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April 13, 2007

Summary

Vacation Blogging Overview

Over the past semester, blogging has allowed us to remember our most influential trips around the world. We were able to share the culture, history, and people we encountered with the rest of our group members. It was very interesting to look over each other's blogs because they each dealt with a different part of the world; from Asia to Latin America to the Pacific Islands. We described major events from our trips in our blogs and provided links with more information about things we mentioned so that the other group members could learn more about areas that interested them. Also, posting photos helped us visualize everyone's experiences. The descriptions, links, and pictures from each trip made all of us want to go back in time to relive some of our experiences and possibly take a vacation to one of the other locations our group members blogged about.

Blogging was fun and interesting!! It gave us a way to get to know each other better over the semester.

Posted by scheemo at 06:52 PM

del.icio.us Review

del.icio.us!
When given the assignment to bookmark a website on del.icio.us daily, I have no idea what del.icio.us was and did not think it would be useful for anything but this assignment. This belief stayed with me until I downloaded the del.icio.us extension for Mozilla and I had to do research for two final projects.



After downloading the the Mozilla extension, del.icio.us became much easier and much more convenient to use. Instead of flipping between windows or tabs and copying the link to the website you were trying to bookmark, I can now simply click the "TAG" button located on the task bar of Mozilla. I tag a lot more websites now, and for reasons other than that I have to for class.



Also, as the year winds down, I have two final projects to work on and do research for. del.icio.us has allowed me to easily keep track of important sites I have found for my projects. These sites are also easily accessible thanks to the tagging feature.



Unexpectedly, I have found del.icio.us very helpfull and easy to use over the semester. I was skeptical at first, but now use it almost daily because I want to, not because it is required.

Posted by kmquinn at 02:37 PM

del.icio.us Overview

I love del.icio.us!


At first, I didn't like the website. It was such a pain trying to tag websites by going back and forth between del.icio.us and the website I wanted to tag. Then, after our group assignment that we did about Mozilla Add-Ins, I downloaded the del.icio.us add-in, and it became so easy to use!



This semester, I have had used del.icio.us for mainly three different topics. I have been trying to figure out what I am doing this summer, in regards to what classes I would be taking, and if I were to apply for the Intensive Second Year Chinese Program. del.icio.us helped me get to the application and course guides easily when I needed to search for them.



I also used it a lot for my group Blog. I looked up sites relating to China and all of the places that I visited. It was very convenient because people in my group that I traveled with have websites and blogs that have pictures that I used for my own blog (with their permission). I was able to get to the specific page of the site that I wanted using the Mozilla del.icio.us Add-in.



Lastly, I used del.icio.us for my job. I work for a company in downtown Ann Arbor, called DirectIncorporation. We file trademarks and incorporate businesses. I am the only non-lawyer that files tradmarks, and I was just learning as we were assigned the del.icio.us tagging. It has helped me keep track of all the websites that I need to go to to research international classes and look up similar marks that have been previously approved. I have also been starting to tag the Secretary of State websites for certain states so that I can easily do name searches for people who want to start to incorporate. It has been very helpful and has made my job less annoying when I know exactly what website I want to go to without having to Google it, or search through my email for the link that my boss has sent me.



Overall, I have had a good experience with del.icio.us. It has helped me with school and work, and has made being online a little easier for me.

Posted by cdesimon at 02:37 PM

Costa Rica

The End
Overall, my volunteer/adventure month spent in Costa Rica was a blast. The first two weeks were fun and it was really rewarding to do something that helped make a difference. While in the village, Aranjuez, I made some great friends and some unforgettable memories. The second two weeks were also a blast. They gave me a chance to see almost the entire Costa Rican country. The people in Costa Rica are great. I never felt uncomfortable or unsafe. I am very glad I took this opportunity. It was the trip of a life-time!

Posted by kmquinn at 12:02 PM

April 12, 2007

del.icio.us Review

Before taking BIT200, I had heard of del.icio.us, but had never used it. Until this year I did not bookmark sites, even on my own computer. I don't know why I did this, but I just liked typing in sites and keeping everything in my head. As I started to use the Internet more and more, I began bookmarking sites on my computer. My list in Firefox is very long (it takes up the whole screen and I have to scroll through them).
After installing the Del.icio.us add-on by Yahoo!, I immediately found the application and social bookmarking concept useful. The concept is very useful, but more of a convenience than a necessity. I only used my del.icio.us account several times on another computer, as I do not often use another computer besides my own. Even then, I found it more efficient to just type the web address or search for it on google. The only true use I have found for del.icio.us is checking a website to see if software has been updated. I only used this for one program though, as most programs have a built in updating function.
Del.icio.us was interesting to find new sites listed on the main page. I never searched for a specific topic through del.icio.us but just stumbled across some popular tags and found sites interesting. From this I did learn new information regarding new technologies and internet marketing techniques. Many others were just random sites that I have already forgotten. Del.icio.us is useful when you found a specific site awhile ago and must now recall it. You can easily find it by searching your tags only. If I find a site I will check regularly, I either add it to my Firefox toolbar or browser bookmarks because they are more accessible and more efficient that using del.icio.us. The concept is interesting and seems useful, but is truly only worthwhile when rediscovering old sites or randomly browsing other people's tags.

Posted by scheemo at 04:42 PM

April 10, 2007

China

Missing China


I miss China a lot now. Blogging especially makes me miss it. Looking through pictures, trying to find the right photo to describe what I want to describe brings back a lot of memories. It was especially hard to pick only a few things to blog about! Looking through other websites to tag and add to my blog allowed me to catch up with what is going on at the Universities that I left and the places that I visited. I looked through some of the blogs that my friends that traveled with me had posted, and I discovered notes and pictures that I didn't know were taken (both a good and bad thing!). One of the best things was discovering new pictures that other people on my trip had just posted.



The China Video we made to show our trip has a lot of inside jokes and memories. It even shows a video we made about our Wushu attempts. Looking over the pictures from the Great Wall, Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven makes me want to go back. It was an amazing trip and I met a lot of new people, and made some great friends. I am taking Chinese now too because of the trip, and it has been considerably harder this semester compared to last semester. Also, my motivation to take it has been down, because I am not continuously reminded of why I am taking the class, and knowing the importance of the language. Blogging about it has kept me a little more motivated than I would have been if I didn't because it is a little reminder of why I chose to take it in the beginning.

Posted by cdesimon at 09:18 PM

April 09, 2007

Hawai'i

July 3, 1999 - Waipi'o Day

This morning we are heading for the Hamakua Coast where the Waipi'o Valley is. This valley is well protected and not very well known as only 10% of the population of Hawai'i have been in to the valley.

Waipi'o Valley


This was the most picturesque and beautiful scenery I have ever seen. The valley was covered in lush, green vegetation and the ocean was the bluest I have ever seen. The trip down the valley was interesting as the van could not hold everyone, so we had to get out and hike a good distance. Early morning exercise woke everyone up.
In the valley, we visited Cain's Taro Farm. There we planted taros and played mud soccer. Mud soccer is so much fun. Everyone was covered in mud from their head to their toes. After soccer, we weeded another taro field and harvested another field.

Taro Fields


The work was surprisingly hard, but was fun. However, the lunch was disgusting. I had never tried poi before, which is made from taro roots. It is a native Hawai'ian dish and is absolutely disgusting!!! Luckily, lunch also had chicken! After lunch, we went swimming at the beach for a while and then headed back to the hotel. Everyone was exhausted from working the taro fields, but the site of the Waipi'o Valley will remain with me as one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen.

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Posted by scheemo at 05:28 PM

April 06, 2007

Costa Rica

Ocotal
We arrived at Ocotal, on the Pacific cost, around noon. We spent the day at a beach laying out, reading, and swimming. The water was really warm and the sand was black.
It was so nice to finally be at a beach; we had been so busy with the travels that two days relaxing at the beach were just what we needed. Once we were sick of cooling off in the salt water, we headed for the pool for the rest of the day. Around 4pm the rain came and we headed toward our room. After showers, it was dinner time. We went to a local restaurant which was very good. We were planning to go out after dinner, but we fell asleep instead; Costa Rica wore all of us out!

The next day we were up early to go snorkeling. We saw dolphins, stingrays, octopus, squid, and a lot of pretty fish. It was a lot of fun. Once we finished snorkeling we relaxed on the boat a while until heading back to the resort. The rest of the day was spent next to the pool listening to music. It was a perfect last day and ending to our adventure in Costa Rica! The day ended with a beautiful sunset and a fun night hanging out in the Ocotal village.

Posted by kmquinn at 05:20 PM

April 03, 2007

China

FOX
My favorite part of the trip to Tianjin was not staying at Visit Tianjin Medical University! with the other students to learn about Traditional Chinese Medicine, but it was going to a student's home for dinner. We were paired up with a Medical student who toured us around Tianjin and the university. The trip to Tianjin was during our last week there, and so we all wanted it to make it the best week yet. Dr. Yen set us up with families of the students who were in Tianjin, to have dinner with them. My student was a boy who called himself Fox. He was a nice guy, quiet, but excited to show me around. He also was chosen to have some students in my group home with him for dinner



Fox also had two other girls from my group come to his house. His house wasn't far away, but we did need to take a taxi there. We needed to catch a taxi on the main road, so we had to walk to get there. We walked by a park where there was a large TV tower and a pond. Around the pond, they had lots of roller skates lined up, which people could rent for some time. They roller skates looked kind of sketchy, but there were lots of people having fun skating around the park. There were even older men who look like they finished work, and came to the park to have fun. Probably the funniest image was a train of men roller skating together. It was weird from our perspective, but everyone there looked like they were having a great time.







We took a cab to his apartment, which was small, but very well-kept. His mother and father reminded me of my grandparents, and were very excited to see us. They offered us tea, and gave us little presents, which were figurines of babies from their city. They wanted to teach us how to make dumplings. Fox's mom and dad worked together making the dough and filling the dumplings with meat. We even got to try. Dumpling-making is an art. You have to pinch the top of the dumpling about 12 or 13 times, otherwise its bad luck. And the folds have to overlap. They can't just be pinched that number of times. It was really hard. It took us a while to make all the dumplings that we needed to have for dinner, but we played on their piano and had watermelon while talking to Fox and having him translate to his parents.



The meal was the best meal I have had in China. They put other food on the table besides the dumplings, like duck eggs and a type of green leaf. It was all delicious. Fox and I spoke about how my grandfather made homemade wine, and he insisted on having me try some "Chinese wine". I said ok, and he came back with a small bottle of clear liquid. I was very confused. He poured some for each of the American students, and we tasted it, but it had no similarity to grape wine. We didn't realize that it was rice wine, and liquor. We couldn't finish it after one sip, and Fox didn't want to waste it, so he had to drink three glasses of the wine. It was a big mistake, and a cultural misunderstanding. He was so nice to let me try Chinese wine, but our definitions of wine were different. Poor Fox was drunk for the rest of the night.



It was a fun night, though. Meeting his parents and cooking with them was exciting. They even had a dog, which was surprising, and a good thing to break stereotypes that I've heard that Chinese don't have dogs as pets because they eat them. They loved their dog, and it was very friendly. We took pictures at the end of the night, but we didn't want to leave. It was nice to get away from the student/school side of China and see how real families live. It was a good way to end our trip, with a Mom and a Dad that we had been missing for a month.




Posted by cdesimon at 07:53 PM

April 02, 2007

Hawai'i

July 2, 1999 - Waimea/Paniolo Day

Today we walked to the Hulihe`e Palace. This is not a real palace, but was used as a royal summer house and is now a museum with walking tours. It was somewhat boring but also educational about the Hawai'ian royalty and their lifestyle.

Hulihe`e Palace


Next we visited the Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve. Petroglyphs are inscriptions in stone detailing typically stories involving people and animals. These particular ones detailed the traditional Hawai'ian lifestyle.

Petroglyphs


The last stop of the day was in Waimea at the Parker Ranch. This is a historical museum, rodeo and ranch. We watched a 45 minute video about the history of the ranch and Paniolos, who are the Hawai'ian cowboys. We were given a horse drawn carriage. The horses names were King Arthur and Prince Charles. Also, we saw several cowboys training a colt and got to practice lassoing. I was horrible but it was fun to attempt to be a cowboy for a day.

Parker Ranch


That evening we left the Kona side of the Big Island and headed back to the Hilo side to stay in the Hawai'i Naniloa Hotel.

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