December 20, 2006


In the past year, I've experienced a sampling of human emotion. I've given indications of pain, but also of happiness. I want to share one great moment of happiness in my life. I graduated on Monday evening in Cecilian Hall at Seton Hill University. I now have my degree--and some photos. And because I look like a rabid chihuahua in most of the snapshots, I have limited the photo selection. Please enjoy, despite the too-happy grin--and disregard the foaming mouth. haha

I don't think I was thinking that day. I watched television, got dressed and then went to graduate. In the car, I kept thinking about all of the news stories I'd read about would-be graduates getting killed on the road to commencement. Can journalists get poetic justice? :-) I hoped not.

There's a live feeling about graduating, folks, and a dead element, too. It's like you spend all of those months working, working, working--you feel dead--and then it all stops one weekend, and you're left watching Christmas films in your pajamas. You're alive with doing and being, but the moment escapes you because you have no more tears to give.

I think by March or April, I'll really understand and appreciate everything that happened in the past few months. I'll celebrate with the smiling woman in these photos, and I'll see that she is really me, and she really survived--everything. That's a heartening thought that I'll keep close to my heart.

grad2.JPGThe headshot my mom will most likely give to the newspapers.

grad1.JPGDr. Jerz, my trusty advisor, and I. He published a little reflection on my note concerning the Setonian keys.

grad3.JPGKarissa and I--I think I am going to the 2007 graduation in my cap and gown to get pics with my friends. We'll see...

I love ma grande famille.

The $80,000 sheet of parchment. Worth every dime, eh? :-D

On my way-photo by Anne Stadler from Facebook

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December 12, 2006

Flavor of the weeks

Since I don't have time to really go into any depth, and I would really like to give an impression of what this time in my life has been like, here's a little flavor of the past few weeks in my world.

10. I started taking a generic multi-vitamin I found in our medicine cabinet.
9. I was interviewed by Gateway newspaper icon, Edith Hughes.
8. I said goodbye to the Setonian.
7. I drove a food cart on the pothole-covered driveways of Seton Hill.
6. I assessed my performance as an English major, and commented on my ethical background as a reporter.
5. I began my final draft of my grad school essay for NYU.
4. I carried so many voluminous bags that I couldn't fit through a doorway--in heels.
3. I said something I wanted to say at the very moment I wanted to say it.
2. I ate a bunch of sweet purple grapes in an hour.
1. I stapled my last paper together and slid it under my professor's door.

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December 11, 2006

Final final...maybe.

It's been a long road with this project, but it came together. I still love Flash. I still love journalism. Those are two things I was most worried about despising by the end of this semester, particularly in this class, but I don't. In fact, I love them both, much more than I probably should. So anyway, this is it. Unless, I get a streak of perfectionism sometime today and decide to do something else....

See my final project or download the file.

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December 6, 2006

A Final Blog Portfolio: EL405

I am satisfied to see a happy end to a rocky beginning in New Media Projects. I found what I liked and I stuck with it, and I finally found a gaming product that I could live with while working in Hammer. This is my last collection of blog entries for this class--and forever at Seton Hill University. (sigh) Enjoy~~


  • Another update on the state of my Project 2 of Flash indictes that I finally got the buttons working the way I wanted to, but I shared my dilemma about the score of the game I was creating not working.

  • In this draft of my Project 2, I added the element of the Catholic Social Teaching chart and the functional buttons--the best I could offer at the time--for my portfolio review by the English faculty.

  • For two days we were architectural designers with Hammer. This entry is offers my view of the program's interface in contrast to others we've tried in New Media Projects. I also talk about the fun of zombie passive resistance.

Commenting up a storm

  • I was the first on the scene to talk about Hammer on Karissa's blog. I commented on our disabled player who just stood there while he got his arse kicked by an alien encrusted zombie.

  • On Mike Rubino's entry discussing Hammer, I agreed that the interface was friendlier, and also said an instrumental part of the interface is knowing what should be in a dropdown and what should be a button and what should be a different mode.

  • Stormy's comment about Sims really intrigued me. I've always wanted to try architectural design, and Sims seems very mainstream and inexpensive. I returned to her blog to ask Stormy to bring a copy of Sims so I could try it myself. I think that this is a kind of gaming I could get interested in.


  • "A Soldier's Memory" is a poem I wrote after reading the newspaper's statistics of soldiers who died in Iraq since the start of the war. I just started thinking about the effect on the people next door, down the street...

**May be updated by due date.

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A Hammer a Day

Our "House" wasn't crooked this time.

Hammer is actually fun. Though we saved our file, "The Enlightnment," the last time we worked on it in class, the file went to a little place I like to call computer purgatory--it's there--somewhere--but we don't know when it is going to be released from obscurity.

In any case, we didn't have our origianl file from our last class, so we started from scratch. This time, however, we were not in a house with gaps between the walls.and the lights were fixed on the ceiling, not a la disco, as before.


I must concur with Mike and say that the interface on this program is so much more user-friendly than many of the open source programs we've used in New Media Projects. The buttons' icons actually meant something to me. Though the undo function was not Ctrl+Z in Hammer, many of the keyboard shortcuts I easily picked up.


The zombie becomes interested in us. We later die and the screen goes crazy.

I particularly liked positioning the camera in various parts of the room. I got a better handle on the room's dimensions the second time around than the first.

And when I got to see our player being attacked by zombies, I was very satisfied by a day's work. What? Zombies? Yes, ZOMBIES. Dr. Jerz made zombies and helped us place them in our game. With our player's movement function disabled, the lesson was not in shooting them, as our classmates games portrayed, but rather, in passive resistance, as Evan put it.

I would definitely try Hammer again, and because I own it now, I will get the chance after I graduate...when I'm doing part-time work or grad school applications or...something.

Hammer seems to encourage the user, if backed into a corner, to find a way out. When I'm learning a new program, I've found, I tend to try everything until I find the right button or function or mode. Hammer is functional enough to deal with my eagerness to experiment, and doesn't force a user to read a 500-page manual. I like that in a program.

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December 4, 2006

Another draft of Flash

This is what I want my English portfolio review people to see on Thursday. You can check it out too...
"Catholicism and Seton Hill" (view the file)

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December 2, 2006

A Soldier's Memory

There's a shadow on the dock and I think it's yours.
There's a whistle in the kitchen and I think it's yours.
There's a laugh at a party and I think it's mine,
Laughing at yours.

There's a cry down the hallway and I think it's your child's.
There's a ring from the phone and I think it's your mother's.
There's a torn letter in the mailbox and I think it's mine
Telling me about you.

There's a pillow with salty linens and I think it's mine.
There's a whisper in the dark and I think it's mine--
Missing yours.

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