Health Corner: Wi-Fi and Wellness

For the UAS Whalesong

A couple of years back I completed a pilgrimage called the Camino de Santiago (a.k.a. The Way of St. James). I spent a month in Europe backpacking across northern Spain, sleeping in hostels at night, and contemplating the meaning of my life in the great space of the world.

On that journey I did have several life-changing moments of clarity, which helped me step onto my current path. But the most enriching part of that journey was the first week, when I realized that asking for the Wi-Fi password would garner me looks of puzzlement – there is no Wi-Fi in rural Spain. Continue reading “Health Corner: Wi-Fi and Wellness”

Tech Fees on Deck

For the UAS Whalesong
A short while ago, someone from the University of Alaska Fairbanks contacted the Whalesong office with a fairly specific request for research. In their E-mail, they stated “At its establishment in 1997, the Board of Regents stipulated that ‘each chancellor, director or president will ensure that student representatives participate in the decision-making process related to the use of the revenue at each campus.’” They continued on to say that “a reallocation of the fee occurred at UAF last year, diverting 85% of the collected funds to OIT and the campus library, with only 15% remaining for allocation to projects and departments with student input.” The question they had was  whether or not anything like this was also happening at UAS, and asked if I would make an inquiry with the regional Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtable (TLTR) about the use of the    technology fee on Southeast campuses and who decides on those uses.
That’s a lot of information to take in at once, and at first I wasn’t sure where to start looking for an answer. Fortunately, I did have access to the E-mails of everyone on the regional TLTR, so I contacted them all – and, to my surprise, I got an E-mail back from the one person I hadn’t contacted, Vice Chancellor Michael Ciri! He informed me that he was the “resident expert and historian” on the UAS tech fee, and asked if I would be interested in meeting to talk about it. Of course I was, so we set up a meeting to do so. I think my words to a fellow Whalesong reporter as I was going into the meeting were something like “I don’t expect this to take an hour;” I must have jinxed myself, because I did emerge an hour later, but it was worth it. While I’m not sure that I gained the specific answer to the specific question that our contact at UAF was interested in, I did glean quite a lot of interesting information about the application and history of the technology fee here at UAS that I thought other students might be interested in – so settle in, it’s time to learn some things. Continue reading “Tech Fees on Deck”

A Far Cry from Homework


I have not spent very much time playing video games recently, due to abandoning my consoles in a harried attempt to catch up on my academic and life responsibilities—after all, that’s what I’m here for. However, for some weeks previous I have been laboring away at what is quickly becoming one of my favorite games of all time, Far Cry 4.

Continue reading “A Far Cry from Homework”