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hubskier for: 2625 days

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erin  ·  1931 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A College Dean's Letter to the Rejected

"I'm studying because I want to blow my application out of the water in every way I can..."

I think you probably nailed why certain programs want a GRE. It's that extra step to see you're committed to the endeavor.

I was in your position about three years ago, and finished my Master's last spring. What I picked up from being in graduate school: It isn't about measurement (i.e. grades). It's about acquiring depth in a subject that an average college graduate doesn't think about on a professional or academic level. It's way more about pushing yourself than pleasing professors.

erin  ·  1931 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A game that takes a minute to play (with a message from me to hubski.)

Aw, that made me smile. :)

erin  ·  2126 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Do any of you live in apartment complexes? Good wifi names around?

"The CIA" showed up in my list once. On next glance, it had disappeared.

erin  ·  2126 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The State of Hubski: 2014

I'm a little surprised no one has chimed in with, "That's no Hubski center, that's a space station." (Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks the un-justified text make it look like the Death Star.)

Thanks for all you do, ladies and gents. :)

erin  ·  2126 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: So I applied to Colgate University a while back

(I'm very late to this post, so... ::blush::)

First off, congratulations!

It's only thing to be accepted to a great university. It's another to be recognized in the way you are -- someone they're wiling to give heaps of money and opportunities to! ;)

What do you want to study?

I saw insomnia's post and wanted to toss a little more advice your way. I've been on both sides of university life -- twice as student, now as a college prof (okay, it's not my 'formal' title, but the kids call me professor), so I hope all the things I've learned the hard way, you don't have to.

- I agree with insomnia 100 percent: do not wish for time to fly. You will have plenty of time to be a working adult with all the un-fun crap that comes with it. It's not a lie -- college is the best time of your life. You have the freedom of an adult, with the safety net of your parents (and as I later learned, all your professors who really do want you to succeed).

- I do not know how Colgate structures its academics, but try, TRY to avoid taking more than 4-5 courses a semester. Don't cram everything in. I'm guessing if you were regarded as a scholar by the university, you are probably walking in with some credits from AP classes. Don't use those credits to speed up your experience (i.e. "I graduated in 3 years!"). Slow it down. Figure out exactly how long it will take you to walk with graduating class, maybe even a year later (if you have that luxury). At the university I teach, because there is a flat rate for each semester, students can take up to 20 credit hours (6-7 classes). They're bogged down with so many activities the quality of everything -- not just academics -- suffers. How can you actually dedicate time to learning something when you're just trying to balance everything? But beyond that, this is your time to grow as a person. Take all the time humanly (and financially) possible.

- I also don't know how your scholarship is structured, what requirements you need to meet to keep it all four years. (I'm going to assume, at minimum, a certain GPA.) Don't go in looking to graduate with a 4.0. Aim for a 3.75, maybe even a 3.5 (or :: gasp :: a 3.25 if you're permitted.) As best you can, stop thinking about grades. Obviously, in some cases, the best grade is necessary. And maybe you want to go on to graduate school, so yes, good grades matter. But you are going to college to learn not get grades. Think about it: what does it mean if you get an A in a class, but don't remember much from it? What does it mean to undertake a challenging course and walk away with a hard-earned B? It is okay if you're not perfect. No one is. Heck, it's even okay to fail (maybe a quiz, experiment, test -- not a class!). If you're taking classes that come easy to you, find something which will scare you, humble you, make you work hard. Maybe you'll never use the material in life, but the process of getting out of a comfort zone will be invaluable.

- Find your mentor or a like-minded professor to geek out with as soon as you can. Those were some of the best times I had in college, just chatting about ideas or working on projects with professors whose area of expertise I loved. And I love it being on the other side now. Again, it's nothing to do with grades -- just a real, enthusiastic love for learning.

- Don't procrastinate. Period. Just don't. It took me until my Master's degree (and this after working 10 years full-time) to realize getting things done one, two days early is such an incredible relief. I kept asking myself, "Why did I not realize this before?" So when your professor gives you a syllabus with everything outlined, take advantage of it!

- I've had to give this advice to too many students: prepare yourself. I've known of very few who go through college and do not experience something horrible in their personal life. Deaths, suicides, addictions, major medical and/or mental health issues, serious problems with family (maybe friends). I think at your age, there is a sense of invincibility -- we all had it -- and it is only a matter of time before reality checks in. Here's the good news: when very bad things happen, the people around you will go above and beyond to help. Most students do not realize how many nets in place to help you. Advisors, counselors, medical professionals. You just need to let them know. Don't wait. Be honest and upfront. As a student, when I ran into problems and informed my professors, the first response was always, "what can I do to help?" I pay forward that courtesy to my students. Many of my colleagues do, too. If you are in need of help, it is 100 percent okay to ask for it.

- Finally, HAVE FUN. Find an activity you enjoy (if you end up not enjoying it, find something new; just don't overload on activities!). Do the college thing. (You know ... drink a little ... RESPONSIBLY!). Go on a road trip with friends. Reward yourself after putting in a hard night of studying. Discover who you are, or who you want to be. Learn everything you can about the world and gain the appetite to go out an explore it. :)

The very best of luck, galen. :)

erin  ·  2399 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: NASA must immediately cease contact with Russia

I am suddenly reminded of the scene in "2010" where the Americans and Soviets are forced to cease cooperation due to an impending nuclear war...

erin  ·  2561 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Kleinbl00's Red Pill Reading List: Geopolitic

I wouldn't say 150 pages into Scholsser that his book is as well-researched on Cold War details as Gaddis', but it is a good complement.

Gaddis' book also sparked my interest in Cold War Germany, but I think the closest I may come to on a comprehensive work on the subject is "The Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961-1989" by Frederick Taylor. I may read that next, then "The Dead Hand" because from what you describe, it sounds like it overlaps with the end of "The Berlin Wall."

erin  ·  2561 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Kleinbl00's Red Pill Reading List: Geopolitic

    The Cold War: A New History

I finished this book a few weeks ago. Phenomenal.

I remember the Cold War a little from the Reagan era, but did not have a full grasp of everything which set it into motion. What I ultimately took from the book is that it kind of was a 'hot' war fought by proxy, and rather confront each other directly, the U.S. and U.S.S.R. ended up having to deal with each other the way divorced parents tackle a problem child.

Kind of funny in a way, because whenever the two sides did want to get together, another world leader would create some sort of ridiculous commotion.

Of course, better it was fought that way than with nukes.

(My current book, which is also turning out to be a solid follow-up on the subject is Eric Scholsser's "Command and Control." I believe it was previously discussed on Hubski.)

erin  ·  2564 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A Prayer for Steve Bartman | Excerpt from Will Leitch of Sports on Earth's new book

Did you see the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary "Catching Hell"? The Bartman incident is dissected better than some capital murder cases.

As a Marlins fan, Mr. Bartman will hold a special place in my heart until I die. (But even I know that's not the play that really changed the game; it was Alex Gonzalez's error a few plays later.) One day, I will get to Wrigley and sit in the seat with my Marlins gear on... like a pilgrimage to Mecca.

    Entire projects hinged on small, context-free details that were impossible for me to catch.

What the hell does she think editing is? I guess she doesn't care about typos, style errors and making sure her facts are right because those details are tough to catch, too.

One thing I always tell people is that my skill set to edit words also translates into debugging code. English is a language. Code is a language.

There is no debugger for English, so you had better have an excellent grasp of its rules and syntax to make your writing 'work.'

erin  ·  2564 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ask Hubski: What has been your favourite technological advancement in the last 15 years?

I would never give up my gadgets... but I'm going to have to deviate from the pack and say advancement in medicine and medical technology.

(NHL fans be jealous.) I was listening to Scotty a Bowman talk today about all the surgeries he underwent as a young hockey player and the damage they did to him. Doctors in the 50s didn't realize that if you tore cartilage it's a bad idea to take all of it out. Not to mention, they hacked you up pretty good just to get in there.

I've had so many joints scoped and reconstructed, I have to believe I'm better off having had these surgeries in the 21st century than not. Even 15 years ago, I'm sure the materials, tools and techniques, maybe even drugs, aren't as good as they are today. I mean, hell, people who have hip or knee replacement surgery are up and walking the same day. That's nuts.

I can still play sports, and more often than not I find the 'repaired' parts feel 100 percent better than the ones that have not been cleaned up from wear and tear.

Hooray for modern, modern medicine.

erin  ·  2564 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The World Wants to Break Up with America's Internet

The thing that's awesome about Hubski: I never remember if I found an article here since there's so much good stuff! That being said, my apologies if someone linked this in the main feed: How to keep the NSA out of your computer

I'm fascinated by BBS history/culture and I am also involved in amateur radio. Given the vast improvements in wireless communications, I've often wondered if (or when) we'll see non-commercial networks spring up in the United States.

Take FidoNet as an example. Why couldn't something like that -- with modern day improvements and Internet backbone workarounds -- work today? (I highly recommend watching the FidoNet episode of the BBS Documentary.)

I think I would give my entire left arm (disclosure: bad shoulder) to work on a practical implementation of something like this.

I thought of one more thing...

What's funny about knowing code and writing is that when you then apply for a programming job, it is not odd to hear, "and you have good communication skills, too!"

Yes, yes, yes!

Thank you for sharing that paper. I have bookmarked it. From a brief glance, that's exactly the kind of subject matter I've been throwing around to professors when I talk about seeing a merger of media and computer science. No -- we're not turning the j-school into a math and science geek fest; there are a lot of elements to what we do as communicators that are tied to technology and vice versa.

I have no issue with CS sticking with theoretical advancements; but I'd love to see communications schools learn from them and apply the lessons in practical settings (media is a great field in which people can accumulate skills, not just knowledge).

I think it is a false sense to think younger generations are tech savvy. They're not. This is what prompted computer engineers in the UK to create the Raspberry Pi -- to teach children basic programming and computer skills that are no longer taught (because the computer became a medium as opposed to a tool).

Thank you so much for sharing that paper!

erin  ·  2564 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I Was Dead Wrong

That's fair.

My comment was kind of in regard to the whole-U.S.-system-is-a-mess discussion. My apologies; I was not on the warpath, rather using your comment as a jumping off point.

Technical writing is very different from journalism. But if you find you are good at both coding and writing, that makes you ideal for communicating -- I'd even say 'translating' -- a difficult concept to a more palatable one.

I'm sure I have the communications and geek skills to be a technical writer. But I sometimes I find writing in-depth, step-by-step detail very taxing. It is actually one of the characteristics that leaves me frustrated when coding.

I don't care what anyone says; in today's computer-driven society, I don't think you have a choice in learning some tech-related skill. And I don't mean being able to post to Facebook or operate Microsoft Word. Having a basic understanding of systems and their processes, how things relate and interact, understanding how we consume technology and how to properly develop for it -- whether it be a web page, an app or new hardware -- will be as essential as reading, writing and mathematics in this century.

This pissed me off, for a few reasons.

If someone wants to start a reporting career in today's industry, they need to be fully aware of its pitfalls. The pay is awful. I was always told it would be awful in journalism school. Teachers are paid better. It is even worse now that the MBAs behind every publication have found ways to cut costs because anyone who can blog can -- in their minds -- be a journalist. Truth: I am paid less now, as a reporter with 15 years experience than I was a year out of college, ink still drying on my journalism degree.

You get into the career because it's a borderline adventurous lifestyle. You get access to people and places most don't. There's a thrill to breaking news or just telling a good story.

Why teach students to code? Because only being able to report, write and edit makes you as worthless as the guy who thought a bachelors in creative writing would be great preparation for a dying job market. Coding -- even the kind this writer bitches about -- is not a waste of time. It's an additional skill. It is a tool to fall back on when journalism as we know it really dies and there's no need for reporters -- the kid down the block with a blog (that he built because he knows code) has just eliminated your job.

That's a bit dramatic. But in seriousness, I would argue there are not enough students -- in every field -- being taught 21st century skills. For someone in communications, those skills might involve coding to be able to develop UX and UI prototypes (high demand). A new branch of journalism is evolving -- visual journalism -- that touches upon design and semiotics to communicate stories. I can see where business schools or scientific fields would benefit from teaching students data visualization.

Media theorist Marshall McLuhan said the medium is the message. The information medium has changed drastically. Think of the way someone consumed stock quotes in 1980 and today. Our media are highly visual, interactive. In 1980, you look at numbers; today you see charts of performance over time and can interact with that detail second by second, maybe even learn why a stock rose or dipped with the click of a mouse or swipe of a finger.

So yeah, this article presented itself to me as woefully ignorant, just not about the state of the industry, but the state of the media, something she now possesses a graduate degree in. (And I could care less about the fact she's writing for Atlantic; every new journalist will come to learn they'll write 100 mediocre stories for every gem. They may never write a story that earns them recognition. There is a lot of grunt work to be done before glory can be hand, and sometimes that never comes.)

erin  ·  2591 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I Was Dead Wrong

    One advantage the U.S. has is that people can go to any doctor that they want to, provided that they have the money.

Really? Let me share this story...

A couple weeks ago, my mom fell ill. She thought it was a bad case of food poisoning and it would pass. For 12 hours, she was bleeding from an area, well, you should not bleed from. She called her gastroenterologist; he was on vacation. She asked to see his partner or the physicians assistant. The office said no, she could only see her physician. She called her primary care doctor. He told her to go to the ER and referred her to another specialist.

She went to the ER. They took excellent care of her. She was supposed to make an appointment with the specialist in 2-3 days to go over test results. When she called to make the appointment, the doctor refused to take new patients. Meanwhile, Mom's antibiotic is running out. Because the specialist would not see her, they would not refill her medication. She had to call the ER to get a refill.

After, again, fighting with the new specialist to make an appointment, she ended up with one -- a month after the initial incident. Ultimately, three weeks after going to the ER, she had to wrangle with the hospital to get her test results -- negative for infection -- sent to her primary care doctor and her own gastroenterologist.

Oh, did I mention my mom has insurance? And that she pays a premium of over $600 a month? Even with money and insurance, when she really needed care without worry, she got the runaround. For all the people who say the system in Canada or the United Kingdom is a mess, guess what? There are problems here, too.

erin  ·  2591 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Hitters Won't Bunt against the Shift

Sports journalism. The NHL is the sport I predominantly cover, although I get to do baseball every now and then. I covered a lot of baseball for ESPN's wire service during summers in college. Lots of fun.

Jupiter tops Mother Nature, St. Lucie

Though innings limit near, Jose Fernandez is Marlins big draw

erin  ·  2591 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Hitters Won't Bunt against the Shift

It was a fantastic game. It was Fernandez's last start of the season since the Marlins wanted to shut him down at 170 innings. I covered him in Single-A Jupiter last season and he was never expected to be in the majors this season. Even he did not expect it.

I think Fernandez wen 7 IP with 8K and gave up one HR. He was angry about that... so he made up for it. Then all hell broke loose, which was fun, too.

I'll have to see if I can post one of the photos from the fracas.

erin  ·  2592 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Hitters Won't Bunt against the Shift

    The bigger issue with AL vs. NL is that the NL is stupid and should get with the times ;)

I think the guys in the AL need to stop being wusses and make pitchers hit! :) All I can say is that sometimes you do end up with a pitcher who surprises you with a hit. Or, dare I say, executes a fine sac bunt. It's a fun element of the game. The last Marlins game I went to, Jose Fernandez hit a home run (his first!) and it sparked a brawl. I'll take that any day over AL pitchers who sit in the dugout getting manicures between innings. :)

Also, having pitchers in the lineup requires more strategy on the part of NL managers to maintain the strongest lineup as they go to the bullpen. How many double-shifts do you see in the AL?

I used to cover baseball, and I love scoring games. It's a great challenge to keep up with all the moves. And having done a ton of NL baseball, my mind will never be changed! :)

Oh, and by the way, Carlos Zambrano played for the Marlins, too. :)

erin  ·  2592 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Who Needs an Official State Media When We’ve Got CNN?

I miss Talk of the Nation, too. If I could not catch it live, I would listen to the podcast in the evening. To me, the brilliance -- regardless of when you listened to it -- is that mainstream media brought the public into the conversation. That is a very difficult thing to do, and TotN pulled it off masterfully.

I read NPR nixed TotN because they felt they had a similar product in "On Point" with Tom Ashbrook. He's okay, but I liked Neal Conan better.

Yes, I've noticed Terry Gross throws out the occasional leading question. It is not a good practice, but sometimes it helps moderate an interview or open up a new path of discussion.

I wouldn't call Diane Rehm's show journalism, especially the round table discussions. But I agree, there is always good balance. And the debate is civilized. I may not agree with the guests sometimes, but at least it's not the riled-up screamfest that dominates television.

It is no secret FOX and MSNBC target specific demographics. I laughed at all the recent changes at CNN, because it seems like they are not trying to be objective, but both FOX and MSNBC, with a little TMZ thrown in. How is it no one at CNN had the idea of, 'Hey, other networks are so skewed, why don't we go back to our roots and practice real journalism?' This void does exist in television news. You would think last-place CNN would try something out-of-the-box and shake up the landscape.

What's even more hilarious is Time Warner broadcasts 'The Newsroom' on HBO which is based on bringing respectability back to television journalism, yet Time Warner is doing the exact opposite with their own cable news network. Oh, the irony.