Symposing at the Summer Symposium

This post was originally posted on Jeremiah's group blog ittybittyIT. Click that link to check out more posts from Jeremiah and friends. Now, onto the post!

Miss Mike loves - to everyone's dismay - talking about Camp Blue Lake, but there is a different music camp I just got back to that has to be loads more fun, although it has a rather long name. The Music For All Summer Symposium or just Summer Symposium. Is a week long music camp where you can take a track over whatever type of music you like - be it concert band, marching band, jazz band, orchestra, etc. I did the marching band track and it was by far the best track offered.

Here's how the week went. After waking up at 4am to leave for Indiana (where the camp is) you can imagine I would be pretty tired, but I got to sleep a little in the car and when we got there around 11:30 I was decently rested. Each camp day went about the same - there was breakfast, drill practice, lunch, sectionals, dinner, leadership, concert.

The morning drill practice was where we practiced FUNdamentals that aren't very fun and learned our dots for the show. It did surprise me how much faster we learned dots at the Summer Symposium than at my own high school. The dots and music we were learning we for a drum corps called Carolina Crown. We were learning a part of their show and at the end of the week we would get to march it with them! In the afternoon sectionals we worked on all our music and tone and other stuff like that so we can become better musicians.

At leadership we learned how to be leaders in our own band programs through games and videos and lessons. All week they emphasized the idea of "the more you give, the more you get" challenging you to put more into the things that you do and you will get more out of them in the long run.

The nightly concerts were something I really looked forward to everyday. Each night they had a concert by a different band. They had all sorts of bands performing, but my favorite was a group called Time for Three. It is a group made up of two violinists and a concert bass. They have a great music video that embedded below for your viewing pleasure.

Friday night's concert was by far the best. Instead of sitting in a concert hall like the other nights, we went over to the stadium and watch the DCI show. It was my first drum corps show and I loved it. We got to play the National Anthem before the show and at the end we marched the part of Carolina Crown's show we had learned with Carolina Crown. The experience of marching with Crown was awesome, but it was just as awesome to practice with them. The people in Crown are just like the people in my band at home between sets and running back to the beginning except when they run stuff. They are able to instantly snap between making jokes and having fun to (BOOM!) march and play perfectly. Of course there is a video of our performance. In case you can't tell, Crown is in the cream uniforms and the campers are in the random pants and white shirts.

Altogether the week was awesome and I will definitely be returning to the Summer Symposium next year! I hope I'll see you there!

Question: What's your favorite camp of all time?

Happy Fourth of July!

In case you haven't noticed the red white and blue stuff everywhere and all the patriotic music on the radio, today is Independence Day! Here at ittybittyIT we like to celebrate holidays too, so I (not literally) threw together a wonderful mashup of cool patriotic clip art that I have made available for your viewing and studying pleasure. I hope y'all have a wonderful Fourth of July!

Election Years Make me Sick

Before you read this, let me say two things. I am not a Romney supporter. I am not an Obama supporter. Now feel free to continue reading this post knowing that information.

This year is an election year and if you're like me, this is the time when you starting getting sick. Not actually sick like this dude on the right, but sick--in a figurative manner--of all the stupid politics. For some reason, Obama has recently been on a rant about Romney's money and it really makes me think negatively on Obama. Apparently, Obama--like many Americans--think money is a bad thing. It's not. Money is not a bad thing to have, to spend, or to give away. Idolizing money is a bad thing, not having it.

Earlier this morning, I posted this on my facebook:
Earlier today Obama's campaign staff tweeted: 
"FACT: In 2010 and 2011, Romney paid less than 15% in taxes on $42.5 million in income—much less than what many middle-class families pay.” 
Romney's staff could easily spin this and say:
"FACT: [Under President Obama's tax policy], [One Millionaire] paid less than 15% in taxes on $42.5 million in income—much less than what many middle-class families pay.”
If Romney wants to win, he needs to take this opportunity to point out how flawed Obama's tax system is instead of trying to justify his actions.
The thing that really bugs me about Obama is that he takes credit for anything good tweeting "Under President Obama, this totally awesome thing happened." Anything bad that happened during his term earns at tweet something like this "This evil, horrible person who I am blaming did this evil, horrible thing that is completely detestable and evil."

This past week I was at the MFA Summer Symposium where one of the big focuses was leadership. They said something that really stuck out to me about how a real leader takes the blame for the bad and distributed the credit for the good. If our president is supposed to be a leader, neither candidate seems fit for the job.

Well that's my two cents.

Yet Another Redesign

It seems like every couple months gets a redesign and if you take a look at some of the older designs of the website, you can tell that there have been some huge improvements over time. For this redesign, I am having a friend who thinks she has design skills help out to make sure it looks good. She has a Tumblr that you should go check out. In other news, I might start writing stuff here again soon, but until then, you can keep up with what I am doing on ittybittyIT or @Woo_ten.

I Do Not Support SOPA

I do not support SOPA, but because of the way I have my domain name set up, blacking out (something many popular sites like Google and my own ittybittyIT are doing) would mess up my domain forwarding set-up and lead to being offline for several days. I have set-up the blackout protest on ittybittyIT and would recommend that you all go there to view my thoughts on SOPA and for information on how you can protest.

My New Years Resolutions

Everyone makes resolutions December 31 or January 1, so I decided to wait a few days and make my resolutions on January 3. I'm going to make 12 resolutions since that's what many other people are doing and since it's 2012.

1. This year I am going to learn to code
Now I know I'm not going to instantly be amazing at this and create the next Angry Birds or the next Facebook, but I want to learn the basics of coding. If I really like it and don't get too frustrated I might go on to more advanced coding and maybe make something cool. To do this I'm going to use Code Academy. They make it easy and fun to learn how to code. The courses slowly progress while constantly reviewing what you have already learned. Every day they have a new course starting with the basics and by the end of the year it will move on to harder coding. So far I have only done one course and it's already day 3, but hopefully I can catch up. I definitely encourage all of you to use Code Academy to learn to code this year.

2. This year I am going to clean up my hard drive
I don't have my own computer, but my family's computer is really junked up. It use to be that we would always delete stuff we didn't need and keep our computer orderly and clean, but ever since we got a terabyte hard drive we have stopped caring as long we don't get close to that seemingly impossible limit. Although we still have only filled up a quarter of that drive, we definitely have a lot of programs we never use and a lot of duplicate files that really need deleting. Also some folder organization would definitely help out so that we could actually find stuff.

3. This year I am going to post on ittybittyIT everyday
A couple of my friends and I have a blog called ittybittyIT. Whenever we think to do so, we post an "IT" which is just a thought, a recommendation of a website, a funny story, or just whatever else it on our minds. The whole point of the blog is that the elusive "IT" can be anything and it constantly changes. The only problem is that our postings are random and sparatic which isn't what we want it to be. I know I have already missed two days, but starting today through the rest of 2012, I will post on ittybittyIT everyday no matter what. 

4. This year I am going to get away from technology everyday
I know all of my previous resolutions all require me spending a lot of time using computers, but this one is the exact opposite. Everyday this year I am going to spend one hour a day away from any and all technology. That's right away from any and all technology. Basically for one hour a day, I am going to be Amish (do Amish people ride bikes?). Well, maybe not completely Amish, but I hope to spend one hour everyday outdoors exercising and exploring God's creation instead of inside discovering man's creation of the internet.

5. This year I am going to spend one week away from technology
I am not sure when I am going to do this, but one week this year (a full seven days), I am going to be away from technology. A little retreat from tech. It will not be like number 4 where I am completely away from electricity (I will still use lights and stuff) I just won't use computers, iPads, or any other piece of "advanced" technology. It will probably be sometime during the summer and I will keep you updated on when that will be (although not during it since I won't be using technology.)

6. This year I am going to start a podcast
I watch or listen to many podcasts every week in fact, I have pretty much replaced TV with podcasts, so it seems like after spending as much time as I do listening to podcasts, I should be able to make my own. It will probably be a weekly podcast, but I have no idea what it will be about, but I'm really excited about doing this.

7. This year I am going to read 100 books
I used to read all the time, but the past couple of years for some reason or another, I haven't read all that often. I have plenty of books - over 200 - so why not read half of those this year? That's my thinking and that's what I'm going to do this year. Some of them will be rereads, but some of them will be new fresh books I have never read before.

8. This year I am going to review 100 books
This resolution goes hand in hand with number 7. After I read each book, I am going to write a review about it to prove that I read it and understand it. I'm not sure if I'll post those reviews here or on ittybittyIT (which would definitely help out resolution 3) or if I'll make another blog for these reviews, but I'll definitely keep you updated about it.

9. This year I am not going to get addicted to any simulation games
Everyone knows about this problem games like FarmVille, CityVille, TinyTower, etc. can be really addicting and can waste hours of time. Since I have a lot of resolutions this year that will take a lot of time, I don't really have time to waste on pointless simulation games and therefore I will not play any of them this year.

10. This year I am going to read through the bible in one year
The bible app I have has all sorts of reading plans and one of them is reading through the bible in one year. I have tried this many time, but have never gotten past Numbers (the forth book of the bible). There are so many things that we can all learn from the bible if we would just read it, but most of us only read it on Sundays and maybe Wednesdays and never explore it to find the awesome truths hidden throughout it. I'm not going to do that this year.

11. This year I am going to wear my retainer everyday
I have gotten in a bad habit of not wearing my retainer and whenever I try to wear it my mouth aches cause I haven't worn it in forever. This year I am going to stick to it and wear my retainer every day no matter how bad it hurts.

12. This year I am going to read and understand important historical documents
This last one sound kind of weird, but since our country is based off some pretty old and important documents, it might be kind of cool if I had read and understood them. I plan to read the full Declaration of Independence and the full Constitution with all its amendments. I'll probably also be reading a lot of guides to help me understand these old documents. I hope this will help me understand more about my country's founding so that I'm not just another ignorant citizen that only cares about himself.

There are my 12 resolutions for 2012. I hope to complete all of them this year and will keep you update with my progress of each resolution each Sunday with an update post of how much of each resolution I have completed. I might add some resolutions throughout the year cause who says I have to make all my resolutions at the beginning of the year?

Question: What are your resolutions?

Merry Christmas!

Thank-you to anyone and everyone who has visited this year. It really  means a lot to me to know that someone is actually reading this stuff (or at least some sort of spambot keep coming back to the site). I hope that you have enjoyed some of my writings on here and I hope to keep writing all through next year. Just a reminder, anytime you like anything you read on here make sure to click the sharing buttons at the bottom of each post and share what I wrote with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. If you want to see my writing more often you can go to where a couple friends and I write short items of the day called IT's. I don't write every post, but I do write some of them. You can also follow me on twitter @Woo_ten. Commenting is always a great thing to do because it shows me that someone actually read my stuff and I really appreciate anyone who takes the time to leave a comment on what they think about my writing.

Thanks again to everyone who has read anything on my website and I hope you continue to do so as we move into 2012 - allegedly the year the world ends.

Question: How long do you think it will take before people actually comment and answer my questions?