Dec 1, 2010

While researching for info for my ID project

I was searching for a ready-made, short video to embed in my training, and I found this cautionary "tail" by the CEO of Identity Finder.  I thought it was interesting, and sent a link to my son.

Then. . . for some reason I went to my Facebook page, and there was a message for me that my Facebook account had been accessed from some location they didn't recognize!   I followed the steps to see where the location was; it was in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. !!!!!

So now, I'm in the process of changing all accounts that use that same userid and password.  Kinda funny these two things happened within hours of each other.  They say, "God protects fools and children."  But, they also say, "God helps those who help themselves."  (my apologies to the agnostics and atheists that read this).

My point - be safe. Vary your log-ins, especially on sites where money is concerned!  Oh, and Identity Finder has a free, scaled-down version (finds passwords and CC numbers only). Check it out

May 2, 2010

What have I learned?

The "biggest" thing I learned during this class is that the up and coming generations are all essentially "visual learners." You hear about all the different learning styles (kinesthetic, auditory, etc), but with all the video games, DVDs, internet surfing, etc, the world is becoming more visual.

Now, while that was the item that struck me most forcefully, it wasn't the only thing this class has taught me. For one thing, I got over my blogging anxiety. I've tried to start a blog two or three times, but never got past registering - something about opening my inner thoughts to the world for condemnation or praise is pretty scary.

Randy's and my class presentation was thrilling. Not so much the working together part, that was hard, but the subject matter. I am sooo excited about the possibilities for learning that already exist in videogames. Here is just one site that exemplifies my point. I learned so much about educational gaming.

Some of the learning objectives in this class covered things I already new - either because I am a grad student or because of my age. Occasionally I had to remind myself of those things, so even "rehashing" material was helpful.

The last thing I experienced (that I will discuss) is how inter-related all my classes this term were! In addition to this class, I also took Media Planning & Production and Distance Education. All three classes built upon each other - I guess one could say they "scaffolded" (a term I learned in D.E.). That is each class helped me learn parts and supported me with modeling experiences that eventually helped me learn the material for all the classes more thoroughly!

I've enjoyed the class discussions, the students, the instructor, and even the work. I wish I hadn't had as many personal challenges so that the quality of my work would have better reflected the extent of my learning. See you again!

Apr 1, 2010


I'm finally finishing my midterm, yikes!!!!, and I googled "can something ugly be art" to see what I would get. Along with the usual suggestions of how to turn something ugly into something beautiful - which is not what I wanted, I stumbled upon this blog (

Isn't this amazing?! Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder!

The pictures are beautiful images, full of color, and of the type to make you wonder how they were taken. Yet, when you think about what they are pictures realize just how ugly they are.

This is a great example of how a person really needs to be visually literate to understand what they are seeing. If I were completely illiterate, I might want copies of these pictures to put on my walls. After all they would make great modern art - imagine them on a wall framed in simple black frames - gorgeous. But what I would be celebrating is the destruction of my world. How sad.

You know, I just realized, I took some similar pictures during my trip to Nicaragua last spring. I should find those and post them as well. Of course, right now they are packed and unorganizedly placed in my storage facility. One cannot complain when one has to rely on the kindness of others,... but there should have been a little more organization to the placement of boxes. Oh well, I'll be in a house and out of this motel by the end of April - I hope!

My question is: don't people just get this automatically. Do people really need to be educated just to read? It's sad to say, that the answer to my question is probably yes, people do need to be educated.

Oh well, comme ci, comme ca (excuse the lack of diacritical marks)

Mar 22, 2010

Back to the beginning!

I'm alive! Between sickness, moving, selling my house, getting robbed (last night), wrecking a truck I rented (Fri a.m., sick as a dog) - it's been a hell of a Spring Break!

Through it all fonts keep coming to the fore! Fonts seem to be the visual element I notice most. Why is that? Is it because I have spent hundreds of hours creating lettering as a draftsman before computers? I have amassed a huge quantity of fonts and spend quite a lot of time deciding which font will work best for a particular document.

Apparently, according to a radio program on the BBC ( fonts operate as a "secret language." All sorts of emotional and subliminal messages are sent by the fonts we choose. "The fonts we dress our words in are arguably as much of a fashion statement as the clothes we wear" (Peacock, BBC Science, 2005).

Another video (pretty funny) I found on the same blog. Here it is - (Wish I could figure out how to embed the video right into this blog - perhaps when I feel better.) I wonder if I'll make it to school tomorrow?

One last picture I found - this says it all about perception. I'm gonna post it to our WebCT place when I'm feeling feistier!

Mar 1, 2010


We discussed advertising and perception a lot during the past few meetings. I watched the assigned video with my teenager; I think it opened his eyes even though he did not want to admit it.

I was confused by the posting with LaRae. My perception was that she was trying to provoke me with her first comments, then the conversation degenerated to weird places.

You challenged us to post visually. I realized that I do not want to do that because of the way I look to myself.

It's funny - my self-perception is tied up in all the garbage that we talked about in advertising, but yet I'm glad to not have to worry about all of that. At least I profess to not worry, but when it comes to brass tacks I guess I'm still caught up in all of that.

Jan 31, 2010


I've been thinking a lot about perception during the last two weeks. This was spurred by the reading assignment, of course, but it has proven to be quite illuminating.

First I started ruminating about people's perceptions of others. There's a man in California who has some sort of weird perception of me, based upon a woman whom I politely refer to as "trailer trash" and the apparent rambling of my dearly loved, maiden aunt (which I don't believe were originally thought by her). NO MATTER.

The point is that, just as our textbook says, changing initial perceptions is an extremely difficult task.

Next, I received the email that was shown in my previous post. This directly relates to the way people visually perceive things when there is no other information. Would either of us be any different? Not knowing that the violin player was someone "important," would we have stopped the progress of our busy lives to stand and listen to this person. We would likely have considered as a more important question, whether or not we had/or wanted to part with the money we would feel obligated to give for staying and listening.

And lastly, I went to the NPR homepage to look for "Wait, Wait,..." and I saw an essay about time perception. Here is another whole different type of perception!

So we now have visual, psychological, and time; I imagine there are also auditory and tactile perceptions. Each of them interact with each other. For example, if we succumbed to the alluring violin recital, time would fly, and perhaps the person we were headed to meet would perceive that we were not responsible. Three distinct types of perception that work together to creat our lives.

Very interesting...

Jan 26, 2010

Something that came in my email

We have been reading about perception in our textbook, and when this came in my email I thought it was very appropriate. I checked with, and they confirm it as true. It was part of an experiment

PERCEPTION. . . Something To Think About. . .

Washington, DC
Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and
started to walk again.

10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short
while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was
there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

The questions raised:
*In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
*Do we stop to appreciate it?
*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made. How many other things are we missing?

Jan 13, 2010

Week 1, Jan. 13, 2010

Well, I read chapter 1 last night. It was interesting to me to see the similarities between visual and verbal literacy.

Then, while looking at the quotes from Jerrold Kemp in our textbook (he was my Instructional Technology professor at San Jose State in 1984), I stumbled upon references to choosing fonts for Powerpoint presentations.

This morning, while waiting at a stoplight, I noticed the fonts used on the Walgreens, Historical Society museum, and a local diner. This led to an "aha" moment. The fonts chosen by these businesses subliminally reflected a great deal about their identity. Walgreen's is a friendly, rounded, almost happy looking font, the museum had a font that looked as if it had stepped out of the 1800s, and the diner had a feminine script for the owner's name (Dell) coupled with a regular Times type font saying "Diner."

I have never thought about this before, but I imagine this is what visual literacy is all about.