The Mac Lab

Jarring Transitions

by on Jun.14, 2015, under Blog


The final collection of posts on this site have mysteriously disappeared into the aether. Here’s what the site looked like prior to the rift.

Thanks to the hundreds of thousands of visitors from over 9,000 cities around the world who unexpectedly dropped in on our little high school class site. If you want to see what we’re up to today, visit the root directory.

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Reading the Map (Week 33)

by on May.14, 2012, under Blog

However, when those feelings of knowing tell you that you’re getting closer—when you feel the poetic meter slowly improve, or sense that the graphic design is being unconcealed—then you need to keep on struggling. Continue to pay attention until it hurts; fill your working memory with problems. Before long, that feeling of knowing will become actual knowledge.
Jonah Lehrer / Imagine: How Creativity Works 

Do you get it? Here’s another way to look at it:

Pay attention to the whispers of your soul. Trust them as you would a map, because that’s what they are.
— Andrew Heller

I’ll be sharing a tale of discovery in class today. Before getting to work, please re-read those two quotes at least one more time and think about what those words might mean in your own life.

And just in case you think these ideas just come from books I’ve read, here’s something from my own journey:

(continue reading…)

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Dreams and Needs (Week 32)

by on May.07, 2012, under Blog

It is necessary; therefore, it is possible.
— G.A Borghese

Home stretch. Six weeks plus finals. That’s all that’s left of the 2011/12 school year.

Many of you have found your ZIM. Some through AMP, some through TAG, and some through simply participating each day.

However, some of you remain apathetic. But the disconnected ones—the flatliners—though a visible presence in every class, are fewer in number than in year’s past.

Let’s cut that number by a few more today

Here’s the deal: Read the Code of Honor.

I’m serious. Read the Code of Honor and consider, really consider how each statement might apply to you.

Be a hero in your own life. Stand up and decide to try.

(continue reading…)

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Vincent and Semar’s Excellent Adventure (Week 31)

by on Apr.30, 2012, under Blog

Code is Poetry.
WordPress Motto

Imagine the first day of school next year. After finding their seats, the students are confronted with a teacher who simply smiles and points to the board.

On the board is login info and a directive to use a browser to find the Mac Lab Blog and follow the instructions found on the Week 1 post.

Once there, students are guided through the process of creating their own account on the blog. The final step involves logging in.

At login, several things happen at the same time:

  • +10 XP appears in the upper right corner of the browser
  • A progress bar/counter in the right sidebar registers the +10 XP
  • A generic Gravatar with the student’s name appears at the top of the sidebar

There’s more to it than that, but the main point is that each student will have his/her own account on the blog and the blog will keep track of his/her XP and virtual currency. No more switching to Google Docs.

But that’s not all.

(continue reading…)

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Work It (Week 30)

by on Apr.23, 2012, under Blog

There’s no such thing as a creative type. As if creative people can just show up and make stuff up. As if it were that easy. I think people need to be reminded that creativity is a verb, a very time-consuming verb. It’s about taking an idea in your head and transforming that idea into something real. And that’s always going to be a long and difficult process. If you’re doing it right, it’s going to feel like work.
Milton Glaser

Then maybe I did it wrong.

I agree with everything in that Glaser quote except that last sentence. Sure, searching for fresh ideas then bringing them to life can be a long and difficult process but I always thought it was fun. As a kid, I picked fruit and vegetables during the summer months. That was work. The two summers after high school, I was a laborer for a construction company. That was work. I started my first business—Back Room Graphics—during my second year at college. That was fun!

So, are creative efforts fun or work? Like everything else, that depends on your personal perspective.

In all cases of perception, from the most basic to the most sophisticated, the meaning of the experience is recognized by the observer according to a horizon of expectation within which the experience will be expected to fall.
James Burke / The Day the Universe Changed

(continue reading…)

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Learn it all.