Day 6 – My Ideal Writing Space


My assignment for day 6 in Writing101  is called “The space to write.”  The description for the assignment is to write about our writing habits.  Sounds interesting…

Location

I sometimes go to coffee shops when I want to write.  The desired coffee shop should be laptop friendly.  (Next paragraph explains why.)  Another good writing location for me is at my apartment.

Required Equipment

  • Wireless Internet – I am an internet junky and wifi is really important to me.
  • warm beverage – whether it is coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, I like to have something to drink.  While water will do, I prefer warm beverages.  I’m not sure why.
  • laptop – while some sketch notes on paper, I use my laptop for writing.
  • power cord – you can’t bring that laptop without the power cord.

Ideal Physical Space

The ideal physical space will allow me to use all the required equipment above.  It will also be quiet enough for reflective thought.  Isn’t it interesting how sometimes you can be in a public space and still feel alone.  My ideal physical space will not have many distractions, so I can focus on writing.

Writing Habits

Unfortunately, my writing habits are not good.  When I started this blog, I would only write when inspiration struck or something happened.  Sometimes weeks went by before my blog was updated.

As some of my writing101 and blogging101 classmates may have noticed, my blog posts tend to be a little blunt at times.  I guess that is part of my writing style.  I get to the point real fast, but that doesn’t always tell a good story.

Reader Feedback

Because of this Writing101 course, you know a little more about me and my writing habits.  In order to improve the blog, I would like to have some feedback from my readers.  What would you like me to write about in the future?

Blogging U. Day 15: Create a New Posting Feature


This is my last assignment at Blogging U’s Blogging 101 course.  On day 15, my assignment is to create a new posting feature:

One of the best ways to inspire loyalty is to publish regularly. And the best ways to make sure you publish regularly is with a recurring feature — it’s like making a pact with yourself and your audience.

Today’s task: develop a regular feature for your blog.

Why do this?

  • Creating a regular feature means your readers have something specific to wait for at regular intervals — it gives your blog a hook.
  • It’s always a good idea to work on healthy blogging habits, and regular features help you stay on track.

Media Mondays

My new feature for my blog is “Media Mondays.”  On Mondays, I will feature an epilepsy related video, podcast, photo, or pinterest pin.  As I become more comfortable with cameras and photography, I may decide to post my own videos.

If you have other suggestions for regular features, do not hesitate to leave a comment below.  I love to get feedback from readers.

Technology & Counting Absence Seizures


In my blog post “Counting My Absence Seizures,” I talked about my inability to count my absence seizures.  I want to be as independent as possible.  Once I saved up some money, I wanted to buy the technology to actually start trying this.

I need some advice on the technology part.  I have a digital camera that can record videos (max length of video is 25 min) to a memory card.  I was hoping to save money and use my current digital camera, but buy a memory card that can store larger videos.  Is this possible or is this project going to be more complicated than I thought?  If I ask someone at a store, I feel that they will try to get me to spend as much money as possible.

My idea is to occasionally record myself for a length of time doing normal activities at about the same time of the day (such as:  7pm).  I could then look at the videos to count my absence seizures.  I also want to keep the videos just in case they would be needed at a later time.

Higher Education Guide: Online vs. Traditional Universities


If physically getting to the college/university is a challenge, you may want to consider online universities.  Many universities are able to offer quality degree programs online.  This is especially helpful for people who often have transportation problems.

Benefits of Attending Online Universities

Just like any traditional university, you want to make sure that it is accreditted and has a quality program.  According to http://www.onlineuniversities.net/pros-and-cons.html, there are many benefits to attending an online university:

There are definite benefits to attending school online. For instance, online universities offer greater convenience than their physical counterparts. Classes can be taken at whatever time works for your schedule. This flexibility makes it easier to get an education while still working a full-time job. It also allows you to go back to school even if you’re living abroad or far away from a traditional college or university.

Some students may find online courses to be more personal and interactive than courses taken in a large classroom setting. A recent study conducted for the United States Department of Education found that students in online classes performed better than students in face-to-face, on-campus classes. However, online classes require different skills than traditional community college or university courses. The successful completion of an online class requires, at the very least, a high degree of self-motivation, a quiet place to work, a reliable Internet connection, and basic computer skills.

Are you going to get help when you need it? Do you have access to tutors or the instructor when you need them to ask questions?  Trying to explain how to solve a math problem is easier face-to-face than online, but it can be done.  You just need to make sure you have excellent communication skills.

Cons of Attending Online Universities

According to http://www.onlineuniversities.net/pros-and-cons.html, there are many benefits to choosing the traditional university route and several reasons not to get your degree online.  Since this section is rather long, I will summarize the main points below.  Feel free to go back to the link above to read more.

  1. Employers are slowly beginning to accept online degrees.
  2. If you earn an online degree in any major area of study that usually requires hands-on lab time, like engineering or the physical sciences, your degree will most likely be seen as insufficient in the job market.
  3. A web-based education is most valuable when it adds to skills you already posses.
  4. Online for-profit universities are not cheap.
  5. Online classes will need about 20 hours of work each week. Getting an education is a serious commitment and requires a high degree of self-discipline.

A Third Option

Some traditional universities offer online degree programs.

 

Back to the “Success Guide to Higher Education for the Chronically Ill

 

Denial and Broken Computers


Last week my computer started showing signs of a serious problem.  It was not until then when I realized how dependent I was on my little laptop.  I was working on last-minute stuff for my students and had just completed grading for one class.  At that moment, I still had a mountain of papers for another class still waiting to be graded.  I took my laptop to the nearest tech support that I could think of, and left it in their capable hands.

Denial?

I told myself “It will be fine. I can always use the computers at work.”  They will have it fixed in a day, and I will be back to my same routine.  In the meantime, I will concentrate on getting grades in for the end of the semester.  My laptop had been extremely convenient in times like this.  I could always work from anywhere.  I was not tied to a desk.  My laptop also had meditation music on it that I often use in stressful situations.

Now I was tied to a desk, because I needed to use my work computers (desktops).  With searching for a job, grading papers on finals week, contacting students,  completing paperwork, and waiting for the phone call about my computer, the stress was really mounting.  I started getting really intense headaches, and carried Advil with me all the time.  Despite all the stress, it kept me distracted from the fact that my laptop was getting fixed a lot slower than anticipated.  I dropped it off on Wednesday and didn’t get a phone call until Friday about the problem.  They told me it was a corrupt operating system.  Alright!  They know the problem.  They will have it fixed fast.  Right?

Joy!

I was starting to feel a little despondent and listless on Saturday.  It was my third whole day without my laptop.  I know this may seem a tad dramatic for some people, but my computer has files on it that I need for work and job hunting.  They are in a convenient and accessible place on my hard drive.   I am not in a financial position to buy another computer.  These negative thoughts were starting to drag me down.  Fortunately, I made plans to see Godzilla with a group of people.

You cannot imagine my joy when they said that my computer was ready yesterday!  My apologies for not updating the blog earlier, but this past week has been extremely busy.

 

Do I need more social media?


Does dragonandrose need more social media?

Are you upset that twitter is the only social media site linked to this blog?  If so, please voice your opinion here!  I’m sure that I have missed quite a few social media sites, so please type any other suggestions in the comments section or in the ‘other’ option in the poll.

 

My International Visitors


Map of visitors since February 2012
Map of visitors since February 2012

While checking my stats page on WordPress today, I noticed a shocking fact.   Since February 2012, this blog has had visitors from 27 different countries!    It is very encouraging to think that so many people from so many different backgrounds are trying to find out more about epilepsy.