Hindsight

Looking back on the year so far…

It’s the end of the quarter and I haven’t been short on words for the past ten weeks so I won’t be easy on you now. Throughout this period I have written three WordPress posts, one written story, one audio story, two video stories and now you’re reading my portfolio piece.

I have learned a lot more than I expected this quarter, covering technology like VR, reading deep into budgetary documents on educational spending in Colorado (dry) and venturing out of town to judge the operations of CPW.

Hopefully, I will continue to Post here, I plan on uploading my marketing portfolio here as well so there’s some future content to “look forward to.”

 

VR taking on the classroom

nick-vr-zoom

Virtual reality is changing the world of entertainment, marketing, customer experience and just about any way a creative person can dream it. I took interest in this topic because one of my virtual “beats” (like a journalist) is in the technology sector.

If you don’t believe that VR is penetrating every market, along with AI and the internet of things, then you should read The Fourth Transformation by Robert Scoble & Shel Israel.

As an aside, this is a really cool and imaginative book. These guys have been to every VR mastermind’s dungeon and seen the current possibilities of technology. They take their predictive work very seriously, and as a positive aftertaste, it leaves you with a positive outlook for technology in the future.

Some aspects that I find the most utilitarian and underestimated are the capabilities of VR in the classroom. VR has the ability to simulate functions that traditionally can only be performed with thousands of dollars of equipment.

Imagine, teachers at low-income charter schools with a $400 dollar headset can afford to send hundreds of kids to France to see the Eiffel tower, or to ancient Rome to see Julius Ceasar’s empire.

VR has a visible potential for higher education as well. Students at non-specialized colleges can perform advanced medical operations, or work on major architectural projects in three-dimensional space.

I’m not making these things up either. If you won’t take it from me, take it from this guy on twitter.

 

The education deficit in colorado

First of all, cut Colorado a break, they have to deal with one of the stricter budgetary regulations in the country, where government spending is capped tightly and any overflow has to be sent back to the people, additionally, any budgetary change has to be voted by the people so change comes slowly.

That’s one of the reasons Colorado is behind on rising tuition costs in the Centennial state.

Public universities have much more relief than do private universities within the state (as one might expect). However, neither allows very much per student compared to other states, in fact, we are the third lowest state in that category.

Private school officials believe they offer a better education than many public schools who receive state funding. The colorado students that want to attend these private schools within the state should be encouraged to do so, not deterred.

The legislation is beginning to catch up but there are other sides to government spending that are lacking as well, making competition for budget space a challenge to balance.

 

Hunters vs [and] Conservation

A classmate, Jessica Johnson, turned our group towards this topic, it’s an important one in this changing political climate (and in the changing environmental climate). It’s not a political article.

In the 1800’s Colorado saw massive depletion of species due to unregulated trapping and hunting, Colorado Parks and Wildlife was then founded to manage public lands and maintain species populations.

That’s it, from 1937-on, CPW and hunters have had a feud for nearly a hundred years.

That’s what I thought, at least. I was wrong for a number of reasons and in many ways. I’m not a dummy either, many people think that hunting and conservation are opposing forces balanced by the rope they each pull on.

I think cases of harvesting exotic animals in Africa have an amplifying effect on the perception of hunters, here. I was looking into this (to see if I was right or not) and I found that there was a Wikipedia page on “the killing of Cecil the lion,” which kind of proved my point.

Anyway, in Colorado, hunters fund a majority of CPW operations, through license sales and equipment taxes. So they’re not necessarily in a fight.

Besides, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has control over the number of licenses they issue. And, CPW can use hunters to control invasive or unnaturally growing populations of animals by issuing more licenses.

Finally, we found that many of the employees at CPW actually hunt, themselves. That was the last straw for me,m y camel’s back had been broken, I was finally a believer.

Ethical hunters feel an emotional connection with the animals (gratefulness is a prevailing feeling) which kind of makes me want to join them.

 

Twitter roundups

Those were my emotional works for the winter months but if you want to hear some more personal commentary (like this post), I posted a series of small articles highlighting my favorite tweets from the quarter.

They don’t really have a common theme just mostly what interests me. If I had to give them a genre (or genres) I would say they fall under sports, entertainment, science, technology and Colorado (concise?).

 

Roundup One

At the end of the third week, I summed up my favorite tweets from the weeks prior. The post covers topics like Tesla innovation, Colombian culture, and the Western Stock Show.

 

Roundup two

At this point, six weeks had passed in the year and a lot of the political coverage regarding President Trump’s election had fizzled out. I also had written a story by then and had a couple of blog posts under my belt so the quality of this post was a little better.

Favorite tweet

Why is it my favorite tweet? I don’t know, we were just learning about photovoltaic panels in science at the time and it seemed relevant. 

 

Final roundup

This was my favorite post by far, until today, when I wrote this post. I think the tweets in this section are the most entertaining and speak the most to my character.

During these last four weeks we had finished up our CPW story, my friend’s hand almost got punctured by a dart (on camera), and NASA released a photo of one of Saturn’s funky looking moons to the internet.

Favorite tweet

I thought this was the coolest thing ever caught on camera, so I posted it to twitter hoping to boost my stats for the final Twitter analytics check of the quarter. Initially, I was the only person on twitter that valued it, but I retweeted it three days later (pathetic emoji).

  1. Initially, I was the only person on twitter that valued it, but I retweeted it three days later (pathetic emoji). It finally, got the recognition it deserved but I have a suspicious feeling that my followers liked it to keep me from posting it again.

Second favorite tweet

This is that same story that I drolled on about earlier in this post. Whatever, I learned a lot about conservation and hunting.

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