Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Orchestral Idol (The YouTube Version)

While browsing The New York Times online, I discovered another way technology has made life easier. A project called "YouTube Symphony" in which a prospect for a an orchestra may audition via YouTube. The purpose of this new project by Google is to "bolster the organized presence of classical music on YouTube." There are two main parts to this project. In the first, YouTube users will record themselves playing the four-minute piece written by Tan Dun for orchestra and upload their audition. The winners will be mashed together to create a "YouTube version of the piece." In the second part, users who upload their audition will be judged and a short list of finalists will be posted on YouTube. Then, it is up to the YouTube users to vote on the best performance "American Idol-style." The lucky winners then fly to Carnegie Hall in April to perform a concert. I think this "revolutionary idea" will help connect users across the world and create a larger community online for classical music. This could only benefit the network in which classical music belongs. Before the creation of the internet, musicians had to spend a good portion of their money on travel expenses in order to get to the location of their auditions. Now with this new technology, musicians are able to perform in the comforts of their own him. Perhaps more projects will result from this 21st century idea?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sharing Thanksgiving

This past Thanksgiving break I enjoyed the traditional festivities that take place every year. This included vast amounts of turkey, stuffing, and that weird looking cranberry stuff. Apart from the annual activities my family decided to do something a little different this year. We helped out at the NAM Thanksgiving, which served the homeless or people who simply couldn't afford the appropriate ingredients to make a sufficient meal. This was our second time in the past couple years to help out. Having the opportunity to give someone a chance to celebrate a holiday was truly a blessing. I hope to continue this service in the future.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

All I Want For Christmas? Or "Need"?

Every year at Christmastime, I have looked forward to the family, the friends, and the food. But let's be honest, everyone knows that Christmas involves the presents. However, this year, I am convinced that the presents aren't as important. Maybe it's because I'm getting older, or perhaps I'm more conscious of the failing economy. When my mom asked me about my list, I really could not come up with anything. What is it that I want for Christmas? My response: nothing. Because that's exactly it. Christmas is not about wants. Christmas is about needs. What is it that I need for Christmas? I need my family, my friends, and of course, a good meal. I don't need a new iPod or a Burberry scarf. So this year, I'm challenging myself and my family: in these rough times, let's use the economy not as an excuse for less presents under the tree, but as an excuse to realize how wants overtake our lives. It's about time we examine our greedy nature and step back to reevaluate the difference between wants and needs.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


I commented on "unknown's" blog on their experience with potluck at SMU.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Cell phones used as an educational tool?

Coming into college, we all know to expect a cell phone policy much similar to the ones we had in high school. That is, no cell phone use during class. Period. Most recently my friend, who attends Abilene Christian University, tells how cell phones have actually held a place in their campus' learning environment. More particularly, the iphone 3G has been handed out to "two-thirds of this year's entering class of 950 freshmen." Much to my surprise I discovered that not only are the students expected to use the phones, but professors as well have been given iphones in order to "keep up with attendance" in class.

Is this really necessary? Its a mystery where these expenses came from. The smart phones could potentially take the place of laptops in the classroom for reasons such as the lack of communication between the professor and student and also because of how much cheaper an iphone would be. In the near future smart phones might play a role in a our general education at

Should this project be installed at SMU and/or other universities?