somebody that commented over there who is also a INFJ posted a cool link to a more in-depth description. And just because I tend to doubt these sort of tests (or rather my ability to do these test right) I looked for another test and came up with the INFJ personality…

Ok back to work!

Thoughts To Distract Me From School Work

I was trying to work on a thesis paragraph for English when I hit a wall. This is a wall I often encounter while doing school work, it is the point where I become disinterested with what I am doing and generally have to put aside whatever I am doing for awhile in hopes that my brain will work in the background while I do other things.

It seems that I’ll often be reading other people’s blog posts that aren’t necessarily directly related to my problem but, somehow in the process of reading their post I better understand my problem. It will begin to take shape and I can actually define what is wrong. I’m very fond of the analogy, my brain likes to think of them and they seem to help me explain my often incoherent thoughts. So here is the latest from the analogy factory:

As I was saying earlier, I often hit a wall of boredom and disinterest while doing work for classes. On the other side of this is the fact that I find the whole education, learning, technology, etc. talk a fascinating (if not broad) topic. To sit and watch things unfold and to be able to listen in on great conversations that go on in the blogosphere is something I enjoy immensely. So here is the analogy…I think there is a general consensus across the U.S. and probably most of the world that poverty, AIDS, global warming, etc. are not good and we all want something to be done about these issues. In reality though, how many of us actually really do anything to help these efforts? It is so easy to support an abstract idea that is full of humanistic value and makes mankind shine a little brighter among all the muck that exists. We like the big ideas, not the individual effort. So how does this all connect? Just as I am fascinated by the “great” talk of educated people and am fascinated by the whole concept I have trouble making the connection between the big picture and little picture (individual effort). I feel like I am missing a link, although it sometimes makes a brief appearance. It is if my approach to the English assignment now would be the exact same approach if I had never read anyones blog. I’m sure that is not entirely true but, I cannot escape that feeling. I’m not necessarily looking for some grand life altering experience every time I sit down to do an assignment…I don’t even know what I am even trying to say anymore.

This sort of leads me to another question, how does a student go about immersing themselves in a learning environment when outside of the classroom it is not always conducive of such? I feel there is a great disconnect between student life and the learning life. I don’t want to sound self-righteous or condescending because I am sure there are other students who feel this and I am sure that all students feel this at some level. If we are truly supposed to be learning to learn and beginning our journey in the “life of the mind” why do I feel like so few students are aware of this? Or even care? Maybe it is just my freshman perspective that is so pessimistic and frustrated.

Ok, now I have to get back to my English assignment, lets see if anything has changed…  As I was editing this post I suddenly felt this elusive “link” make an appearance, I think I need to chase it a little before it runs away…

One Person At A Time

I think I am slowly converting my friends…very slowly but, any step forward is always good.

My friend came to see me at the Student Academy and was interested in my blog (and probably wondered why I was even presenting anyway). So she asked me to set up one for her, so last night we made her a blog!

Her first post basically talks about why she made the blog and she doesn’t promise to blog often but, I have great hopes. She also set up a Flickr account too, victory!

On the Issue of Privacy

During the panel discussion at the Student Academy the issue of privacy was brought up, so here are some thoughts:

I wonder what the future of such websites like Facebook and Myspace will be like, specifically the use of them by my generation. Our social connections and much of our time is spent on these websites now but, what will the use of these sites be like in the future? Will people my age continue to use them into their 20s, 30s, and so on? Will new websites be generated to cater to my generation as we get older? Or will we share the same online space with our own children? Perhaps, our own children won’t put up pictures of themselves, as Ben put it, “participating in awful activity-x”. A sort of counter-culture to their parents raucous online behavior. I believe there was a time before the internet and the digital camera where people just didn’t need to record every stupid thing they did, maybe our children will emulate that. Or maybe there will be some radical shift in parent-child relationships? I remember, being shocked when I heard of parents allowing their teenagers throw parties and drink alcohol, as long as there were parents present to make sure everyone is safe. Is this some weird idea or leading to a future change? I know that was a bit of a rabbit trail…

Jeff McClurken brought up the fact that we used to think of the internet as transitory when in reality a lot of it is permanent, every typo and bad picture is stored on a server. He asked the panel if we thought this was something that needed to be talked about. While I believe it is something that needs to addressed, I would hope that people would be educated about that sooner than college. Elementary students are already capable of surfing the internet why not start there? Isn’t it easier to brainwash them when they are young anyway? By the time most people get to college they don’t care anymore (not saying that information shouldn’t be available) but, I just doubt that students would take a lecture in Dodd Auditorium seriously. Maybe there could be a better way of addressing it but, most college students don’t care to hear it. The internet is just another thing in a long line of things that teenagers use to be rebellious. No matter what, teenagers will be reckless, one has to hope that they’ve been educated enough and they don’t screw up too much.

Maybe my generation is just more comfortable with sharing and privacy isn’t needed as much. Of course, no one wants their identity stolen or to be stalked by an online psycho but, maybe we are just more open as a generation.

My very dorky internet past exposed

I’ve been busy the last few days and my brain has finally demanded I get some thoughts out, if only for the sake of having more room.

The presentations at the student academy were informative, funny, and re-awakened my long dormant inner internet/computer geek. After the event I started having flashbacks to my former geeky internet past. I have trouble recollecting specifics (was middle school really that long ago?), probably because I haven’t thought about this part of my past since it occurred, so dorky confession time!

In middle school I was really into the WWF (now the WWE), every Monday and Thursday was spent watching wrestling. I even went to a ‘Raw is War’ event at Continental Airlines Arena. So naturally in the endless abyss that is the internet I found WWF rpg’s (role play games) although they were more like pseudo-rpg’s, in any case I participated in them. I won’t go into exact details of how they worked because each site had its own particular rules and I have already embarrassed myself enough. I do remember learning some basic HTML code and thinking myself pretty tech savvy for a middle schooler. Of course this story gets geekier, how could it not? Not only did I participate, I created WWF rp sites (around 2 or 3). The one I remember the most is the one I ran with someone I had met online. He taught me different codes and tricks of the trade but, my memory of the specifics are now non-existent. The details of how the websites were set up are gone from my memory too but, the fact that I actually did this is just a bizarre memory. Almost as if I am giving details of events from someone else’s past. I wonder if anyone else my age has weird past-internet memories?

After this memory resurfaced I was confronted by the feeling that I am underutilizing the internet, there is a lot of potential out there.

In any case, I plan on posting actual thoughts on the student academy and the panel discussion soon…

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