Bri Colorful

Archive for October 2010

Wonderful

Posted on: October 29, 2010

Per Krystina’s suggestion, I decided to try out making a screen capture. I captured a picture of the desktop my sweet husband recently made for me of a favorite photo from our recent trip to Florida (for his brother’s wedding). Check it out!

We went to Epcot at DisneyWorld. Grant grew up in Florida and had been to Disney many times, so he and my sister-in-law, Hannah, had a great time showing me all their favorite spots. Thanks to our good friend, J.D., for the passes!

(more pictures to come)

We had to learn a bit about computer art for my digciv class. Basically it’s any art (image, music, video, game, etc) that used a computer to help create or display it. I’m thinking the lines are getting a bit blurry here though. Relatively little art that is part of my daily life was untouched by a computer. Think about it. How much art do you daily partake of that doesn’t have to do with a computer? It’s a little scary.

I just read this interesting article written about the stereotypes of teenagers and their use of technology. Amy Goldwasser makes some interesting points:

  • People are badmouthing teenagers for being part of a “fragmenting culture” in which “young men and women … have read nothing, knowing only some specialty or other, for instance, computers.””
  • Teenagers may not be able to spit out a rapid fire answer to an author/ title question, but because such information is literally at their fingertips on the internet, memorization-type knowledge of that sort is out of date.
  • Those who stereotype teens’ use of technology as a waste of time should realize that the internet is a tool for communication, collaboration, writing, activism, sharing, and storytelling.
  • “The average teen chooses to spend an average of 16.7 hours a week reading and writing online” (and 80% of statistics are made up on the spot … that one seems a little high to me, but okay)
  • “Regularly, often late at night, [teenagers] are generating a body of intimate written work. They appreciate the value of a good story and the power of a speech that moves”

and the main point? “Teenagers today read and write for fun; it’s part of their social lives. We need to start celebrating this unprecedented surge, incorporating it as an educational tool instead of meeting it with punishing pop quizzes and suspicion.”

It’s some interesting food for thought. Now for the connection to what I’m learning in my English classes:

In the 18th century, there emerged a new genre of short personal essays published on a weekly basis. Because of the frequency of publication, they were pretty informal and didn’t always get their facts exactly straight. Still, my Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Restoration and the 18th Century records that such “periodical writing [as that of] Addison and Steele (popular authors of this genre of periodical publication) is remarkable for its comprehensive attention to diverse aspects of English life — good manners, daily happenings in London, going to church, shopping, investing in the stock market, the fascinations of trade and commerce, proper gender roles and relations, the personality types found in society, the town’s offerings of high and low entertainment, tastes in literature and luxury goods, [and] philosophical speculation…”

Sound familiar? It’s pretty comparable to blogging (and other internet mediums). Today the publications run by Addison and Steele (the Spectator and the Tatler) are one of the most valuable resources we have as an insight into the culture of 18th century England. But writers like Addison and Steele also faced opposition; in their case it was from big wigs like Alexander Pope (possibly out of fear of losing money from this popular new medium of thought). Similarly, Goldwasser postulates that maybe people are afraid of what teenagers have to say.

I’m so impressed with googledocs lately. I’ve been using it for a while to collaborate on stuff for work and school, but my understanding of what I can do with it is really expanding.

Today I was working on a paper and as usual shared it with my editor mother-in-law and English major sister, just to see if they had any input on how I could improve. In one of those moments of writer’s block in which you’ll click on anything as long as it doesn’t have to do with the paper you’re supposed to be working on, I clicked on the sharing options of my google document. I didn’t realize that not only could I share it with other collaborators in gmail, I could now paste a link that would share my paper with anyone on the internet. I quickly shared the link via facebook, twitter, and buzz and then promptly forgot about it and returned to my paper writing, enthused with the thrill of discovery.

Hours later while I was again working on my paper, I saw that my digital civilizations professor had just commented on my link about the interesting concept of “open composition” that I had stumbled upon quite by accident. I had simply posted it there out of 1.) enthusiasm for a new tool and 2.) because if someone wants to take time to give me feedback, great! I certainly don’t have the daytime hours to go to the writing fellows (unless they’ve recently changed their hours to my paper-writing hours: 8pm to midnight).

So now that my paper is turn in ready (though I suppose I’ll never consider it complete), I thought I’d share the link here and tell you about my experience with googledocs today. I also want to ask you what you think about “open composition”. My mother-in-law’s immediate reaction was: won’t someone be able to copy your work? I suppose that’s true, if they wanted to (I don’t gaurentee any As here though). I pointed out that most professors now have programs that search the internet for quotes from student’s papers to make sure they haven’t done just that. So I’m not really worried about someone stealing my “intellectual property” and trying to pass it as their own. It’s so public.

I’m also trying to explore more into the idea of creative commons, the idea that you can license your intellectual property as your own but allow and perhaps even encourage the sharing, remixing, or reuse of that property. I’ll post more about that later though.

Anyways, my brain is totally fried from writing for way too long and if I don’t hit my pillow, the headcold that has been threatening control over my senses today will win. I shall come out victorious! I have a wedding in Florida this weekend and I will not be sick, by sheer force of will. Good night world.

My book club group decided to read a collection of romantic poems by Colridge and Wordswroth entitled Lyrical Ballads to get a better feel for romanticism. I really enjoyed sampling most of the poems and really diving into a few of them. I’ve created a slideshow presentation of my findings from my reading.

*

My very favorite poem from the collection was “The Tables Turned“. It is short, so if you have a second read it. It’s Wordsworth reaction against book learning by turning to what he considers the source of knowledge and joy, nature. Pretty sure I agree with him, but not sure if that’s because of true conviction or the dull ache in my head from reading too much for school.

*presentation created at zoho.com and then uploaded to slideshare.net

My name is Bri, and I’m a post-it note addict.

 

My Costco Size Package

 

I’m afraid it’s true. Post-its polka-dot my house like haphazard wall paper. They are reminders, meal plans, shopping lists, ideas, favorite quotes, inspiration, love notes, etc. I’m sure some of the ones more romantic in nature embarrass our visitors, but I don’t have the heart to take them down. My favorites stay up for a long time; I look at them often  and they give me hope, like little neon talismans. Some I take down after they’ve been up for a little while and store in notebooks for later reflection. I especially enjoy rereading Grant and my love “note” book.

Then we installed Windows 7 on our computer and they have post-it notes for your desk top. Suffice it to say that my desktop is so littered with reminders, lists, and favorite scriptures that you cannot see the lovely picture in the background. And if you ask my coworkers, they’ll tell you I pass notes and reminders on post-its everyday. I wonder what they must think of the crazy post-it lady at work.

It’s funny because there is not even the semblance of order in the post-its on my wall, but when I take the time to file them away, I find categories to put them under. It’s a little like life in the present versus life in memory. In the now, it’s haphazard, like the posts on my blog — ahem, sorry. But one day I’ll tag them all, sort it all out, and remember fondly.

Before the internet (internal chuckle), people so much smarter than me dreamed up amazing machines to do their math homework for them. Charles Babbage’s Difference Machine is one of these machines. Except, unlike my calculator, this one is 11 by 8 feet and takes a crank to put out it’s amazingness, though I must admit, I find it more aesthetically pleasing. It’s a forefather to modern computing machines. Now if only I could devise such a machine to write college papers, that would really make a difference.


Photo of Bri

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