Sunday, November 28, 2010

Forcing Tech on Others

A fellow named John Dyer has an interesting post on his blog about how since his father cannot access the Internet, he does not get all of John's updates about his life. He must use "older" technology like the phone or postal mail to keep up or send pictures.

This inspired a few thoughts.  One is that we have higher expectations of others to keep up with our lives.  We expect them to use the same tech we do, such as Twitter, Facebook, or just a blog, and to follow those in whatever way they wish to keep up with what we're doing.  That can be framed in a positive light as allowing others to choose whether or not to keep up with us.  It can also be framed as us expecting them to conform to our means of communication and to make sure they check it on some regular basis to find out if there's an update.  It seems to me that if we really value someone, we will want to keep up with them no matter the technology medium.

A second thought is that our communications to let others know what we're up to has become less personal as it has become easier to broadcast.  I remember when my mother would hand write individual letters to friends at Christmastime.  Family friends started writing a generic letter that was just copied and sent to everyone, and mom decided at some point to do that as well.  Kristy and I only do a generic letter at Christmas, as do most (maybe all?) of our friends.  Surely that's multiplied now as our Facebook status gets broadcast to anyone with permission to read it.  Now, it would take quite a bit of time to write individual letters, or even individual electronic messages to everyone I would like to send an update to.  The technology (copiers, printers, Facebook, Twitter) now facilitate broadcasting an impersonal message.  It's much easier, but I fear we've lost meaningful personal contact in the process of getting to this point.

What do you think?  What is lost and what is gained in terms of keeping up with people?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pictures from Summer & Fall 2010

These are pictures from this summer and fall that I finally got off the camera.  This covers the local festival, VBS, beach trip, summer fun, Raleigh trip, birthdays, and Halloween.  I'm also testing out this embedded thing from Shutterfly to see how it works.

Monday, November 08, 2010

A graduate school story

Here's a fun story for those that are or were grad students.  I sincerely hope you have never had an adviser like this.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Flu Shots

Kristy, Stephen, and I got flu shots yesterday.  I've been faithful in getting them since I had flu one time many years ago.  Stephen was scared, so I went first.  He was fairly brave though he cried a bit.  Soon after, he realized it wasn't that bad AND he got a sticker form the nurse and a rice crispy treat from dad.

I was thinking about this last night and realized I'm glad he's afraid of flu shots.  If a flu shot is one of the more scary things in his life, then he is in a much better situation than many other children in the world, even in our community  He has been spared hurts and traumas faced by many other children.  I am thankful for this for him, but sad for the many others.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Yes, still here

Yes, we're still alive.  Yes, we voted today.

First, the family update.  Kristy is at nearly 34 weeks and is BIG.  Her intuition says this baby is coming early.  I'm teaching a class this fall, so I think I'd better make the exam out early.  Also, I hope everyone understands if we don't get Christmas cards out this year on time.  Stephen is 6 now, and Lydia will be 3 soon.  I'll let Kristy talk about homeschooling, but Stephen seems to be doing fine.  He definitely has a math brain.  Lydia seems more social and talkative since being in preschool.

Due to how things get scheduled in the college, November is usually a really busy month for me.  However after some changes to how we do the electronic portfolios, that work came early in the semester.  Now I have time for all the other new tasks.  But, even when I come home exhausted, I remind myself to be thankful that I have a good job.

And so the election has come.  I cared more this time than previous times I voted.  I did a fair amount of research, even on offices I don't normally research like district court judges.  There were few races where I had a clear favorite.  Mostly, I either struggled between what I thought were two good options or two bad options.  I crossed party lines on a few.  Local politics are apparently very energizing and controversial to some around this area, if you believe the letters to the editor.  One local candidate said three was "civil unrest" in the county due to the incumbent.  I admit I hadn't noticed, outside the letters to the editor.  Still, one local race was decided by about 100 votes. Our state senator was elected by a margin of 200 votes.  The North Carolina General Assembly now has both houses controlled by Republicans for the first time since 1898.

Change is good right?  Our president said so about two years ago.  (Yes, I know what he really meant)