"Live to learn and learn to live, John. You have to learn how to live, and if that is the case, then you really have to live your life to learn."
Remnants of my 2nd grade teacher Ms. Morris are creeping back into my head. Though, it isn't all bad. I've actually been putting her advice from a while back to good use, as of late (or at least I'm beginning to recognize it). So, here are a few places that I love to learn from here on the Internet.
LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE. I'm not kidding. You can learn the basics of various languages for free! Another sweet perk about LiveMocha is that you can submit certain writings and speech quizzes to be graded by native speakers. The community is very honest and everyone there is working for the same cause: the expansion of communication. I'm starting German and Russian (I'm also doing French, but that's a little unfair as it is quite a breeze). Only downside is that after you learn the basics, you have to pay for later lessons. But please, don't let that stop you from bridging the gap from your lips to mine.
My uses: learning languages, getting to know other cultures
I'm friends with many of you already on GoodReads. It's such a great website for tracking what you and your friends (or complete strangers) have read, are reading and will read. It could just be the fact that I have been learning from books since I was younger, but I see GoodReads as a great place to expand your intellect. Not to mention, the community circles there are phenom. You can win books from their contests, swap books with other readers, and attend book readings in your surrounding areas. My favorite is being able to communicate with some of the book clubs that are online; some of these people are geniuses. And for those of you that are reading this that are like me and want to know what geniuses read for fun, GoodReads is the place to be.
My uses: keeping track of what I'm reading, giving me a space to talk about the books that I've read, paying attention to what others are reading
Learn. To. Do. It. Yourself. It's so much easier with a website like this. You could learn how to make your own webshow, how to plan a budget, or how to remove coffee stains from your dentures. It's useless to say how much information this website has; you will waste a lot of time trying to figure it out. Another cool thing about the website is that they're constantly looking for new people to offer 'How to' knowledge, both in written and video form. So, if you're looking to kill some time and have some knowledge to share, act like an old friend did at my junior prom and GIVE IT UP.
My uses: exactly what their motto states: 'how to do just about everything'
WHY DOESN'T EVERY UNIVERSITY DO THIS?! There are 1900 classes to pull information from, from audio/video mediums to plain ol' black-and-white text. Much of the course information is from the last few years, but if you have never had exposure on a topic, they will provide you with a great amount of information (even if it isn't as up-to-date as you would like it to be). Though, many of them are also intellectually relevant today. Go learn some physics! Go learn some cell and molecular biology! Go learn some moral psychology!
My uses: learn MIT-level material, comparing the education that I'm getting from DePaul with that which I am teaching myself
This one is sort of new: the University of Reddit is a user-teacher, user-student initiative that has so much potential. Do you know a bit about a certain topic and have ever had a hankering to teach a class? This is the perfect opportunity for you. What if you've always wanted to take a class, but you could never find the time or the extra money it costs to do so? This is the perfect opportunity for you. I've been a Reddit member for a while now, and within the depths of their hilarious community, there lies the brains of intellectuals. Such a good idea. I've got two classes that started today, and I'm thrilled. Go sign up.
My uses: making sarcastic jokes on funny posts, taking note of what certain people feel is popular, supporting people that need it, laughing
While I am going to go from university to university in the future, I am going to do so with a confidence that I am genuinely in a place that I can put some deep focus on living. Even when I'm on break for summer or winter, it is good to remember that the mind doesn't stall. Well, that is when it isn't glued to the television or a video game. But a little mindless fun isn't too bad from time to time; I've learned so much from so many games (I love you, dot hack series).
I'd love to give that Ms. Morris a big ol' hug, and if the internet ever takes the form of something, I've got dibs on getting my arms around it too.
My parents met in August of 1989. They fell for each other, hard, but there were complications. They were both just teens. My mother was a senior in high school, and my dad had just graduated and enlisted in the U.S. Army. My parents had a rendezvous embrace before my dad had a chance to go to basic training, and almost 9 months later, I was born! Despite the fact that my mother was never able to finish high school, she has never regretted her decision to become a teenage mother. My parents were wed on January 18th, 1990.
The year was 1990: rap had just begun to spring into action, synth pop and hair bands were at their worst and grunge started a revolutionary new chapter in the world of popular culture. I had no idea that I would even care about music at all, but fate does what it wants with us. After living two years with just me to take care of, my parents had another child, the best sister in the world, Kelli Rai. In 1994, my parents packed up their stuff and headed towards Kentucky, the state where my dad was stationed. We lived there happily for about a year or so until my father was transfered to Texas. We packed up and moved again.
While in Texas, I met people that have changed the course of my life. Just to name a few: Brittany Gile, Joshua Smith, Jessica Allison, Nancy Allison, Miss Esqueda. I even got a new sibling out of the move: my awesome little brother, Jim Troy! The nights were hot, and the spirit of my youth roamed freely. After living there for a good 4 years, we were then stationed to somewhere unthinkable: Germany. I was depressed to leave at first, but my family found out that the Allison household, our closest family friends, would be stationed not far from where we were for the 3 years we were supposed to be set there. Just knowing that we would know someone there helped me greatly.
Germany was the place where I really grew. Being exposed to such a wonderfully off-beat culture than the one that I had been used to up until then was such a shock. I like to think that it was a shock for the best, though. Some of the people that I'll always remember from there are Jake Purdy, Shabron Dorsey, Marina Ledesma and the dear town of Schweinfurt! I have had the best of memories there that I wouldn't dare trade for anything in the world! The good times have never stopped rolling while I was there. It was honestly like magic. I learned how to be magical, to be alive, in Germany. I owe a lot of my life to the years that I spent there.
Once we lived out our days in Germany, we moved back to the United States and chose Alamosa, Colorado as our hometown. We've lived here for the last 6 years or so, and I have grown a bit tired of seeing the same old place, day after day. So, I have packed up and moved to Chicago. I figure that a change of pace is what is best for me; it's what I've known my whole life. I am a student at DePaul University as off Fall 2008.
If you are ever in Chicago while I am here, hit me up and I'll totally set up dinner plans for us or something! I can promise to show you a fun time! You know you want to have dinner with a total stranger (not that I am; honestly, what you see is what you get). I am not too creepy, but I am neurotic a little bit. Buzznet has a wonderful way of weeding out the creepies. Anywho, the offer is out there for whenever; all you have to do is ask.
In closing, I have developed a mindset of pure happiness and optimism. If you are ever down or need someone to talk to, I am just about always here. Drop me a note, shoot me a message, hit me up with a comment: I am a listener. Through and through, I want to make things more cheerful. Give me a chance, and I can make you smile like you never have before. :*)
Anything and everything!
*Cole Porter*, 20 Mark Helga, 3OH!3, 8 Inch Betsy, AFI, Amy Winehouse, Annie Lennox, Athens Boys Choir, Bananas in Pyjamas, Beck, Bella Ruse, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Big Splashes, Breaking Out Into Song From Words Someone Said In Normal Conversation, Brian Slade and Curt Wild, Bright Like Japan, Britney Spears, Buddy Nielsen, Chaise Marcel, Chiodos WILL suck without Craig Owens, Chris Lowe, Cobra Starship, Colin Healy and the Jetskis, DJ Fierce Tease, Diamanda Galas, Dirty Diamonds, EVERYTHING IS RUINED, Early November, Enrique Iglesias, Erasure, Fall Out Boy, FoFoQUEIRAS (Official), Fox Elipsus, Gabe Saporta, Head Automatica, Hey Champ, John Goldman's QUADRANGLE, Kid Color, Kings Of Leon, La Dolce Vita, Liar vs Lawyer, Lilith Fair, Lionlimb, Lollapalooza, Lucky Dragons, MIA, MIKA, Madonna, Makeshift Prodigy, Marat 14k, Mark Hoppus, Mary and the Boy, Michael Jackson, Moneypenny, Muse, Nancy FullForce, Neil Tennant, New Kids On The Block, Nobody's Stranger, O CHILDREN, Panic! At The Disco, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Plain White T's, Putter Sanford and the Gang, Queen, Queer Control Records, Radiohead, Reckless Place, Schoolyard Heroes, Shakespeare's Dead, Sixteen Candles Band, Space Cowboy, Sum 41, THE BIGGER LIGHTS, Taking Back Sunday, The, The Audition, The Cab, The Clash, The Frantic, The Gay Blades, The Hood Internet, The Names That Spell, The Rapture, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Wombats, Trigger Fish, Twin Atlantic, Tyson Ritter, Unmade Beds Original Soundtrack, What Is Life For?, Yann Tiersen (official), You Me At Six, Your Secret Identity, Zebo, becoming a fan of things, katastrophe
American Bear, Berlin International Film Festival, DAVID LYNCH INTERVIEW PROJECT, Dr, Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, MOON, New Moon: The story of a girls choice between Beastiality and Necrophilia., OUTVIEW FILM FESTIVAL, Riot Acts: Flaunting Gender Deviance in Music Performance, Squirt, Taking Woodstock, The 95th: The Iron Men of Metz, The Boat That Rocked, The Last Airbender, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Wintress, Toy Story, Turning your beds into bunk beds so that there is more room for activities, Unmade Beds, Velvet Goldmine, Watchmen, against a trans narrative, illegale scheisse
Favorite TV Shows:
BlahGirls, Caprica, Dexter, Doctor Who, Doctor Who News Page, Doug, Drawn Together, Everybody Loves Hypnotoad, Family Guy, Glee, I Love Lucy, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Just Shoot Me!, LABOR BEAT, My Boys, Neighborhood Watch @theHollywood Web Series, Official CHUCK Page, Original Pokémon, Rick and Steve, Rocko's Modern Life, Saying, Scrubs, Showtime the Show, Smallville, South Park, Spongebob's face when he figured out Squidward likes Krabby Patties., Squidbillies, The Nanny, True Blood, Unsolved Mysteries, queer as folk
A Tale Of Two Cities, Catch 22, Great Expectations, Hearts In Atlantis, Jack The Ripper: Portrait of a Killer, Night, Number The Stars, Papa, Pride and Prejudice, The Picture of Dorian Gray