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.

A Legacy of Good Faith
Monday, 6 Jun 2005 :-:

"Stay up here, Nathan," she said.

The dinner had been marvelous: salmon and steak, salad, soup, and desserts. I had eaten a piece of carrot cake slathered with icing. But now it was the awards ceremony, and they had recognized the scholarship students first.

Kevin, Kyle, and I gave our short words of thanks and shook hands with the faculty members of the 2005 Floyd M. Riddick Practicum in Parliamentary Procedure. But while they walked back to their seats, Mary Smith called me back.

While I stood in front of the group, she talked about the life of Hugh Cannon. As she finished her words, she opened up a thin white box. Inside was a gavel.

J. Nathan Matias, Hugh Cannon Memorial Scholar 2005, at the Floyd M. Riddick Practicum of the American Institute of P:arliamentarians

I cried. As the first Hugh Cannon Memorial Scholar, they were giving me more than a gavel. They were giving me the trust of an honorable legacy.

** * **

I have never placed great value in objects and awards. But this piece of wood carries with it much more than splinters of a dead tree.

Hugh Cannon died in January, 2005. He had paid for my first opportunity to formally study parliamentary procedure two years ago. His book on procedure remains a great inspiration.

Upon his death, the Charleston City paper said this about Hugh Cannon:

Longtime public education advocate and School Board vice chair Hugh Cannon died last week at the age of 73. A lifelong Carolinian, Cannon graduated from Davidson College before earning degrees from Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar no less, and Harvard Law School. A former assistant to then-N.C. Gov. Terry Sanford in the 1960s, he served as that state’s lead budget officer before coming to Charleston as the vice president of Palmetto Ford. He was serving his second consecutive term on the School Board and was reportedly mulling a run for its chairmanship when he passed away. Cannon, described in the past as a “limousine liberal” in this paper, was a true rarity — a rich white guy who cared deeply and fought heartily for the educational prospects of the poor. And that alone can get a camel through the eye of a needle. Godspeed, Hugh.

Hugh was the parliamentarian of the DNC for 20 years; he was also the parliamentarian of the NEA for many years. During this time, he revolutionized the field, making the practice of convention procedure efficient and fair, while keeping well within the delineated rules and tradition of law.

What does one do with something like that? There is only one choice for me: make the most of what I have been given and carry on the tradition of a man who is known for his kindness, fairness, and excellence.

** * **

It seems like my comments on politics have not been unnoticed.

Don't worry, William. I can guarantee you that as a Christian, as a person who tries to live a fair, honorable life, and as a parliamentarian, I am dedicated to both the ideals and careful practice of true democracy.

I gave a lecture on Thursday (photos to come shortly) about the need for fairness, good faith, and good will in democratic practice. I would be the worst of hypocrites if I didn't hold these ideals very close to my life and action. This is no equivocation. It's the truth.

This, I believe, is the sort of person Hugh Cannon was. It is the sort of person I hope to remain.