You’re Not Me

I’ve been waiting for months to say this while a “friend” has indirectly attacked my blogging style. This morning, she gave me the opening I’ve been looking for.

I hope we’ve all noticed by now that everyone approaches their online identity in different ways. Some of us like to write long diatribes about their life. Some of us like to post short updates just to catch up our friends. Some of us like to share and talk about pictures or videos. Some of us have such a wide online presence that we prefer to post one place and then let it share everywhere so people don’t necessarily have to subscribe to a million services just to follow us.

That’s part of what makes the web so nice. You can post something and have it show up multiple places. You can write however you like and express yourself. You can follow conventions, or you can do what works for you.

Take me, for example. I like to experiment, see what works for me and what doesn’t. As a result, I am spread hither, thither, and yon, but I have friends and family who aren’t very tech-savvy so they want to be able to keep up with everything easily. As a result, I have certain things set up so they can do just that.

Unfortunately, I’m lacking a bit on my own tech-savvy (and just don’t have the time to figure it all out), so I am still hand-posting blog entries to both MySpace and LiveJournal. I do have a method of sorts for doing this so that I update one right behind the other, but it doesn’t always happen and I end up dropping six months of MySpace posts into LiveJournal in a single shot.

Eventually, I aspire to have the MySpace posts cross-post themselves, but I just haven’t managed it yet.

Because I just catch up everything when I have time, someone decided that I was deliberately shutting her out of my life (keep in mind we’re also friends on MySpace…or were last time I looked) by posting all these things she could only see after I post them (it’s called the backdate feature. Useful for keeping things in order when you slack off like I do.) and so she whined about that. She was actually convinced I was posting them either privately or to some friends group she wasn’t in, and then going back and making them public afterwards. (Like anyone has time for that!) Then she got upset that my posts were all Twitter (because I was failing to get everything posted in a timely manner from MySpace). She actually held a poll to decide whether or not she should unfriend me because my updates were all from Twitter.

I realize my life’s not all that interesting, and is so beyond my control these days that I can’t manage to get things working the best way possible, but honestly… We’re all different. We all express ourselves differently. If you can’t cope with the fact I’m never going to conform to your narrow view on how this should all work, then I wish you well in your future endeavors.

(Yep, I’m a horrible person. And I really don’t care at the moment.)

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More Geeky Links

Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

Spring is supposed to be a time for rebirth, new beginnings, cleaning up. Well, let’s see if I can be reborn as someone who actually pays attention to her blog. (You guys can always poke me if I start slipping. Contact info’s under the contact tab.)

As you can see, the website has a new look. I’m not quite done with it yet (and I am aware of the problem with MyTwitter), but I think it’s coming along nicely. I’m hearing rumors that IE isn’t displaying the site correctly, so if you’re on IE and the site looks funny, let me know (or send me a screencap). I’m experimenting with a little visual branding, so the pattern in the header and footer is now the same as the backgrounds on my MySpace, Twitter, and YouTube accounts. I have yet to run into another “kirylin” online, but if it happens, I have a look to distinguish myself from them! I’m actually a bit excited about this. (See- a new beginning!)

I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping Reader under control, so there’s not much to share this week. (Yes, this would be the clean-up.)

  • The 21 Steps– We Tell Stories is doing something interesting with Google Maps. Their authors are using it to help add a sense of place to their stories. As you follow the character around the map, the story slowly unfolds. It’s an interesting concept, one I’ll be keeping an eye on, but this particular story didn’t really work for me.
  • The Net Generation, 1974-1983– Just when I’d gotten used to the fact that I’m at the older end of the Video Game Generation, I now learn that I’m actually a Netter. While I do remember life before the internet, I’ll be the first to admit that I spend a lot of my life online. I created a FriendFeed just top help people who are trying to keep up with me online. I do wonder, though, if I’m allowed to be part of both generations, although one really doesn’t preclude the other.
  • Book Lovers have an emotional bond with paper– As an avid lifelong reader, I know the simple comforts of curling up with a real book and thumbing through the pages. As a Netter, a researcher, and someone who nearly always has a bag full of books, I admit I’d love to have some kind of e-reader to lighten my load. I’m the type who’s just as likely to check out an e-book as a real book from her local library. I love my paper, but there are times when the technology is a more rational decision.
  • Find a solution with problem-solving questions– I love solving problems- mine, other people’s, jigsaw. Back in January I was reading books on developing and encouraging a culture of innovation, and I was amazed at how many of them had a series of questions to help foster creativity and innovation. A part of being creative and innovative is being able to solve problems, so I think Curt’s got a great set of questions to get you started off on the right foot.

This week’s quote is a great one…something I think we all lose sight of:

    • “People are meant to be loved and things are meant to be used. But unfortunately, people are being used and things are being loved”- Unknown

 

Would You Look at That?

Okay…February is behind us. Physically, I’m feeling a lot better. Mentally…lock up your silly string. *grin*

I thought I’d try to get this week off on the right foot by actually sharing some links with you. (This is funny because I consider Sunday the beginning of my blogging week, but the end of my work week.)

You guys hear me talk about RSS and nifty things I do technologically. Well, this post will give you several ways to make RSS bend to your evil whims. (Of special note is the fact you can force RSS feeds to be emailed to you if the website doesn’t offer it. I know some of you don’t go for feed readers.)

I have a link to the latest version of Pidgin, the IM program I use, but I am going to need a smarter geek to figure out what the latest version is that Feisty can handle and then to get it set up correctly. Then, maybe, MSN will start working properly again. (Plus I can apparently add MySpace Messenger. We’ll have to see how this goes.)

Then I have a reminder that next month is Math Awareness Month (I need to start planning something or other for Dead Bunny), and the back page of Cerise Magazine. Hopefully this time I’ll remember to actually do the caption contest, and this month’s picture is awesome!

Oh, and I’ve been saving this one for you guys! It’s a tutorial on how Creative Commons works. I tend to release most of my artistic work under one of the Creative Commons licenses because I find myself inspired by people around me, and I want people who find inspiration in my work to be able to riff on it (within my parameters, of course).

I’ve also been saving this comic for you. I died laughing the first time I saw it. As my roommates can tell you, I’ve become something of a Rock Band enthusiast, so any well-done Rock Band joke goes over pretty well with me. I imagine this version would kick my butt, though. I’d want to play the cello, and it wouldn’t turn out pretty.

This last one really struck a chord with me. Several, actually. These are some etiquette signs from Japan. (Don’t worry, they come translated.) One of them reminds me of the afternoon I was walking through a nearby open-air mall. This man lowered his cigarette as he approached me, which I appreciated…right up until I noticed where he’s put his cigarette. His daughter, probably not much more than three, was walking with him, and when he dropped his arm, the cigarette landed just centimeters from her face. He didn’t seem concerned, and she didn’t seem to notice. I, on the other hand, was mortified. Even though I’m allergic to smoke, I’d rather suffer swollen sinuses and a closed throat than have a cigarette shoved in a child’s face. I was really upset.

All right…deep breath…calmer now. I did save y’all a link that sounds like how I live my life.

  • I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.– Pablo Picasso (Source)

Friday Spam: Quantum Physics is Your Friend

“I’ve run computer simulations, probability scenarios, and quantum analysis of our duel, but I still don’t have the answer.” – Yu-Gi-Oh, Episode 9- “Everything’s Relative”

There’s an explanation of relativity that involves the Hindu goddess Shiva, a person in space, and a person on Earth. The two people are watching Shiva dance across the universe. Later, they sit down to talk about it. The person on Earth saw Shiva’s hand move before her foot. The person on space saw her foot move before her hand. But it turns out that relative to themselves, they were both correct in what they saw.

This took over my brain as I was headed out the door to work because I felt like I’d just watched it play out in front of me. I was chatting with my assistant when I misspelled “from” as “form”. We both corrected my spelling. On my computer, it showed that I corrected myself first, and on Hannah’s, it showed that she corrected me first.

However, in the process of trying to prove ourselves correct, we both copied exactly what our computers were showing us, which meant we had the timestamps from our own computers showing when each was sent from that computer, and it did turn out that I just barely beat her. We had to remove the lag from the situation to resolve our silly argument, but it was funny to note that from where we each sat, we were both correct.

Unfortunately, I can’t have a brush with anything related to quantum physics anymore without my mind turning the quote above or the quote below.

“Sorry, I was deep into some attack point quantum mechanics and lost track of the time.”- Yu-Gi-Oh GX, Episode 12- “Formula for Success”

As I was driving to work, I actually started thinking about the utter absurdity of Bastion’s excuse and trying to decide how quantum physics could, in fact, affect any TCG. I started thinking about interrupts in Magic and the actual motion of time around initiative in D&D…but arrived at work before I could really think about it any further.

The damage was done, though. My mind was still so focused on thinking about quantum physics that I was no good to my students the first two hours. The hours when I had my struggling algebra student and my advanced geometry student. I was using prime factorization to help the algebra student find dimensions of a box she was struggling with, and then I couldn’t for the life of me explain a simple procedure to the geometry student.

I’m rarely stumped for being able to explain things…to either of them! They were a little concerned.

And then I had my guinea pig, and I can only imagine what’s got be going through her head after last night. She has great control over the skills she needs to work on our current skill, but because I still hadn’t successfully shifted my brain back to math teacher mode, I think I utterly confused her.

*sigh*

It has occurred to me, though, that relativity could have some fun applications with magic for anyone silly enough to be contemplating going back to writing fantasy… Why not? Science-based magic has totally rocked Brandon Sanderson’s novels…

An Example of Quantum Physics

(3:14:48 on my computer) kirylin corrects self

(3:14:52 on Hannah’s computer) Hanbudgie corrects kirylin

In a totally Shiva moment, my computer showed my end of the conversation before hers, while her end showed her end before mine. But we both posted what was shown on our own computers, so we were able to see precisely what happened without lag. (Hannah couldn’t understand what I was trying to point out at all.)

“Sorry, I was deep into some attack point quantum mechanics, and I lost track of time.” Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Episode 12- “Formula for Success”

Yu-Gi-Oh! doesn’t have Interrupts, but Magic does.

“I’ve run computer simulations, probability scenarios, and quantum analysis of our duel, but I still don’t have the answer.” Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 9- Everything’s Relative (heh)

Fun With Technology

I think it’s been a little bit since KCLS updated bits of their computer system, but I don’t think they’ve quite worked out all the bugs.

For example, I received an email over the weekend that one of my holds had been canceled. I put a lot of things on hold. This isn’t exactly uncommon. Usually, it just means the copy that came isn’t serviceable and the library system has just moved my hold over to another copy of that item.

Except in this case, where there is no clear reason why the hold was removed to begin with. All of the copies are serviceable. One was even labeled “Check Shelf”, despite the fact someone else also has a hold on the book. There is no obvious reason why the system canceled my hold.

In the hopes the system was just being silly, I placed my hold again. And it placed it again (when it really should have told me I already had a hold on that title).

I thought about going and talking to the people at the library branch I frequent, but decided to let it go for now. (The people at my branch are, for the most part, uber-cool. They’ve resolved so many issues I’ve had with my holds and with getting materials. I ❤them to pieces.)

So I dropped off my most recent round of read books and picked up my most recent pile of Holds and went to check them out. For whatever reason, the computer gave one of the books a different due date. I wanted to call over the lovely woman who had helped me find two of my Holds, but she was rather busy.

I should have known the computer was going to do something buggy, though. When I first logged in to the check-out system, it thanked me for visiting the library, asked me to take my slip, and booted me back to the login screen.

Oh, technology! How I do love you!

Those Ads Aren’t the Only Problem!

Due to the Wii shortage, Nintendo started reducing the number of Wii ads in the UK. A smart move on Nintendo’s part, but it left me wishing they’d take the DS ads off the air here. I find them offensive.

If you haven’t seen these few ads running on television, they feature boys and girls playing various Mario and Pokemon games together on their DS Lites. The boys all have either the black or the red-and-black DS Lites. The girls all have the white and pink DS Lites. (Yes, I have had nothing better to do on repeated Saturday mornings than to sit and carefully look at all the DS Lites in these ads…as long as you ignore my new jewelry pieces and my voice hunting.)

Of course, maybe I’m just being silly. Maybe there is a preponderance of girls out there with either a white or pink DS Lite. Maybe there is a preponderance of boys out there with the black or red-and-black DS Lite. Among my students, both boys and girls, the most common DS Lite color is black. A couple of girls have a pink one, but they seem almost apologetic for wielding a pink DS Lite.

In my own household, two of us have DS Lites. My male roommate has the white one. I was gifted a black one last Christmas that I’m absolutely in love with.

I can kind of understand not showing boys with a pink DS Lite because of social stigmas, but otherwise, there should be a mix.

My Life, Told in a Couple of Links

Amazingly, my Reader only has a couple of things in it. I sat down yesterday to find some blogging inspiration, and accidentally found myself with nearly nothing in the Reader.

I realize this is a good sign. It keeps me on top of things, minimizes the chances my cursor will slip over a devastating button (It likes to jump around of its own free will, despite my giving the touchpad less and less sensitivity.) and marking things as read that I wanted to go over some more.

As I was going through everything yesterday afternoon, I added two new blogs to my collection (I think I now read nearly 200 blogs. Pruning will be happening shortly.) and realized that my reading is starting to sway heavily toward educational media/games, social media, general games, and writing. I’m still reading some web and general design blogs, and I’m still reading some career-oriented blogs. For the most part, though, if I add a blog, it fits into one of the four categories above.

Of the two posts still in Reader, one fits with those four. Wired had an interesting article on the attempt to market technology to women by making it pink. While pink has its place (little girls, confident men, roses, and cotton candy), I’m apparently not the only woman who believes it doesn’t have to be incorporated into my DS Lite, my cell phone, or my future portable media player. Just give me a well-designed, somewhat attractive toy, please. And you might as well make it black. I tend to gravitate toward technology wrapped in black. I’d think I’d settle for a dark gray, though.

The other piece may or may not have any bearing on my life. The new director found out I have dance in my background, and suggested I apply to teach a preschool movement and music class. (It led to a very interesting revelation on her part, which made another director very unhappy. Oops.) I created and taught a movement and music class for elementary school students during my teacher prep days. It really focused on movement and conveying a story through movement. The kids had the best time with it. When the director handed me the job description, my mind immediately started working to translate my original program to something more munchkin-appropriate. My first thought was to have them try to tell a familiar story entirely through movement (maybe a page or section per class after doing some other activities). Little ones are so good at creating and pretending; it would probably be a lot of fun. Lo and behold, the next day, I read this article on how preschoolers can actually put themselves in storybook characters’ shoes.

Sadly, my schedule isn’t flexible enough to allow me to apply for the class. I’d have loved it!

For now, though, I get to go work on this process handbook for work, and then I have to figure out what Dead Bunny wants to share this week. I think this may be the week I shift to writing issues for a bit. I don’t have too many missing pages for the math book, and most of those missing pages require me to be able to wrangle one of the graphics programs without being forced to remember I need to acquire an art department at my earliest convenience.

Public Privacy

All right, this one baffles me a bit. Somehow, teenagers expect their parents to knowingly ignore what they say online.

How anyone expects to hide what they say online (outside of permissions and the like) is beyond me. I guess it’s sort of like politely not eavesdropping on the screaming person three feet away from you.

I think it’s also somewhat sad that these teenagers haven’t worked toward a culture of trust with their parents.

Of course, I’m also the girl who occasionally got calls at boarding school where it was a parental unit letting me know they had put some mail in my room. While I always appreciated that they were trying to respect my space, even when I wasn’t in it, it felt a bit silly. So I guess I feel that there really should be some sort of happy medium.

A happy medium that involves a building of trust and working to maintain that trust.

Maintaining Appropriate Relationships With Students in the Digital Age

I think it’s fair to say that the internet has really changed some things about teaching. Many of the students I work with can pull up their assignments and grades online, which is always nice when they forget their homework. It also allows us to see how they’re doing so we know what help they need form us.

There is also a bit of a downside to this wonderful connectedness. My students mostly know that I’m working on building an online jewelry business. About a month ago, one of my students actually went looking for the site, and discovered my email address. She emailed me, and was quite hurt when i didn’t respond. I explained to her a few days later that I can’t respond while she’s a student. She accepted my explanation, but is dying to move on so I will respond to her emails.

A fellow teacher created a MySpace for me, and a student found that (naturally, she found mine and then found the other teach and one of our assistants through it). She sent me a friend request and an email, and wasn’t nearly so understanding when I explained why I couldn’t accept the request or respond to the email.

A third student last night asked for my email address. I told her she could have it once she has her last day award and is headed out the door. She replied, “Great! That’s Thursday!” This was a student I didn’t know was leaving, so it took me by surprise. She’s already promised to ask me again as she’s leaving Thursday night.

While I’m flattered that I have students who want to keep in touch with me outside of the center, it makes me a bit uncomfortable that they just expect me to react like I’m one of their friends. I’m fairly certain none of these students contact their regular teachers outside of school for reasons other than homework assignments, if that. It was quite odd having to explain the ethics of the situation to each student in turn.

I have finally broken down, and am slowly putting notes up on each of my web spaces to explain to any students who find me online not to expect me to respond online while they’re still students. Thankfully, the others at work who are online have agreed to help me keep this policy, and one of our directors knows and is supportive of how we are handling the situation.