My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to write to me at any time. Thank you.
Boy, the first day of Psy 409 blew me away! I was a little aprehensive about taking this course, but I knew that I had to put aside my fears and get with the times. Dr. James was right when he talked about the term,infoshock. I was scared, but I was committed to try my best!! Seems like I wasn't the only one.
Well, after class let out, I headed to the Mac lab at Keller. I signed up for my unix account and then tried to look up the syllabus. The adventure has begun....help!!! I couldn't even turn the computer on!! Luckily, with the help of the person next to me, I got it started. You have to press the button on the top of the keyboard. Rebecca Ross explains how far she has come regarding this aspect. With that out of the way, I accessed Netscape and viewed the syallabus from there. Boy, what great graphics! Neat program too! You can search for information on any subject. I entered a search on horseback riding and it gave me names and addresses of a couple of ranches. COOL!!Go to the Top
I finally got my unix account, so the first thing I did was to check my e-mail. I think that this is the most exciting thing about this computer! I love to get mail,so this is just a new way of getting some. Anyway,my first attempt at e-mail went pretty good. I composed my message,then I tried to send it. Ha,ha,ha! I again had to ask a lab monitor for help. I felt so stupid. I really relate to Kyle Fujii's comment on being to hard headed to ask questions. I realized that if I wanted to get anything done, I would have to ask questions and get help, or else I would just end up staring at the screen for hours. Asking for help would also cut down on frustration levels drastically!!
This section of my report could go on and on.... Things are so confusing at this point, just like Dr. James said inhis weekly comments. I think that the most frustrating problem that I have come across is getting kicked out of lynx everytime I am editing my lab report. Apparently, I am not the only one having this problem, see Dellia Badua's labreport also. If anyone knows how to solve this problem, please email us with the solution. Getting kicked out takes up a lot of time. Another big problem for me, is that finding a computer to work on when I have the time, is hard. I like the mac lab in Keller,but they are always holding classes in there. The clic lab is where I am forced to do all of my work. Sundays seem to be the only time I have to work on the computer for a decent amount of time. I find myself working on the computer 3-6 hours at a time. Anything less and I don't get much done, and it seems like a waste of time to be on it for an hour or so. Hopefully, the problems will get less and not more, I'm crossing my fingers!!!
Insights and Reflections
Well, I am at the end of my first lab report. Boy do I feel great. I also feel a little tired though, more like worn out. I'm glad that I survived it, and I have the courage to go on to conquer more skills before the semester is through. Did I tell you how much I hated computers? That was my attitude before I started this, now I might even be buying my own computer. How things change,huh? I really can't believe the things that I am doing! Just like Beverly Diaz says,"it's like we're programing the computer". I would never in a million years refer to myself as a computer programmer. I'm looking forward to the things that I will be able to do once this class is done!!!
Back to the top
The way that I've been going about finding things is by using the bookmarks that I have set up according to Dr. James. I stated to make bookmarks from the first day that I logged on to lynx. The process is really very easy. Whenever you are at a place that you would like to access again, you hit the "a" key followed by the "l" key. The message "done" will appear and that's it. Another way you could find things is by utilizing the search command. You hit the "/" key and then enter the string that you are looking for. Maybe when I get everything under control, I will try it.
Navigating around our course cyberspace is very exciting in my opinion. It is very exhilarating to be able to go from file to file in a matter of seconds. To accomplish this amazing feat, I make use of all the links that are available. When I first tried this, I was afraid that I would somehow get lost in the vast cyberspace, but when I found out that it was as easy as pressing the "u" key, I was in heaven. It was so great that with the stroke of a key, I would be transported back to the previous place that I was at. Now when I feel the need to explore, I do so with confidence and ease. I love it!! Trudy Moore mentions something called a "roadmap",I believe that what she is talking about would help someone navigate even easier,but not everyone has the time or the curtesy to make a "roadmap" for others. I rather like following links,myself. But I guess that everyone has their own way of traveling trough the internet.
The way that I deal with this issue is pretty easy and straight forward. I don't really feel pessimistic due to the fact that I started out knowing nothing, so I can only get better. So far, this has been proven to be true. As the days go by, I find myself becoming more and more confident. Instead of being pessimistic, I am optimistic.
Depressed, Who Me?
Feelings of depression are common, but fleeting. I find myself getting depressed when I think about all of the work that I must do. I also get depressed when I realize how little time I have put aside for this huge task. The way I try to overcome this, is to think of this class and its homework, as a individual growth experience instead of just another class. This helps me to keep it in perspective. As I go through the hours spent on the computer, I get a feeling of satisfaction at having completed a successful link, and this overrides any feelings of depression that I may be having at that time. The feeling of satisfaction also gives me the inspiration that I need to continue through the long hours of work ahead. For more suggestions on how to deal with stress and homework, see Kyle Fujii's compilation of suggestions from other classmates.Go to the Top
Help! Where Am I?
Have you ever gotten so engrossed with what you are doing, that when you finally bother to look up you don't know where you are? This has happened to me often when I am surfing the internet. I just follow link after link, whatever looks interesting. When this happens, my first reaction is one of panic, but this soon subsides as I remember that I can hit the magic "u" key and I can untangle myself link by link back to the start of my incredible journey. I'm sure that this scenario has happened to almost everyone in class. Joleen had this happen to her and she has a few things to say about it too. Linda Wong offers some advice as to how not to get lost when you're following links.
Dr. James has informed us of many strategies that he uses. Some of these include the use of the mouse to copy and paste commands and using the up arrow key at the www prompt to get the command that was previously used. I myself have not made much use of the strategies discussed in class, this may be due to my perceived lack of knowledge and fear of totally messing things up. So, instead of becoming a power user, I remain a timid novice, only making use of the tried and true methods. Perhaps as time goes by, I will become more aggressive and confident. I have actually found one strategy useful though, this is the use of the up arrow key. For some unknown reason, I get kicked out of lynx after every editing session (I think that I have mentioned this problem previously), so instead of always typing in lynx asahina.html, I just hit the up arrow and voila! the command is there. This saves me a lot of time!!!
The way I deal with routine feelings of frustration etc, is to take Dr. James' advice and not take things personally. If I keep in mind that I started out knowing nothing and then I look at what I am capable of now, it just AMAZES me!!! Instead of contributing my infoshock to personal attributes, I tell myself that this happens to every new user and that these feelings and problems are not unique to myself. This makes me feel better to know that even the smartest person has experienced what I am now going through.
The best advice that I could give to anyone would be to just take things slow, don't try to rush things. It also helps to keep in mind that it does get better and with practice and patience you will soon be projected into the new techno century!!!
Go to the Top
Accomplishments From Last Semester
(Beauchman: please make a link in your file from your paragraph to this anchor. Thanks) When I look back to last semesters papers, I think that Josephine Allen accomplished a lot!! She was a beginner like me and by the end of the semester, she could do a lot, including e-mail,internet searches, and a whole lot of other neat things. Josephine also learned a lot about her own thought processes that she went through in order to learn a whole new system of information retrieval. Diane Beauchman also read Josephine's papers and she has similar views.
State of Mind
Josephine's state of mind was a little confused and frustrated at times. At others though, she was excited and elated at the sorts of things that she was able to accomplish. Josephine seemed relaxed and she had a good way of dealing with the routine setbacks that she encountered. Beverly Diaz has a very good description of how most of the student's from last semester felt. Many of the other papers resembled the state of mind of Beverly's student.
What I Learned
By reading Josephine's papers, I was forewarned about all of the things that I would be experiencing. Her papers provided me with a better insight as to what to expect. When I had signed up for this class, I didn't quite know what was going to be expected of me. By reading Josephine's papers, the anxiety over the class eased out of me slowly. The reports also helped me out during the first week or two by emphasizing the fact that the feelings of frustration that I was feeling were common, and everyone who is learning something new goes through this stage. Linda Wong's comments contain some of the same information. Go to the Top
Suggestions for Future
I believe that by having future generations read through the previous generations work, it would relieve a great deal of anxiety. The new students could gain valuable insight and could then expand on the ideas of the past. Therefore it would be a forwarding of new ideas instead of a repetition of ideas. Past generations can also offer help in the event that a future generation gets into a bind that it cannot get out of. In other words, the reports of the previous generations could also serve as a reference guide.
Top of the Page
Surfing the Internet
Well, this week's homework was a headache!! I enjoy surfing the internet,but somehow,when I know that I am required to look up something specific,all of the fun goes out of it. Anyway,my search took me a couple of days to complete,due to time shortages and computer problems. (Everyone knows what I mean,I'm sure!!) Carol Almares had some other problems as to why this assignment was time consuming. I advise that whenever you have a chance to surf for fun though,do it!! Time just flies by and you can get a lot of very interesting information.
The first thing that I did was to make use of Dr.James's resources on his assignment page. I chose Gopher Jewels and Veronica. From there it just took patience. Gopher Jewels had a couple of subdirectories that I found interesting. One was named personal development and recreation. Within that directory there was information on travel. After finding the articles that I wanted to add onto my homepage, I used the "=" key to check on the URLs of the files. The hardest part of this section of the homework was getting the addresses right so that the links would work. Every letter and slash must be in the correct place or else it won't work. It took me forever to do this. I ended up getting very frustrated and I wanted to scream!!!
Colorado Ski Information
Well,this was the first site that I found that was of interest to me. I lived in Colorado for a year and I loved skiing!! Hopefully, I'll have a chance to go back, and when I do, I'll be ready. This site offers you just a glimpse of what kind of information you can get from the internet. It provides you with hotel information, lift rates, and anything else that you would need. If you're planning a ski trip, check it out.
A Litle Culture
This was the only true "traffic" document that I recovered. It gave me a little lighthearted insight into the traffic conditions in London. This poem is actually meant to be lyrics for a song, I think. I figured this out by examining the URL and noticing that the author used the word "lyrics". This shows that you can sometimes get information about a file from the URL.Go to the Top
This site utilizes the familiarity of the term "route 66". This site is the home page of a webmaster in Minnesota. He has a number of links to interesting places such as,Godiva chocolatiers. There are so many other great links on this page that you need to go there yourself.
Tick Tock Goes the Clock
The most frustrating thing of this whole assignment was the fact that everything took so-o-o long!! Surfing the internet is time consuming of itself though. If the internet is filled with other surfers like yourself, it will take a couple of minutes for you to get connected. A few minutes tend to seem like hours though when you're staring at a screen waiting for the file that you want, to show up.I wonder if I'm being too presumptuous when I say that I want my information, and I want it now! It seems like I'm not the only one who feels this way, check out Badua's comments on this time thing. Michelle Ota, from Psy 459, states that even though she devotes a whole day to working on the computer, she still falls behind. See why.
New Work Space
This week I'm so-o-o happy!! I finally found a place to work outside of school. My boss offered me the use of our business computer since he has a modem. I'm so ecstatic because this means that I can finally catch up and maybe even get ahead on my assignments!! Luckily, I had an easy time geeting hooked up to the UH system, unlike Ryan Higa. The only problem that I have come across so far is that my control-C key was not functioning. This made it hard for me to save and exit emacs. Thanks to Diane Beauchman for the tip on resetting my keys. She saved my life!!! The End
Go to the Top
Goals and Problems of Week 7
Man, I thought last week's assignment was bad, this week's was worse!! Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed reading my fellow classmates' labreports and seeing everyones progress, and I also learned a lot of things too, but man was it time consuming!! I found myself sighing a lot due to the fact that I am already behind and trying to work my butt off to catch up, only to be slowed by hours of reading to finally choose selections that I want to comment on. I then had to write my own labreports along with links to all the related comments, not to mention e-mailing evryone about the links that I made. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever catch up.. can anyone help? Fortunately, as mentioned last report, I am now able to hook up from work. This will allow me much extra time, but it seems like it is never enough. Lisa Runyan-VanDerRhoer makes a good point when she says that she has another life other than being a Psy. 409 student.
To Ask or Not to Ask
An important topic that has come up in class has been the idea that individuals learn differently and that everyone has different ways of doing things. A good example of this is that according to Linda Wong, it was more effective for her not to ask for help. She states that she learns better by figuring it out herself. To see her full statement, click here. I disagree with her statement due to the factors of my frustration level and time constraint, I would rather ask for help so that I can absorb the new information and move on. Also, asking for help has not always been easy for me. As stated earlier, in report 1, I equated asking for help with being stupid. I realize now that this is not the case. Everyone is a novice at something in their lives and this just happens to be my area of weakness.
I was just informed through e-mail that I misinterpreted Linda Wong's comment. Evidently, Linda was only referring to that one specific incident, on the whole, Linda prefers to ask questions too. Wow, the wonder of technology!! E-mail makes it so convienient to communicate!!
I think that one of the hardest things for me to handle about this whole class and technology in general, is that I feel so out of control!! I feel like that I am not able to regulate how much and at what rate I want to learn at. The technology is moving forward faster than I am used to and I either have to force myself to catch up or become an illiterate computer user. In regards to this class, I feel as if I am not in control of my assignments. This is due to many factors. One of which is the fact that you need a computer. Another factor is that the times at which you can access the system is also not under my control. These factors and many more, make it hard for me to stay in control of my total work output and my feelings and attitude towards this class. I find myself becoming very frustrated when I know that I am behind. These feelings of frustration give way to resignation to the fact that I am not the one in control here, and if I am behind in my work, it is not my fault due to factors beyond my control. To see more comments on this check out Tina Smith's labreport. Go to the Top
How do I feel right at this moment? Pressured, depressed, incompetent, stupid,and slow are some of the feelings that come to mind. These feelings are typical when I think about this class. Most of these are due to the fact that I have so little time to get so much done. I sometimes feel that lack of time is not a good enough excuse because so many of my classmates are caught up or are even ahead for that matter. But then again, there are also a few of my classmates who are in the same boat that I am in, and for them I am grateful. By being only one of many, I do not feel alone and I have some form of solace in knowing that I am not the only one that is standing out like a sore thumb. Rebecca Ross also has a comment on this.
While browsing, I came across another report that dealt with feelings. This time though, Cheryl Remata comments on the fact that feelings of stress and anger are natural. She stresses that it is the way that you react to these feelings that makes a difference. This is true, for you have two choices when you feel this way, you can either let these feelings consume you and then they will render you incapable of continuing, or you can acknowledge these feelings and what caused them, and work to resolve the problem.
Amazingly though, sometimes if asked how I feel, I respond with: proud, elated, excited, and downright joyful. These feelings are due to times when I just had a very productive and error free computer session. I also feel proud when I do an overview of my documents that I have created thus far. I look over these pages and I can't believe that I did it!!! I just can't wait to show or tell people what I have accomplished. Rollercoasters are fun, you are never quite sure if you will be experiencing a down or an up, but one good thing to know is that you can only have so many downs before an up should be coming your way. This is how I look at things regarding my feelings and life in general, it helps a lot.
My Biggest Complaint
Normally I love crawling the Web, but the only thing that bugs me is the fact that I need to have a lot of spare time to just browse. If I need information fast, then I just about give up looking for it on the Web. This is due to the fact that some of the links that are given to you in the index are not even related to the topic that you are interested in. A prime example of this was last weeks homework. When I was trying to get articles on traffic by typing in "traffic" at the search prompt, I got all kinds of titles that I left me questioning what the content was. This can make crawling the Web very tedious and time consuming, maybe if they developed a better classification system, the index would be a little more helpful in retrieving useful information. Jason Raad states that "crawling the Web is time consuming due to not knowing precisely what a link is about, you get a lot of useless info that wastes your time". Go to the Top
The second part of this week's assignment was to read Dr. James' article and comment on it. I found the article very interesting. After having read it, a lot of things concerning the class became clear to me. I realized that I had not been spending enough time on my feelings as I worked on the internet. Let me rephrase that, I was so intent on getting the assignment done that I was not paying full attention to what I was feeling, therefore I was missing the whole point of the assignments thus far. Oh sure, I was getting the technical asignment done, but these sessions were void of the real "meat" behind the assignment. Hopefully, I will be able to keep this goal in mind as I continue on my jorney through cyberspace. Instead of being worried about the time, I will try to focus my efforts on writing a "good" report.
Getting back to the article, what Dr.J said about group solidarity and atmosphere really hit home. In the beginning, the class was very quiet and reserved due to the fact that no one was quite sure what to expect. Now, the class is very animated with voiced complaints, comments, and problems, en mass. There seems to be two camps in the class. On one side you have those who have already mastered the awful computer and offer encouragement and solutions to the other side. The other side consists of those who are still fumbling, but who are getting more confident and competent by the day. Both sides are helping each other as Dr. James states in his article, by offering support and solutions, a "true" group learning experience.
This type of learning environment took a little getting used to for me. I was rather used to bieng told exactly what to do and how to do it, I felt a little intimidated by having to admit that I knew nothing about computers, let alone the Internet. Fortunately, I now feel comfortable and even proud when I am able to offer some form of help to a fellow classmate and I can hardly contain my enthusiasm when I relate my current adventures to others that I meet. I feel a bond with my classmates for they are the only ones who really understand what I am going through and who also know what I am talking about. I find that there are a lot of novices out there who do not know about this new cyberspace called the Web and its html. I was one of these people, but I now have a desire for mastery that motivates me to learn more and more. The End
Go to the Top
Beginning of Week 7
Dashing Out: Is it Gender Specific?
((Shane, please make a link to this paragraph. Thanks.))
The first part of this weeks homework was to read over some labreports from Dr. James' Psy 459 class, on traffic psychology. This assignment was lengthy as all of the assignments have been thus far, but I came across several interesting comments. One of these was Shane Akagi's comment on an article by Leigh Nakata. This article stated that the "dashing out" phenomenon happened to more boys than girls due to the fact that boys are more aggressive. I'm not sure if I agree with this explaination. In my opinion, boys and girls spend the same amount of time playing outdoors at the same types of activities. Boys may be a little more inclined to go running after a ball or other toy due to their sense of invulnerability which was fostered by thier parents. If this is the case, then parents should teach their children, both girls and boys equally, the importance of safety and caution.
Venting: a Theraputic Approach to Stress
((Caroline, please make a link to this paragraph, thanks.))
How many of us cuss loudly or just under our breaths when someone cuts us off while driving on the freeway? I for one am not proud that I engage in this behavior, but according to Caroline Balatico, venting is a way of letting out our frustration and anger safely. So long as you have your window rolled up of course. I think that this also applies to working on the computer while I am desperately trying to get my work done and for some #!@%*^%@ reason, my links aren't working or I can't get into the system, wasting yet another night that I had set aside. This technique works quite well unless you are in one of the labs. You might then want to rethink your options and hold off on your venting till you are alone and can reap the full benefits of letting loose! Go to the Top
((Jae, could you please make a link to this paragraph, thanks.))
With the advancements in technology, forms of communication have become widely diverse. Not only do we have the Information Super Highway, but we have much simpler forms of accessibility, the cellular phone. Is it really necessary for us to have phones in the car? How busy is the normal person? Are we sacrificing safety for convienance? Sure, I agree that sometimes having a celphone is beneficial, especially in an emergency, but people tend to overuse the phone due to its convienance. Jae Isa equates talking on the phone while driving, with having attention defecit syndrome. I am planning a road trip this summer and I am definetely going to take along a cellphone. It does offer one a sense of security in isolated stretches of roadway. This is one reason that I am divided on my opinion of cellphones.
((Kendall, please make a link to this paragraph, thanks.))
Whenever one of my links doesn't work, I first go through my venting phase as described earlier in this report, and then I go back through everything with a fine toothed comb. As stated by Kendall Matsuyoshi, you need to make sure that you are not missing anything or that you do not have anything extra hanging around. This important piece of information could make or break you. I have spent many a frustrating hour looking over my links inch by inch. I have often given up and logged out, only to return to it the next day refreshed by a good nights sleep and relaxed. Amazingly, it usually only takes me a couple of seconds to spot my mistake. I feel elated that I finally figured it out, but embarassed that I couldn't have found it sooner. I think this happens because you are so frustrated at the time, that you are unable to look over your links calmly. So the next time this happens to you, just take a break and come back to it when you have calmed down. Go to the Top
To Speed or Not to Speed
((Michelle, could you please make a link to this paragraph, thanks.))
Michelle Ota had a very interesting piece in her labreports about whether she should comply with the law of the speed limit, or go with the flow of the drivers around her who obviously go faster than the speed limit. I definetely know what she is talking about. Why does the law set the speed limit at 25 mph? Nobody drives that slow ever! Whenever I do see someone obeying the law, other drivers are overtaking this person while venting their displeasure. This is the kind of social diliemma that drivers are faced with. Does one take the chance of being ridiculed and ostracized for obeying the law, or does one conform and risk getting a speeding ticket? While driving on the freeway I have found a solution to this problem. While driving on a relatively deserted stretch of road, I comply with the speed limit, but once there are other cars around me, I adjust my speed to match thiers. My rationale is that if I am traveling as fast as the pack, then I can't receive a speeding ticket without the police having to ticket everyone else, which is virtually impossible, rendering me safe to speed.
Negativity Breeds Negativity
((Danell, could you please make a link to this paragraph, thanks.))
Are attitudes and feelings contagious? According to Danell Saito, they are. She staes that that even if a driver wanted to change his driving habits and attitudes, he could not do so due to the fact that when he is on the road again with other "bad" drivers, their attitudes affect him, thus altering his attitudes back to thier original state. I find this to be true. Let's take for example a different scenario. I am happy and looking forward to seeing my boyfriend after a long day at work. I arrive home in a good mood only to find him in a bad mood. What happens next? Do I remain in a good mood or does my mood alter to meet his? Unfortunately, my mood is ruined. This is usually the case, for some reason negativity is esier to breed than positivity. I'm not sure how or why this occurs but I do wish that this were not the case. The world would be a better place if good deeds could and would inspire more good.
Interesting Things in Dr.James' Weekly Comments
The second part of this weeks' homework was to comment on and make links to two places in Dr.James' weekly comment file. I chose the two most entertaining sites. The first is feelings of smashing the computer. Here, one can read about students' feelings of violent tendencies towards the antagonistic computer. It can make for funny reading and offers a break from the tedious work of creating labreports. I find it helpful when I am feeling aggravated myself. The other site offers much needed comic relief. Here is an example of what can be found there: One customer held the mouse in the air and pointed it at the screen, all the while clicking madly. There are many more humorous stories that can be read at this site. The End
Go to the Beginning of Week 8
Go to the Top
Dr. James had us read some files from a Plato Cybercommunity. While reading through the file, I was a little confused and lost. It was really hard to understand the format of the file. From what I could make out, people were logging in their answers to a previously asked question, but I couldn't determine which questions went along with which answers. I think that if I had some background information on how the system worked, then it would have been different. Assuming that I understood the whole concept, I think that I would have liked to particpate. It seems like a good way to communicate with people. I think that newsgroups follow somewhat similar features. I still haven't quite figured out how to use those yet either, one of these I'll master it, hopefully!!
Upon reading the plato files, one person seemed to stand out to me. His logon name was "Bobby". I was really affected by Bobby's performance because he seemed to really make use of the forum. Many of his comments were long and very expressive. He mainly used the forum to complain, but he also made a lot of good comments also. I think that his performance affected me because it was nice to know that you could let off steam if you wanted to. Also, you could do it somewhat anonymously, because the only one who knows your real name is the instructor. If you wern't doing this for a grade, then no one would know who you were. The topic of anonymity came up in class though, and it was observed by Dr. James that the only difference between using aliases and real names, was the use of bad language.
I See, Said the Blind Man
After reading the Plato files, I then read Dr. James' piece on why he assigned his students to use Plato. Having read this, everything seemed so much clearer now! I guess I should've read the article first. Dr. James explained a lot of things about Plato that I can relate to our class now. For instance, he described how attitudes changed from being negative towards to the assignment, to being enthusiastic. This seems to also be true of how my attitudes have changed also.
Some of Dr.James' reasons for assigning Plato were to develop academic and information literacy competency and to allow students to be able to make comments without the fear of having a face to face confrontation. I think that these are two good reasons for having a computer based forum like this, especially for the shy ones!
Back to the Top of Week 9
Go to the End
Go to the glossary
Instructor's weekly comments
This weeks homework was the hardest of all!! All of the other times that I had grumbled was due to the time it took to browse and locate things. This week's work however, was difficult due to the fact that I had to create two more homepages, each with a different purpose. The artistic homepage was the most tedious, but the most rewarding when completed. Another part of our homework was to actually browse through some homepages and comment on the different types of pages that we saw.
The size of my sample was about 20. I had planned on looking at a lot, but after the first few, I found my eyes getting tired and my head beginning to ache. If you would like to view some of these homepages, click here. What I found most was that there were a lot of indexical homepages, especially if they just contained hotlinks to other sites. Another very common type that I found was that of the mixed variety. By using this method, one can utilize the benefits of many different formats.
Personally, I enjoy the artistic ones because I like to look at all the graphics, but this can be the downfall of a homepage. When a homepage contains a lot of graphics, it takes twice as long to load. I find myself becoming impatient, especially if I have to look up something. I usually end up getting frustrated and skipping all of the graphics anyway. It is a nice format to view when you have time though. Much nicer than the indexical homepages.
Gripes and Groans
I think that the hardest part for me this week was obtaining icons and images that I liked. When you are planning an artistic homepage, you don't want to just pop in any old image. You want your homepage to reflect your style. Another very important thing was that I didn't and still don't know how to offset my text so that I don't always have to have everything justified to the left.
Going on to more general problems, I really hate this 90 minute policy on accessing unix from home. Right when I begin to whiz and really get into it, I look up at the screen and see that I have been disconnected. I then have to wait anywhere between a couple of minutes to hours and hours. During which time I have lost intrest and have become extremely frustrated. Argh!!!! Sorry guys, I just had to vent. Oh wait, there is one more problem. I either can't or don't know how to access Netscape from my home computer, so I can only type up my reports on lynx and then I have to look at how they turned out when I can get into the CLIC lab at school. This was a bummer when I was working on my artistic homepage. I ended up giving up and only working on it when I was in school. Reactions to Kulthau's Book Coping strategies Theory or Application? Swedenborg Files Participants Impact Titles, Addresses, and Anchors Comments on Dr. James' Article Evaluation of the Semseter Suggestions for Dr. James
Top of Week 8
Instructor's Weekly Comments
Go to the End
Part of the requirements for this class was to read a book entitled, Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library and Information Services, by Carol Collier Kuhlthau. At first I didn't see the correlation between the book and our class, but by the end of the introduction, I understood the reasoning behind it. This book covers the information seeking process from the researchers point of view and looks at the current process of information retrieval in the library. Many of the stages that were covered in the book regarding the information seeking process were indicative of what I went through in trying to learn the internet. This book also tries to come up with a new and efective way to improve the information seeking process by examining existing learning theories and reasearching the cognitive and affective processes that occur while conducting an information search. Rayson Noguchi has some recommendations on what needs to be changed in the current system.
Many of my concerns and fears were addressed in this book. By reading about the six stages; initiation, selection, exploration, formulation, collection, and presentation, I was able to recognize which stage I was in. After determining which stage I was in, I could then predict which cognitive and affective processes I would encounter. For example, the exploration phase is characterized by feelings of confusion, uncertainty, and doubt. These were many of the feelings I had felt when first exploring the internet, see Cheryl Remata has more on this subject.
Thinking back to when I had to do research for the first time, I remember going through most of the stages that Kuhlthau describes, although I probably didn't know it at the time. I remember putting it off until I was pressured to produce some kind of finished product. This was due to the uncertainty principle. Until I knew what was expected of me, and I had devised a plan as to how I would accomplish my goal, this feeling of uncertainty stayed with me and prevented me from getting any meaningful work done. The discussion on mediators was not as insightful for me. I was always independent, so I didn't have that much contact with mediators, but I can see how a lot of people could get frustrated with the vagueness that resulted from inquiry.
Top of Week 11
Instructor's Weekly Comments
Go to the End
This weeks homework was to read through Dr James' files on an interactive bulletin board system like that of Plato. This assignment reminded me of Week 9's assignment. Take a look at the files for yourself. The social context of the exchange was an interactive discussion about religion and life. I think that the participants were students of Dr. James' psychology classes. Many of the participants reminded me of the participants in the Plato files. I wonder if they were the same? The exchange seemed rational enough, although I don't know if it got anywhere. It didn't seem to be going in any direction, it seemed as though it was just an open forum for people to air their views.
The participants in this forum seemed to be voicing their opinions on a number of issues regarding religion. One of the earlier topics was on the concept of "good" and "evil", and were they each necessary. It seemed as though everyone had something to say about this, and many of the comments were good and well thought out. There were a few, however that seemed to come out of nowhere and lacked much substance. The responses did make for some interestung reading though. Many of the participants seemed to be rather typical, with modest opinions and comments. there were a couple of people though who were really loud, obnoxious, pushy, and very opinionated. One of these participants had the nickname "da rock" or something along that line. I was getting a little tired of reading his comments. He/she had a lot of interesting things to say, but the way in which he/she said them, turned me off. As far as the goal they were trying to achieve, I wasn't really quite sure as to what it was.
I am not personally interested in religion. Maybe this is due to the fact that I don't really think about it, and maybe if I did, then I would have much more of an interest in it. Due to my own personal bias then, I didn't really find this site of any use to me. It was interesting to read peoples' opinons on things, but I wasn't really interested in what they were talking about. I did learn that for some people, religion is a very strong and emotional topic. It is also very personal. People can become very defensive when their religion is questioned. What I don't understand is why there has to be only one religion. I tend to run the other way when people begin to talk about religion due to not wanting to say the wrong thing and offending anybody. I guess the most important thing that I learned from this assignment was that religion is a very personal thing!!!
Go to the Top of Week 12
Go to the End
Instructor's Weekly Comments
One of the most important things that I had to learn this semester was how to write my hypertext documents. I had to generate titles for everything I did and I had to know how to find out the tiltles of other peoples' works so that I could link to them. Making up my own names were easy. I tok the approach of finding one word to summarize what my passage or document was about. this one word then became my anchor. Other classmates, made the whole title their anchor. I found this technique too time consuming because when linking to their document, I had to type in this really long address. The way I keep track of all my anchors and titles is to kep them all written down in a notebook. This helps in not making duplicate titles which can really screw you up. The easiest way to figure out someones address or URL of their link is to put the cursor on it and hit the "=" key. The address will then appear and you can copy it down to use in the future. To find someone's anchor name, you hit the back slash so that you can view the back of their document and then you utilize the slash key to enter a search string. This then yields the anchor name.
I took a minute or two to brose through Dr. James' article and realized that I couldn't make out any anchors. Since I couldn't do that, I found out that I wouldn't be able to make any links to it. You can however read the entire article for yourself. This article was a little hard for me to understand. Some of the concepts were reasonable, like how titles can have three levels; cognitve,sensorimotor,and affective. I got lost though when the discussion got a little more complex by trying to explain all the theory and experimental results. I guess that it was hard for me to relate due to the fact that I don't really think that deeply about things. I sort of accept thing at face value, especially things that seem trivial. The End
Go to the Top of Week 14
Go to the End
Boy, am I GLAD that this semester is finally over!! Hopefully, I'll be graduating this semester so I'm even more relieved that school has ended. As far as this class goes, it was a lot of hard work, but I learned a lot. When looking at everyone else's labreports, I feel jealous of those who had a lot more time to work on their labreports. I got off to a bad start, but I preservered, and I finally finished. It's not that strong of a finish, but at least I accomplished something. One thing that I would caution people about taking this class is that they will need a lot of time and patience to complete all the work that Dr. James puts forth. Another thing that is essential, is that you have a computer or access to a computer, because without one, you are doomed. As far as what I have accomplished, it has been a lot. I went from being a computer phobic to wishing I had more time to surf the Net just for fun.
I really enjoyed your class and I learned a lot. Thank you for helping me overcome my fears of the computer. The only thing that I would like to suggest to you would be that when you assign homework, you take into account the fact that not everyone has access to a computer. Because of my courseload and work schedule, I was not able to make full use of the CLIC lab. This posed a problem for me at first, but my employer helped me solve my problem. Thank goodness!! Oh, I lied, there is one more thing that I would like to discuss. I think that next semester, you should be a little more clearer on the grading scale and the criteria for the labreports. I feel that these areas of concern are vague and I am a little concerned as to what my final grade will be. All in all though, I learned a lot from this class and I am glad that I took it. The knowledge that I will take with me, was worth all that anxiety and stress!! Thanks Dr. James!! :-) The End
Go to the Top of Week 15
Reactions to Kulthau's Book
Theory or Application?
Titles, Addresses, and Anchors
Comments on Dr. James' Article
Evaluation of the Semseter
Suggestions for Dr. James