Considering difference

In April I posted some audio from Al Gore’s keynote at the NASPA/ACPA National Conference. This post drew the attention of a certain blogger by the name of Radar. Radar had also attended the NASPA/ACPA conference and he had a few things to say about Al Gore. I love getting comments on my site that differ from my own opinion. This diversity of viewpoints keeps things interesting and forces me to flex my brain cells.

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The right to bear arms

Horrible events have transpired today at Virginia Tech.

Why in the hell is it necessary that we have the “right” to bear arms? Hunting? Self-defense? Why do we need to have guns? I mean this is just crazy. The University of Utah cannot even legally bar guns on their campus.

Why are handguns in the possession of anyone who is not a police officer? I could care less about gun control or adding more regulations for gun possession. I feel that guns should not be produced and sold. Having access to guns while growing up in Iowa did not make me more of U.S. citizen or a patriot. I feel that the right to bear arms is an antiquated policy that does nothing except provide fodder for political polarization.

How do guns, and the right to bear them, benefit humanity?

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Blackboard Community System

Blackboard Community System

Blackboard had an amazing booth at the NASPA/ACPA Joint Meeting in Orlando. It was the size of small house and it looked like one too! Inside their mini-mansion, the folks from Blackboard were demoing their portal solution, the Blackboard Community System.

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Grandma Katie

Eric and Grandma Katie

My phone rang this morning at 8 A.M. The ring tone was the “circus” music that I have reserved for my parents. My grandmother died this morning. She was 82. According to my mom, Grandma Katie died peacefully.

A memorial service has been planned for April 21st. My mom asked me if I wanted to say anything at the service. I’ve been thinking about what I would say at my grandma’s funeral for a week or so. Her health had been failing due to complications after a stroke and we all knew that she would not live for much longer.

I feel a certain amount of responsibility to say something insightful at the service. My brother, Shaun, posted on his blog that he will miss the cookies and milk that used to always be available at grandma’s house. Homemade chocolate chip cookies were always in a Tupperware container on top of the refrigerator. Standard operating procedure at grandma’s house was to enter the house, say hello, hug, and then get cookies, pour milk into the little plastic blue cups that were perfect for dunking, and then eat scrumptious cookies while sitting at the kitchen table.

Grandma Katie introduced me to my first soap opera. General Hospital was a mainstay in the afternoon. She would ride her bike to the mailbox and place the mail in the basket at the front of her bike.

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Backpacks versus Messengers

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

My back and I recently got into a conversation about bags. During the two years that I lived in Chicago I would carry a messenger bag to work. I loaded it full of papers, pens, my sack lunch, mp3 player, the occasional laptop, a scarf during the winter, etc. I’m right-handed so I typically placed the bag’s strap across my right shoulder. It felt good and my bag had a pad for enhanced comfort. After walking the mile or so to the L Train, I would attempt to switch the bag to my other shoulder. It never felt very good so I would keep it on my right side. Two years of wearing a heavy messenger bag on my right side made my back ache. I used a backpack during my undergrad. However, a messenger bag seemed more professional. My thoughts were validated by the multitudes of messenger bag wearing Chicagoans. Plus, there seemed to be a culture amongst Student Affairs folks that students use backpacks and administrators used satchels or messenger bags.

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Cyber Communities – Emerging Issues Summit

PaperClip Communications is sponsoring a technology summit on Cyber Communities at the University of Tampa in January. I’ll be presenting two sessions on student development theory and the positive aspects of online communities/social networking sites. I’m charged with bringing a positive spin to the summit. I have two hours to educate participants that sites like Facebook and MySpace can add value to a student’s collegiate experience.

The irony of my PaperClip presentation is that they contacted me after they read this post. In the post I expressed my concerns regarding the vilification of technology within student affairs.

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Keeping Track of Higher Education

Diverse is the website for Diverse Issues in Higher Education. I subscribe to the magazine and enjoy a daily dose of e-news from Diverse. I’m not sure if the daily e-mail can be accessed without a subscription to the magazine…

Academic Impressions and University Business serve up 2 of the best daily e-mails on higher education news. They offer similar stories with slightly different slants.

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Fix Firefox 2.0

Firefox 2.0 is now available for download from Mozilla. This is old news for most early adopters but I thought I write about it for the non-early-adopter crowd. One of the things that I love about Firefox is tabbed browsing. I can open up 45 tabs within one Firefox window. That many tabs can suck the ram out of my computer like an Anne Rice vampire but I am hooked on Firefox. It is infinity (+1) times better than Internet Explorer.

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Eight Things I Find Amazing in Picture Form

Kevin tagged me with my first meme: “Eight Things I Find Amazing in Picture Form.” I think I’ll start out by being a little narcissistic. This photo set of 4 Polaroids always make me feel good.

Eric with curly hair
I was 2 years old when this set of photographs was taken. My hair was curly and I apparently liked to walk about in my diaper. I think it’s amazing that my hair still looks like that when I wake up in the morning.

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Statcounters Anonymous

How many times have I checked today? It’s like a sickness. is my home page for FireFox! I check my site statistics to see how many visits I’m getting on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. I have obsessive web statistics disorder. My dashboard in WordPress now has a menu item called “Reports.” The plugin, called WordPress Reports, utilizes my Google Analytics account and pulls information into the admin interface.

I love looking at referrals, recent keyword activity, and page views. I love “optimizing” for search engines. I have OWSD!

Go ahead, admit that you love it too.

Update: I forgot that I also have the “Live” plugin installed which lets me view my website activity in REAL TIME!!!

Update 2: Brownfemipower, Radem, Sage and VeganKid are also stats junkies :-)