Archive for January, 2008

What Happened to gBlog?

January 31, 2008

If you’ve found your way over to this blog, you’ve noticed that the original gBlog page has disappeared. This is confusing and
disappointing for many people, but I want to say that it IS being worked on. Today I spent an hour with the site administrator trying to solve the problem.

When I heard that gBlog had disappeared, I thought “surely it isn’t gone, it’s just broken.” I have fixed broken blogs many times before, so I offered to give it a try. But sure enough, all the old gBlog posts are truly missing. Nobody is sure how it happened, but the database is completely empty; the most recent backup didn’t hold anything useful. I tried many different things, hoping to find out where everything went, but it was of no use. Google keeps copies of websites temporarily, but the only recent one we could find there was a single post by Casey. Our hopes are now directed at the Internet Archive.

If you are not familiar with it, the Internet Archive has a mission of preserving the web for posterity. Since the beginning of 2007, they have been making copies of gBlog about every two weeks. Unfortunately, there is at least a six-month delay between when they copy the page and when it becomes available. Currently, they only have through July 1, 2007. But we are hopeful that, six months from now, we will find all the old posts once again.

I want to say that nobody is at fault with the loss of the old site. Additionally, it was not the software’s fault. It was just a combination of things that, put together, mean that we lost the old gBlog. Let there be no finger-pointing, because nobody is to blame here.

Advertisements

Warning: nerdy post about graduate school

January 30, 2008

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

One of my many projects last semester took the entire semester to complete and was broken down in several parts. Additionally, it was focused on teamwork *yay* and personal work styles and creating applications to a new model of a comprehensive school counseling program. This model is also known as the ASCA (American School Counsling Assocation) model in which the role of a school counselor changes to fit the changes in our society, and shifts from the traditional role of intervention to a more… modern role of prevention. Didja get any of that? 🙂

Sure, my group did whine and gripe throughout the project because well, it took up a lot of time and it was difficult to comprehend our assignments at first. I must admit now that while I’m unsure I’d be willing to undergo the same experience again, I did learn a lot about myself as a co-worker and am now able to make applications here at NMSD. I’m seeing a lot of aspects in the counseling program at NMSD that could be modified to fit the ASCA model and possibly improve the program as a result.

Of course, when I begin thinking about that, I suddenly think, “Oooh, I just made an application of what I learned in school. Goodness, I’m a nerd now.” It is cool to think about it because I do often wonder if I DO have the skills I need to become a school counselor and if I CAN make it out *there* after I graduate. I wonder if I really learned everything I needed to know at Gallaudet. Of course, I anticipate some stumbling once I begin, no matter how much training is under my belt… every school and every system is SO unique and different from each other… and no one school and system is perfect. No such thing as perfect anyway.

The beginning of this semester-long project began with a fun activity, though! When you’re under Dr. Cheryl Wu, you CAN’T avoid activities – and frankly, you don’t want to miss any of them! This was called “Pumping the Colors” and was a day-long activity in which the mental health counseling and school counseling programs were divided into their respective groups to become two teams. Both teams basically worked to create their own structure that will hold several water containers (each container is a different color)and, well, pump the water from one end of the structure to the other.

It may seem, well… pointless. We AREN’T training to be engineers after all, so what’s the point? *ta-da* Teamwork… Since this was the activity leading up to our big project focusing on the ASCA model, we needed to take a hard look at our own individual work style and how these work styles fit together in one team – especially our own team as we work together to complete this project. This activity was actually a LOT of fun and we were successful… so we started of the project with a big high. Now that I think about it, it was probably a hidden agenda – they likely wanted us to start with excitement so we would get a good start on the project 😉

Without futher ado – a sample picture of the activity’s result!

Pumping the Colors

I’d post the picture of what the entire structure actually looked like as a result of our day-long hard work (and some crankiness here and there)… but I don’t want to cheat the next group out of THEIR hard work this fall! 🙂

Fun, I tell you. Graduate school CAN be fun at times. I do think the group you’re stuck with for any graduate program really makes a difference. It’s weird being here at internship on the other side of the country away from some of my favorite classmates and awesome faculty- and it’s also weird being away from campus when the semester is on a roll and I’m missing all the action and people! Aww.

Introducing Mikey and Leo!

January 29, 2008

Once upon a time in the winterland of our grand country, when time teetered-tottered between the years of 2007 and 2008, I visited my cousin in West Virginia. ‘Tis cousin of mine happens to be a turtle-lover and raises turtles… and had two hatchling turtles… and offered them to me… and I graciously accepted the offer.

 Okay, okay. This cousin has actually been offering turtles to me for a few years (although I thought she was joking)… And this time, I was about to move to New Mexico, and I seriously missed animal contact. I thought: “Turtles… how weird. Okay!!”

They’re just adorable, I’m telling you – even with all that little salmonella risk going on. They are officially known as red-ear sliders, which is a semi-aquatic breed, and right now they’re just hatchlings so they’re tiny… however, they can grow to be about a feet or feet and a half long. Thankfully, that’ll take quite a few years so I SHOULD have a big enough place for them by then!

I packed them up in a little puny formerly-for-my-now-dead-hermit-crabs cage, filled it up with a bit of water, and dragged them on the drive to New Mexico. I HATED them being stuck in the cage – they actually need a lot more water, and the water needs to be a lot warmer… so I was relieved when we arrived and I was able to put them in their more comfy and more warm 10-gallon tank. They are now residents of New Mexico – which is ironic, because the breed is actually native to this state as well!

turtles1.jpg

turtles2.jpg

turtles3.jpg

turtles4.jpg

Oh, and I decided on the “Mikey” and “Leo” names, in honor of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… Michelangelo and Leonardo.

*snicker*

Well, they DO have the same personalities as their namesakes! 🙂

*emerges from under the rock o’er thar*

January 25, 2008

So! What a fall semester… This is the last stretch of graduate school for me. The recent fall semester was quite heavy- although I’m thinking it’s probably connected to the fact that I chose to take up 23 credits. I’m still wondering why in the world I made that choice, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

Those 23 credits included my practicum experience at MSSD (two days a week), required classes, and a few electives, not to mention huge projects thrown in the mix somewhere. Not all of my classmates chose to take up these electives, but I was glad I did – even if it meant less sleep, more caffeine in my system (although that’s nothing new), more time in Fowler Hall, and less time actually seeing people around campus. Not to come off as a nerd, but I really gained from these electives. It helped that I lived off campus and was able to wind down at my apartment with my awesome roommates and one of my roomate’s awesome kitty.

I’m actually just rambling right now (no kidding, Jess?)- but bottom line, fall semester just flew by in the blink of both eyes and now I’m here in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for my full-time internship… the last big fat requirement before graduating in May. I’m here at New Mexico School f/t Deaf (NMSD) until May or June – and loving it!

Since I’m wisely not taking up more than 13 credits this semester, I should have more time to fill in exactly what I did last fall and what I’m up to this spring. So far, it’s been newsworthy – I’m already exploring New Mexico and Colorado and getting down to work at NMSD. More on that soon!

Come visit- it’s a great place to unwind 🙂

NMSD sign
See the snowperson that the NMSD students made? Welcome!
NMSD sunlight

Yes! It does snow here – imagine my relief when my supervisor informed me BEFORE I arrived that New Mexico has 4 seasons… It’s been BITTER cold here – imagine what it’d have been like if I brought only spring/summer clothes *roll eyes at little naive ol’ me*

Real-Time Instant Messaging

January 24, 2008

The Gallaudet Daily Digest included a link to a Washington Post article called AOL’s New Chat Comes Across Letter by Letter. It is about how Gallaudet staffer Norman Williams worked with AOL to create real-time instant messaging: you would see each letter coming across your screen, rather than just seeing a whole message at a time when the person hits Send. According to the article, the technology is not about “exposing all your little typos” and that’s fine. I assume they have some way to get around that, maybe a delay or something. But what I don’t understand is the need to be able to interrupt. According to the article, “the user can spontaneously react to words, just as someone would respond to words spoken in conversation.” But…deaf people don’t use spoken conversation. It is well-known that ASL has different rules about turn-taking than spoken languages do. Personally, I would prefer to fully form my thought and then press Send, to make sure I say what I want to say exactly right. It is also a good way for you to carry on multiple conversations, because you cannot watch multiple people type in real-time and respond in real time.

I think the technology is interesting and has some applications, but personally I don’t think it would be that beneficial to deaf users or even many hearing users. Instant messaging has evolved in such a way that we are used to seeing whole messages appear at once. (I know MyIPRelay operates differently, but I’m talking about two people talking.) Even if it’s thought-by-thought, you still get a sentence before you get the next one. Getting it letter by letter just seems too cumbersome to me…am I the only one who feels this way? How do you think real-time instant messaging could benefit people, especially deaf users?

Hairstyles are A-Changin’

January 23, 2008

Hairstyles
See that girl up there? That’s my friend Carlisle, hanging out in the Rathskellar. She is just one of the people sporting unusual hairstyles right now. There are many heads dyed bright blue, bright pink, bright green, and even multiple colors! I have seen quite a few people with mohawks and people with words or pictures shaved into their hair.

As far as I can tell, all of this is leading up to Bald Day. If you’ve never heard of this tradition, it is the time when freshmen shave their heads, whether they are boys or girls. It is not a university-sanctioned event like the Rat Funeral, and I’ve heard it described as hazing…but a lot of people seem to be doing it anyway. I’m not going to, because I tried it when I was 12 years old and it didn’t look good on me! I have other friends who aren’t just because their hair is so pretty and they don’t want to get rid of it. It takes so long to grow back, you know?

Anyway, Gallaudet is certainly an entertaining place…in one of my classes today there was a fuschia head, a teal head, and a bright blue head. It’s lots of fun to see the different ideas people come up with right now…but soon they will all be shaving everything off!

Hello world!

January 23, 2008

Hey! I’m back, school is now back in session and I’m excited to begin another semester here at gallaudet. This semester we will begin the program called Keeping The Promise, which is a program that helps black deaf student males continue there education and help them in anyway possible as long as they want to help themselves. I believe this is a good program that will help us students to graduate and gain knowledge that is lacked here at the university. well until next time enjoy the blogs ill continue to post