Find what you love

13 04 2010

As the end of another semester nears, I’m finding the summer sunshine warming my imagination far more than it is my desire to type papers indoors on my laptop or sit still inside for three hour long classes, 4 out of the 5 mornings of my week. I have a long list of assignments, papers, projects, iMovies and lesson plans that I need to be working on and yet, I can’t get myself motivated, inspired, excited about doing any of it. I keep telling myself – only three more weeks – only three weeks to buckle down and then, then it’s all over. And yet, for the last several beautiful days, three weeks of this seems miserable and impossible. If college is going to teach me anything over the next three weeks, it’s just going to be more of the same on the art of beautifully bullcraping – turning two paragraphs into four pages – inserting “heart” in between the spaces to impress my teachers. If I’m lucky, I’ll surprise myself in the next three weeks and actually learn far more than I ever dreamed of  – yeah, about that. If I’m lucky, the fake “heart” I’m forcing to fit between the lines will actually manifest itself into something real and I’ll actually find something I’m passionate about – however, I’m not holding my breath. While I hope, and am in fact praying that these things do happen, right now I’m banking on the next three weeks of my school life progressing in a more painful, slow and monotonous like manner – where the only real heart and inspiration in my life is that which I’ll be force feeding myself, in hopes of creating some creativity and imagination in the other, absolutely dull realms of my world. Thus, begins today’s blog.

While I should be working on everything mentioned above – I’m not. And while this blog is already decently developed and this post is not absolutely necessary, I’m writing it anyway. I’m writing it because right now, as I’m weighed down with stress and school work, I’m loving the idea of thinking about finding “what you love” and just doing it. I’m loving the idea of taking time for myself to discover who I really am and what I really want, without being graded on this discovery or inquiry project or presentation or iMovie. I’m loving the idea of being genuinely inspired and excited about something – and not just burnt out and frustrated. In times like these, I turn to TED – and wish I could be Steve Jobs 😀

I stumbled across this video of Steve Jobs giving the Commencement address at Standford University in June of 2005, through TED. While I had remembered seeing bits and pieces of this speech since 2005, I’m not sure I had ever listened to the whole thing – nor had I ever needed some good ole’ inspiration as much as I did today, and now, and for the next three weeks. As we near the end of the year – for some, commencement is only four weeks away – this address is a great reminder to “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” ; to find what you love ; to not settle ; to trust in something; to “have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

The video of his Commencement address is seriously worth watching. The actual text of the Commencement address is below.


‘You’ve got to find what you love,’ Jobs says

This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart. Even when it leads you off the well worn path, and that will make all the difference.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle. Wow.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

From: Stanford Report, June 14, 2005

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Your blogging personality

6 04 2010

What Does Your Blog Say About You?

As I was spending some time assessing my own blog my previous post, I started to think about the type(s) of personalities that would enjoy blogging, and wondering how much one’s personality is reflected in their blog.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I have found in blogging true enjoyment and an outlet for myself to collect and gather, write, document, organize and share the hours I spend creatively researching a topic or interest (such as this one). However, blogging can’t possibly be enjoyable for everyone. In society where technology is everywhere and universities especially are promoting their education students to learn blogging, I found myself wondering how much it should be pushed, if it is for everyone, and how much we should or can compare or “grade” students on blogging when it may be seen as enjoyable and useful for some, and as simply annoying and frustrating for others. Since this was an area that I know relatively nothing about, beside my own experience(s), I went to the research for some answers.

Although my Google search for “blogging personality” yielded at first many results (most of which I found irrelevant), I eventually stumbled across this awesome article on ScienceBlogs entitled, The Blogging Personality. It’s definitely interesting and worth the read:

You all read blogs, and many of you write them, too. But what sort of person writes a blog? Are there particular personality traits that make certain people more likely to write a blog? If so, what are those personality traits? Do you have them, too?

A team of scientists, led by psychologist Rosanna Guadagno from the University of Alabama, wondered what personality traits made some people more likely than others to write blogs. To answer these questions, Guadagno and her colleagues used the Big Five personality inventory test to measure five key personality traits in college students who write blogs.

The Big Five personality traits are five broad personality factors that had been discovered throughout repeated psychological research during the middle of the twentieth century. As agreed by the professionals in the field, these Big Five factors are Openness to new experiences, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism (OCEAN) and each comprises a cluster of more specific personality traits that correlate together. For example, Neuroticism includes such related qualities as a tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily and is sometimes referred to as emotional instability. One of the Big Five qualities, Openness — which comprises an appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, imagination, curiosity, and variety of experiences — is still widely discussed in the literature, where it is often referred to as “intellect.” Nevertheless, despite some discussion among the experts as to how to define the subtle nuances of these five qualities, research shows that they become stable measurable personality qualities in humans after they’ve reached adulthood. So how do these personality traits correlate to blog writing?

To answer these questions, Guadagno and her team surveyed more than 300 college students from the University of Alabama and Southeastern University about their blog writing and reading habits and had them all complete the Big Five Personality Inventory test.

According to their results, Guadagno’s team found that high scores for two of the Big Five qualities strongly predicted blog writing activity: Openness to new experience and Neuroticism. Considering that blog writing and reading is a new activity that was mostly unheard of even five years ago, Openness to new experiences is a logical prerequisite for adopting in this behavior. High Neuroticism is also not a surprising finding, since even bloggers refer to writing about personal experiences as “navel gazing” — neurotic behavior.

Guadagno’s team also found some gender differences. For example, women with a high Neuroticism score who were also lonely were more likely to write a blog, while this was not the case among men who write blogs.

Like all good studies, this one suggests a large number and variety of questions that are worth investigating: for example, it would be instructive to examine the content of blogs to determine whether they reflect aspects of an individual’s personality; whether a blog writer’s word choice predicts their ability to cope with traumatic events; and especially, to learn more about why people write blogs (coping, reaching out for social support, etc.)? Personally, I am curious to know if certain types of blogs are predicted by particular personality traits, for example, are blogs about science or about one’s career predicted by a different group of personality traits than blogs about dating or one’s personal life?

Additionally, Guadagno cautions that her team’s results may not be more widely applicable beyond her sample group: American college students, an age group whose Big Five personality traits are still undergoing some changes. But she reminds us that understanding blog writing is a worthwhile goal.

“One thing that remains clear is that blogs are a form of online expression that is gaining in popularity and that they represent one of the newer forms of online social interaction,” write the authors in their paper. “As such, it is important for social scientists to continue to examine this phenomenon to fully understand its affects on psychological processes that differentiate it from other similar forms of self-expression.

From: The Blogging Personality

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I found on E-articles another interesting and more unique way to classify and describe blog personality types. The article entitled, “External Blogging Personality Types” had these interesting ways of characterizing bloggers:

Instead of providing a dry list of the top ways you can use blogs, I’ve decided to look at blogging in a different way. I have taken the top seven types of business blogs and personified them as different characters, or locations, within a city. Let’s take a tour of this virtual city and visit some people and places your business may want to work with as it discovers, experiments with, and eventually embraces blogging:

The Barber – Barbers can prove to be prominent citizens— they know the right people, have lots of wisdom from years of listening to customers, and have no problem sharing that wisdom. In some ways, a barber serves as a pundit or analyst, or perhaps an adviser. The barber deserves to be heard not only because she sees things differently, but often because she’s right.

The Blacksmith – The blacksmith is like the barber in that he knows the industry, except he is typically inside a company and is thus hammering industry and opinion through the company forge. Software developers at IBM, Sun, and other large technology companies fulfill this role as they bring their experience to bear on a problem.

The Bridge A bridge blogger is a person who makes connections, influences, and helps bring people together. She is obsessed with relationships and connecting people, and as a result she can often function as a peacekeeper. In a corporate setting, the public relations professional may be a natural bridge blogger—or it could just as easily be the company secretary.

The Window – A window blogger is similar to a blacksmith blogger in that he typically works inside a company and uses his experience to frame his opinions. The difference between the two types, though, is that a blacksmith blogger typically talks about things inside the company, while a window blogger typically talks about things inside and outside the company.

The Signpost – A signpost blogger in unusual in that she typically doesn’t share her opinions—at least that isn’t the primary reason for her blog’s existence. A signpost blogger points out cool things of interest in her industry. She may not have much to say in each post (maybe only a few words describing a topic of interest), but she may post dozens of short notes per day as she comes across interesting tidbits, perhaps pointing readers to information at other sites.

The Pub – Pub bloggers create discussions designed to bring in people from all spectrums of a particular issue to talk something through and have a laugh at themselves or others in the process. Peter Davidson’s blog is a solid pub blog example; “Thinking by Peter Davidson” (http://peterthink .blogs.com/thinking, allows a group of likeminded thinkers to explore a variety of issues.

The Newspaper – A newspaper blogger functions in many ways like a journalist—attempting to do more reporting than opining, she does her best to stick to the facts. Many political blogs are newspaper-ish in nature, as are a few technical blogs, such as Engadget (www.engadget.com), which focuses on the latest “gadgety” news.

A single blog may often include characteristics of several of these types; however, because blogs are generally written by one blogger or a small group of bloggers, you can often see an overriding trend as to what type of blogger is at work. Mixed in with these broad areas are other types of blogs that make up the blogospherical town—the post office, where people go for a large variety of information; the town hall, where important decisions are made; and all sorts of other oddities. A healthy town needs all types of citizens and places, and there are certainly more than enough uses for blogs to go around.

From: External Blogging Personality Types

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According to the above descriptions, I am a blend of the newspaper blogger and the signpost blogger. In what is described  as the blogospherical town, I am a little bit journalist and a little bit signpost.

To tie in with my previous blog on self-assessment – While I mostly report my findings and research in paragraph, quote or fact-like form, I also attempt to point out cool things of interest in the worlds of education, the arts and technology. I like to report back and share interesting things that I’ve found, bolding my favorite parts, but also suggesting readers research more on their own. I try not to offer everything in my blog, but I also understand that in this hectic life we sometimes cannot find time to click on even a link, much less watch a twenty-minute TED presentation – so, in a very journalistic fashion, I offer to readers an overview and quick summary of my favorite parts and pieces.

Just as many different types and personalities of people are found in a town, there are also many different types of blogs. A person’s personality in reality will largely influence the type and style of blog they create. Because of this – because it is a more creative and free-form of expression compared to writing an essay or answering a prompt – how can we compare blogs and/or grade them. As a future teacher, these have been some of the questions on my mind, and ones that have not been entirely answered. As I’ve gone through the process of making this blog for a class, and designing how it would be graded as a class, I’ve learned a great deal – and yet, there are still unanswered questions and entirely unclear areas. As a creative and freer form of expression, I think there always will be. And as the ScienceBlogs article points out, there is still much research to be done in this area.





Self-assessment

6 04 2010

The Riley Guide defines self-assessment as, “a process by which you learn more about yourself — what you like, what you don’t like, and how you tend to react to certain situations.” After almost three months of blogging, I’ve certainly gained a better understanding of what I like and don’t like – and what concepts in the worlds of education, arts, and technology interest me the most and the least. The professor who gave me the initiative to first create this blog commented on one of my earliest posts, that blogging could be “the ideal creative vehicle” for me. And honestly, blogging has become this for me. Blogging has allowed me to combine my love for research with my love for writing and creative ideas, and gather the information I learn and enjoy in an organized fashion. I’ve learned a great deal through the writing and research that I’ve done specifically for this blog – along with constantly learning from other’s blogs and from the comments and conversations I’ve had from my blogs (and theirs).

As much as I’ve been keeping up with my blog because I knew my professor and fellow classmates would be reading it, I’ve also  (and mostly) been keeping up with it out of my own desire to research, learn, gather, organize and write about the topics that interest me. And this enjoyment and excitement that I would say I find in blogging is one of the main factors that allows me to give myself an A in my overall assessment of my own blog.  However, this is my one bit of a disclaimer before entering into my self-assessment: I invested the time I did into my blog for myself, my own enjoyment and my own creative interests, far more than I did for any external forces or reasons (professors, class mates, grades etc).

Jesse North wrote in her most recent post, “In a way I feel like I’m posting an inner-most secret of mine all over my blog by doing this, but alas, it must be done.  Here goes nothing!” I must say that I completely understand her here, and will admit that it’s taken me the entire week to mentally accept giving these statistics away. It was not until I reasoned and came to the conclusion that this way the easiest way to share these things with my professor, that I am finally writing this.

Statistically speaking, as of 11:50am on April 6 (today) I’ve had 504 total views of my blog, and 29 on the busiest day, March 26, 2010. You can see this in the chart(s) below – along with the Stats breaking my blog views into per day, per week and per month.

In the last three months I’ve posted 12 times, and from that, 20  comments were generated. As seen in the chart below – on my most popular blog pages – my home page was my most looked at page, followed by my About me, my passions, my words page, followed by my blog entitled Listen deeply: tell digital stories page, and then Writing out of the blog rut, and so on:

In her blog on self-assessment, Jessie Bindrim wrote, “Now here’s the zinger of the self assessment, quality. More specifically, what makes a quality post?” Besides my first one or two posts, I feel that the majority of my posts were of a high quality and rather lengthy. Rather than writing many short posts, I found more satisfaction in writing deeper and longer posts only once or twice a week, but packing them with several hours of research and information. As mentioned in my first two paragraphs of this post, my self-discipline over the last three months has been what I consider excellent, due to the enjoyment, feelings of accomplishment, amount learned etc. I’ve received from working with my blog. I’ve written almost one blog per week. Although I seem to have missed writing a post for two weeks (not in a row), I made up for those weeks by writing two and three posts some weeks.Those posts that stand out to me, were either the ones that generated the most or best comments, or the ones that i enjoyed writing the most:  Writing out of the blog rut, Teachers and/or technology and Storytelling supports learning, imagination, and creativity. My previous blog, Creativity, education, and the future was one of my most enjoyable posts to write so far in terms of research and information, however, it has not generated near as many comments or hits as some of my other posts.

In regards to the conversations and comments that I received and were generated from my twelve blog posts so far, I had several extremely exciting comments. On the busiest day in my blog’s history, March 26th Tim Ereneta, a storyteller from California, commented on my blog in regards to my post Storytelling supports learning, imagination, and creativity. After mentioning Ereneta in this blog, he left an encouraging and insightful comment.

And then, there March 16th, the day Jeff Utecht (author of the blog, The Thinking Stick and educator, consultant and presenter) left a comment on my post all the way from the International School Bangkok and left me starstruck all day (and week, and month). If this was not the highlight of my life thus far, it was certainly the highlight of my blog-life. Note: The names and blogs above are not linked in hopes of preventing pingbacks and thus, Jeff Utecht from ever reading this.

As for the other 18 comments, while none left me as enchanted as the one mentioned above, all of the others, left by my classmates and professor were greatly appreciated, often helpful and wonderful.

According to My Comments I believe that thus far I’ve left only eight comments to others. This is what I consider the weakest aspect/part of my PLN currently, and is something I would like to improve upon over the next four weeks. While I read most of my classmates blogs, I would like to give more feedback and have more conversations with them and others in the future. This improvement could also carry into my Ning networks and PICCLE-life. However, if pingbacks and links are a form of feedback (which I believe they are) then I believe my blog is still quite developed in this area. As for PICCLE, mentioned above, I completely agree with what Jessie Bindrim said, that “What isn’t being counted in this class but should be is the fact that we have all been PICCLEing regularly, having conversations with PDS students throughout the semester.”

Overall, with the amount of time I’ve been putting into the research and writing of my blogs, I am extremely satisfied with my blog. Time is currently the biggest hurdle in allowing or not allowing me to further improve and advance my blog. While I would most like to improve on commenting on other’s blogs, I am very pleased with my own and would be content with it, if I was able to keep it to the level it has been over the past three months, for the next four weeks. I have created what I believe to be a solid PLN, and have developed skills that I will surely take with me into both my career and student teaching, and into simply life. Also, instead of seeing this blog just in terms of this semester – four more weeks – I have begun to think about this blog in terms of much more. When time is finally on my side and my junior year is over, I plan to continue developing this blog and my research, and using it as a way to organize my findings of topics perhaps beyond education and technology. Though I think I deserve an A for my blog, there is of course room for both improvement and for more researching, writing and learning. Also, once I realized how much I gained from and enjoyed blogging, this blog quickly became not about the grade. Blogging has indeed become “the ideal creative vehicle” for me, and I plan to continue learning and writing along the blogging road.