Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy 18th Nick!

Today, my son Nicolò Zuane Carrera is turning eighteen
Tanti Auguri Nick!
Starting today, Nick will be able to vote (but not drink!) and will begin the process of getting a driver's license as all Italians do when they're 18  -- even though he could have done that when he was 16 in this country...  
As a Venetian Nick does not need a license to drive a boat though!

He has seen me work on the Venice Project center his whole life and he may even have felt a bit resentful at times about how much of my energy was devoted to this program instead of on him.
We spent a lot of time together though.  
My job provided me the luxury of bringing Nick with me everywhere (and I did!).

I am grateful to WPI for supporting the center and my family for all these years.  
And I am grateful to my wife Jacqueline for having brought Nick into the world 18 years ago in a snowy and cold January day.  Thank you Jaq!  

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cloud of clouds

So, what happens if you recursively take the previous blog entry and make a cloud of that?

It's a meta cloud!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The year in a cloud

Now that the new term has started and the "official" anniversary term is behind us, I think it's time to sum things up. What better way to do that than with a word cloud?
So we took all of the reports produced in term B08 and plopped the words into and voilĂ !
Not surprisingly, Venice is the most prominent (i.e. most frequent) word in all of the 7 reports produced by the anniversary teams this year.  I like this specific cloud because it's also shaped somewhat like Venice...
Aside from the obvious ones, I think a careful reading of all the other more-or-less-frequent words is intriguing and fascinating...   Like, click on the image and study it.  Like, we'll quiz you later people! Like.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Is Matt a WPI graduate?

Actually, Matt Harding never went to college, but his well-traveled video might be an inspiration for us to create an equivalent round-the-world rhapsody touching all of our global project centers...  Wouldn't it be great?  
Let's invite him to campus, give him an honorary degree and enlist him into an intercontinental dancing project to celebrate together the global perspective program!  I'll be the cameraman...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Drink this killer graphic!

My friend Joe Moreau sent me a link to this really cool dynamic presentation with lots of spiffy moving graphics. It explains a lot about my life and may also give some insight about student behavior in general (and perhaps in Venice in particular)... If you can work through the heavy accent, IT'S FANTASTIC!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy Epiphanies on the Befana...

Today is the day of the Epiphany, marking the arrival of the Magi (three kings) to Jesus's birthplace.  In common parlance epiphany refers to the sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something...
I always wonder what (if any) epiphanies the intercultural experience in Venice may have generated in the 500+ students who came to the Venice Project Center in its 20 years of existence.  If you read this and you want to share your epiphany with me, please do so.  It would be greatly appreciated...
I have had some major epiphanies this fall myself.  I have realized how difficult it is for me to stay "present" when I interact with people since my mind is always racing ahead and thinking of the next thing that I need to do.  I have resolved to give myself the present of presence this year as the anniversary continues.
On the night prior to January 6, the Befana (basically the Italian version of the wicked witch of the west) comes to visit all children in Italy and fills their stockings with sweets if they have been good or coal if you have been bad (but how bad can children really be?).  We don't do the stockings at Christmas, but only on the Befana and traditionally schools in Italy do not restart until after the Befana.  In Venice, in recent years, the Befana has been celebrated with the regata delle befane, with rowers from various clubs (including the Settemari) dressed in funky witch dresses.  Very colorful.

So Buona Befana a tutti! 

And may this year and the rest of your life be full of epiphanies until you reach satori...