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.

Monday, 3 Sep 2007 :-:

Here at Cambridge, people sometimes talk about privilege and about how certain families and certain social networks tend to be more successful at reaching the university. Despite massive University efforts to provide equal opportunity and even provide extra opportunities for people from low-income areas, certain tendencies persist.

These issues are very complex, and some kinds of elitism are very good for an institution which is attempting to employ the best academics, provide the best resources, and produce the best graduates. On a simpler level, however, these social networks are very good for potential applicants. During the past year, I had the privilege of meeting the family of another student. We had a wonderful, wide-ranging conversation. Some time later, I received the following email about homework from the younger sibling of this student, who is thinking of Oxbridge applications soon:

hey, im ploding through the boring thing hehe i'd like to include a little bit about that mountain in america u told me, u sed it had like one climate on one side and like a desert climate on the other? what was the name of it? please reply as soon as possible because i need to hand this in soon. thx

(older readers should note that the quality of youths' online grammar and spelling does not necessarily reflect their skill with the English language. This example is very typical of current style, and based on our brief meeting, I would not be surprised if this student did very well at Oxbridge.)

During our prior discussion, I had explained to this student some very basic ecological issues more clearly than the teacher had-- something which is more likely to occur for those who know people from Oxbridge, or from any university. Now the student was asking for sources.

I could have sent sources, and it would not have been plagiarism. But instead, I sent some names and terms along with the suggestion that the student find the relevant sources. I don't know if the student will put them to good use or not. But making it harder for this student actually provides a greater opportunity to hone research techniques, skills which will provide a great advantage during secondary school and in Oxbridge applications.

This, I suspect, is a major part of privilege, and to be honest, if it means that students learn more, I have only a few specific reservations about it, but those have more to do with how to balance a university's impact on society in relation to the economic and regional diversity of its applicant pool and the quality of its production.