Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Keeping Up with my Learning Journal
I was very grateful for the assistance from Dr. Tao and Cassandra in providing me the service learning opportunity of volunteering with the Sea Otter Classic. Studying and mothering concurrently has proven much more challenging than I thought it would be; for example, it’s difficult to schedule appointments, and much easier to work while my daughter is napping or independently occupying herself, playing, so I’m grateful that I was able to continue with my cohort, when I needed to change at the last minute to this fully virtual assignment. I completed four hours of work this week.
I am always happy to volunteer in the community. Volunteering is fulfilling and important. I’ve had the odd assignment at the Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity and with local environmental causes. The Sea Otter Classic looks like a lot of fun and something I might enjoy participating in myself. I’ll be running a half marathon next month in Santa Cruz, and although I don’t expect to be very fast because my training has been very limited, it’ll be fun.
With that said, I am not pleased to be doing data entry. It’s the sort of work that I am trying to get a BS in Computer Science to avoid! I think I will take this opportunity to try to learn how to use Google Chrome’s Driver for automation, so as to give it an technically educational component and make it look better if I decide to add this experience to my CV. I don’t see myself going above and beyond four-five hours per week because my schedule is so limited, I am most eager to spend the little free time I have improving my technical programming skills, so I’m employable at the end of the course. However, I will work to the best of my abilities to assist Theresa.
The Digital Divide interview with Moyers & Company and Susan Crawford was interesting to watch, as well. It covers a topic I had been aware of because I lived in Europe for a few years. There I learned through first hand experience that Americans indeed tend to have much worse competition and regulatory oversight, not just in telecommunications but in air travel, healthcare, transportation and for many general, basket of goods items. So, as the interviewee shared, Americans get very expensive, low quality internet. She cited comparisons to Hong Kong and South Korea, where there are multiple providers of fiber-optic coaxials for all at, say, $20 per month, compared to $200 in NY, where Time Warner has the monopoly. (Here in the US, 19 M. are off the grid, and maybe so much so that they’ll just have to get satellite.) For most, there is Copper/coaxial cable connections. The result is a digital divide, a crisis, when ⅓ of the country can’t reasonably afford internet and all of us are falling behind the rest of the world. (Tangentially, the US was recently given a D+ for infrastructure by a ASCE, which is tenable. Just today I nearly fell down stairs, hauling my daughter’s stroller, because the Muni escalator and elevators were broken down, yet again.) For applying for jobs, doing homework, for the many other tasks that essentially require internet access nowadays, the poor will be greatly disadvantaged and penalized. The America that I know and love can do so much better. Internet should be a utility commodity. For these ideas, one is considered a democratic socialist. Ayn Rand Republicans like SoH Paul Ryan are the ruin of our country.