Posted on May 19th 2006, 1:39 am
I just went to my last class / final of my undergraduate degree. I presented my capstone project to the class and the professor. I got a "G" on the paper. I'm not really sure what that means, but since everyone got the same thing, I'm not concerned. We got really good comments at the end. The professor said we did a really good job considering the time constraints and the fact that we studied something new. The underline was actually emphasized. So, I think I'll be ok.
To top it off, I got an A on my independent study, which I wasn't expecting. Most of the effort put into the study was done either at the beginning of the semester, or it was this week. I really enjoyed the topic, but I just didn't have the time to put into it. I wrote a paper for it and spent an hour talking about the paper and giving a demonstration of the programming language (ruby on rails) that the study was on. It was well accepted. :)
The other highlight of my day included watching three bald eagles hunting for fish. I was walking towards the footbridge that goes across the river that runs through campus when I noticed the white tails. As I got closer to the bridge, one of them had landed on the rocks on the far bank. He had caught a fish and proceeded to eat it. People were stopping along the footbridge to watch. It was really cool. Again, I didn't have my camera, but one of these days I will. Anyway...just wanted to share.
TWO DAYS TO GRADUATION!!!
Posted on May 9th 2006, 4:26 pm
I'm almost done!! It's the last week of classes for my undergraduate degree. I have my capstone project due in just under a week. So I've been working hard on it. I also have one paper and an independent study left. The paper is already written. I just need to work solely on the two other projects. Commencement happens on May 20th. How cool is that?!!
So, if anyone was wondering about the lack of updates, that'd be why. After May 20th, you'll see a drastic increase in how much I post. I have some pretty big plans for TransLife over the summer. I'm also working on another website idea that I want to do as well. I'll give you a hint in that it wont be anything like translife. In fact it's a multimedia comic / animation site. You'll like it.
My independent study is on a programming language called Ruby on Rails. This summer, my goal is to build an entirely new system for all of translife. Right now there are several programs running that comprise this website: Nucleus CMS for blogging, MediaWiki for the Transgender 101 section, and phpbb for the forums. They work well and are designed for ease of use, but they aren't designed to work as a cohesive unit. I'm going to change all of that by redesigning the entire thing from scratch.
There are things I want to see happen. I want to see the forums and diaries more integrated. For example, recent posts in the forum would be listed on the diary. Posting to the diary may post also to a forum topic. Spam control is a big one. I want this site to be more accessible with less Spam issues. One of the big things I want to see is the ability for everyone to have their own photo gallery. It's semi possible right now, but only through a lot of micro management by myself. Avatars, audio, integration of karma / point based system. And so on, and so on...
If you have any ideas, feel free to comment and add / request them. I can't gaurantee that they will be in the first build of the new site, but I'll attempt to integrate them down the road. Anyway, I better get back to my work. See ya soon.
Posted on April 18th 2006, 11:12 pm
Update 1: Impasse
I find myself at a point in which I'm not sure what to do with myself. I talked to a professor today and she said it's that time of year. Apparently a lot of graduating seniors find themselves questioning their future with five weeks left to go in the semester. I truly don't know though. I had everything planned out, and I feel as if that plan is gone.
Originally the plan was simple. I was going to start up Transcending Productions after moving to a larger city in the state. I was going to start a project and hire a few people and go from there. While I did that, I was going to be writing my book. The plan was pretty solid to the point that I was looking into hardware options for the new company. Like cameras and such...but...that seems pointless now.
Here's why. I've been producing this television series on the campus cable TV station that I'm in charge of running right now. I'm really proud of it, and it's an example of how far I've come with my skills in production. I showed it to two of my friends who also do film and video. They essentially said that it was good, but it's also lacking an artistic angle. I thought about it...and I realized that I'm very much still learning my craft. Sure this episode is an example of how far I've come, but it's also an example of how far I have yet to go.
So I find myself second guessing the entire plan I had. I don't feel I'm quite ready yet to start a production company. On top of that, doing training videos and promotions isn't really my idea of a fun and creative future. I want to do films and TV series. Though I realize everyone needs a place to start, am I really educated and experienced enough to run my own company? Especially when I know nothing about business?
So I'm considering a few options, and I don't know what will work. The strongest option right now is grad school. Sure, I've been complaining about how much I'm sick of the classroom environment, but I think going to grad school for film would be different. It's also going to depend on where I go. The one that would be amazingly awesome would be the AFI grad program. Talk about the pinnacle of the film programs out there. It's a very expensive program though running at about $56,000 a year. But hey...with that kind of degree...I'd earn it back.
There are other programs though. I've looked at the UCLA program, the Southern Cali Program, the Austin Texas program, Columbia University, New York University, and others. I think I have a lot of options and I could get into one. In fact, after looking at the programs, I think I'd rank my to three choices as follows:
1. Southern California University
2. American Film Institute
3. Columbia University
And interestingly...they aren't in rank order. I think I'd be happy with each of them equally. Plus, I think I stand a good chance at getting into at least one of those three. Most of them are less expensive than the AFI program though.
So as you can tell...I'm leaning toward the school option. Crazy huh?
The issue is then...what do I do until I get admitted? My boss was like "Watch a lot of movies?" which is an interesting prospect. It'd be great education, but I don't think I can make much money that way. I could seek out temporary employment while I apply for grad school. One of the things I was considering is working as an intern for my TV station on campus, helping to improve it. I could give standard training and such. It'd be cool. I'd have to get paid though. Otherwise...what's the point? I mean, I love to help, but I have to eat too.
I could move back home and seek out local employment in my hometown area...but I'd rather not. That's kinda the last option. I could also just jump into it and start the company. However, i think I'd be much better off going to school for a masters.
Now it's time for reader participation!! You help Jess decide what to do...
Posted on March 31st 2006, 7:57 am
Well, I was snubbed out of the article I was interviewed for last year, but they're back. GenderPAC, a non-profit organization based out of Washington D.C., contacted me this week. I've worked with them on many occassions, even getting my University affiliated as part of their genderYOUTH program. The New York Times is working with them on an article. The article specifically deals with gender issues in higher education and EEO policies in the Universities. They contacted me because I was very influential in getting the EEO Policy for the entire statewide University system changed to include gender identity and expression.
The initial e-mail happened on Monday. I replied saying I was interested. Later that day I was called and told my story to the person at GenderPAC. They took that info and gave it to the PR person. They discussed it and Yesterday I was set up to do a conference call regarding the interview. On the call were the PR person, the person who contacted me on Monday, and Riki Wilchins, the founder of GenderPAC and author of several books. That was cool.
It was rather intimidating having four people giving me interview advice at once. I was somewhat overwhelmed with all of it. Slowly over the course of the call I was forming ideas of what I could talk about and how to phrase things. I at least have an idea of the angle that will be presented when the interview happens. I feel somewhat prepared, but still nervous about it. It's the New York Times...who wouldn't be?...besides celebrities and politicians? On top of that Riki said that she'd be on the phone call with me, which I'm ok with, and yet am scared about. If I misspeak, one of my mentors will possibly think less of me. That's hard and might make it more nerve racking. I'll do my best to be even more prepared. Maybe I'll do some mock interviews to get ready for it.
Anyway, I'm exhausted and am about to go to bed. I just wanted to share that information with you before sleeping. :) Have a great Friday.
Posted on March 21st 2006, 10:23 pm
So, this weekend my best friend, who happens to be a gay man, and I were grocery shopping. He made reference to not having any condoms. Only, he referred to them as contraceptives. Though I understand that condoms are a form of contraception, something about hearing a gay man say "I forgot to buy the contraceptives" made me snicker. The term 'contraceptive' means counter conception, and since gay men can't get pregnant, the term doesn't seem to fit. My friend disagrees with me. He says "Condoms are contraceptives. That's what they are," and while he's right, they aren't contraceptives for him since gay men can't conceive. They are counter infections. So we've coined the term 'contrafective'. I think it works better. He still disagrees, but he's dumb. :) I'm picking on him. When I told him I was writing this, he told me to put his official statement in here too, which is: "Jessica is a dork." On that note, have a great day.