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.

Philadelphia Full
Monday, 27 Mar 2006 :-:

What do you do with something you're proud of, but which you know isn't up to snuff? What if you're not up to snuff?

The Philadelphia Fullerine was intended to be a study, a personal project which would help me research the background for the sort of narrative I really wanted to create. But then the ball started rolling, people liked it, and time became very short as I threw myself into scholarship applications last fall. So I showed up at my thesis defense with little more than the preliminary project I had completed a year earlier.

They passed me. Can you believe it? I have some serious doubts about its viability as a quality academic work, but they insisted. And they passed me, more on the novelty of the idea I think, than the quality of the scholarship, which they weren't able to examine in detail (2.5 hours of audio involved much more text than is average for a thesis project).

I have been given suggestions to expand the work, or at least exhibit it in Philadelphia. But I hesitate. I know there are errors and inconsistencies. I know I haven't researched deeply enough, that I rely too often on large quotations and paraphrasing. Display in the city would be to effect claims which I think it cannot sustain and bring it under more scrutiny than I think it could safely bear.

And what good would my project do in a gallery? Rich people would look at it and say, "interesting," while rubbing their chins. Yay.

** * **

So what do I do with 2 years of heavy research and work? I thought about writing a nonfiction book or creating a CD-ROM documentary, but who for? Who cares or needs to know about these things? I certainly can't contribute new knowledge to history, so I must look to the popular audience. I'm writing about a period which is quite important and yet quite ignored, so that helps. But do I really want to write something for adults to skim, nod their heads, and settle back in their chairs, content that they have filled a hitherto empty gap in their understanding?

"I will write for young people," I thought to myself. "And I will make it relevant by following the threads of immigrant life and people's efforts to improve life in the city, in an attempt to wake up young people to the power they have to change things, inform them of the long-term effects of people of the past, and kindle their minds to think, plan, and act wisely in their time."

Then I visited Kenwood. Why would these young adults ever listen to me? What do I have to offer them? Books--any books-- that capture their attention can make a huge difference in their lives. But how can I, the rural bookworm son of a Guatemalan peasant and an American missionary, speak to the hood?

A friend suggested I spend a year as an urban teacher before ever thinking of writing for young adults. It seems like a wise suggestion. But it doesn't answer the question of now. I have almost six months before I resume school. There's time to do something with my research, but only if I act quickly.

Should I really set aside my research until I'm better able to write wisely?