Wind Surfer

First of all, I would like to throw a HUGE shutout to kelspete for totally stealing my idea of learning to cook! I live off campus and thought this would be an excellence time to break away from the caned soups and Ramen Noodles but no! You had to go and steal the idea. Its fine, it really is fine, i will continue to live in an uncultured culinary world where my greatest food adventures will be ordering Chinese and adding a little extra sweet and sour sauce to my crab rangoon! I digress, rant over. (Ps. If you ever read this Mrs. kelspete, please let me know so i can feel satisfied that you read my rant.)

Now onto the serious boring, information filled section of this blog.

Flight is what i love. I want to learn to fly, i want to be in the sky, up so high, so high i could die? That got dark quick. I want to learn and understand the process and mechanics behind flight. How do i plan on accomplishing such a task? Its simple. I’m going to build and test my own hanglider.

It really will not be that simple. I do however have the outline of a plan to accomplish my goal. I have just over 3 months to attempt to put something i created into the air with me strapped to it, so i will have to work quickly, accurately, and with much enthusiasm.

1) I plan to spend the first month or so of this project dedicated to learning all i can find about the subject of flight, such as but not limited to… What causes an object to fly? How can objects with more mass than air remain in flight? How does wind affect flight and how do certain directional winds and winds near natural surroundings such as mountains affect the speed and direction of the wind? How will my weight affect the flight and aerodynamics?

2) I plan to spend the next half month or so studying the structure and design of hangliders, discovering how different body styles and shapes affect aerodynamics, reducing weight ext….

3) The final step in my very rudimentary plan is to design and build my own hanglider. This final step i plan on spending about a month and a half on, giving me time for many trial and error mistakes.

From this project, hope to gain invaluable knowledge about flight and aerodynamics though hands on learning and trial and error. Hangliding and all flight has interested me for many moons and now i finally have an excuse to learn more about flight and attempt to create my own flying device!

5779442065_b3e531fb5c_oPhoto cc Chris Devers

“What kind of man would live where there is no danger? I don’t believe in taking foolish chances. But nothing can be accomplished by not taking a chance at all.” -Charles Lindbergh

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Some Article About Some Hippie Dippy Nonsense

Kyacking Trip 090

(In a slow, burned out hippie voice) Peace, love, and nature man, that’s all we need. Maybe the hippies were right. Maybe i should have listened to that burn out i met in downtown Denver when he told me all i needed was peace, love, and to buy the sac of weed he was offering me.

(The above paragraph will seem… irrelevant to this paragraph but just stay with me, it will all tie back in)

Whenever a teenage boy stands in front of a professional audience delivering a speech on a professional topic i have two initial thoughts. 1) OH MAN! This kid is totally going to make a fool of himself. 2) Did I remember to put the milk back in the fridge yesterday? Essentially, i zone out. No good teenager can stand before a group of adults and give a successful speech on learning and education without sounding like a complete dork fish! Well this kid did. He nailed it, he captured my attention, he made me set down my sandwich and open my ears because what he had to say was pure ecstasy. (And no, that is not how this ties in with paragraph one, talking about hard hippie drugs like ecstasy.) The main point i gathered from his brilliant talk was creativity and how creativity, or as he referred to it as “hacking”, should essentially be the backbone of how students learn. I completely agree as would any sane person which is why i will shift my focus, and subject of this discussion, to the second point i took from his talk.

Releasing stress and becoming balanced through experiencing nature.

I am an externally motivated person, as is Logan LaPlante, our teenage friend who said “when your motivated, you can get a lot done in a short amount of time.” I am motivated to not just succeed but thrive in every situation i am in. I am and will be success, i will achieve my goals. These Goals take a toll on me however. This semester more than ever, i am working and studying so much, it is beginning to take a mental toll on me i never saw coming.

Photo cc Bernard Goldbach6273248505_c47f7c76d1_m

(Cue the flashback reel, shits about to get real) Flashback 4 months ago. 4 months ago, some friends and i spent a weekend canoeing, kayaking, and camping the Niobrara river. The picture at the beginning of this blog was taken on that trip. Now flashback to simply one month ago. My family got to spend 10 days in the Florida Keys and Caribbean, relaxing, enjoying new sights, sounds, and cultures. That is where i snapped the featured image of a Florida sunset for this blog. How are both flashback experiences related? 1) In both instances, even for just a day or two, i was engulfed in nature. We were either spending time on the Niobrara river with no distractions or worries, completely surrounded by nature, or doing the same on an exotic Island. 2) After both trips, i came back home feeling more relaxed, energetic, and optimistic than i had in many weeks.

(Cue the hippy voice again) I told you man! Nature is the way to go! Love man! Now it starts to come full circle. Logan LaPlante had 8 talking points in his speech. One of these points, i believe number 6, was about spending time in nature, relaxing, enjoying nature, becoming one with our surroundings. Logan said, “I spend one day a week outside, all day” a model i shall be adopting. As i said, whenever I spend even a day enjoying what the good lord has blessed us with, what we often take for granted, I am more relaxed, focused and creative.

Maybe the hippies were right.

Literate in Digital?

Digital literacy, what a silly concept. Digital literacy is the ability to use and understand technology to communicate, learn, or develop new ideas. The difference between digital literacy and digital fluency is quite simple. If your literate at something, you know what the subject at hand is and you know how to understand it. If you are fluent in something, you know what the subject is, how to use it, and have mastered the concept to achieve the desired outcome. This link was really helpful in helping me differentiate between the two. http://www.socialens.com/blog/2011/02/05/the-difference-between-digital-literacy-and-digital-fluency/

Essentially, digital literacy is the second step in a three step process outlined by the link above. Step one of course is illiteracy, step two is literacy, and step three is fluency. In Order move move past step one, the illiterate phase, i belive you have to know a few basic things. First, one must know how to type, open a web browser, and locate some form of search engine, ex Google or Yahoo. Once that knowledge is down pat, the searcher can move to step two; becoming digital literate or learning how to use the online world.

Personally myself, i am on the verge of being digitally illiterate. I know how to type fairly well and yes i do know what google is; however, when it comes to social media and using the internet to my advantage, i am well behind the 8 ball. This is my first ever blog and i activated a twitter just for this class. I didn’t know how to make a hyperlink until 38 seconds ago and i dont instagram or whatever. I am however pretty proficient at wasting time on facebook, i am very fluent in that manner, however i don’t use Facebook to communicate much at all. I mostly troll other peoples pages and watch funny videos, like the one i am including right….. HERE! (Seriously watch it, its to funny…. and now i’m obsessed with this whole hyperlink thing… THANKS TEACHER!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfcrQBBFYxA

Im a simple man, really. If i had to ask to learn one thing about digital literacy, it would be how to discover new, exciting sites relating to science and discovery that will both interest and educate me. I expect to learn how to tweet and blog. (check those off the list) To become a digital leader, i think i will need a lot of time and a lot of experience. I tend to shy away from the internet and social media because quite frankly, it scares me and it seems like a waste of time. I will say though, i have thoroughly enjoyed posting these last two blogs. I feel like i’m talking to myself and yet i can see what myself is saying so myself does not loose my train of thought. Aaaaaaaaaannnnnnddddd i’m rambling again, time to end this blog.

The Learner: An Unexpected Journey

This journey of one man, one stunningly attractive, well cultured man, begins where any good journey begins. Middle School. Ah middle school, the days where women start to fascinate the young mind and armpit hair is the subject of every lunch time discussion between blossoming young gentlemen. The hallowed halls of middle is where we find our hero, Nathan, a below average height lad with locks of hair so gold, John Smith from Pocahontas once tried to shave Nathans head, believing his hair was currency. I digress. Nathan was an amazing student his first year and a half of middle school, recording an impressive record of 100% A’s and 0% everything else. However, dark times were on the horizon for our young hero, as he was about to learn his first of many glaring lessons. The wrong friends can ruin even the most promising individual. That brings us to second semester of young Nathan’s 7th grade year.Enter his new found group a friends, a group who all together acquired more detentions then they did passing grades throughout their whole lifetime. These terrific influences in Nathans life persuaded him to accomplish many important missions that semester such as skipping class, pranking people at lunch, and removing the roller balls out of the bottoms of the mice in the computer lab so they no longer functioned. Our hero suffered dearly for his actions. The result: He spent his 8th grade year pent up in the penitentiary of home, being schooled by his mother and having no social life. His first of many learning lessons was complete. Lesson number 1: The influences in your life impact you more than you will ever know.

Is this a trick question?Photo CC by “kfergos”

8th grade year… the year of all years for a middle schooler! Its like senior year, except your in middle school so its nothing like it but as a middle schooler you feel no difference. As previously mentioned, i was incarcerated at home for my “year of all middle school years” which at the time was actually fantastic. I “learned through an online program, K-12. All of my school work was on line, which if your a teenage boy, was absolutely fantastic. I would google most of my answers for homework and tests, get the work done lickity split, then play computer games all day all the while making it look like i was actually doing my work. It was like being at a carnival all day, every day! The only downfall to this carnival was my study habits and skills which had made me an excellent student before i fell of the proverbial cliff in 7th grade were all but gone. When i returned to public school my freshman year of high school, i discovered that not only were most of my social skills gone from playing Miniclip games all day but my study habits were ruined, leading me to a dismal 3.2 Gpa during the easiest semester of high school and only spiraling downward from there. Lesson 2: Study Skills matter…. a lot.

1171711197_4fb30251ac_m Photo CC by “Sir Alfred

Throughout my high school days, my study skills improved at the same rate the a persons body odor improves when sprayed with a skunk. (for you slower readers out there, that means they deteriorated, my study skills got worse) Being the well educated, well cultured, well prepared individual i was, once i graduated high school, i had a solid life plan to attend an ivy league school, where my smoking hot model of a girlfriend and i would study brain surgery and Law ethics. AAAAAAHHHHHH who am i kidding i had no idea what i was going to eat for lunch the day after graduation, let alone where my life was headed in the next few months. Eventually, i ended up attending the worlds finest community college, Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado and living in the bachelor pad that was my grandparents basement. (Seriously, my Grandma makes the best rhubarb pie of anyone on this side of the mason-dixon line, the ladies were flocking to the house to get a bite) After a decently successful semester at Aims, i transferred to Chadron State College, which is where the third stop on our learning train comes to a brief stop. After a decent first semester of school here at Chadron that spring of 2013, i returned home a well educated man with a year of higher education under his belt, ready to begin my career as a brain surgeon. After an incident with a koala and a clown named bobo (long story) i decided to give up on my brain surgeon career and returned to Chadron the fall of 2013. Fall of 2013 was by far the worst semester of school i could imagine. Genious me came to the realization that school was not important, my major at the time (geoscience) was useless and once again i did not want to be at school, around school, or hear the mention of school. I hated the school system, i believed students were set up to memorize aimlessly and not a lot of actual learning took place in between the walls of most of the schools across the country. I stopped attending class about 3 weeks before school got out, slept most the day, drank to much, and jacked around. It was my way of “getting even” with the putrid school system! ha, take that! at semesters end, i officially withdrew from school and returned home. Only i did return home with a goal and direction in mind. I was going to learn to work on Helicopters. What did i learn from my fall 2013 semester at Chadron. Its simple: One can not simply skip all of his classes and receive a passing grade.

2811905230_581f633af2_mPhoto CC by “DigiDi

Our adventure with the now 19 year old Nathan has taken some dark twists wouldn’t you say oh reader of this blog? Nathan, now a college dropout with no study skills has decided to try his hand at maintaining multi million dollar aircraft! wonderful! His time to learn such a trade would come in March, March 12 to be exact. I can tell you personally, 3 months is a lot of time, and it can change a man in very positive ways. Once i returned home and began working while waiting to ship off to Helicopter Mechanic School, i had a lot of time to reflect on my life, where i was headed, and what i wanted to do. I came to the realization one day that my attitude was one similar to Grumpy from Snow white and the 7 Dwarves. My attitude toward school was awful and that was the reason i had failed so miserably, it was not the school systems fault. I fixed my attitude, fixed my outlook on life, and by the time i arrived in Newport News, Virginia, i was a new man, ready to conquer the challenge at hand. I used lessons i had learned earlier in life, specifically staying away from negative influences and developed some study skills. I kept my nose in the books, studied harder than anyone, worked harder than anyone, never tried to be popular or win over new friends. The friends i made and kept were ones with similar work ethic and ideals. Through it all, at the end of the 4 month school, i graduated top of my class with a 97% average on tests. Even though many of the students in the class had years more of mechanical experience, through hard work and a drive i was able to accomplish my goal. Lesson 4: I can do anything i set my mind to. I am as talented as anyone, and if i’m not, if i work harder than them, it will make up for what i lack.

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Our journey is near an end. Young Nathan has grown up some (more physically than mentally) and is back at Chadron State College. Last semester, our golden haired hero had one of his finest semesters ever. He is still learning, still growing, and the lesson he is trying to teach himself currently is on efficiency and valuing time. 16 credit hours, including Botany and Chemistry, working full time, and constantly having to drive 6 hours back home to Colorado Springs almost every other weekend means time is a valuable commodity for young Nathan. Using previous lessons of surrounding himself with positive influences, developing solid study skills, attending class, and hard work, he will accomplish whatever he sets his mind to. His journey is just beginning an it is guaranteed to be an exciting one. Oh by the way, when he returned to school last semester, he changed his major to Physical Science EDUCATION. (He figured if he wanted to see the education system change in anyway, to help the youth of our nation, he might just have to do it himself)

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