Monday, April 27, 2009

Comp 106 Final paper

New Technology and Learning

Douglas Coupland’s Microserfs is written like a diary. It has entries everyday with the main character’s thoughts about what had occurred during the day. An example of an entry in Microserfs would be having the main character, Daniel, and one of his roommates discussing Lego’s and the conversation going on between them, then switching to a possible job offer that he could get, and then switching the topic one last time to a shiatsu moment which is the last topic at the end of the diary entry (76). Also in the novel, Coupland uses variations on type sizes, computerspeak, and emoticons to give the reader some visual interest while reading.

One common theme throughout Microserfs is the future and what the world will look like. The characters speculate on how those who lived during the 1970’s would have imagined what the future would look like to them, and of course how the future will look like for those living during the 1990’s. In a review of the book, Kevin Brooks makes the statement on technology, “Technology, on the other hand, is largely responsible for the explosion in popular culture, and the novel is replete with references to television shows, movies, music, games, toys, and breakfast cereals” (143). Many of these references are present throughout the novel, and the characters discuss how they will change and how they did change from when they were first created.

Along with these topics of the future, Coupland uses the computerspeak, type sizes, and emoticons to help show how writing has gone from being formal to being more informal. In the twenty first century, blogging, message boards, and texting have affected the way storytelling and personal narratives are portrayed to today’s society. Now, people find it hard to sit down and write something more formal, like an essay for school, because they do not have the experience in doing so. They misspell words, use abbreviations instead of taking time to write out the entire word, and they use these little smiley faces called emoticons to describe how they are feeling. By using the blogs, message boards, and text messaging, the younger generations do not know how to communicate with people. They would rather send a text message, or instant message, then to call the person and have a conversation with them.

Some concerns with this are that the younger generations will not know how to interact with people in a room. I have seen examples where two kids were sitting next to each other, not saying a word, but instant messaging each other on the computer instead of turning to the person and talking to them. Another concern is with the new developments of the young teens sending inappropriate text or picture messages to those of the opposite sex and those kids getting into trouble. It seems like they do not have any respect for themselves or their friends by sending these text messages around.

Microserfs is more so written like a blog than a diary. A blog is where someone can go and freely express themselves online. The only thing is, is that the blogs cannot be private, like a diary can. Anyone searching through the World Wide Web can access someone’s blog and read what that person has to say. A diary that someone writes in is private and no one else is supposed to read it. It contains the person’s innermost thoughts on the world and their life, and it should be private. Message boards are also brought up in the novel and they are online sites that people can go to and have a conversation back and forth on a topic that they found interesting. These are also not private and can be brought up in any internet search. Op-ed articles in newspapers are a similar to message boards but are better thought out. Op-ed articles have had the time taken out to edit the piece and spell check, whereas on the message boards people do not spell check and therefore what they put down might not always make sense to anyone reading it.

Along with the blogs and message boards, there is text messaging and emoticons that have affected people’s writing styles today. Text messaging is where two people can have a conversation but instead of talking to each other, they are sending small messages to each other. It can be said that a text message is like a note. Most people normally use text messaging to have a conversation with someone else instead of sending a reminder to another person. By using text messaging, people have a hard time actually talking to people in person or over the phone. The emoticons are a way to show some sort of emotion in an online chat with people. They are made by pressing certain keys in a certain order and when someone sends it in a message, a smiley face appears doing the facial expression that they want it to. An example of an emoticon would be for a happy face you get J, which is a : and ) put together without any spaces.

Although it may seem as if the text messaging, online blogging, and message boards are hurting the younger generations writing skills, they also are useful for educational purposes.
“Teachers and students are creating and maintaining weblogs as learning projects, as part of the learning processes in the classroom” ( Clyde 43). These uses for the weblogs have helped bring the generations of today into a twenty-first century way of learning. The blogging is used as an educational tool not just for the students, but for the teachers as well. They get to see their students in a different environment, outside of school. The teachers can see their students more as individual people and not just one massive group of teenagers who all have the same interests. This helps propels the younger generations into finding new ways of learning and pushing society forward.

Works Cited

Brooks, Kevin. . "Microserfs." The Writing Instructor 16.3 (1997): 141. Research Library. ProQuest. University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dearborn, MI. 19 Apr. 2009

Clyde, Laurel A. ."educational blogging. " Teacher Librarian 32.3 (2005): 43-45. Research Library. ProQuest. University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dearborn, MI. 27 Apr. 2009

Coupland, Douglas. Microserfs. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. New York, NY. 1995.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Facebook Quiz

Hockey Quiz:

Detroit is known as…
c.Winged-Wheel Warriors

Detroit Red Wings was one of the original _______ teams.

In the early 1950’s, Ted Lindsey, Sid Abel, and Gordie Howe were known as the
a.Production Line
b.Terrible Trio
c.The Three Musketeer’s
d.The Three Stooges

The significance of throwing an octopus on the ice during a playoff game is
a.They’re just cool!
b.The 8 legs represent the 8 games to win the Stanley Cup
c.The 8 legs represent the 8 original teams
d.They are a good luck charm

Who was the winning goalie for the 2007-2008 Wings?
a.Manny Legacy
b.Patrick Roy
c.Chris Osgood
d.Dominik Hasek

Before Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings played at
a.Briggs Stadium
c.The Forum
d.Olympia Stadium

The Red Wings current captain is
a.Steve Yzerman
b.Nicklas Lidstrom
c.Chris Chelios
d.Pavel Datsyuk

How many Swedes are on the current Red Wings team?

Before their 1997 Stanley Cup Championship win, when was the last time the Wings won the cup?

The owner of the Red Wings is also the founder of what pizza chain?
b.Papa John’s
c.Pizza Hut
d.Little Ceasers

10-8 correct: Wingnut. You are a hockey fan to the death. These people eat, drink, sleep, and breathe hockey. They can always be found at the hockey arena or in front of the TV when there’s a hockey match on. Do not mess with them when the game is on, it would not turn out very well for the other person. When getting into an argument about hockey, these people know what they’re talking about, so you will never win against them. I recommend not even trying to fight about hockey, it’s not worth it.

7-5 correct: Junior Hockey Fan. These people like to watch the game every now and then. Maybe go to a game every once in awhile, but don’t follow the sport when it is inconvenient to them. They enjoy the sport very much, but are not as avid fans as others.

4-2 correct: Might Mites (the “little league” hockey teams). These people will watch the game if there’s nothing else on TV. They could care less about hockey, and they apparently have better things to do. They would rather watch the basketball game.

1-0 correct: Oh look, it’s baseball season. They don’t know anything about hockey. Nor do they really care. They don’t follow the sport, or they just don’t follow the Detroit Red Wings.

Friday, March 20, 2009

podcast script


Gluten, Friend or Foe?

Complete Show Length in minutes: 5:52

Episode 1: Topic: Celiac Disease
Intro Music Clip: Title: Cake Walk from the Suite of Old American Dances by R.R. Benet Minutes: 0.35 sec (2:10-2:45)
Intro: What’s going on? Minutes: 0.32
In today’s segment, we will be talking about something that is becoming more and more popular. No, it’s not what the hottest celebrities are wearing, or who’s listening to what music, or what latest movie is coming out. We are talking about celiac. Celiac is a disease that causes gluten to not be absorbed into the digestive system. This can be accompanied with many different kinds of symptoms, some being not as threatening to your person and some being more serious to the point of hospitalization. Each case is very different, some may not even be aware of their symptoms because they don’t really have any, and others, like me, notice when we’ve eaten something that we shouldn’t have.

Segment Music Clip: Title: Endless column by Blue Man Group Minutes: 3:00
Segment: The Facts Minutes: 3:26
As mentioned earlier, celiac disease is where the human digestive system does not absorb gluten or any food containing gluten. Symptoms of this can range from, anemia or just not feeling like everything is normal to vomiting and having to run to the bathroom after eating just one bite of food. Now, there is a subgroup of celiac disease members that have what is called DH. DH is when instead of having reactions to the gluten in the body; their reactions are on their skin, which is what I have. This little subgroup is only about 10% of all people with celiac disease, so there aren’t many of us out there. These people get watery, pus filled blisters on their skin and the most common places where these pop up tend to be on the elbows and knees. I know, it’s not the prettiest thing, to talk about, but sometimes the gross stuff has to be brought out to the public so they can be aware of it.

I was recently diagnosed with this back in November of 2008, right before thanksgiving. How sad? Anyway, I remembered from a few weeks before that my Comp 105 professor at the University of Michigan in Dearborn, Professor Debra Fletcher, had said something about how she couldn’t eat the cupcakes one of my class mates brought in because she was allergic to the wheat in it. Sorry if I didn’t specify earlier, gluten is in wheat so all wheat products are out the question, like breads, and even some sauces too. Back to the story, I had remembered this and I sent her an email because I had a lot of questions to ask. She had been diagnosed two years earlier and didn’t have any symptoms at all. She had gone in to find out about another health issue, and found out she has celiac disease, which could’ve explained her anemia. Now, I re-interviewed her a few weeks ago and she gave me most of the same advice she did back in November 2008, but some new information as well.

She told me about these places to go get groceries, Hiller’s market, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes. If you want to go out to eat, like other non-celiac people, there are some places to go to. She recommended P.F. Changs, but most other restaurants do have a gluten free menu. Red Robin and Outback steakhouse have gluten-free menus, and I found this really good Italian restaurant called Guilio’s and it’s in Livonia. They have a wide variety of gluten-free pasta’s and they actually have gluten-free bread! Yes, bread, and in my opinion it tastes better than the store bought regular bread. Some of the brands that my professor recommends are Mi-Del and Celiac food products. There are a lot of foods today that are gluten-free. The Mi-Del and the Celiac brands obviously, all fruits and vegetables, all meats that haven’t had preservatives added to them, most candies today don’t have gluten in them, and even in the local Kroger you can find a small section of gluten-free foods in the health food isle. But to go grocery shopping, you would probably have to go to either Hiller’s or Whole Foods for most of the really good gluten-free brands. The one thing about foods that she did stress on was that not all organic foods are gluten-free. They may still contain some wheat or wheat grain and that makes it not “healthy” for us.

End Segment Music Clip: Title: Dueling Guitars from August Rush soundtrack Minutes: 1:26
Ending: What annoys us the most Minutes: 1:26
What professor Fletcher wants to have everyone else understand is “I wish people would realize that we’re not trying to be picky or high-maintenance, and that it is a serious condition with serious consequences if the recommended diet is not followed.” I can sympathize with her. I now know how hard it is to find food. I know I have to plan my meals a few days in advance so I won’t go hungry when I’m on campus. When I go out with friends, I have to bring my own food, which is really annoying. Some of them think it’s cute, which I find very odd, but then again they are my friends, and that in itself should explain a lot.

Now, I don’t want to leave on a bad note, but the rest of the world needs to know about celiac disease and its consequences. On a good note, you do eat a lot healthier because most of the carbs have been taken out of your diet, and possible weight loss can happen. I believe I’ve lost a few pounds since I’ve started eating gluten-free, and I’m not complaining. I hope you all have learned something new today, and will remember that those who have celiac disease don’t mean to be picky eaters; it’s just that they have to be.

Ending Music Clip: Title: Radio Ga Ga by Queen Minutes: 0.28 (1:57 – 2:25)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Project 2 essay

Imagine that you’re driving down a side street in a suburban area, just outside of a major city. You are driving at around twenty five miles per hour, when suddenly, a squirrel runs into the middle of the road. You slam on the breaks, to not hurt the squirrel and injure it. You wait and see if it will run out from under the car. It runs out and you breathe a sigh of relief for not killing it. Small animals, such as squirrels and raccoons, have become more and more accustomed to people and less scared of them. This is because their habitats are being torn down to build brand new buildings, and the animals living there have nowhere else to go.

When a business decides to move to a new location, they leave their old building standing and build a brand new building on some undeveloped land. By building on this land, humans force the species living there to relocate to somewhere different, or to adapt to the new surroundings. Most of them adapt to the new surroundings. The animals soon realize that where there are people, there is food, and where there is food, they will not go hungry. They then become less afraid of people and will run across roads in front of cars to get food.

If businesses stopped developing new buildings in new areas, and remodeled an older, empty building, the encounters with the animals will decrease. In most cities and the suburban areas surrounding the city, you will find many empty buildings. Especially now, with many businesses going out of business and leaving their empty buildings standing, when another business could just remodel the empty one instead of building a whole new store. When driving down some of the main roads, I have noticed that about twenty five percent of the buildings I see are empty and abandoned. I have also noticed that just outside of suburban areas, more and more lots are being used for condos and houses. So why do people have to build on undeveloped land and why don’t they just tear down the empty buildings and do something with them?

Another cause of the increasing interactions with small animals is urban sprawl. Urban sprawl is due to the ever growing population and their need to own a home with space enough to have a backyard. People also move to new areas because they feel the school system is better, they want a bigger house, and a bigger plot of land to live on. If there are only two people living in a house, they do not need to be living in a really big house that takes up a lot of land. That land was a habitat for wild animals that got forced out of their home. In April 2007, National Geographic Magazine published “Urban Sprawl” by John G. Mitchell, which states “While I fished or hunted, my father drove wooden stakes into the ground at the corners of his house lots. Now Mayview is just another old subdivision, and the north edge of Greater Cincinnati is miles beyond it, rolling inexorably toward a confluence with Dayton in the once and former cornfield of Butler and Warren Counties.” Mitchell is describing what a row of houses down in Ohio is now. It used to be a big forest where one could go and see wildlife like he used to when he was a child.

Urban sprawl pushes the wildlife into a smaller area to live in, and they have to adapt to the humans who now live there. Urban sprawl is increasing at a rapid rate, which is not giving the animals time to adjust or find some place new to live, and more and more interactions between humans and wildlife are occurring. People need to stop developing new living areas or new buildings for offices or stores so the wildlife can have a place to live, and a place to have food to eat. We have to find ways to protect their habitat. What will happen if all the wildlife was gone because they had nowhere else to go after people took their homes to build houses and buildings on?
The wildlife documentary Planet Earth from the Discovery Channel and BBC brings the beauty of the animal world right into your home. It shows different kinds of habitats ranging from the South Pole to the rainforest to grasslands, and if people keep taking land from these habitats the wildlife will have nowhere to go and will eventually die out. Even the little pond or small forest by your house is a habitat for small wildlife, and if that gets taken away from them, they will not adapt and die out.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Advocate project

*Print screen of my project*

Most schools have some kind of music program. Every program is different from one another because each school district divides up their budget differently from each other. Even the richest school district would have a poorly funded music program because that is not what the district main focuses on. All school districts should try to budget more money to the music programs.

Through the music programs, students learn so many different skills and abilities no matter what instrument they play. While doing research for my project, I found out that music does much more that just teach kids more about math and science. Yes, math and science are used in music making. They learn how to be more patient, not every piece of music is going to be easy. They also learn how to multitask. Musicians have to read the notes on the staff, take in account dynamics, or how loud or soft to play, how short or long the note is supposed to be, who has the more important part at that time, whether that note sounds in tune or not, and much more all in the fraction of a second. Students also learn how to be part of a team. They have to work together as hard as they can to make even one piece as close to perfect as possible, and most bands tend to perform more than one piece at a concert. Funding to have students learn these valuable skills that will help them become better people, and should be continued so those skills will still be taught to younger generations.

While continuing my research, I was surprised at how many studies have been done on the teaching of music and what the advantages are to learning music or just even appreciating music. I found out that even by listening to music, people can learn to appreciate it more and can then think about solving problems differently than if they didn’t listen to music. Just writing this, I’m listening to music to help my creative process. Then I got writers block for an hour, but music does help me organize my thoughts on to put them on paper, especially classical music.

When working on my project, I was reminded of my experiences in high school. These experiences were the character building moments in my life. When the band went to competitions, we were always told by our director that “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” That means that the scores shouldn’t matter; the only thing that matters is how well you performed and if you think you did well. It doesn’t matter how well someone else thinks you did, as long as you know that was your best. Band taught me how to organize my time. It also helped to me find the inspiration that I need when I’m trying to finish something. I know that quitting is never an option, and you have to work through the hard stuff to appreciate the simple things. Because I had band, I learned those things which is why the school districts should put more funding into music programs.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Project #1

I think that I'm going to advocate about the funding for music programs in schools. In my high school, the band program didn't have much funding to go to the competitions that we needed to go to and we had to try to fund raise most of it. Being from a small area, not many people would want to help the band out because they didn't feel that it was a good enough cause to give money to. Therefore, we didn't get to do a whole lot because we didn't have the money to do so. If the band programs got more funding, their program will grow and get better, and then more people would want to donate money to them.

As of now, I would like my audience to be school officials and others in the community.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Print Screen 1

How does composing change shape in digital spaces?

If by the composition changing when the window it's in changes, the composition doesn't really change. It stays the same, but the window size changes. If 'change shape in digital spaces' means something to the effect of the way things have been composed online over the past few years, then I can help answer that. Since the Internet and other online stuff has been created (i.e. AIM, MSN messenger, text messaging, etc.) most of the younger generations don't really know how to compose a well written thought. A lot of what they write is abbreviated now. For example, 'by the way' is now 'btw' and 'talk to you later' is 'ttyl'. Because most teenagers use these abbreviations, they have a hard time actually writing a paper for class. They can forget the differences between they're, there, and their, and other simple grammatical things we were taught in elementary school. I will admit that I do make those simple mistakes every now and then in a paper, and it's those stupid mistakes that bring the papers' grade down. May be if people these days would put the phone and computers away and actually try to write a letter to a friend or talk to someone in person, the writings of these people would be much better.

How can we better understand digital composing process?

We can better understand the digital composing process by creating a little dictionary for those of us who do not always understand what abbreviations stand for what. I still, to this day,have to ask my friends "What does that message say again? I don't understand it." Asking that same question over and over again can get old very fast. We can also try to do more assignments online then on paper. I'm not a big fan of this proposal, but it might work. I have noticed that most people tend to be able to express themselves more easily online instead of in class, or face to face with someone. We could also try to learn more about how websites or other online sites are created to get a better understanding of what goes on to put that opinion or idea on the Internet for people to see.