Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Thanksgiving

November 12, 2008

For the first time all year I’m actually looking forward to going home. 

Thanksgiving is really the first time where almost everybody from your graduating class is back home.  You get to see all your friends again and see how college has been for them.  Not only that, but I’m going to be able to brag about how awesome MSU is!

I always remember seeing the freshman in college over Thanksgiving break while I was still in high school and thinking to myself how lucky they were.  Well now I’m one of those kids that my high school friends will be jealous of.  Granted, the parties at home are going to seem like tea parties compared to the ones here but it’s still going to be nice hanging out with my old friends.

Another reason I’m excited to go home is to see my family.  I haven’t really missed them at all but I’m just anxious to see them again and tell them about everything here.  I know that as soon as I walk in the door my dog will be jumping all over me, and I can’t wait.  I’ll have to spend at least an hour playing with him and taking him on a long walk.

Then there is always the part of taking useless stuff back home and bringing new stuff back.  I’m sure almost everyone has something at home (or that they’re going to buy when they go home) that they wish they had at school right now. 

All in all, the break should be great.  To me, it’s been needed for about a week now.  I have no problem waiting a couple more though because as soon as I get home and unpack my bags, I’m going to miss MSU and won’t be able to wait to come back.

Presidential Code Names

November 11, 2008

I’m writing this post related to a short article I read on yahoo about Obama and his family receiving nicknames from the secret service.

The first thing I was thinking when I read this article is why does the president’s family need secret code names?  How many people are involved enough with the president and secret service that they want to keep these names secret?  I’m guessing the secret service (who actually choose the code names) and the government have their own reasons.  Probably some paranoid defense against national security or something along those lines.

The second thing is why have these code names if everyone already knows them?  The article is about the nicknames given to Obama’s family as well as Biden and his wife.  The Obama family’s names all begin with the letter R and Biden and his wife  begin with C.  Barack will be known as Renegade (I guess that’s not bad for a president), his wife will be Renaissance (who knows why…), and his daughters are Radiance and Rosebud.  VP Joe Biden is Celtic (seems almost like a shot at Maverick) and his wife is Capri (pants?).

My main thought is what are the point of these names?  Does someone take this seriously enough to change the names now that the public are aware of them?  I just don’t see why they do this, why it would be made public, and why anybody really cares what the secret service are going to be calling their boss and his family. 

Anybody got any ideas?

Burst Communication

November 11, 2008

Our class on Thursday is a perfect example of how technology is drastically changing the way we communicate in all types of settings.

It used to be that telephone and email were two of the quickest ways to communicate.  That has all changed in the last 5-7 years.  Texting has taken over the country and now is probably just as popular as actually talking on the phone.  It’s almost a combination of email and talking on the phone.  It’s like email in the sense that you’re using asynchronous communication where you don’t get an instant response when you’re communicating.  The nice thing about texting is that you get responses a lot quicker than email.  Also, you always have your phone on you but it’s a lot harder to find somewhere to check your email or drag around your laptop.

This new burst communication is changing the way work gets done because instead of sending an email you can quickly text and get an almost instant response.  The reason texting is just as useful as talking on the phone is because you can’t hear tone of voice or anything for that matter.  Say two companies are trying to make a deal on something but can’t agree on the price.  With texting, there would be constant communication going back and forth and it is unlikely that either side would get to angry because they would be texting instead of yelling at each other on the phone.

Another tool that is starting to be used a lot in the business world is the webcam that allows you to talk to almost anyone in the world face to face.  This is how giant corporations are doing their communication.  This probably closest related to talking on the phone since it is synchronous communication but with the webcam, you also see facial expressions and body language.  In the future years I think this kind of communication will be the most popular form so I have to be prepared for that.  I can’t rely on my texting abilities to get me through my career.  I have to have good communication skills no matter what the circumstances are.

Seq 3 Update

October 28, 2008

As of right now, my plans for my sequence 3 projects haven’t changed a whole lot. 

I’m still planning on using my own gaming identity and my personal gaming experiences.  I could talk about the “LIVE” portion of Xbox 360 and how you and other people are viewed based on a number of factors.  Some of these things include your gamer score, character type, games played, etc.  I could also look at how my gaming identity has changed over the years from playing fun, non-violent kids games on Nintendo 64 to the types of games I play on Xbox 360 today.  I want to use these ideas because I feel like I would be able to write about my own experiences with a lot better skill than a completely new topic to me.  My only worry about this project is that in the rubric it says the class should come away with new information about the subject.  I don’t really know what that entails and if my project would qualify as new information.  I look forward to talking more about this in class so I can get some of my questions answered.

35-21 Spartans

October 28, 2008

With this being my first chance to witness the MSU vs. UM rivalry in person as well as my first time being a student, I don’t know if I’ve ever been more excited for something in my life.  The team had been a roll this year (other than the OSU game) and we were actually favored to win.  On top of that, we had a chance to almost certainly knock Michigan out of bowl contention for the first time in over 30 years.  This game had all the ingredients to make my weekend very special.

As I found my seat in the “Big House” I began to take it all in.  The stadium was already almost full and you could feel the anticipation.  As the captains walked out to meet each other at midfield, MSU won the toss and elected to receive.  A hesitation leaving the endzone on the opening kickoff left the Spartans with a long field to try and score.  It turns out it didn’t matter.  On the second or third play Hoyer threw a basic slant route to former walk-on Blair White.  White broke a tackle at around midfield and used his blazing speed to outrun the UM defense.  As soon as he scored, MSU fans all over the stadium were thinking that this was going to be the year. 

The next touchdown for the Spartans came with a little over a minute left in the first half.  Javon Ringer was running to his left when he collided with a pile of players from both teams.  With a quick spin move Ringer busted the run outside and there was no catching him from there.  He tore down the sideline to give MSU the lead again, 14-7.

After giving up a cheap touchdown right before half, the Spartans were tied 14-14 and were kicking off to start the second half.  The Wolverines actually structured a nice drive for the first time all day and used it to take a 21-14 lead over MSU.  You could see the worry on Spartan fans as they saw their lead evaporate.  Soon after, the Spartans used a good drive of their own to lead them to a touchdown from Hoyer to TE Charlie Gant to once again tie the game, 21-21.  You could hear the sigh of relief from the MSU alum across the stadium as the Spartans climbed back into the game.  There was no need to worry though, the 4th quarter was where Ringer shines.

After a small battle of field position, MSU got the ball back about halfway through the 4th quarter with a chance to take the lead.  After taking it down the field and inside the Wolverines 10 yard line, Ringer got his second TD of the game, this one from 2 yards out.  MSU had taken a 28-21 lead and there was no looking back.  After an interception by MSU’s Chris L. Rucker and a gutsy 4th down conversion by Dantonio the Spartans had control of the game.  Hoyer finished it off with a play-action TD pass to FB Jeff Mcpherson and it was all but over.

As the clock went to 0:00 and the scoreboard showed MSU 35 UM 21, you could hear the GO GREEN! GO WHITE! cheer making its way throughout the entire stadium.  We had finally done it!  We had gone into their house, ruined their season even more, and improved our record to 7-2.  Things couldn’t be better and I can honestly say, I’ve never been more proud to be a Spartan.

Seq. 3 ideas

October 21, 2008

As of right now I have a couple of ideas for the sequence 3 project. 

 

My first thought was to write about my own personal gaming identity throughout my lifetime.  I’ve been playing video games since I was about seven and have been hooked ever since.  The first system I owned was Nintendo 64, then I switched to a Playstation 2 when the new age of consoles came out.  As of now, I currently own a Xbox 360 and play Xbox Live a lot.  My Xbox Live identity is what I was thinking about.  My gamertag is KYircott23 and people know a lot about your gaming identity by looking at your gamer score and what kind of games you play.  I was thinking about how my personal gaming identity has changed through the years from playing Diddy Kong Racing and Mario Cart on N64, to the games I play on Xbox Live today.

My second idea was going to be the new option, forming a webtext about a hot topic in gaming.  If I go with this option I was planning on discussing the example topic; the relevance of violence in the games Grand Theft Auto and Halo.  Many people claim that playing these games promotes violence and can even cause kids to partake in violent acts.  I’m an avid supporter that these games do not have a real correlation to actions of those kids.  Many other factors can influence a child’s behavior including where they live/were brought up, the economic status of those families, and most importantly, the parents actions and beliefs.

As of now, I think that I’m going to go with the first idea.  I feel that I would be able to discuss the evolution of my personal gaming identity a lot better than anything else.  There are definitely lessons to be learned with the participation of gaming at a young age.  It even includes the topic of violence.  I know that there is a lot of information out there regarding my second option but no matter how you look at it, it’s still a matter of opinion.  With using the first idea I would be able to include a lot more facts and build off my personal experiences. 

Spartan Athletics

October 21, 2008

Spartan Pride

 

For all you fans out there that bleed green, this one’s for you…

 

 As I continue through my first year at Michigan State I’ve decided to take a look at the major male sports and where they stand.  Many would argue that these are some of the best days that Spartan athletics have ever seen but I know there are better days to come.  The athletic director has done a fabulous job with his hirings and the overall setup for MSU sports.

This year I’ve had a blast going to the football games.  I’ve been to at least one game since I’ve been about six or seven, but it’s nothing like hanging out with your friends in the student section.  With Dantonio now at the helm Spartan football is about to go to a level it’s never been to before.  There is already an added interest on campus as shown by the extra seating added to the student section.  In terms of recruiting, Dantonio already has a nationally ranked class for  2009 and already has one of the best prospects in the Midwest for ’10.  Hopefully we can beat U of M and finish strong this year, and if we do, expect to see us in the Top 25 polls fairly consistently in the up and coming years. 

This past Friday I attended Midnight Madness at the Breslin.  I can honestly say I’ve never been more pumped for a MSU basketball season than I am right now.  With Raymar Morgan back for his junior year, the Spartans are in the preseason Top 10 and have one of the Top 10 Freshman in the country in Delvon Roe.  Next season we could be even better if Morgan stays.  The only big loss would be Suton, but we already have two 4-Star centers on the ’09 class.  We’re also expected to sign Jamil Wilson, a former 5-Star recruit who has dropped down to a 4-Star because of injuries, in the same class.  Having already seen a National Championship out of MSU I know that Izzo and the boys could do it again.  Hopefully we have a strong season and maybe earn a trip to play in the Final Four in Detroit this year.  As my friends and I always say, “In Izzo we trust”.

Now I don’t really follow much else other than the big two; basketball and football.  Wait, what is that? Hockey? Oh, by the way, we won a National Hockey Championship two years ago beating U of M and Notre Dame on the path to greatness. 

As I said before, the athletic director Mark Hollis deserves a lot of the credit by helping bring in Dantonio.  But it has been the combined efforts of Hollis and Izzo that has changed the MSU athletic culture.  They’ve gotten the students way more involved and now is as good of time as any to get excited about Michigan State sports.

Cubs fans pain

October 21, 2008

The Lovable Losers

 

What is it that keeps Cubs fans so loyal year, after year, after year?  With their very quick exit from the playoffs (AGAI N) this year, it marks the 100th straight year that the Cubs have failed to win the World Series.  There will always be the “Next Year” signs across Chicago but when is it going to end?  I’ve only had to deal with the hardships of being a Cubs fan for 18 years and I’m about to give up.  I can’t imagine what the older generations of die-hard fans feel like.  Let’s go back over the last century and take a look at what keeps Cubs fans coming back for more, even after the point when they’ve had enough.

The first reason Cubs fans are so passionate about their team is because of the city itself.  Chicago has seen its fair share of great sports teams whether it’s the ’85 Bears dominating season or the 6 NBA championships that MJ, Scottie, and Rodman won.  Their city has been spoiled in the past and now they just expect greatness from the Cubbies. 

Another reason the Cubs are followed all over the US is because they have their own TV station, as well as the best looking ballpark in all of baseball.  You can turn on WGN and watch the Cubs from anywhere in the country I believe.  That in combination with the always beautiful day games played at Wrigley and the classic ivy along the outfield wall really makes you feel like there is no better place to be if you’re a baseball fan.

The last reason the Cubs are so popular across the country is because of the ties that people keep to this team.  If you have ever lived in Chicago or have cheered your heart out for the Cubs, you’ve probably had it broken as well, some point along the way.  You can’t help but remember the times that they crushed your dreams and ruined your spirits.  And until they finally win it all, you probably will never forget them.  America in general will always cheer for an underdog.  It seems we will always create a soft cozy spot of sentiment for the classic uphill battlers in life.  Now lots of times the Cubs have been favored and still end up choking late, just like this year,    but until they eventually do pull off the World Series, they’re always going to seem like an underdog and they’re always going to be, The Lovable Losers.

Gaming Gendered?

October 12, 2008

The question is whether or not gaming is gendered and whether a girl would feel slighted by being forced to look at gaming spaces.

Personally, I do think that the gaming world is gendered, not to say that’s a horrible thing though.  I just feel it’s the nature of the of the gaming.  First of all, males are naturally more competitive so the companies that fuel the gaming world are most likely going to be targeting some age group of males.  Although the majority of games would appeal to males, there ARE games that are directed towards females or games that are fun for both. 

First off, a guys point of view.  I know that I’ve enjoyed looking at gaming spaces a lot.  Whether it’s a game that I play all the time or even if it’s something I’ve never heard of before, looking at gaming spaces has been a new and very interesting aspect of literature.  It’s relevant, fun, and I hope that everybody can have an open mind when looking at these spaces.

Next, the female point of view. Even with what I’ve said about gaming being gendered I would hope that most females don’t feel slighted when we look at gaming spaces.  I understand that it may not interest girls as much as guys but it’s something different.  How many times have been angry because you feel like you do the same thing in school over, and over, and over again.  That’s my point here, not only is gaming new and interesting, it’s becoming more and more relevant in the 21st century. 

I’ll look at one more point of view, that of the slighted female.  While I hope that males AND females can have an open mind when looking at gaming spaces, I completely understand while one or two girls may feel  a little weird about it.  These are the girls that havn’t played a lot of video games throughout their life and feel like it’s a waste of time.  They think that gaming is completely male oriented and that it’s not relevant to them.  That is where they are wrong.  Even if you’ve never played a game in your life, there is always something for EVERYONE to learn when we look at gaming spaces.

In this day and age, literature is becoming more and more digital and we have to be ready for that trend to continue.  Looking at gaming is a great way to look the way our literature is always growing and changing and what we can do to adapt.  I’m thankful that we’ve had the chance to take a look at gaming spaces and I hope we can continue to study them.  Unless of course, there is a slighted female in the class.

Obama Rally

October 7, 2008

One thing that the president should always be able to do well is speak.  Whether it’s to thousands of people, one foreign diplomat, or an entire nation, the way the president holds a conversation is vital.  Senator Obama would not disappoint.  His entire speech was emotional and well delivered.

One of the appeals I felt he did a very nice job of using was logos.  He was talking about the war in Iraq and I can’t remember the exact numbers were but his general idea was that we were spending billions of dollars on the war in Iraq.  He also said that since we had invaded, Iraq has hundreds of millions of dollars worth of surplus.  That’s just not right!  Obama put in a way that made it easy for the general audience to understand the logic behind his disagreement with the war in Iraq. 

The second appeal I thought he did a fabulous of incorporating was pathos.  The entire speech was emotional first off, so pathos was easy to find.  But the speech about getting the middle class back on track, especially in Michigan, not only got the crowd fired up, but Obama as well.  He said we needed to continue to emphasize the importance of education in America so one day, the U.S. can be looked at as the most inovative country in the world.  He guaranteed that if you made below $125,000 your taxes wouldn’t increase a dime, and that he would provide a package to help to auto industry get its wheels turning again.  Both major topics for almost everybody in Michigan.

All in all, I felt that Senator Obama did an outstanding job.  I was thrilled to get a chance to see him and I will, without a doubt, use my vote on him.