Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Last Thing...

The last thing on the list is to summarize my thoughts on doing the 27 Things. I started this blog on April 7th, and I just re-read all of my posts. About 3 years ago, my friend Stephanie told me about a blog she started that was written from the perspective of her son, who is 4 months older than my son. I loved reading it because I felt like I was participating in their lives even though we live so far away. I started a blog (on blogger) for my son for her to read, and I kept it up for a while. The most tech-savvy thing I did on that blog was choose a template, and that was it. I was a little hesitant when I started the 27 Things because I really did not want to look like an idiot. (Who does, really?) But I put one foot in front of the other like the Winter Warlock does in "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", and I jumped right in. As many other people have stated, I have enjoyed reading the blogs of other SPLers and learning lots about them as people, not just for what they do at work. I was also blown away at some of the stuff they were doing. For instance, I emailed Doris to ask her how to embed links like she was doing, and she was happy to help. I saw how cool her blog looked after she changed the colors and added a header, and I was determined to do that, too. I found a header I absolutely love while exploring task #6, and that really motivated me to keep going. I even told Chris Freeman that he might be sorry that he encouraged us all to do this because I was having too much fun! At one point, John and I were semi-competing with each other to find cool new things and feeling righteously superior when showing the other how we figured it out.

Overall, I learned a lot, and I am much more likely to try out new applications and what-not thanks to doing this program. I feel sorry for all the pooh-poohers who refused to participate or gave up quickly because it really was a lot of fun. Reading through my posts reminds me of how much I have learned. Also, I got to brag a little about my first cousin once removed, Elena Myers, and it was through her Facebook page that I found my cousin Mike (can you imagine how many people on Facebook have the name Mike Myers or Michael Myers so it would have been too frustrating to search for him just by name alone). I also made a cool magazine cover using a photo of my son. Natalie, with her eagle eyes, noticed that I changed the "About Me" part to say that I am expecting a baby. I'm sure she would have noticed at one of our monthly meetings anyway, but it was fun to see that somebody noticed it on the blog. I plan on continuing to post as I discover new ways to use technology, even if I am the only one who knows about it.

And now I find out that the deadline to finish has been extended, but that doesn't matter because......I'm done! Woo-hoo! I'm going to Disney World!! (not really, but wouldn't that be fun?)

Second to Last Thing

I realized this week that this is the last week to do this! Aack! Ok, so the task is downloading an audiobook. When I first looked at the instruction page on SPL's website, I got a little overwhelmed. But then I remembered that I felt like that with many of the tasks after starting this blog. So I just took it step by step and voila! Is this something I will do a lot? Probably not since I generally use my iPod only when going to the gym and I like hearing the rhythms of the songs while I let my mind wander instead of needing to follow a plot. But, I will be going on vacation next month to visit family and friends back East. I can see how having an audiobook on my iPod would give my mind something to do so it will seem like the flight takes somewhat less than forever. Of course, I usually bring a paper-and-ink book, but it's nice to have options. Watching "Go, Diego, Go" episodes on the portable dvd player with my son is not my preferred option. :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Some thoughts on Facebook

I know Facebook is not part of the 27 Things, but I wanted to write about it anyway. For a while, I had actively maintained a Myspace page, but I abandoned that about 2 years ago. I started a Facebook account, but I didn't do much with it until a few months ago. I did the usual joining some silly groups (I even started one--Powells for Powell's Books) and looking for classmates and so on. I friended my sisters and realized I could start "collecting" my cousins when I saw my sisters' friend lists. This is wonderful! My grandmother died in 1998, and so it has been harder to keep track of all the family's doings especially since they are mostly on the East Coast. I miss all the fun of being part of a large Irish Catholic family with regular get-togethers, and Facebook allows me to keep up with the Reilly bunch. For example, Bridget and her family went on a picnic at Lake George, and Erin is on her way to Cape Cod (I'm so jealous!).

I just recently decided to actively look for my cousins on my father's side, and so far, I found and friended my cousin Mike. (That is right--I am related to Michael Myers. What do you expect of Rosemary's baby??) Mike wrote that he is excited to stay in contact with someone from the Myers side of the family and that his brothers are not on Facebook but maybe we can convince them.

I am also friends with some of my grad school buddies. John is probably very relieved I can get some of my passion for the FSU Seminoles out with Erich so he doesn't have to listen to it. He'll tell me that his grad school's football team is undefeated, but that is because they don't have one.

Lastly, I went to a very small Catholic high school for girls, which, like Loretto this year, closed in 1990. My class had only 42 students, and we have never had a reunion. Thanks to one very sweet person, a group for our school was created and I joined it soon after. My mother always said you'd be surprised who you do and who you don't keep in touch with after high school. The girl that I would describe as my best friend during high school blew me off soon after graduation, and the last time I saw her was 16 years ago. Thanks to Facebook, we caught up on our lives and now keep in touch. She even posted photos of us at graduation and with our "gang" at her house that summer. Recently, 3 more of our class joined the group, and I have friended all of them with the hopes that we will get a 25th reunion after all. I also friended a girl in the class ahead of me that rode the same school bus. We traded a lot of "remember the time when?" messages about riding the bus with the Christian Brothers Academy boys and snowball fights with the public school kids when we got to certain red lights. She rightly said that it was hilarious to us, but she would be horrified if her kids experienced bus rides like we did. Still hilarious, though.
Overall, Facebook can be a time suck, but it has greatly reduced the sense of isolation I feel from people back home and for that I am grateful.