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.

Chatting from the Palmer House
Sunday, 9 Nov 2003 :-:

AIM message from Nathan to Patty

From the lobby of the Palmer House, Chicago, at the National Collegiate Honors Conference.

leaving soon
I can almost hear the waves...ballyvaughan...
didn't take a lot of pictures
everything is too lavish
I don't really feel like it
don't want to remember this place with awe
or wonder
want to forget it.
at least the decor
what I will remember is the train with Vicki and Kathleen
talking to the worn teamster on the train
looking out at the city, imagining the people
the lives, the emptiness, and all of the hidden joy that passes unnoticed behind the brick, the stone, the plaster.
where gold and ivory and candelabra illumine century-old paintings
and high arched ceilings decked in intricate designs
of classical art and ornate scrollwork
here, where the railings are painted gold and leaflet designs encircle the ceiling where hang the golden chandeliers
or crystal lights with glass rubies angled, sparkling as they hang above deep red carpets and cushioned walls
these are the city too,
but while it has its appeal
I know it is not real
this is not Chicago
it is an insult to the people who labor in it day after day
in denim or leather coats
snuggled into faded hats
their faces craggy from the days outside in the weather
cleaning the windows of office buildings
or dressed up in a clever green jacket with gold buttons, making us feel like kings and queens and consorts.
Do I deserve the desperate lives of so many striving souls?
This is by far the most luxurious building I have seen in my life
marble and stone and tapestry and carvings inlaid into the walls along the hallways
and above me, arching along the ceiling
while there may be fancy things, shining things carefully illumined by clever lighting
it is not the most beautiful place I have visited here.
While I saw the traditional department stores
the famous places
in one of the oldest, where ancestors wondered to visit the grand escalator
they had a Willy Wonka theme
and huge depictions in paper mache towered over us
it was a department store, but a mall, but everything
the marketing was brilliant
and many delightful things sped by our faces as we slid up and down the moving stairs
but it was not the most beautiful place.
I went to the science and industry museum
where men in coat tails and tuxedos
and women, with sharp, calculated schmoothness wound their way among exhibits with trays, standing behind tables
serving soda, and deep dish pizza, and pasta with mushroom alfredo, and potato chips, tomato chips, and cucumber chips, still warm and soft and crisp
and we walked into a replica of a 1920s town
that other time of lavish beauty
and we sat down in a historical replica of an ice cream parlor
and we ate ice cream
we lolled about on the dimlit, bricked pathway
sipping tea or coffee or hot chocolate
strolling into a silent movie theatre to watch old humorous plays
a second childhood evening
I can almost hear the waves...ballyvaughan...
ecstasy for me, as I enjoyed a beautiful museum
and saw and lived many things from a book-fed mind that I would never have dreamed
my imaginations became true
I saw and went into the ships of old, machines of killing made by German engineers
captured successfully by a brilliant American captain
with no (little?) loss of life
the first vessel captured by the US since 1815
peered into the cracks
looked at the linkages, the diesel engine
wondered if the fleks of rust were from the time it flooded and nearly sank
crawled over the ship, wondered at the wheels and guages and valves that men risked their lives, without knowing how to work the ship, to keep the boat afloat and bring it to America
then got more food
the museum brought some of my most vivid dreams, images from books I especially loved
and turned them into reality. I was a kid again. I have never felt so childishly excited.
but it was not the most beautiful place I saw
I saw the tribune building, an edifice of news made to look like a church
perhaps news is a religion. I don't know.
it was ornate, a cathedral to human information
""tall and noble
with shops on the first floor
but it was not the most beautiful
I went to see the Ba'hai temple
with nine sides, a white tower, elegant, curving, one with nature
while people inside accept all religions but don't let you pray to your own god on the premises. Where they promote the peace of all mankind throughout the world, so long as everyone believes their god.
where they work toward the uniting of all races
for those who follow their prophet.
in a massive chapel, full of nine sided stars and quotes, a high ceiling with ornate designs
it was as I must imagine the elves would have built
but actually here on earth, with fountains and pools and beautiful animals running in-between green hedgerows, overlooking the massive lake
a paneled concret structure, but looking like the tusk of a poached elephant
carved well, which makes one marvel and stare
and never want to look away
but which pokes one's conscience until one cannot look any more.
this was beautiful, but it was not the most beautiful
I visited Joes Bebop Jazz Emporium
where men jumped with joy as they blew liquid ecstasy from their shining saxophones and teased a mood from their guitars
I heard a frenzy of delight
and clapped
and watched the crowd at Navy Pier look up from their Jambolaya and Gumbo and catfish burgers and smile
and I knew we were tourists, and they were just performers, escaping the street where another saxophone played
in the rough winter snow
for a few dollars, for hours on end
inside, the performers stopped and had a beer
we walked to the end of the pier
and to get out of the cold, we walked inside the building one last time
passing through a museum on our way
full of stained glass marvels
of kings and popes and saints and knights and landscapes
illuminated, translucent, shining, glowing with vibrant color
an aged brilliance
and I saw encased in iron and lead the imaginations of many beautiful days
and was lifted some, perhaps, and encouraged by their simplicity and intricacy and glow
I marvelled and remembered that I want to make stained glass windows someday
I can almost hear the waves...ballyvaughan...
but these were not the most beautiful things I saw
I saw other places, hawaiian restaurants where smiling girls in flower print dresses handed profs tall beers underneath dimly lit bamboo umbrellas
and served sweet and sour, and wonton, and butterfly sauce
but it was a dim place
I saw silver and servers, and fancy men and women
I saw the grime, heart the clanking train and the blank stare it beats into Chicago's soul
but nestled in the loop
between the department stores
the malls,
and a huge music store with discs and instruments and expensive music
trod over by overcoat shells with fancy shoes
perched the greatest building in Chicago
all red, a deep brick hue
with a roof of copper green
and four owls guarding the corners
it has wings, it has scrollwork
but there it is, alongside the thoroughfare
with open doors on all sides
lining the street with openings
anyone can enter
and they do
women in suits and oversized laptop bags
and men in wool hats, grizzled by time, with faded denim jackets and grubby sneakers
can enter this building
it has eight floors
and they can travel with impunity
and even take things from it for free
and the things that sit in that great vault
are for the healing and for the growing, and for the freeing of so many lost people
of so many people
the ones on the street that struggle for the warmth of a free starbucks
and the ones that chain their lives into a box that looks like a huge computer, and perhaps it is
for they run in circles, like electrons rushing around at the speed of light to do the bidding of others
to build these ornate places for people to stroll around in wonder
but this place
it frees them
if they will only take what is inside
there are guards
but they are there to ensure that everyone can take from the great and blessed vaults that they keep;
There is something for everyone
and everything is free
that's right, Patty
it's the marvel of kings and queens and stable boys turned millionaires
the second greatest marvel of life
the Chicago Public Library
sorry for talking so long, but it needed to be said to someone, anyone, and you seemed the fitting person.
have a great day, Patty.