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.

(n) and counting
Sunday, 16 May 2004 :-:

Friday, as I jogged the Conewago Trail, I recalled a very old memory, perhaps my earliest. It is a reminder of who I have been, and it reveals who I have become.

I remembered the first time I counted to 1000.


I am an insomniac. I always have been. Over the years, I developed ways to make myself sleep well. But I was not always so disciplined. I used to think at night.

I used to enjoy thinking at night.

Thinking to 1000 wasn't too hard. It had just never occurred to me. I knew my numbers -- dad made sure of that with his HP calculator and talk of MIT for me someday. High hopes for a poor immigrant from the third world. Can you blame him? It was the eighties. The Apple II was 9 years old when I was born. When Richard Stallman started GNU, I was one year old.

I don't think I was old enough for school at that time, and I remember very little from the experience. I do remember laying back on the bed and trying to count. Bedtimes were so annoying; at other times I tried to do useful things in bed. I learned to whistle in bed.

I have never had a good memory; too focused I suppose. I always try to clear my mind to think effectively. Memories are just distractions. Sure, I have my set of accepted memories, just like anyone else, but I have blocked out much of my past so I could focus on the present.

But I started counting. 1...2...3...4...5...6.. and onward. I lost my count a few times and started over again a few times. Then I got there, slowly, patiently. 999....1000! I remember being surprised and pleased. I grinned. Until that night, I didn't know all the numbers up to a thousand, but I knew the rules that governed counting to a thousand. By following the rules persistently, I was able to speak numbers I had never even heard.

I was excited like I rarely have been since. Bursting with joy, I could hardly bundle up my excitement in the dark doorway that led to my parents' bedroom. The door was open, as usual, but I didn't dare wake them up. I knew about the black phlegm in the sink, phlegm my dad coughed up after working night shift. At that age, I didn't know what work was, but I knew what it did to my father. I didn't dare wake him up. But I was too excited to sleep.

I stood next to the bed for a very long time, quietly, patiently waiting for someone to wake up so I could tell them. Mom thinks I waited there hours. I do not remember.

She turned over, startled. My face was inches from her pillow.

"Mommy! I just counted to a thousand!" I exclaimed. "Here, listen!"

I don't think I had a chance to recite. It was really a bit too much, after all. Late at night, and my parents' worked all day. Sesame street was one thing, but a thousand?


Why did I count to a thousand at so young an age? Why can't I find such simple pleasure in mental efforts as I did before, laying back in the dark, counting to an unimaginably high number? Why do I think that selling my brain cells is good? Why am I no longer as polite as I was 15-17 years ago, unwilling to wake my parents, but unwilling to keep a slice of joy to myself?

I may be productive. I can now chomp hard on the bit they give me and follow my profs' and my employers' leads. Sometimes, they're challenging and fun, like my current job. But why must I now distract myself when I go to bed?

When I come to the highest number: 1000, 2000, 40,000, what next? Infinity stretches forever beyond. My efforts just remind me of my own futility.

But where are the childhood dreams?