A Week in Philly 1: 4-8-11 – 4-14-11

Welcome to the first installment of A Week in Philly. Yes, this is a couple of days late and therefore not of to the greatest start, but I hope you will agree that it’s better late than never. So, without further ado, I hope that you will enjoy.

Hi there! If you’re reading this, you’ve managed to stumble upon a project I’ve decided to start. Last Saturday, I was suddenly hit by a pretty significant burst of inspiration while downing a coffee at one of the three Starbucks immediately near me. While there, I was reading Danny Choo’s blog, now known as Culture Japan, as I often do. However, this past Saturday (May 7th by the way) I was reading an update he hadn’t posted in a while. OK, he posted it on Friday and I didn’t get around until reading it until Saturday, but that isn’t important. You know what, just completely forget reading that last sentence. It never happened. Anyway, it was a post from his Week in Tokyo series. I in no way mean to copy what he does, but it got me thinking, “How much would people care if I documented my life?” And I mean beyond Twitter. Shortly after, I found myself taking out my camera and started to record a vlog, something I hadn’t done in a long time.

Fitting enough, the vlog was on inspiration, or rather what I personally do for inspiration. Rather than let that burst of inspiration I had die out in one day, I decided to keep with it. So, Sunday rolled around and I decided to take a walk throughout the city. Sure, it was only Walnut and Market Street, but better than nothing I suppose. On that walk, I did something I hadn’t before. I visited Rittenhouse Square. Yep, that’s right. I’ve been in Philly since September of last year and I just visited Rittenhouse Square this past Sunday.

I bet you’re thinking, that asshole. Sunday was Mother’s Day. Why wasn’t he thanking his mom for being a mom? I did. In multiple mediums. I would’ve loved to have been home for Mother’s Day – and yes home is only a state away – but it was beyond my control. Getting back to Rittenhouse Square, it was packed. Perfect day for picture taking. While I wouldn’t call Rittenhouse Square as impressive as New York’s Central Square, it’s quite nice having it just a couple of blocks away from Drexel. Sure there’s Love Park and Fairmont Park, but Love Park is more concreet than green and Fairmont Park involves going through the less than wonderful part of Philly. Yeah, not the best idea to walk there.

Anyway, if you want to see all the photos from Sunday’s walk, check out the gallery. By the way, for the full size (or close enough) of those images, just click on them.

Monday marked the start of week seven for my third term here at Drexel. I had no idea week seven would prove to be one of the busiest I’ve had in a while. However, Monday was a typical Monday for me, with only one difference. I recorded it. While I didn’t record my classes, for obvious reasons, I did record pretty much every other part of my day and uploaded it to YouTube later that night. For those interested in a tl;dr version of a typical day for me, it’s get up at 9am, eat breakfast, MATH180 at 11, lunch at 12, INFO152 at 2pm, dinner at 6pm, bed sometime between 12am and 3amish. I know, hardly exciting but that’s what I get to do Monday-Thursday. Friday I only have one class, ENGL103, in the afternoon so I get to sleep in a bit more than the other days of the week and am typically more free. I wish I had more to say about Monday, but I honestly don’t. It was quite uneventful.

In regards to Tuesday, rather uneventful as well. I really suck at this don’t I? Honestly, I wish my life were more exciting. If I did anything worth talking about on Tuesday, it’d likely be my new addiction to Empire Avenue, which I happened to vlog about Tuesday. In a nutshell, Empire Avenue is a social, virtual stock market in which you sell shares of yourself (or company, if you have one). In the most basic of forms, it’s a new kind of social network, offering an experience I’ve yet to see anywhere else. I willing to bet some of you may have groaned there. “Not another social network….” Empire Avenue, in that regard, is both yes and no. Yes in that it is indeed a social network, but no in that it’s also a game. Your share price on Empire Avenue is influenced directly by your activity on both Empire Avenue and other social networks, such as Twitter or Facebook. The more socially active and engaging you are on the internet, the better your personal numbers. As EAv (short for Empire Avenue) puts it, Buy is the new Like. I strongly encourage everyone to at least take a look at what it is. I won’t make anyone join, but I do suggest it.

Wednesday I do actually have things to talk about. One of the orginizations I’m a part of here at Drexel is called TechServ. At TechServ we take used computers, typically from University departments or patrons, and refurbish them before donating them to local non-profits, although a few of them have brought computers from us to other parts of the world, such as Africa. At TechServ, or mission is to bridge the digital divide. But that’s not all we do. We also hold events and workshops and also collect historic computers. As a result, on Wednesday we partnered with the library and university archives to display some of them, including an IBM PC/XP, Macintosh Plus, 30, and 30/SE, a PowerBook G4 and a G4 Cube. If you’re wondering why so many Macs over PCs, TechServ was previously dusers, a Mac group. In addition to displaying them in the lobby on Wednesday, we also displayed them outside the archives on the lower level of the library. With the exception of three of the Macintoshs, all of them were working and open to anyone to play with.

Thursday is when the week really got nuts. Thursdays usually are my busiest days of the week, but this one was more than normal. I’m still playing catch up because of it. It’s part of the reason this is going up late. That said, all I really have to report on for Thursday is that I was busy with school work all day and constantly running around campus to and from various locations.

Friday was mainly consumed by a workshop that TechServ held, which I was in charge of livestreaming on Ustream. On a tangent here, if you’re a Drexel student, we’re holding a LAN party this Saturday.Free pizza at a night (and early morning) of gaming 😉 Off tangent now, after the Ubuntu workshop, I personally went to go have dinner at the Hans, which consisted of a pretty boring meal. I don’t event remember what I had, probably the same old. After that, I stopped by my favorite Starbucks to enjoy my first Gold Level free drink. After that, it was off to a TechServ member’s room for a night of gaming and movies.

Finally, Saturday and Sunday were uneventful, minus the large open house Drexel held. In fact, University Housing actually sent out a warning email about it – for once. Other than that, it was a weekend of class work. Yep, I didn’t get the chance to relax over the weekend, hence no vlogs for Saturday nor Sunday.

All in all, it was quite a busy week. From school work to working on The Network (this one by the way), I had a ton on my plate. In regards to further development of this site, I still have a lot of work to do on it, but I wanted to open it up to a public beta/preview to start collecting feedback as soon as possible. Please be aware that the design is in no way final, and there are still a few ways I intend on changing it around. If the site breaks, you know why. That’ll do it for this installment. I hope to have another one for this week as well.

Until next time 😉

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