Good afternoon blog, how are you doing today?
The database won’t respond to my non-SQL query, but at least it knows I care. Or if it becomes aware of what caring is, it will know that I do care. Its been some time since I last updated on everything, and as always there is much to discuss.
I was hoping to blog in the middle of last week, but things have just been terribly busy as of late. Concerto has been deploying screens at an exponential rate. We went from 1 screen to some crazy number 6 in under 2 weeks which is rather impressive. Everyone has been doing their part to write the code and make changes to the features that were not working well or people were exploiting (asking for content to be up there for a whopping 15 seconds). I’ve been experiencing increased stress levels, directly correlating to the increasing importance of the system as a whole. I think its pretty safe to say my stress is a function of the derivative of the installation of screens. I did pull off what I consider to be a very cool API in 1 night, it does a lot of cool stuff via GET/POST variables so its easy for any internet connected device to use.
This week also marked the occurrence of GM week at RPI where the Student Government elections occur. No, I didn’t run for anything, but I did help out with the production of the Debates. Overall I think the debates could have used a lot of work. I’m not sure if this correlates to the fact we were stretched thin filming the debates while a film festival was going on or whatnot but yea. if the debates were held to the same standards hockey are, they would have been pretty intolerable. Maybe people have lower standards for these sorts of productions, or maybe people are unsure were the standards should be.
I was going to cite some statistics regarding the positions I tend to have at these sort of events, but the RPI TV website doesn’t have a lot of productions from this year in it. What I’ve found is that I very typically get the role of camera operator or production assistant. This isn’t because I wakeup and go “Yes! Another day to operate a camera or assist in the coiling of cables!” its because I’ve found the leader to non leader density at RPI very out of line. I think this may be typical of an institute of higher education, but most everyone feels qualified to be the leader (and they probably are!), but everyone also feels its their right or responsibility (I’m not sure which) to do the job. Too many cooks do spoil the soup, and if everyone is busy doing leadership things like talking about x, y, or z than the cables are not going to get run to the other side of DCC 308 now are they.
Yes, I think there needs to be a leader, and sometimes that leader should be allowed to emerge in the field. But sometimes its better to decide upon that person in advance, kind of like these very long and seemingly useless pre-production meetings that use to occur. The only reason they weren’t very helpful was because the information was never any different. It was simply a re-assertion of what everyone already knew. But that was OK, most definately OK.
Since this is part 2 of the 3 part series, you’re all going to yourself… well, what does this have to do with the RPI TV elections. Lets be honest with one another, you probably wish I hadn’t written this blog,, and that I had just ranted about “Trayless Tuesday” or whatever dumb move Commons is cooking up next. [That blog will come, rest assured] but I cannot avoid the issues, and I very rarely pick the issues that I do discuss in this blog. I voted for 10 people to be RPI TV’s officiers. I would say that I voted for the people best qualified for the job but that isn’t completely accurate. In some instances I voted for the only people running for the job. The majority of everyone has been doing a good job at whatever it is they are tasked to do in the club constitution. Others feel it is there right to assume a de-feacto leadership role because their position may supercede someone elses. I would say this is a tradition of RPI TV. The upper leadership, myself included, frequently do things that other people should be doing.. or have the right to do in the constitution. I would cite a specific example from ~370 days ago, but that was a slightly special case.
I believe in doing what needs to be done, I do not believe in doing things that do not have to be done, or that will have no effect on anything whatsoever. It may be safe to apply this logic to my interactions with people. I recall discussions about RPI TV documents where I was asked what I thought. For the first few times I was asked I did tell people what I thought. Maybe it was a simple statement of agreence, or I could have offered a thought to the contrary. I’ve found thoughts to the contrary have produced a “Well I don’t know about that, I think that things might be better off the other way because you’re not taking into account xyz.” As I see this it boils down to “No, you are wrong. I think things should be this way and by asserting my opinion again I can override yours.” You should realize that if I haven’t considered factor x, y, or z I will in that case respond, good point, I failed to think about those. This doesn’t happen very often because I have thought about factor x,y,z.. I’ve probably thought about a bunch of other factors as well. I don’t have much else to do besides think about the factors because saying what I think is rarely recieved well.
I should make sure to broaden the scope here as to ensure all the unpleasant isn’t directed at RPI TV. This is much larger social interactions course. Its not just RPI where my opinions have gotten blasted down, its a lot of other places as well. Some have taken to not asking my opinion either; I find this extra effective. You can save yourself the time it would take to ask me, allow me to respond, and then respond back with a rejection of my thoughts.
If I felt saying something would make a large difference I would. I’m optimistic, so I must at least try. But I very frequently find myself attempting to engage in a larger guiding mission. Not bouncing the ball back and forth between two walls, but using those walls to steer the ball to what I’ve identified as an appropriate end game.
For those of you who feel I’ve put you on the spot, or that I’ve some how singled you out without using your name, ssn, or any other personally identifying material I am sorry. You shouldn’t feel upset, angry, or whatever it is your feeling right now. Yes, I do want to talk about it. You could approach me in person about these matters, but I will likely stutter and/or attempt to avoid the topic. I’m a poor people person. If this is what you want then go for it. I tend to stutter more if you use larger words around me or talk fast in a loud angry tone without pausing to give me time to think, process, then respond. If you’re like me and think hey, that doesn’t sound very effective, I encourage you to try the following (in order of effectiveness): 1. Hit me up via AIM, MSN, Google Chat. If you start talking to me at 15 before an hour, I might have somewhere to go at that hour, but I’d be more than happy to schedule something another time. 2. Leave a comment on my blog. I tend to read these very quickly. While it doesn’t look like I always respond to these, I’ll follow up in a private discussion. 3. Shoot me an email. If you’re email happens to come at the same time as a bunch of other emails you are out of luck.
General tips: I respond much better when people use ?’s. A statement doesn’t always register as something I need to respond to unless its blatantly wrong, but something that ends with ? does. I am very poor on the phone, which includes txt messages. That is a dumb way to contact me unless you are on fire and next to a server. I will respond honestly to any and all questions you ask unless they make me feel uncomfortable, i which case I will tell you that. There is a low probability these questions will come up (Katie is the only one who might ever ask them). Allow me to respond. Sometimes, people type IM’s very fast and send them to me, and sometimes I can’t read as fast as the Internet can. And no, I haven’t read this blog over. I am allowed to make typos, and communicate the wrong message.
Good night moon.