Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Find Me

I am not going to be a Blogger-blogger anymore; however, you can find me writing away here.

Thanks.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Start of the Summer

So, today, with blatant disregard to the list I had made earlier this week, I started reading Orson Scott Card’s novel, Ender’s Game.

It’s one science fiction novel that I actually sit-down and read. I can’t say that I usually enjoy Sci-Fi, but I can say that this book is way cool. Briefly, it’s about a young boy, Ender (duh), who is a six-year-old genius who is being trained to become a military leader in the art of war. Aliens have already attacked the earth twice, and it is up to young Ender, who already knows that time is running out, to save the planet.

Corny Sci-Fi plot aside, this book is worth reading because of the voice of the young protagonist. Even though he is only six, the mental capacity and awareness of this kid is amazing. It’s cool how Orson Scott Card develops the thought patterns of Ender. I just started the book today, it’s about 325 pages, and I’m already more than half way through it. It’s a good read, and I recommend it.

In other news, my friends and I went to Brooklyn for the weekend. It was Kathleen’s housewarming party. Good times. Besides drinking warm Blue Moon’s on the train, I would say the best part of that night came with the 4AM trip to get sandwiches. Who knew a three dollar sangwich could be so delicious. I was skeptical, so I didn’t get a sandwich. But, somehow, I think I ended up eating way more than one sub. I split half of Eddie’s with Brooks, and I ate Andy’s other half. There was another mayonnaise-infested sub that I also think I ate too much of.

When I got back after, eating the sangwiches, I proceeded to drink an entire Yoo-Hoo in about one-tenth of a second. Bad idea. After sleeping for about 30 minutes on Kathleen’s oh-so-comfortable kitchen floor and waking with a Doritos chip in my hair, I decided to just go ahead and get some of that out of my stomach. Nah, honestly, I didn’t have much of a choice. I’m sure all of the booze didn’t help, either.

Anyway, that sounds horrible but I did have a good time. It would have been better if Kathleen, and the cabbie for that matter, had any idea where she lived. Ha.

Since I’ve been home, I’ve been eating incredibly healthy because of my parents’ diet. This is good and bad. It’s good for obvious reasons, but, I’ll tell you, if that Doritos chip was still in my hair, I would love to eat it.

I’m going to go try to find it. Cheers.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

So THIS Is What Blogs Are For

The past eighteen hours or so have become unfortunately stressful for me. It seems that, although I am slightly excited to travel home for the summer, packing and cleaning is more than I bargained for. My roommate has already left; however, there is so much work left to be done (after I spoke with the landlord) that I’m not going to be able to come home until really late tonight (probably tomorrow). Right now, I’m just so frustrated that I’ve decided to sit down and blog. Just to get my mind off of things for a while.

I still have to polish up an essay for publication into the English Journal. I’m excited that my professor is encouraging me to submit it, but I’m not particularly excited about spending MORE time on schoolwork. Ultimately, I just want to head home and, maybe, go to the city tomorrow. That's not going to happen if I end up stuck here again tonight. Eh, I guess I’ll try to be optimistic… I am going to go. I am going to go. I am going to go.

Another piece adding to my bitterness is the fact that we handed in the cable box, and et cetera, only to be left with a really, really crappy connection. Now, this wouldn’t have been a problem if I were to have left yesterday as planned. You all get the point.

So, in thinking positive, I’d like to focus on some of the books that I want to read this summer. I always look forward to summer reading. This year, I think I’m going to catch up on some YA titles, as I said before. I’ve never read The Outsiders or Twilight, so I want to tackle them. I just ordered Paul Shirley’s book, The Contortionist’s Handbook, and Slaughterhouse-Five. Those will be the first to be read, probably in that order. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

I was able to chat with some really influential people this week, and I would love to write more about it, but I’m going to wait until after one more meeting tonight. For now, I’m going to work on this paper for the Journal. Hopefully I’ll be online from my house tonight.

Even if I leave tomorrow, I bet you I can still make it to the city… maybe.

Cheers

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"It's Something Unpredictable"


Whew! It’s all over, I think. Well, for this semester in any case. It’s funny, though. I’ve never quite enjoyed school as much as I am now. I’m learning some truly remarkable things. It makes me look forward to my future. Awesome.

Anyway, I understand the blogging has been sparse; however, I assure you that I’m back. There are a lot of things that I’ve failed to blog about that are important to me because of my hectic semester. As it turns out, taking four classes, doing an assistantship, and helping teach was tolerable. I guess it’s just because I’m enjoying it all. It looks like my GPA will be fruitful, also.

So here are some of the things that I want to make my priority this summer. First off, I want to make sure I read a lot. There are a lot of…well… YA books that I feel that I’m obliged to read as a future high-school English teacher. And to be honest, they all seem like they’re going to be pretty Rad, anyway.

Also, given my interests in technology and the teaching of English, I’ll be talking a little about Second Life (See picture above). I’ve been doing extensive research on it, and I’d love to tell you folks (DAVE, you skeptic) about what the REAL deal is. So, I’ll take you on a journey or two in the next couple of days. I’m not a big video-gamer or anything, but I see potential in this. Also, I went to a couple lectures and see that a lot of higher-Ed. people are buzzing about it. And… who knew! Steve’s in SL, also. I’m being vague intentionally. I don’t want to spoil future posts.

One of my really good friends, Eddie, is moving to Florida in a couple of days. I’m happy for him because it seems that he is genuinely excited about the up-coming experience; although, he is scared of crocodiles, and I’m not sure if Florida is the best place to go to avoid them. I guess it really doesn’t matter… if things go according to plan, he’ll only be there for a year or two, and then we’ll be moving to California to form our own little version of Entourage. That’ll be sweet.

So if you get the chance, you might want to go out of your way to meet Eddie before he moves away. This way, when he’s famous, you’ll be able to say you once knew “the man.” Oh, yeah, also, if you think “E” is pretty cool too, then you should find me; that’s right, that’s going to be me. Inquire within for the positions of Johnny Drama and Turtle. I’m the manager so applications go through me, kids.

Paul Shirley’s book came out yesterday, and I really need to get it. What a great writer...

Cheers

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Just A Tease


Alright, I admit it… that was a bad idea. I was just feeling bad for not posting, so I figured that re-introducing old posts would suffice. My bad.

Anyway, it’s the end of the semester now. These are not fun times, I assure you. I have two 15-20 page papers, one with an annotated bibliography, two seven pagers, one project on the program Comic Life, one book project (which includes making a poster, duh), two seven page (single-spaced) responses, two books of literary criticism to read and teach, and one Lit. Circle book left to read and discuss all of which are due in two weeks. Additionally, I have to do all of this while upholding my responsibilities to my Assistantship and ENG 307. I don’t like to think about it.

A while back I wrote a post about Bruce Coville’s visit to my 619 class. It was a well-developed and inspirational post; however, I couldn’t post it the day I wrote it (because Blogger was being Lame) and is now officially M.I.A. If I come across it again, I’ll post it.

I also want to write about my new-fangled experiences with pedagogical classes, such as Issues in the Foundations of Education. It seems like those education majors are a different type of breed than that of what I am used to. I would love to explain more but doing so now would only postpone my work on the aforementioned list; it would also be detrimental to my G.P.A. I won’t allow it.

Plus, I’m already assuring myself to have most of this done by next Friday in order to attend the Brand New concert here at good ol’ Cortland.

For those who missed me… this post is for you.

Cheers

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A New Idea

Because I am so busy, I've decided that it would be a good idea to post some of the ideas that I've discussed on my previous blog, ray's so-called career. I won't be publishing to this blog anymore, so I don't want to lose the ideas that I had; therefore, it would make sense for me to do this.

Also, as you probably noticed, I've decided to re-name this blog. I figured that this title is much more appropriate. And, considering that I'm combining the two, t just made sense.

So, here's a post that I published about a seven months ago. I thought this was interesting; let me know what you think.

I'll also include the original comments and it's original location.

Grammar Blaster?
Tuesday, September 12, 2006

While I was reading Grand Theft Education, all I could think about was the game Math Blaster

It’s a ‘B’ Day*, seventh period, there’s only ten minutes left, everyone’s squirming out of their seats… but why? There are still two, long, periods left in the day, before they can go home.

Well, eighth period was more-or-less like another lunch period; every student looks forward to lunch. After History with Mr. INSERT NAME I FORGOT HERE, the pupils who had Computer Lab on ‘B’ days would dash over to room 110C. In this classroom, we would have the opportunity to take part in a few select activities. It wasn’t like the other classes, not as tedious and uninteresting. Today, in Computer Lab, the kids were practicing using Microsoft Word. And, if they accomplished their exercises with time remaining, they were permitted to play Math Blaster.

Math Blaster was a dreadfully straightforward video (computer) game in which students would guide their hero (an admirable space traveler) through the galaxy by adding, subtracting, and multiplying. If you were clever enough to bring our hero the entire way, to the last level, you would be challenged even further: fractions…

It was an uncomplicated fixture; however, it was extremely entertaining. I don’t actually know if I, personally, ever got far in this game (Probably not, I suck at Math), but I do remember that it was a competition—we all enjoyed it.

Now, I don’t know how popular this game ever became outside of our computer lab walls, but I do know that our school definitely treasured it. It was put into practice accidentally, but after the teachers saw how effective it was, they decided to keep it.

Now that I am learning about technology in the classroom, I can see the advantages to video games. They could be very useful tools when teaching our students—especially when it comes to keeping them interested in the material and expanding on multiple literacies.

Maybe there could be The Great Gatsby: The Game. Students would need to read the book in order to progress in the game. Symbolism and Irony, etcetera, would serve as a way to guide Gatsby through this adventure.

Ha, I know that’s a giant stretch. But, in all seriousness, I’m convinced that there is a way that video games could be implemented—and the article Grand Theft Education has helped me to believe that. I must admit that I was a little bit of a skeptic at first. But, it all comes down to what Zengotita said, “Everyone in the overdeveloped world will have the tools they need to create this amazing stuff, whether it be blogs or films or games" (39).


*In Wallkill Middle School, where I was educated, the students had to adhere to the each day as either an ‘A’ day, or a ‘B’ day. The classes were different depending on which day it was.

2 comments:

Jenn said...

I had the game "Math Blaster" at home. My parents got it for us when they bought our computer. It was a fun game even though, I too, suck at math.

Side note: Does anyone else know or did anyone else have a game console (like nintendo or sega) called "Socrates?" You didnt put "games" into it, but it did have its own games on it, stored in what Im guessing now is a hard drive, that where all educational. I remember playing it growing up and learning many things on it from math to spelling.

(As you can tell my parents were big on the educational entertainment in my house. I blame my nerdiness on them)

I agree a Gatsby game would be interesting. Maybe before we get into our own classrooms we'll see it happen.

natalie said...

I think the most important thing mentioned here is that even people who didn't do well in math and who probably didn't like it all that much managed to like "Math Blaster." The same could happen in a literature classroom. Students who dislike reading may be motivated to do their work if they can play a game to show/demonstrate what they have learned. I think that there's a general belief that learning and fun don't mix well. Clearly, this is not the case, and i look forward to incorporating games any time I get a chance to.
Nat

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Computer Crash, Busy Schedule, Anxiety in the Lab, My Future

It’s been a while, hasn’t? I guess my schedule is really starting to catch up to me. Well, currently, I’m in the Mac Lab in the library waiting (with extreme anxiety) for iMovie to compress my file so I can burn it and leave.

The bad news: I’ve been here for God-knows-how-long and it still says I have 70 more minutes to go.

The good news: This will give me some time to blog; God also knows I haven’t done that in a while.

Some recent facts that would pose to make interesting conversation are as follows. I have written before about my innovative new experience with graphic novels. I’ve once looked upon them in a snobbish way and thought only of their childishness. Now, though, I must admit that my feelings have changed.

The complexity of such a format is overwhelming. The potential is doubled when words are betwixt with the illustrations. I can’t say that I will ever choose to read BONE over ULYSSES, but I can say that I jumped-the-gun. Graphic novels need love too; it just so happens that they also deserve it.

Additionally, I’ve been thinking about my future. I guess I can honestly say that I’m excited to become a teacher. Maybe I’m more excited to be able to say that I have a plan. The most frustrating thing of college, for me, has not been the workload. Nah, I actually love learning. I love class. It’s the part of the semester when they tell you that you still need six credits to graduate that really grinds my gears.

It’s not just the standards, either. It’s me. I mean, how am I supposed to know what I want to do in ten years from now. When I was in high-school I really wanted to become an English teacher. When I came to college, I was convinced that I would not stop school until I had defended my dissertation. I couldn’t envision myself NOT teaching the texts that I loved.

Now, though, I look back to my original passion. I can’t help but want to teach. I really think it is “me”. Sure I love Faulkner and probably won’t be teaching it. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it myself, right? (WARNING: corny sentence to follow) Plus, there really is the satisfaction that comes from the act of teaching.

I guess those pedagogical classes really do have an effect on me. Who would have known?

That just makes me think even more. What if whatever I study, no matter the genre, I will think I am perfect for it. I mean, that’s how it’s been thus far. Ha. Yeah, right…

I’ll never love Math.

Cheers.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Stand Up For Yourself, Teachers

It’s hard for me to retaliate to something when I don’t actually feel compelled to do so. In one of my pedagogically grounded EDU classes, we were asked to, before actually doing any profound research, state our opinion on this question:

Is teaching a profession?

Personally, this was something very hard for me to deal with. In all my years of college, I never truly saw myself as a teacher. I was typically passionate about the literature that had encompassed my life. But, as a high-school student, it was always my dream to become a teacher. When I got into college, though, it seemed that my “dream” had changed, or so I thought.

I couldn’t see myself teaching and omitting the great works of Faulkner, Wright, Shakespeare, Milton, and etcetera that I had grown to love. This is why I loved English. I loved the Canons and I loved to write. It was perfect. But, when I found that teaching would have various stipulations on this subject matter—I was skeptical to continue.

Then, as I have mentioned before, I took a core-education class for credit. It turns out, my love for teaching had not disappeared—it had only hibernated for a couple of years. Now, as I am back on the path of teaching, I was faced to confront this very tough question.

Sure it would be easy for me to use my biased opinion and strictly answer that question with a strong “yes”. But, unfortunately, I can’t do things like that. I don’t enforce my opinion unless it is truly validated, in my mind at least.

So, I took the time to draw some conclusions. The general consensus believes that a profession has the following attributes:

-Extended and extensive education.
-A considerably high salary.
-A certain prestige.
-Certain privileged information.
-Deals with serious “life or death” matters.
-It should be a “calling”.

Overall, teaching does touch upon most of these areas. Although it is obvious that if these are the set standards as to define a profession, then teaching may not be a circle-to-circle fit. Slight exploration seems necessary.

As for extended education, many of my fellow students will argue this one. It becomes frustrating for people to tell us that we don’t have extended and extensive education when it seems like we’ve been in school for a decade. In reality, though… we don’t have as much as education as other professions (for example, doctor, lawyer, and etcetera). It’s just a fact. I do, at this point, figure myself to be an intellectual; however, I don't claim to be an expert, yet.

I’m not even going to mention the issue of having a high salary. We all know that teachers make a meager living. Although, this does seem to be changing (as many of these issues are, actually).

As for prestige… well, just like the salary, teaching is becoming more and more prestigious, believe it or not.

Teachers are definitely not given privileged information. Any signs of child-abuse (etcetera) and teachers turn from mentor to tattle-tale.

It’s not hard to argue that teachers deal with serious matters, though. Come on, we have your childrens’ lives in our hands.

Again, it’s not hard to understand that teachers, most of the time, have a true “calling”. There are only certain types of people that can be teachers.

Overall, my final conclusion is that teaching is a semi-profession or a soon-to-be profession. Ask me this question again in ten years, my view will most likely have had changed.

In reality, though, it becomes hard for me to defend my passion when the other students (who in this case is a current full-time teacher) are writing trash such as this:

Teaching is certainly a professeon. Aside from our biased opinionsteaching compares in many ways in terms of required education andcontinued professional development to the other top professions in theworld. Pay is another matter, but that is a result of being within a publicly funded system. It is critical for the continued progression ofour profession that we carry out levels of professionalism in our daily activities. From the way we dress to the way we interact with students and fellow staff members we must remain professional at almost all times. There are certain aspects of thee profession that allow for some relaxed interaction with colleagues, but they are removed from the daily activities of the school. We are professionals no matter how easy the outside thinks are jobs are.

I understand that this person may have written this quickly. But, I think it is very important to use correct grammar and spelling in a “profession” such as the one we are getting involved in. If we want people to start taking us seriously (teaching is a profession), then we have to start taking ourselves seriously. I mean come on, this person should be able to write better than this ("[...] no matter how easy the outside thinks [ARE] jobs [ARE]") I bet you that lawyers and doctors compose themselves in a coherent manor.

One last thing... to be honest, this was not the worst of all of the entries… Cheers, folks.

What do you think? Am I being too harsh? I'm sure this person is a great teacher...

Monday, March 05, 2007

It Just Happened...

It’s been a while, I know. I have some good news, though: I’ve been writing again.

It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote for pleasure (besides the content on this blog). I was really mortified when the fire stole my first work. I called it The Interview. I really do think that I was on to something significant with that piece. It ended up being (as a working copy) approximately 300 hand-written pages. It was my baby.

Since the devastation that was the fire, though, I haven’t been able to convince myself to start something of that magnitude again. I want to make sure, this time, that I really go above-and-beyond. From here on out, I’m doing all work via computer. I wish I had a Mac.

So, the story (of how I got to start writing again) goes like this… I couldn’t sleep one night, about a week ago. Maybe those three Redbulls had something to do with that. I got up and, I don’t know why, I just started writing, planning. I couldn’t stop either; it was incredibly bizarre. I created a storyboard of how my story was going to plan out, the narration, focalization, and voice I was going to use, the significance of characters, everything… Now, almost a week later, I’m blessed with having all this work. It’s incredible.

I’m so overwhelmed this semester, as I have stated before, but I can’t let this go. I don’t really have an explanation for it, either.

So, I’ve decided that I’m going to start working on that more intently, with all of the free-time (ha! I don’t even know what free-time is!) that I have. I would hate to dismiss this blog, though. So, although I haven’t decided 100% yet, I may post some parts or pressing issues that pertain to my writing this piece. I think that you folks would be able to help me work through this. (Just like some of the input I got from this post.) Plus, it would be quite an interesting grouping of posts to look at after I’m done.

So that’s what’s going on, folks. I’ll keep you updated, I think…

Cheers.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Withholding My Brilliance

Well, the good news is that I’m not incredibly sick anymore. The bad news is that I didn’t even get to celebrate my birthday because I was comatose all weekend. I’ll get over it.

It’s been a while since I’ve written, and I’ve had a lot of good ideas that I wanted to post about in the past couple of days. I guess my lack of blogging had something to do with the fact that I couldn’t stop coughing, even for one minute. Do you know what that’s like? It’s not fun.

This is frustrating to me and something worth writing about all in its own. Why is it that all of my best, most intelligent ideas are always the ones that I forget? It sounds pretty asinine, but I would admit that every time I have a significant issue to write about, I’m not near any particular medium to cement this idea.

I used to carry around a little memo pad in my back pocket, and, to this day, I still have a pen with me at all times. But, even when I have a “revelation” and write down notes to help initiate the thought process later, I never can grasp the full initial intention. Also, there are just some places where it’s not as practical to take out my pen and pad to write (I.e. while I’m on the lift heading up the mountain).

This, as one could imagine, becomes very frustrating. It really upsets me and may even lead to a rant on my blog one day. I would love to come up with some ways to avoid this; however, as I said before, bringing a pad and pen along with me hasn’t helped thus far. Does anyone else have any other suggestions? I’d hate to withhold society from my brilliance. Ha.

I guess, ultimately, there is no way to truly remember all of our “great” ideas. For this reason, I try to blog everyday. In doing this, it becomes hard to omit any idea that I may (or may not) have.

Well I guess that’s all I have for today, folks. Cheers.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

To Vent, Or Not To Vent


It’s really astounding how much I blog. I wake up in the morning and I blog. Before I go to bed at night, I blog. While I’m eating pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening and pizza at supper time… I blog. (This will happen when you are an author on three separate blogs.) Throughout all of this blogging I’ve come to find an interesting circumstance.

I was talking to someone yesterday and she asked me if I ever blog just to vent. And, I guess, my answer to that is… no (?). When I first started blogging as a freshman in college, I used LiveJournal as my blogging service. It was on this blog that I really just wrote to assert my emotions.

Now, though, things are different. I guess I got caught up in this whole “learning environment” idea (thanks, Will Richardson). I use blogging to further my addiction to learning. Not just learning as proposed by education. But learning as is the definition of learning.

I write about things that I’m familiar with, things that mean a lot to me, but I don’t necessarily know everything about. You see, I’m not an expert (yet) on any particular subject; however, the best way to become an expert is to *duh* keep learning.

So, most people who meet me understand that I’m one of the Nets’ biggest fans (self-proclaimed, of course). I tend to write about the NBA a lot, because I enjoy learning about it. The same thing goes with education. I’ve been studying literature for well-over five years now. I’m just starting to take core pedagogical classes. So, most of what I am interested in disperses from these facets. This is why a lot of my blog posts deal with the aforementioned areas.

Don’t get me wrong, though. I do blog, still, just to vent sometimes. Usually, though, these don’t get published. Consider this post. I wrote this poem just because I like to write poetry, and I appreciate all feedback (although, more comments would be nice). The issues that the poem takes hold of are issues that were plaguing me; therefore, I guess you could say that I used this medium to vent—right?

I really do believe that blogs can be incredibly beneficial. I’ve been boring anyone and everyone who reads this blog with this information for months now. But, basically, I can’t help but try to help expand my learning environment to others. Whew! I feel as if I’m beating this subject to death. So, on that note… later, folks. Cheers.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Monday, February 19, 2007

Graphic Novels? Yay or Nay?



Now that I got basketball out of my system for a little while, it’s time that I wrote on something a little more important (ah… who’s to say what is important anyway?). As I stated here, I went home this weekend to celebrate my birthday with my family—even though it isn’t until Friday.

[Side Note: I’m not one of those people who are constantly reminding others of when his/her birthday is; however, I also didn’t want people to think that they forgot it because that’s annoying. It’s kind of a “lose-lose situation” for me.]

Anyway… When I was home, I noticed, while watching television, that there is actually a big buzz about graphic novels. Now, in one of my classes specifically, I’ve been experiencing this genre, and I must admit that I’m quite impressed. Some argue that the pointlessness of such an immature read is overwhelming. I, on the other had, believe that these types of books could prove to be quite efficient when used as a gateway into bigger and better reads.

As a future educator, I find it appalling that some parents would rather their children be lectured about a book that I have introduced to them, then have them actually learn something through a more progressive philosophy.

While children are in high school, it’s easy to guess that they have “other” things on their minds. Paying attention to my monotone voice in class is close to impossible. But, if I can create an active learning environment and actually gain some interest—well, then, we’re on to something.

What about the kid who will overtake his father’s business and will never need formal education to succeed? It will be, without any doubt, more difficult to gain the attention of such a student. This is where graphic novels come into play. If we are able to allow them a peek into what the world of literature holds for them, then I’m more than confident that they will be hooked. This holds true for all students that are having a hard time reading.

Reading not only helps critical interpersonal learning skills, but this practice will also help critical analyzation skills; this being an asset that would help anyone in everyday life. Not to mention the stories can be used as life lessons. The benefits are priceless; I’m sure I don’t need to explain further.

I’ve read two graphic novels within the past couple weeks. American Born Chinese has obvious characteristics that would deem it easily teachable and the same goes for Persepolis. I recommend both of this books to anyone and everyone.

I’ve always had a passion for literature, which is why I, myself, was skeptical at first when it came to graphic novels; however, I now understand the promise that they carry along. Not to mention I’ve read about five or six now, and they all are incredible. The mesh of the art of two different mediums has such a profound effect.

What do you folks think about graphic novels? Cheers.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Dunk Contest

I just got back to good ol’ Cortland after a refreshing weekend home in the Hudson Valley. I don’t have much time to post, considering I’ve put my work aside this weekend when I really should have been concentrating on it, but I did want to write, quickly, about the NBA dunk contest last night.

First off, I would say that even people who don’t truly enjoy basketball could get into this sexy event. You’re right, probably not. But those who do enjoy the NBA, like me, would definitely not have missed the flashy affair. It was a disappointment this year, though.

I’m really getting tired of Nate Robinson. Most of the people who have met me would know that I have a strange obsession with the New Jersey Nets; however, despite the growing rivalry, I don’t hate the Knicks. I do, on the other hand, hate Nate Robinson. He’s unbelievably annoying. This is the second year that this guy is in the dunk contest, and also the second year that he took a mind-boggling amount of time to actually dunk the basketball. I get the appeal of a dude who is 5’9” dunking a basketball, but I can’t really get into it if it takes him ten tries.

The best dunk this year, by far, was Dwight Howard’s “sticker-dunk”. This 6’ 11” power forward created a sticker of his smiling face (the smile for which he is known for) and mid-dunk stuck it as high up on the backboard as he could. It was incredible; the guy defied all gravity laws. Here's a picture of a measurement of how high-up the sticker was placed.

Actually, that picture doesn't truly give that dunk justice. Here take a look at it...


Oh, but he’s the tallest ever in the dunk contest, you say. And, Nate Robinson is only 5’9”, you say. Well let me assure you that it’s just as miraculous that a guy as big as Howard can be agile and flexible enough to “throw it down” as he does as it is for Nate to get all the way up to the rim.

After his tenth or eleventh attempt, Nate finally accomplished some sort of alley-oop 360 dunk. The worst part was that he jumped around like he just hit a game winning shot after what felt like an hour of unsuccessful attempts. It was pathetic.

I’m not going to keep bashing on Nate, because I do appreciate his talents, I guess. The winner, Gerald Green, had some pretty innovative dunks—so, that’s good at least.

There was another guy in it, I think (Tyrus Thomas)? I think the dunk contest is hitting another one of its ruts, and I blame LeBron James. The guy is a natural dunker, and, for some reason, he just doesn’t allow himself to be in the competition. No sweat, though—one year someone will do something incredible (like Vince Carter did in 2000) that will revitalize the classic event.

I assure you that I will post again soon, but I love basketball. Auf weiderschrieben, folks.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Feeding My Addiction

I don’t know how I find the time to blog…

The good news is: taking the time to aberrate from my regular scholarly studies and write on this personal blog of mine has really helped to ease my mind.

The bad news is: taking the time to alleviate the pressure in my mind is causing the stress levels to increase dramatically.

That’s enough of my whining, right? I really wanted to write to tell about my Fridays.

It’s very curious as to why, stemming from the way that the graduate-level classes are set up, I have an incredible amount of classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday but none on Monday and Friday. This is all good and well, but there is one problem with this situation…

Sure I could crawl through the catastrophic middle-of-the-week and tell myself that I’m going to use Mon. and Fri. to “catch up”. But, you see, this never happens. I end up feeling like Eddie does in this post (OK, well I guess I would never push anyone down a flight of stairs—you get the idea, though), and I just use those days to “catch up” on sleep.

Am I the only one that sees it peculiar to not have graduate classes on Fridays? At first I was ecstatic to find that I would never have any classes on arguably the most enjoyable day of the week. But, as it turns out—school-wise at least—it would have been in my best interest to stretch these classes out and have more time during the “hell days”.

I’m slight befuddled on this fact. I’ve mused over it a lot, actually; for no other reason than the fact that I don’t enjoy the idea that I may lack information on any certain subject (what a weird pet-peeve, right?). I hate that I don’t understand why one needs to use certain formulas in certain situations in mathematics. I guess that’s why I try to stay as far away from that as possible.

Anyway, my hypothesis on this situation is the idea that most traditional graduate students have a full-time job and a family at home. Also, I’m not 100% positive but I think that many traditional graduate students may have a young child at home; doesn’t Elementary school get let out at noon or something like that on Fridays? I thought it was everyday, but in having this conversation with another classmate, I found that this may only happen on Fridays. Any input on this, folks?

Ultimately, it is what it is. I can’t change how good ol’ Cortland chooses to schedule their classes. I was just feeding my addiction for knowledge, I guess.

Oh, and I also wanted to mention that when I do keel-over from the stress this semester, I plan on taking my 360 with me. So, Andy and Brooks, you guys can stop arguing (like you always do). HA! Cheers.

P.S. Anyone want to buy me this?



Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wasting Time

This semester has been a little overwhelming, already. I’m taking four graduate-level classes, working an Assistantship, and helping teach a class. I find myself in the library from approx. 9AM to 9:30PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On Monday’s I usually do work for the assistantship that I have (which I have to put in at least 10 hours a week; this ends up being more like 15-20 with all the side work), and, on top of all of this, I have to help contribute to and maintain the Cortland Downtown Blog. Whew! Not to mention I use Friday and Sunday to catch up on the insane amount of readings I have to do.

I have been able to stay sane, though. I do this through snowboarding. I usually take a time-out on Monday, Friday, and Saturday to head over to the slopes. It’s been really good for me recently. Last night my friends and I headed over to Labrador Mountain for a couple of hours; it was awesome because there was no one there really. We basically had the entire park to ourselves.

The good news: we all were having stellar runs, hitting all of the jumps, rails, etc.

The bad news: we all were injured by the end of the night.

I went off of one of the jumps and landed so hard and flat that I felt my brain, heart, and all other major organs jockey out of position for a minute. Everything went white momentarily. I instantaneously won a headache (although that was nothing a little Ibuprofen couldn’t fix), and my chest still hurts today (it’s getting kind of scary, actually). Does anyone know if this is a bad thing?

Maybe I should have a doctor check it out? I told my girlfriend that I would head over to the doctor’s office today, but I probably won’t do that at all. I’m in the library, waiting for a class to get out so I can use the computers to print off some documents that I will need for class. (I’m actually a little ahead of schedule today because I did some work on Sunday.)

I guess this post was just to organize my thoughts for today. Cheers.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Let's Not Get Too Hasty

So, after searching through Tecnorati for a while, I came across an interesting site called Blog Soldiers. I’ve really come to enjoy blogging for myself, and I’ve found that using sites such as Blog Explosion and Blog Soldiers really help for exposure.

I would recommend that anyone whom is fond of blogging but is having a hard time in locating feedback check out one of the aforementioned sites; I personally prefer Blog Soldiers. I am a blog soldier.

The process is simple. For every two blogs you look at, your site will be exposed once. The more you look at other people’s blogs, the more they will look at yours. So, for the people who seem to have more time on their hands… these sites are perfect.

I, personally, am quite busy this semester, but I still manage to find a half-hour on the weekends to check out some other people’s blogs. I think it is absolutely necessary for the purpose of creating a blogging community. What’s the point of having a blog if you’re not going to be utilizing its potential?

Anyway… I am helping teach ENG 307: Computers and the Study of English this semester. It’s going well, and I wanted to share one of the videos that the main professor found.



This is exactly why I try to be as open as I am with blogging. It seems that the “flat world” is really happening now—not in the future. I think the video itself is incredibly profound, but I would also like to point out that the comments that follow it are interesting, as well.

On a side note, I would like to portray my distaste for some of the J-Kidd trade rumors. I don’t side-step the fact that the Nets should rebuild, but I don’t think trading our leader (yes, I'm part of the team) for Chris Mihm, other garbage players, and some picks. Let’s not get desperate, Nets. Cheers.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

T.O. (and not the football player)

It’s been a while since I’ve actually focused on writing something creative; nevertheless, I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to sit down and hatch one of the ideas that have come to my mind.

As I’ve been primarily focusing on literature and pedagogical studies, it’s been hard for me to spend time writing anything else at all for myself. But, despite the fact that I still have a lot on my plate, I figure I'll allot myself some time to work on something(s) to calm my mind. So, amidst all the chaos and flux, I am going to try to post one creative piece a week, here. This will help keep me level, I suppose.

[Side Note: it’s weird when some of the things that a person is passionate about in life (for me reading and writing) are the things that you are studying. I go to school all day, reading and writing about various different cannons, gathering all sorts of personal ideas about what to write about, and then when I get home I have no brain-power left because it has all been exhausted... It's unfortunate, I assure you.]

This is something I wanted to try to experiment with for a while now, and I figure that I will guide my readers (I can say “my readers” because I know people read this blog, even though they disrespect it and don’t comment) through my personal writing process. Therefore, as I write this poem, and when this is published, I would suggest that it is far from complete. I am a firm believer in the idea that a work of writing is NEVER finished. So, here it goes:

Trip

Along Interstate 81: it’s raining-
Hard for Him to validate the gauche-
Strange monotony which buries our hopes

Wipers contrapuntal to the splashing-
Water fogging every move we’ve made-
From here it can’t be that far

“Dude, I’m not feeling like driving-
Anymore burgers left? There are fries everything-
Spilling over into the soggy brown bag”

Listen to the book-on-tape, dude-
Any dummy can understand it Makes-
Time, go faster

Off-Ramp towards NY-Rt.13: damn-
Time we’re back, 2AM awful-
Sounds as if we had no choice but to listen

I can’t believe that we have no class-
Keeps people around here looking better-
Left alone things can get pretty lonely

“Dude, wouldn’t it be bad-
Ass was so tired from sitting down four-
Hours in a car- must be low on gas”

The ride wasn’t as rough this time-
Seems to halt for a while it seems-
We’ll make this trip again, right?


There is not better time for y’all to leave a comment; it would be greatly appreciated if you did. Let me know what you think. I think I'm going to try some creative non-fiction next week. Cheers.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Cell Phones and MY Class

My original plan was to use this blog solely for personal pleasure outside of the classroom; therefore, I was trying to omit issues concerning my education from this specific blog. However, I have become quite passionate about the subject of technology and pedagogy, and I feel that the idea of the “flat world” could be intriguing for everyone.

I’ll let YouTube start this discussion…



As you can all probably see from this video, it’s hard to justify the usage of cell phones in a classroom. I, as an upcoming teacher who is pro-cell phones in class (I don’t think I’m crazy… there’s more to come to rationalize this), would have had a similar reaction if a student had the audacity to not only keep his/her phone’s ringer on but also talk on it during the middle of class.

I guess, before I go on, it would be necessary for me to explain the “type” of classroom that I would like to create. I envision a total learning environment. I want to teach the students, and I want to learn from the students. The first day of classes I will queue up my classroom website which will have links to the class blog, the class wiki, an iMovie of what we will be creating with iMovie, and the some of the hundreds of titles that will be available for the students to read for book club (as well as other things, obviously). I can see a cell phone, which 99.9% of students have these days, being helpful rather than hurtful. Let’s help the students by teaching them how to utilize the aspects of their lives that aren’t going to disappear (cell phones, social networking, etc.).

From the video below we can see that students are aware of when and when not to use their cell phones. A video like this could also be helpful in teaching a sensitive area such as cell phone use, MySpace, and so on.



I guess my primary point is this: instead of pushing away from things that make teaching difficult we, as educators, should embrace them. No matter what happens, students will use their cell phones, they will go on MySpace and Facebook, and they will use ALL of the sites on the internet.

Driving a car can be very dangerous especially when you’re just learning… that doesn’t mean that we don’t let students learn how to drive, right?

Let me know what you folks think about this. Cheers.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hmm...



I found this video and it automatically struck my attention. I haven't had time to really look into this website; however, when I get some more time I will definitely check it out.

For now, though, what do you think about this video?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Anxious


The best thing about the first day of classes (for most) is that they usually don’t last for the entire scheduled period. I guess this is entirely too unfortunate for all of the happy, yet na├»ve, college students who are paying for this loss of time. Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

For me, today, I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum. As it usually goes, students have about a week to “drop/add” their classes based upon changes in program, load quality, and overall like/dislike of a specific class. Professors usually don’t take attendance during this week, for obvious reasons.

I am experiencing the latter; I need to drop/add classes and I don’t know which to take. This semester marks the official switch from the MA to the MAT program for me and because of this I am without definite classes. I am waiting for a response from my new “advisor” as so I can figure out what I need to do; hopefully without getting too far behind.

[Side Note: It’s a bittersweet change. I know I am making an intelligent career decision but at the same time I am going to miss the English classes that fueled my passions.]

So as most students crave for the opportunity to be able to legally miss class, I am pretty upset that I don’t have a schedule right now, and I am not pleased to be missing anything that I am paying for. It’s like people who try snowboarding for the first time—they pay $30 for the lift ticket and $20 for rentals—they find out that this process is much harder than they would have imagined; they do one run. For $50 I’m going to go down that slope more than once, that’s for sure.

I write to calm my nerves. Cheers.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Trivial

“It’s safe to say I really don’t know a think, but I choose to believe.”
--Dustin Kensrue

It’s finally starting to feel like winter around here. I’ve been miserable lately; I can’t explain it either. I haven’t been able to read the books that, during the semester, I was dying to read. I had high aspirations to start working on the novel that I’ve been pushing aside for six months now.

This struggle seems to be a little more of a personal foofaraw. Let’s just hope that it is trivial.

For the first time I went to the slopes by myself, for a couple of runs. I’ve come to find out two things from doing this:

  1. It’s not a big deal to go snowboarding on your own.
  2. Just like taking a long drive, the tranquility of the lift and the isolation of snowboarding without distractions is a great time to think. Between the river and the ravens, right?

Some of the things that I mused through while on my own:

  1. I’m hoping to be more ostentatious.
  2. Having a snowboard that actually fits you makes it much more enjoyable.
  3. My problems with writing.

I’m trying to become more pretentious as to not hide my greatness (see it’s working already). Sometimes I think of things and keep them to myself and smile—giving people the benefit of the doubt; for what reason do I do this though? Here comes that notion of tact again.

It seems that there is a greater debate as to whether height has a true bearing on the size of a snowboard that one should use. A couple of years ago, when I bought my first snowboard, I was told that it should stand equal to the height of my nose (or a little bit less). This past year when I bought a new one I was told that snowboards don’t know height (leaving weight as the bigger--but not only-- determiner) So my newest installment is a 154 while my original was a 164. I must admit that snowboarding is not only more fun, but much easier for me this year. The incompetence of snowboard salesmen and online references which all seem to butt-heads in the proper technique of choosing your hundred-dollar investment is why I will now choose to be more pretentious.

As for my writing problems… I guess I’ve just come to terms that I’ll never be a famous writer. Check that—it’s like McDonald’s’ catch phrase “hey, it could happen!” Plus, maybe someone will find my work after I’m dead. I’ll be a legend.

I’m trying to find out what is different in my life now that is retarding my writing process. Could it be that…

  1. I have a true life goal
  2. I’m spending much more time with my girlfriend
  3. I don’t know why, but I believe.

I don’t know what is impeding my writing, but I do know that I will fight it and win. But, for whatever reason, I’ve decided to put my novel on the backburner for a while. Blogging will suffice. Cheers.