Notebook of Sand

• Recent Publications
• Recent Projects
• Conferences & Speaking
"Comparing Spatial Hypertext Collections"
  ACM Hypertext '09
"Archiving and Sharing Your Tinderbox"
  Tinderbox Weekend London '09
"The Electronic Nature of Future Literatures"
  Literary Studies Now, Apr '09
"The World University Project"
  St. John's Col. Cambridge, Feb '09
"Ethical Explanations,"
  The New Knowledge Forge, Jun '08
Lecture, Cambridge University
  Tragedy in E-Lit, Nov '07
Hypertext '07: Tragedy in E-Lit
Host for Tinderbox Cambridge '07
Keynote: Dickinson State Uni Conf
Upper Midwest NCHC'07: Speaker
eNarrative 6: Creative Nonfiction
HT'05: "Philadelphia Fullerine"
  Nelson award winning paper
NCHC '05:
 Nurturing Independent Scholarship
Riddick Practicum:
  Building Meeting Good Will
NCHC '04:
  Philadelphia Fullerine
  Lecture on American Studies
WWW@10: Nonfiction on the Web
NCHC '03: Parliamentary Procedure
ELL '03 -- Gawain Superstar
• (a)Musing (ad)Dictions:

Ideas. Tools. Art. Build --not buy. What works, what doesn't. Enjoy new media and software aesthetics at Tekka.

Theodore Gray (The Magic Black Box)

Faith, Life, Art, Academics. Sermons from my family away from home: Eden Chapel!

My other home: The Cambridge Union Society (in 2007, I designed our [Fresher's Guide])

The Economist daily news analysis

Global Higher Ed blog

• Hypertext/Writing

Writing the Living Web

Chief Scientist of Eastgate Systems, hypertext expert Mark Bernstein. (Electronic) Literature, cooking, art, etc.

Fabulous game reviews at playthisthing.

• Stats

Chapter I: Born. Lived. Died.

There is a Chapter II.

Locale: Lancaster County Pa, USA

Lineage: Guatemala

Religion: My faith is the primary focus of my life, influencing each part of me. I have been forgiven, cleansed, and empowered by Jesus Christ. Without him, I am a very thoughtful, competent idiot. With him, I am all I need to be, all I could ever hope for. I oppose institutional religious stagnation, but getting together with others is a good idea. God is real. Jesus Christ is his Son, and the Bible is true. Faith is not human effort. It's human choice. I try to be the most listening, understanding, and generous person I can.

Interests: Anything I can learn. Training and experience in new media, computer science, anglophone literature, education, parliamentary debate, democratic procedure, sculpture, and trumpet performance. Next: applied & computational linguistics, probably.

Education: Private school K-3. Home educated 4-12. Graduated Summa Cum Laude from Elizabethtown College in Jan 2006. As the 2006 Davies-Jackson Scholar, I studied English at St. John's College, Cambridge University from 2006 - 2008.

Memberships: Eden Baptist, Cambridge Union Society, ACM, AIP, GPA.

Alum of the Elizabethtown College Honors Program, sponsored by the Hershey Company.

Language Study in Tinderbox
Saturday, 4 Mar 2006 :-:

I had my first Latin lesson last week.

The second one was more daunting. Why?

** * **

I haven't undertaken the systematic absorption of a body of knowledge for quite a while. And my last effort was only partly successful. I feel much more at home with an undefined, research-based task in a field I don't know than I do with the acquisition of a body of knowledge. But there's no helping it. The language has to go deeper into the psyche than a vague sense of paradigms and knowledge about knowledge.

How to do this?

** * **

I looked at the notecards and picked up my pen.

How many vocabulary items for the day? 20? With 20 more translations?

I looked at the notecards once more. They stared back, and the lines on their faces belied their worry.

"Sorry guys," I said, and opened up my iBook. Soon, I was looking at the Tinderbox Presentation Assistant (note to self. The Assistant system is beautiful. I need to build a tool or two in it. Just create an XML file, and Tinderbox will auto-customize a Tinderbox file and support files for new instances of your Tinderbox system.).

I started entering my Latin notes as slides in the system. Then, I started to type in the vocabulary items for memorization. I wanted Tinderbox to show me groups of words and meanings on a single slide, but I also wanted the chance to quiz myself. How to do this?

It was simple. I created a new prototype for vocab, with a custom export template. This template simply exported the title: text of the note. Then, I made each vocab item an individual child underneat the slide where I wanted the word to appear. I then set the parent -- the slide-- to include the contents of its children when exporting.

The Tinderbox Presentation Assistant, Tweaked for Latin Study

Later, I set up another prototype for phrase translations. In both cases, by putting the Latin in the title, I was able to quiz myself by looking at the title, deciding the meaning of the word or phrase, and clicking on the note to find out the real answer.

Tinderbox, Tweaked for Latin Study

Tinderbox is now a system for my language study which can be developed at the speed of type! By storing all my vocabulary, grammar notes, and translations in the same space, I can also search quickly if I don't remember the meaning of a word or concept. No page-turning or card-fumbling.

The technological limitations of language study tools often exact a high mental penalty, but Tinderbox helps me study nearly at the speed of thought. Thanks, Mark.

** * **

Those of you interested in my Latin notes (based on Wheelock's Latin -- check out Paul Barrette's resource I highly approve of his use of Enlightenment) or tweakings of the standard Presentation template can download my Tinderbox File for Wheelock's Latin. But I prefer that you use the structure but not the data, so I'm not going to provide a full set of notes. I have found that creating the Tinderbox space is an important part of etching the knowledge into my mind, and I wouldn't want to deprive you of that opportunity by making things too easy :-).