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Can YOU disconnect this summer?

Now that we’re almost a month into Summer Break and mostly full swing into our plans, I wanted to share an article from the Boston Globe about bringing technology along during our vacations.

The full article is here but I wanted to post a few quotes as well.

“I know it sounds bad,’’ said Wallace, of Roslindale, as she worked on her laptop at Panera in Brookline, “but seeing if I had an e-mail was more exciting than looking at the sunset.’’

She’s 22, the same age as me. I’m pretty sure if I were in her position, I’d totally be taking photos of that sunset… (Whether or not I’d be using an iPhone and then posting them to facebook is a different matter because I don’t have one yet)


The article goes on to describe how people are demanding wireless wherever they vacation, even if it’s camping. Did you know 5,000 of our 13,000 campgrounds now offer wireless? It boggles my mind. We have become so connected that we can’t function even on vacation unless we have our Kindles, laptops and smartphones with us.

I remember packing a backpack of things to keep entertained during a trip – either a plane or car ride. There would be coloring books or a sketch pad, kids puzzle books, a magazine as a treat, and a book or two for me to read. As I got older the bag included a gameboy and then an iPod (the kind that just plays music). But now it’s either my laptop or my iPod touch or both. (I’ll still have the books though.)


If the kids build a sandcastle on the beach and mom doesn’t update her Facebook status, did it happen?

I love this quote – reminds me of our generation’s insistence that nothing is official until it is on facebook. But there’s a difference between using the site to record memories – like the first sandcastle of the season, and live blogging every sandcastle of the summer. Some people know the difference and can leave their technology at home while others remain tethered to their smartphones.

Just something to keep in mind now that vacation season is starting up.


Veteran’s Preference vs Language Skills

(Cross Posted from my own WordPress)

Boston has long used veteran’s preference to get returning vets into jobs such as the police and fire departments. This year, Boston Fire Department has asked to set aside 15 of 50 spots in their academy class for people who speak Spanish. (And yes, they actually have to ask for an exception to sidestep the law)

And well, I let the quote speak for itself.

But a group of military veterans, normally given preference for the jobs, has challenged the decision. Alleging in legal documents that the bilingual requirement is being used to “recruit people of color into the uniformed ranks,’’ the veterans have asked the state Civil Service Commission to investigate.

So when did knowledge of a language determine your skin color? I’m sure this wasn’t the only line of reasoning the veterans put in their legal documents, but this quote makes them seem very racist. Later on in the article, the lawyer for them complains about how they came back from serving in Iraq/Afghanistan to find the rules have changed on them.

And there’s even more background, like how the BFD was legally bound to hire/diversify at a one to one ratio meaning for every white candidate they hired, they needed a black or Hispanic one as well. That rule was disbanded less than ten years ago and since then the department has hired a group that is 88 per cent white.

I don’t really understand why the veterans are so angry. The department finally realized they need more staff who speaks Spanish when they respond to calls from Spanish speaking people. Boston has a huge Hispanic population in one neighborhood, and significant populations in other neighborhoods that are on the other side of the city. In other words the Hispanics are basically all over. It’s time the department diversifies again.

The veterans can always apply again next year, right?

Election Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Except it lasts over a year… I’m talking about election season. This week Obama officially filed to run for reelection. *Name for Election* 2012 has officially begun.  Depending on where you get your news from, it could be called Indecision or

So get ready for 19 months of campaign fund raising, social media outreach, baby kissing and the inevitable mud slinging.

It’s quiet right now, because caucuses and primaries don’t kick off until January 2012 but that hasn’t stopped the media machines from rolling out rumors that Michele Bachmann (who gave the Tea Party response to the State of the Union) will file soon, or my favorite, Donald Trump will run. Trump has been on several TV shows recently making his stances known. He is completely anti-gay not even supporting civil unions or domestic partnerships for same sex couples. He’s also pro-life.  The startling fact is that a poll conducted in February showed that Trump was ahead of Obama by two points. You can read more about it here.

A few relatively unknown people have filed to run under the GOP banner. Perhaps the most promising is Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota. But he isn’t well known outside of his state. A highlight is Jimmy McMillan, from the Rent is Too Dam High party. Even though he is technically a democrat, he filed to run as a republican so he wouldn’t directly challenge Obama. McMillan ran for NY Governor but obviously lost. (He did get 41 thousand votes – 20 thousand more than the mistress of Eliot Spitzer)

What I love is no matter how much we hate and complain about the process, once Election night actually comes, we love to stay up and watch the results as the come in.

75 Ways to De-stress at Hofstra

Has anyone seen this webpage, or the flyers floating around campus? Hofstra has complied a list of ways to de-stress. There are 75 helpful (and some not so helpful) ways of managing stress.

  1. Attend a Haha Hofstra event and laugh out loud!
  2. Play games in the Student Center Game Room
  3. Sip an herbal tea at Java Connect          (more…)

Chapel on Campus?

Recently I found out there’s been a push to get a chapel on Campus. I’m active in the Catholic community at Hofstra so I was able to write about the movement (for lack of a better word) for my Journalism 11 class. I revised the story and submitted it to the Chronicle, if anyone’s interested in reading it they can find it here.

But I want to know what Hofstra thinks. Should there be a chapel on campus? Currently we have Catholic Mass in the Greenhouse, a place that’s hard to find because it’s past the Rathskeller in the basement of the Student Center. And because the Greenhouse is used by other organizations – most notably the SGA on Tuesdays – the Catholic community uses an altar that can be folded up and tucked in a corner.

What the set up looks like.

There's built in storage on the other side of the Altar.

After Mass, everything is put away. The Altar box is tucked into the corner while the Table is put into a closet.

I think we should get a chapel on campus, but it should be a place of communal worship and prayer. Anyone could use it, regardless of their faith, and the three major religions on campus (four if you differentiate between InterVarsity Fellowship and the Catholic Campus Parish) would have equal use of the room. There would be design issues that need to be considered. I don’t think the Jewish and Muslim groups would appreciate gathering in a room with stain glass windows and crosses and a crucifix everywhere.

What do YOU think?

Who Are You?

To answer the question Who am I seems simple. I am ____ or in this case, I am Caitlin. But here’s the challenge: What if  many people share your name so it is no longer unique to you. How do you answer the Who am I question?

Well, I am a senior at Hofstra University, studying Creative Writing and German. (So I am fully prepared to live in a cardboard box come May 23 2011). Ah but there at least 7 other cwalsh ‘s at Hofstra as my pride email is cwalsh8. So is this detail unique enough? I don’t think so.

I am a 22 year old female who straddles the worlds of Boston and Hofstra as well as the Chalrestown that my father grew up in, and the Charlestown I’m growing up in. I am built out of contradictions. I have one foot planted firmly in my Catholic faith, and another in a healthy dose of skepticism. I have a passion for many things, from the most common and predictable like Writing to the most bizarre like Star Trek.

Let’s Play a Game

Are these quotes from Charlie Sheen or Colonel Mommar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader?  I discovered this game through one of my youtube subscriptions. There are 10 quotes and I found it hard to play the first time. For most, I guessed (wrongly) because these quotes could easily come from either man.

How well do you know the news? Which story have you followed more? Sheen or Gaddafi?