One and all, I bid you welcome...|
For a few years I've watched, with various degrees of amusement, the growth of blogs across the net. Millions, springing up near every time you blink.
What do these people have so much to write about?, I always ask myself. Could their life possibly be so much more exciting than my own? Well, yes, obviously. It's not hard to be more exciting than a second-year Comp-Sci student. Advanced species of mold can qualify. But exciting enough to be able to pour out a steady stream of content, always interesting, never descending into the dull and the trivial? Reading a stranger's diary isn't really all that exciting, especially if they cut out the bits they'd rather you not know. So what's the point?
The point is, if you'd have asked me a week or so ago whether I'd be interested in writing a blog, I'd probably have laughed in your face. Not very loudly, because I'm a very polite young man, but I wouldn't exactly be running to choose out a color theme.
So, you ask, why has Standback so suddenly undergone such utter conversion? Why on earth is Standback writing a blog?!
Well, I'll tell you: I'm being paid for it.
OK, let me explain that, because that didn't sound very good right there.
As I mentioned, I lead a quiet and contemplative life as a Computer Science student. As a CS student, mostly what I contemplate is segmentation faults. I study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Givat Ram campus, which is surely the single biggest concentration of geeks for miles around (and I use the term 'geeks' in the best possible way). Henceforth, any reference to "HUJI," "Hebrew U," or "Givat Ram" should all be synonymous with "that place Standback studies at."
So I'm sitting in the computer lab one day, whistling cheerfully to myself, or possibly considering suicide over the latest segmentation fault; I forget which. When all of a sudden, out of the blue, I get an email:
The School of Engineering and Computer Science is looking for 5 able students who are interested and able to write a
So it turns out that CS wants a few students to write blogs. They want to encourage you to state your opinions about your experiences at the CSE. They are interested in hearing it all, the bad as well as the good. Not only that, they also will be able to pay the five chosen student editors 5 hours per week at student rates.
OK, so that still doesn't sound too great on my part.
But the thing is this: that email got me thinking. I found myself thinking up all kinds of things I could write for a blog. I imagined myself writing Onion-style news articles and doing entries in haiku. I found myself writing entries in my head, and they were funny. They were interesting. Maybe not to everybody, but people who enjoy geek humor will laugh. I'm a Computer Science student. At Givat Ram. Everybody I know at this university likes geek humor.
I can do this. It'll be fun.
So here I am. CS's goal is to hear the student experience. So you'll be seeing a lot of that. But my goal is this: Have fun. Be funny. Be fun to read.
That works for me.
BONUS POINTS to whoever can read the whole way through the Overlong Inspirational Quote!
Marry, sir, I have a pretty wit. I can rhyme you extempore; I can convulse you with quip and conundrum; I have the lighter philosophies at my tongue's tip; I can be merry, wise, quaint, grim, and sardonic, one by one, or all at once; I have a pretty turn for anecdote; I know all the jests-- ancient and modern-- past, present, and to come; I can riddle you from dawn of day to set of sun, and, if that content you not, well on to midnight and the small hours. Oh, sir, a pretty wit, I warrant you-- a pretty, pretty wit!
--Jack Point, "Yeoman of the Guard"
 My desktop background is blue. Linux computers. No idea how to change it.
 Hint: that's not a lot.
 Evidently not this one, though.
 Those of you who don't understand the significance of this remark, I promise to explain in a later post.