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:


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


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?