Tag Archive | Reflections

My Fascination with Horror Movies

 I have always wondered why I crave so much for horror movies. Ever since I was a young and innocent little girl, I tended to get scared of any unusual noise or other simple activities such as listening to scary tales and stories told in the neighborhood. Some of these stories, according to my friends, were not even scary. To me they were. In my hometown, back in the Dominican Republic, my parents said they heard a singing voice in front of the house, by a tree.

images

The singing voice belonged to a female, and the voice sang “I want to go to heaven” and repeated this phrase over and over. I never heard anything, but just the fact that everyone was talking about it frightened me. Once I grew up and became an adult, I realized how much I enjoy horror movies, although they still scare me. When I opt for a horror movie, I know I will be scared from the very beginning, but that’s one of the best feelings I get to enjoy. Consequently, it brings me childhood memories; when I used to sit, watch, and then cover my face. I would not want to look, but then I finally did. I heard some girl’s distorted voice telling me to look, and I felt like if I was watching a real-life story. Today, once a horror movie is over, I get up from the seat and all my fears and emotions felt during the film just vanish.

Being fascinated with horror movies in particular makes me believe that we all have a shadow on our souls that we may reject or deny, but it is there. Therefore, we are drawn to stories that put us in touch with that missing link within our own personalities. I don’t mean to say we are crazy, or serial killers, simply that at times, we would like to have that kind of power. And so, like every audience, we are intrigued by fiction or anything that will release our emotions.

It’s not a Star Trek scene, it’s Microsoft’s HoloLens.

While sitting at home and flipping through channels, I watched the latest Microsoft’s commercial about holographic technology. I started browsing online and did some research about the technology, and I thought “Wow, they did it!” Holograms have been around for many years, however, a selected group of visionaries and technology leaders of Microsoft were the first create a standalone helmet that gives an illusion of a world you can just imagine. On January 22, 2015; Microsoft unveiled ‘HoloLens’ which will basically combine the digital with the physical world. Using advance processors and augmented reality built on Windows 10, HoloLens will allow wearers enhance real world scenarios in 3D.

Official Video

This is a big deal, I started thinking, and how can holograms fit into our world, what are its pros and cons? Think about it, with simple gestures we can unleash our creativity and if used wisely, this will create a big impact in science and education. Holograms can just make learning more fun. Students will experience an unimaginable level of engagement, as teachers will finally be able to replace chalkboards with modern projection screens to bring virtual guest speakers to the classroom using Telepresence Technology. Teleprecense is a form of robotic control that provides the participation of distant people. Students from all over the world will benefit from lessons delivered by teachers remotely. In addition, scientists are and will be able to continue exploring other planets from the comfort of their offices. One example of this is how NASA teamed up with Microsoft to control Curiosity and explore Mars.

All this is amazing news, for the pharmaceutical world, this would bring a tremendous help to surgeons who try to demonstrate a medical procedure to medical students. So then I think, what can be negative about HoloLens? So far, nothing, but there is more to come, HoloLens is now available for developers and organizations only, therefore this technology is still being  carefully reviewed in order to work the way it promises. I am personally excited about the technology; the price range from $3000 to 5000,  definitely worth it when we think about the contribution it will bring to science and education.

I Did Not Choose Technology, Technology Chose Me

1654d9825617023f18c7624325640a5e

“I want to learn those Microsoft applications, they seem so challenging and I like challenges” Those were my thoughts when I decided to go back to school and study Office Technology. I decided to go to the nearest school and speak to an advisor. She asked:

-“Why do you want to learn technology”?

-“All my friends are learning Word, Excel and PowerPoint, I heard is the next “big thing” I said.

The advisor advised they did not offer that program, but they had a very similar one: Information Technology. I sure did not know the big differences between the two, but I decided to give it a try. “I think you will love it” She said. I enrolled in the Information Technology program, expecting to learn nothing but Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and so I did, but also registered for required and challenging courses such as programming, Statistics and Operating Systems. Every new semester, I looked forward to see more female students in the classroom, but it never happened. Out of 20 students, only three were females, or sometimes it was just me. Regardless of my deceiving expectation I decided to go for it and continued my career. During my journey, while working on several contract projects, I still remember comments such as “I feel bad for this girl, working on a male dominated field” Then I realized why most women refused to enroll in anything but computer science. “I hate computers” Some of my girlfriends said in response to my comments about choosing technology. Most said, it’s a male dominated field, or it had too much coding and math they wouldn’t understand.

Today I still wonder if Information Technology will ever escape the negative geek stereotype. Unfortunately, despite the increased popularity of the “geek” culture, the so called nerd, and anti-social ‘geek’ still suffers from our culture’s negative label. This explains why women still shy away from careers in information technology. Somehow, when women think about computer science, they automatically link it with the nerdy look, wearing glasses and being anti-social. It’s the culture, not because math is hard. In addition, tech room environments can feel discriminatory for some women. This issue does not refer to women being unable to do the job, but to feel comfortable and earn respect from their colleagues. Women in particular have to demonstrate that we are educated and highly trained in the field. Working in the technology room can be quite challenging, but also rewarding and fun. If like me, you are a female working your way up in a male dominated career, keep this in mind in to survive in this environment:

-Be polite and communicate (respect others and network as much as you can).

-Know your industry (get informed and find opportunities to demonstrate women’s strengths).

-Learn from “the guys” (your male colleagues usually have plenty of experience, get involved).

-Promote diversity (show your friends that being the only female in your team is rewarding).

Some coworkers may never accept the idea of working with women, and will subtly or overtly make this obvious to you. With these individuals, the best response is to accomplish our job consistently well. There is no point in engaging in a debate with such a person, and no one can argue with results. You may never be able to win over your entire team, but you can represent our gender to the best of your abilities. The rewards for you and future generations of working women in technology will bear the fruit of our efforts.