Windows Live Suite

Ok, I’m thinking about making the switch from traditional web clients (GMail, WordPress, Blogger, ect.) to using Windows Live.

Why?

Simply put, these programs are shiny. And like a two-year-old, I am attracted to shiny objects. Will these programs lose their luster? Undoubtedly. Will I find value in using Live programs after using them for a while? That’s the hope. I’m going to try to find out why using these programs is more beneficial than, say, using GMail to keep up on my email. Besides, as far as I know, Live doesn’t have stats for your blog like WordPress and Blogger do. Continue reading

Objective: Abroad

I’ve always known that traveling abroad is something I want to do, but I don’t know if traveling will be enough.

I feel fortunate to have been born in and live in what is one of the greatest countries known to man. I’ve been afforded freedoms and rights unparalleled anywhere else in the world. However, life inside the United States is all I’ve ever known. I’ve lived up and down the pacific northwest, but I’ve never been out of the country, except for a 3 day trip into Canada.

So one of my goals in life is to work abroad for one year. I want to do public relations abroad, but that’s going to require mastering the language of whatever country I will be based out of.

Whatever country that is has yet to be decided. But it’s a goal I’m going to work toward.

Nothing specific.

I started this blog almost a year ago, and despite neglecting it for the past couple days/weeks, I intend to keep it updated.

I’ve been firefighting for a week now. At first, I hated being back, but I’ve turned it into a routine. Keeping in mind that this will be my last summer working at ODF helps, and counting down the days isn’t as bad as I thought it was.

I intend to be in Eugene on September 1st, and if all goes well, I’ll be done with ODF on August 28-29th.

Over

International Week and Night is finally finished. It was extremely stressful running the event, but even though I’m glad the work load is finished, I can’t help but feel like a part of me is now gone. No more late Wednesday evenings or early morning chalking.

Last night’s turnout was amazing. For a while, I doubted that anyone would show up, but we pulled through and got a ton of people to come. I was down in the kitchen for most of the day and missed the show, but I was able to take part in the fashion show, so I was able to see the audience.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who came and helped out.

It’s Art!

I’m tired of hearing that journalistic writing is too dry, too boring, or too rule constrained to be art, especially that last point. Journalistic writing is artistic; it just takes a refined taste to see it for what it actually is.

Too confined in rules? Think of haiku poems. Haiku’s must be written 5, 7, 5 syllable lines. Few dispute whether or not they are art.

Too boring? Too dry? Maybe it’s just that we as Journalists see what others don’t; that is, perhaps we detect the subtleties in the writing.

I can look at every journalistic piece I’ve ever written, and just by the writing style, I can tell you what was going through my head when I wrote it, how I was feeling, ect. I can picture what other writers are feeling as I read their pieces as well.

It’s art.

Dammit.

Removing the Crutch

I discovered this while studying Japanese, but I think it applies to all learning. The experts that troll this blog can comment and say otherwise if I’m wrong (I’m looking at you, Adelle).

After 1 term of studying Japanese, we had learned both Japanese phonetic alphabets. Each of us had the ability to pronounce any of the characters, but it took us a considerable amount of time. At the end of the first term, and for the rest of our time spent studying Japanese, our instructors posted all lessons in the Japanese phonetic alphabet.

The first time we had to read entire scripts in Japanese was humorous to say the least! Everyone read extremely slow. What’s more, we hated reading using Japanese characters. It was such a struggle because it felt like such a topical regression. In English, native speakers have become so accustomed to recognizing words that we don’t bother looking at spelling for pronunciation as much as we look at word recognition. In Japanese, we experience somewhat of the same phenomenon. Instead of being able to recognize entire words, we were forced to examine and consider every pronunciation. Word distinction at that stage was nigh impossible given that there are no word break markers in pure hiragana/katakana (phonetic reading) Japanese.

But as time went on, and as we learned additional Chinese symbols (they go a long way in helping with word recognition and word breaks), we all became much more proficient in reading comprehension and pronunciation. I can read a Japanese text MUCH quicker than I was able beforehand.

I’m grateful my instructors removed the roman letters crutch. I know for a fact that had I been studying by myself, I would have been much more reluctant to use only Japanese characters… or maybe I would have never done it. But by removing that crutch, we were forced to adapt, and that’s something I think we as a species are amazing at doing. The problem, of course, is us not wanting to step outside our comfort zone. But the more we do, the more we learn and grow, and the more that a particular subject/area we’re working with becomes a comfort zone.

Being quick to abandon what’s comfortable, always looking toward the unseen path… that’s a personality trait I hope to develop.

New Phone

Yes, Black Monday is the staple day for consumerism, and I had to partake, if only a little bit. As you guys may know, I was a little overdue for a new phone, so my mom took me down to the Sprint store (she’s the account holder, and I don’t have a car I can use).

It took me 20 minutes to pick out a phone, but I finally decided on the LG RUMOR (black).

It comes with a camera, a slide out QWERTY keyboard (as shown), MicroSD card slot, and MP3 Capabilities. I haven’t had an opportunity to talk on it much, but I’ve messed around with the other features.

The slide out keyboard works great. The screen adjusts automatically whenever the keyboard is pulled out and automatically displays texting options when the screen is on the home menu.

The MP3 Sound quality is pretty good for one speaker. I’ve seen other QWERTY keyboard phones with two speakers offering stereo sound, but the sound quality on the RUMOR suffices.

The camera is a 1.3 Megapixel, and with my 1GB SD card (not included, you have to buy it yourself), I can take photos and videos at the same quality that I can with my Digital Camera at home, and my memory card will hold more! I know, it’s time to upgrade my camera.

So far, I’m very satisfied with my new phone. Reception seems to be pretty good in most locations around Klamath Falls, but of course, I’ll be using the phone primarily in Eugene.

Fooded

I made my first real batch of fried rice today!

I went to market of choice because I was out of food and starving to death. Picked up some pork, green onions, eggs, oyster sauce, basil, and extra virgin olive oil. Cooked the rice while cutting the pork into strips and mixing oyster sauce, basil, green onions, fish sauce, and soy sauce in one bowl. After the rice was done prepared a pan and a pot by covering them with olive oil. Set the pan on 6 and the pot on 5 (oven settings), threw the sauce concoction into the pot and the pork into the pan. While the meat was cooking, I added a sweet garlic sauce mix I got from Market of Choice to the pan so that the meat could cook in it. Next, I whisked an egg and added it to the pot and stirred until the egg was 90% cooked. Then, I added the rice and stirred while keeping an eye on my pork. The rice was finished much quicker than the pork was, so I used my rice cooker cover to keep the rice from getting cold.

In hindsight, the rice was a little too salty and could have benefited from some chili powder, but it was delicious still. The sweet garlic sauce definitely regulated the flavor. And the best part is, my cooking didn’t kill me!

週末 (My Weekend)

Two things:

One: Had a good weekend. The ISA co-directors were invited to a formal dinner to commemorate the opening of the Mills International center. We were served a three-course meal and had the opportunity to interact with University of Oregon faculty and donors. I was fortunate enough to be seated with the provost of International Affairs and the director of the EMU (along with two other guests whose names escape me).  Also, the University of Oregon president was seated next to me (but at the opposite table; we didn’t have any opportunity to interact).

Hung out with Sean and Adelle that night and all of the next day. We went to the football game (in which Oregon proceeded to slaughter the Washington State Cougars 52-7) and then over to Sean’s house where we were treated to a variety of different foods. My contribution was the wine for the Sanagria (spelled correctly, Sean?). After that was an onslaught of Guitar Hero, Halo, and American Idol Karaoke.  Loads of fun.

Two: I received a message on my Mixi account (a japanese style facebook or myspace) from one of my friends in Japan, all of which was in Japanese. She wrote it  in Japanese, and I could tell she wrote it so that 90% of it utilized grammar and vocabulary I already knew and that 10% of it was new vocabulary and grammar, forcing me to do a little research on my own.

Even now, 3 months after most of those guys have gone back to Japan, I’m still amazed at how much they care about foreigners learning their language. All of my Japanese exchange student friends from last year (and there was a lot of them) always took five minutes out of their day to make sure I was speaking correctly and encouraging me to persist when studying the language became difficult. They always tried to make it interesting and relevant, going out of their way to introduce me to phrases that were appropriate for whatever situation I was in (especially the 飲んで,飲んで,飲んで song… what a horrible song!).

I guess what I’m trying to say is that (1) I have never met any group of people who were enthusiastic about teaching something as they were about teaching me their language and (2) its remarkable that they were so eager to welcome me into their groups of friends and become a part of my group. I think without them, I would have failed out of Japanese Class.