Archives for posts with tag: school

I have a penchant for creating awfully weird titles. Yes, I’ve stated it in the previous post. And yes, I’m repeating it. Redundancy drives points home. Think of it as exercise of…okay, I was about to say creativity, but I guess that sounds real phony. Alright, just file it under the ‘Precky’s quirks’ folder.

Sir Barry, my ORCOM 152 professor, raised a couple of interesting points in his blog entry. See, according to an activity done a couple of Saturdays ago, it seems that the people in our class ranked the Internet as the most preferred communication channel, followed by television, print, mobile and radio. The communication channel we’re the most exposed to, on the other hand, appears to be the mobile phone (followed by television, internet, print and radio). His questions?

How come, seniors? Just when the world is starting to make use of mobile phones for just about everything from texting to watching TV shows, you drop it behind traditional print. I’m sure there’s a reason, right?

I have a cell phone. I mean, who doesn’t have a phone nowadays? Anyways, it’s one of the old models – it has colored display alright, but no MP3 capabilities and its camera has to be attached. I couldn’t even remember what’s the exact model number – it’s so phased out, it’s not listed in the Nokia site anymore (really, I’m expecting to see that phone model in a museum some time soon). Sure, I’ve dreamed of buying a new, snazzier phone – the type capable of high-res pictures and videos, can double as MP3 player, easy Internet capabilities, Bluetooth – but let’s face it, those types have price tags that bite (pardon the rhyming there). And that’s it. The new phones nowadays, the ones capable of doing almost everything that’s digital, have prohibitive prices. And even if my antique phone could surf the Internet, I think I’m saving my precious load for, say, texting my pals that I’m late for the meeting again.

Rolling on…

Seniors, whatever happened to the richest communication channel?

I’ve belatedly realized, like everyone else (I guess), that we completely forgot about face-to-face interaction.

Seriously, while we were doing that exercise, FtF never crossed my mind. Not even once. I was thinking of the gadgets, but not the most common communication channel ever. I guess face-to-face communication is so mundane, so ‘everyday’, so natural, that we have taken it for granted. I think it came from the fact that information comes from so many sources nowadays.

Then I got a thought. If we were so conditioned to perceive ‘communication’ as something that comes via technology, does that affect the way we perceive face-to-face communication too? For example, text messages and email. It’s reliant on words, therefore I’m focused on what’s written. There’s very little to pick up other than what the message states. When I talk with other people – which isn’t solely dependent on what is spoken, but also facial expressions, tone, body language, etc – is there a chance that I totally miss out these other signs, and completely focus on the words?

Okay, so that was a really weird thought, huh?

Weird title is weird. Chalk it up to one of my Cream-O highs.

Lately I’ve been on an ebook download spree. I’ve acquired a good number of books which would probably take me years to read. It’s a hoarder habit, I know, but I would like to imagine that I have a full ‘virtual library’. I have a book shelf full of books right here at home, but while some of them are my favorites, most in the selection aren’t of my choosing. My ‘virtual library’, on the other hand, mostly has fantasy books (fantasy being my favorite fiction genre) with the occasional English grammar-related book thrown in. Hey, you never know when the prepositions really matter.

Books

Unappetizing - for some

After getting my certainly-more-than-one-hundred collection and reading a couple of them blessed PDFs, I came to this conclusion:

Real-life, honest-to-goodness books are still better.

Yes, yes, I know that going digital has probably saved a fair swath of our forests. I acknowledge that, I love trees (give them a hug – they have less issues than you). Seriously now, going ‘paperless’ – digitizing your documents, books and notes – has lots of advantages. For starters, you save trees, which by itself is one of the coolest things you could do. Second, you can be assured that termites won’t be gnawing them to produce their communal housing (or whatever they do with paper anyway). I can attest how heartbreaking it is to see your beloved books eaten by those pesky creatures. In a sense,  you can be assured that your books would be preserved for a long time because they’re online and therefore, aren’t in the same plane of existence with the termites, yellow-page-phenomena, rats and accidental spilling. Third, it facilitates easy sharing – and you don’t even have to worry the ink smudging your fingertips. Lenin’s book NOT in the library (and you have recitation on Tuesday)? Don’t worry, I’ve downloaded it and would gladly share it with you! As a nice bonus, said book doesn’t even weigh a feather, because it’s online.

But still.

It must seem to be purely aesthetic and ‘tradition’, but books still have an edge over their digital counterparts. A PDF version of ‘A Storm of Swords’ will be sweet for a back-up copy, but I still cherish my real-life, almost-two-inch-thick paperback.   For one thing, my paperback ‘Storm of Swords’ weigh considerably less than my laptop, making it easier to carry around. While my book will probably succumb to yellowing and – heaven forbid – termites, it doesn’t require electricity to read. If I don’t have a laptop or a Kindle, then it’s fine. Moreover, I’ve seen unofficial ebook versions which are formatted poorly and are a pain to read. At the very least, real-life published books aren’t like that (or has less chances of looking like that).

During my OJT, my boss once told me that while reading news online is convenient, there’s something ‘different’ in reading newspapers. She told me that unlike online articles, newspapers are ‘real’, in the sense that they exist physically. If you keep it somewhere and decide to look at it again, you can retrieve it and affirm that yes, it did exist – it’s in your hand, after all. I think it’s the same with books. There’s a surge of excitement when you peel away the plastic and open it for the first time. There’s something satisfying in turning the pages, of feeling the paper between your fingers. It has a very old-school but very physical presence. It’s real, and you have it.

In the end though, I think ebooks are winning. Last year’s Christmas season saw the rise of ebook sales over published books. Publishers release ebook versions of their books, perhaps with a lower price. I’m fine with the transition, but I guess it will take some time before I truly forget the old-school charms of a heavy tome in your hands.