egad! a term paper!

12 03 2005

in addition to my job search, learning circuits blog, and a few other miscellaneous projects; i’m taking a class at san francisco state toward earning an m.ed. eventually. this week i’ve been thinking about our major project for the semester – an oral presentation of a topic of our choosing backed up by a paper.

the presentation piece doesn’t bother me. i’ve done hundreds of presentations under much higher pressure with little time to prepare. and powerpoint is my buddy, so no problems there. but earlier this week i realized i haven’t done a research paper in over 20 years! eek! i barely recall how i went about it. but then again the processes i used as an undergrad were so tool focused – index card for note taking, legal pad after legal pad of scratchings, scrallings, and references to books stuck back on a library shelf they’d lived on undisturbed for 20 years since the last student had checked them out before me. pencils for first drafts, which would inevitably be cut apart and taped back together in a way that made more sense. practicing using white out liquid paper so the final draft of my paper would look as error free as possible.

bribing two or three friends to set aside an afternoon to proof read
my next to final draft. making sure i had enough ribbon to ensure
somewhat consistent ink throughout the entire paper. oh and don’t
forget the carbon paper. unless i was well enough connected that
semester to convince one of the administrative assistants in one of
the five offices that had a copier to risk her bosses scorn and let me
sneak in at night to make a photostatic copy.

my gosh! how in the world did we ever do it?

that’s right, children, i didn’t have a computer in college. actually,
my college had one pc lab, but it was only for computer science majors
(those wierdos, what would you ever do with something who’s greatest
accomplishment was playing games. sure, pong is cooler that anything,
but you’ll never get a job playing pong!). the only word processor i
could use was the one attached to my fingers by the nervous system. if
you ever wonder if computers have had an impact on our lives ask anyone
who wrestled with carbon paper.

so i embark on an old journey with new tools in hand. firefox and
google, one note and freemind, word and powerpoint, .mac and fire,
flickr and rss. promise me it won’t all change again before i retire
in another 20 years. ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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