Sunday, December 27, 2009

Finding Old Friends

My recent exploration of the social world that is inside my computer has lead to reconnecting with friends I never expected to see or talk to again.  This has opened my eyes to some of the wonder that I had shunned before.

What I would always say is "If all our communication is online won't that ultimately lead to a depersonalization of ALL communication?"  Before I felt the answer was yes...  now I have a new answer, "maybe."  It all depends on how we use these tools.

I could try and come up with an analogy for this but we will just stick with what it is.  I still feel that personal communication is a necessity, however I now see that there is also value in the mass communication (Tweets, status updates, etc...).  Which is worse, not talking to someone or just sending out a message for all to see.  I would say now that not sharing is worse.

So this leads to something that just happened.  I had many old friends, (good friends that drifted away), many of which I could not remember their last names or even sometimes there first names.  Friends I last spoke to between 2 and 10 years ago.  I was looking around on Facebook and remembered someones last name.  I found them, invited them to be my friend, and found more and more.

It is good to see them, good to know a little about their lives, and share a little about mine.  Even open the door to possibility of seeing them in person again.  This is what you lose by not using this tool.  You can keep people informed with much less effort which leads to much MORE communication.  Even if the bulk of that communication involves a less personal means the end result is more personal communication.  That is a good thing, if it is used carefully.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The End of Fall Quarter 2009

This week was finals week for fall quarter.  All the finals went about as expected.  I got grades lower than I would have liked in two of the three classes (Math 464 & ME 331).  I got a 4.0 in the other class (ME 480).  Overall reasonable grades for such an ugly quarter.

This quarters schedule was horrible.  I had to get to work at 6am and work till 8am.  Then catch a bus to get to school by 9:30 for my first class, Math 464 (Numerical Analysis).  Then I had ME 331 (Heat Transfer), a hour break, and then ME 480 (CAD Technology).  I then caught a bus to get back to work at 2:30pm and work till 7:30.  Tuesday and Thursday were a little different but I still got to work at 6am, went to school in the middle and back to work till 7:30pm.

Of these classes the one I liked the most was the ME 480.  In this class we had labs where we got to make parts using rapid prototyping machines.  This is very exciting, you can design and "print" a part very quickly.  I have posted a video of some of these parts on You Tube.

I have chosen to make next quarter a little lighter and only take two classes. The first is a follow-on class to ME 480.  This class (ME 498, Advance Topics in Rapid Prototyping And Rapid Manufacturing) will be more hands on allowing me to actually use the machines myself (in ME 480 the TA operated them all).  I will also be taking ME 373, Introduction to System Dynamics.  This is a required core class for my ME degree.

Overall I am glad to have a break and am looking forward to what is coming in a few weeks.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Beginning

This journey started long ago, but became much more formal when I started going to Everett Community College. That marked the beginning of ALL my formal education. I was home schooled through all my earlier education.

The most common question I get about being home schooled is "How did you like it?" The answer is simple... "I don't have much to compare it to." I did spend one quarter in middle school band. That was an interesting experience. I had been playing in a youth orchestra and had stopped. My horn teacher said I should keep playing somewhere. So band it was... The kids there were far from the serious musicians I was used to. I then went back to a youth orchestra.

The second question I usually get is "How did you socialize?" Once again a relatively simple answer. "I had orchestra, my families community theater group, and my family."

The biggest thing I think I learned in all those years was the understanding that education is yours. Only you can learn, no one can make you. Teachers are people who share their passion with you. This can be your parents, your siblings, strangers on the street, children, anyone and everyone. Everyone has something you can learn from them. Life is a lesson and you should never stop learning.

This is my story, my journey. I am late getting started in this outlet of communication and plan to share past experiences as well as present and future. I hope to share my passions and my experiences to help others on this journey, and maybe learn a thing or two myself.