Peace Out! Tuesday, May 8 2007 

So, this is my last Blog post as a Clio student and boy are my arms tired!! I think the new PhD site looks pretty dang good and I want to give a big “shout out” to Tad for busting his rear to put together an awesome design, I am just glad I could be a small part of it. Check it out here and be sure to check out your own page PhDs!!!

I also want to share some excerpts from my self-evaluation with you guys:

My time in History 697, otherwise known as “Clio II,” can best be described as frustrating. Having said that, I do feel I have improved. My coding and designing skills were, on a scale of 1-10, a one and zero, respectively, before entering this class, and now might be closer to a five and two, respectively. Still not great, but a significant jump and serviceable for my needs – creating a website/online syllabus for future classes, putting images and documents online and doing very minimal clean-up to them, Blogging, etc.

My best participation came in discussion settings where I am much more comfortable. I always attempted to keep things light, even when I was frustrated at my lack of abilities. Laughter and poking fun at one’s self are always better than self-defeat.

Blogging, on the other hand, was something I took to very easily, if for no other reason than I like to talk and ramble on about most subjects. Commenting was also very enjoyable as it gave us an opportunity to have two conversations running concurrently. Again, this is something I intend to use in the future, both personally and professionally.

For the final project, I decided to take on a task both important for me personally and also important for the Department and my fellow PhD students. And, most of all, I went to my strengths, which, I am sad to report, do not include web design. They do, however, include organization, pestering and now, thanks to Clio II, some simple coding ability. After two weeks of work, including four almost non-stop days, I was able to provide Tad with an individual biography for every PhD student, written in XHTML format so as to ease his workload. In a two-person design team, I think my role as Information Architect is an important one and one that fits my skill set nicely.

So, I hope to see everyone often over the next few years (and beyond), luckily my other pet project, The GMU Society of Historians will allow us to do so. And what do you think of that name? It was Misha’s idea and it has a GREAT acronym (G-MUSH)!!

And one more thing, one of my last official acts in Clio II was to get my Design Assignment validated, every single page of it! I am very proud, check it out here (I also fixed the nav functions on the embedded pages as well).

See ya…


Final Project mussings Saturday, May 5 2007 

Well, since I did not post last week and was scouring John’s Blog to find the web address for his final project for inclusion in his bio, I decided I could do a little Final Project update of my own.

Part of the reason I did not Blog last week was because this is my week to shine! As the Information Architect (that is an awesome title, I tell you what…), the bio-creation is right up my alley. In fact, I have discovered two very important things this semester in Clio II:

  1. I am no designer, no matter how hard I try, I just don’t have the eye for it or the knowhow to cover that up with great coding skills; and
  2. I am organized to a fault and, while I may not always follow through on my organization, I can have a lot of things going on at once and still remain fairly put-together (at least scholastically…if I could only apply this to my personal life, whoa!)

And my experience with other academics over the past five or so years tells me that many of them do NOT possess this second skill, so I must embrace it and use it to my best abilities to get ahead in our biz.

That is all for now, I shall post again when I am done with everyone’s bio’s, which should be no later than midday on Monday so Tad can take over the re-designing and addition of the individual pages. But, I will tell you that doing the bio’s in xhtml format is making me think like that and it is a bit frightening…

Happy coding everyone…Steve

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