Saturday, December 06, 2008

A winner for the HP Magic Giveaway!

Hello world! I’ve had a busy week at work with php and Drupal, and then had a very nice time at the EFF at an informal Drupal class where Tim Jones walked us all through the process of installing Drupal and writing “Hello World” modules. I did a lot of editing on a book for Aqueduct Press about this year’s feminist science fiction convention The WisCon Chronicles volume 3, which is coming together nicely. My son had 3 choir performances got to play for the first time in snow, a pit of artificial snow provided by our little town in California. I made up strange background stories about an alternate Lord of the Rings story where Galadriel accepts the One Ring when Frodo offers it to her. And I helped Oblomovka move house, obsessively measuring everything and drawing the room on graph paper and cutting out to-scale furniture also on graph paper, which I love doing! A busy life. Somewhere in between all those things, I read all of your comments and blog posts for the HP Magic Giveaway.

Onward to the contest! This is a long post; be warned!

Over 100 people entered the contest, which is really not very many for such a good prize. However, I was impressed with the high quality of the entries, with all of the interesting comments, whether they were analytical responses or personal stories that related to my experiences. Many people gave details of how they’d like to share the contest prizes with others in their family, with neighbors, with organizations they work with, or with schools. Every story had its merits.

I hope that everyone who didn’t win a free computer will think of ways they can get what they’d like for themselves, and for others. For example, they could hold a fundraiser on their own blog, to buy a computer like the ones in the contest and donate it to the cause of their choice.

I truly appreciate all the comments and entries! While I can’t mention everyone by name, but of the entries, I was especially impressed with :

* Mr. Brammer, who commented on wearable usb drives and on useful mobility gadgets. He teaches school in Indonesia and could really use some computers to spread throughout the villages where he works. “What's great is that I am already in position to make a direct impact using those computers, without having to search for an outside charity: my students are the charity!” He doesn’t have a current blog that I could find but his wife does, and I liked seeing the lovely photo of them as a family. Yeah, so I stalk my commenters. What else is new!

* Loving Heart Mommy, who posted about disabilty and travel, and who would like to use some of the computers for home schooling and to start her own business

* Kostas, who is a human rights activist in Greece and whose mother works for a school. He commented on disability and travel, mentioning his commitment to fighting for equal rights for people of all sexualities, immigrant status, and abilities.

* S. Bear Bergman, whose work I am somewhat familiar with and who had (as always) fantastic ideas around trans and gender issues, commenting on diversity training and sparking conversation Twitter .

* Bridget commented on “being of a time” and the history of science and medicine.

* Ben, who commented on Growing a Language and whose blog entry over on bentangle did make me think. Though halfway in that laughing my ass off way as I pondered his approach to feminism, which is to ask his male friends to imagine going through life without a penis. “While this is obviously a simplistic and crude explanation, it seems to be effective for men because, frankly, a lot of how we spend our time is influenced by the fact that we have one.” Seriously? I had no idea! LOL! (Imagine, ladies, going throughout life without a vulva. A) Apparently that would make you a man? B) What? C) LOL again. ) But, anyway, Ben is a thoughtful and interesting blogger!

* Twincere aka Tanya, who had a lot to say about disability, people’s attitudes, and autism. Her family of 7 shares one rickety old desktop, she is in Nursing school, and she recommends The Endependence Center, which helps families with transitional services, ie independent living, as a worthy recipient of computer equipment. I very much agree with her! The indepedent living movement is great!

* Cindy Opong of Creative Assistants commented with a story about people’s assumptions and expectations based on race (and racism) when they see her (white) with her husband (black, from Ghana) or how people look at her funny when she’s in the local African grocery. She would like to give computers in support of a local (Colorado) school that promotes diversity in education.

* Heather of ibabble.net left a long, interesting comment relating my travel and disability stories to her college roommate’s experiences living with visual impairment. Like many people who entered, she personally knows many others in her group of family and friends whose lives, school, or small businesses would be improved by owning a new computer!

* Christine commented on my entry about the Bitch Manifesto, and she would like to “share the magic” with the Salvation Army of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who lost everything in the floods this June but which has continued to do great work in the community all year long. Florencia from Listen Up Mofos also had some things to say about bitches!

Steph from gamers with lives weighed in on my critique of the sexist descriptions of Google VP Marissa Mayer. She does outreach in K12 schools with girls and students with disabilities, with hands-on activities like Lego Mindstorm robots. That is a GREAT project! Go, Steph aka retrogamer! And, I liked your comments on being a female educator in computing and what it’s like for geeky girls. I’ve totally been there.

* Michele from Creative Writing 101 commented and posted about the poems by Emilia Bernal and my translations. Her story made me laugh and she would like to donate computers to the organization where she works, a center for disadvantaged teens. Well, imagine wanting to donate to your employer. That speaks well of the organization, doesn’t it, that it’s not just a job for its workers, it’s something they believe in deeply and want to give more resources than the labor they already give?

* Jonathan wrote at length about the gender gap in computer science, discussion which I’m always happy to see. I would recommend to him that he read “She’s Such a Geek” anthology for some stories from women in male-dominated science and tech fields for a slightly less dry, and more personal, approach to the issues!

* Sandy of momforeverandever, who wrote about her feelings when her husband, an army veteran who is disabled, meets with idiotic treatment from others! She would give a computer to her child who’s in college and others to families of disabled veterans.

* Overmind, who seems like he must be a teenager or in his early 20s, and who is reading Twilight in order to find out how to behave towards women in a relationship. I hope he pays attention to the bits about listening to your girlfriend’s thoughts and opinions, and ignores the creepy stalker bits of the book where Edward is insane, possessive, and spies on his girlfriend at all times. I really enjoyed the thought of a young guy reading this series to get insight into what women of his generation are thinking, and feeling, and in order to analyze gender roles. His guy friends should learn from him and not be so scared to read a “girly” book!

* Heather, or goddess of knitting (that’s her shop on etsy) had a lot to say about teaching poetry in science courses, and cross-curriculum education in public schools. Go, Heather! Mix it up! Her biology class in southern Georgia (the U.S. state) will start on Jan. 7th and she would love to have computers for her classroom. I love her enthusiasm and her stories of all the preparation she’s doing for her first time teaching. “I plan to have a project where each student has to read a science fiction book and do a report that must compare the science in the book with the real science. I also have warm-ups planned everyday and on Wednesdays this will be a science poem. Some of the authors are Federico Garcia Lorca, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, John Haines and George Bradley. I feel very so strongly that the lack of crossover in the subjects makes us more compartmentalized as a culture.”

* Meg from Life in the Village commented on being a bitch, positive and negative aspects! Her small town has a new middle school that could use some computers!

* Amanda’s long comment on disability, I’ve already mentioned but it still makes me burn with sympathy and anger for her brother.

* I hate to say it but Amber’s comment gave me the biggest laugh of all but not really in a good way. OMG! I mean, I respect her work with the Childhood Cancer Network, and Scarlet Letter seems like an interesting site, but she kissed ass on me so awfully. Who could possibly be flattered by this enough to go “Oh well then I’ll just give you a giant wad of computers!” : “Thank you Liz Henry, you have the name of a poet or a great author. It flows nicely such as Jane Austen or Anais Nin. Its a name that would look great on paper.” AHAHAHAHAHAHA, what?!!!! I will be dining out over the ridiculousness of this comment for years to come. Everyone who I’ve showed it to has burst into horrified laughter and made fun of me all day. Now, on the other hand making me laugh is worth something; maybe she meant it as irony; plus, she has a great email name herself, “shevilkenevil1”. LMAO over here.

* Beverly’s Yarn Crazy!, a blog whose name is so awesome I have to just give her props. Thank you Beverly’s Yarn Crazy!, you have the name of a poet or a great knitter. It flows nicely such as Yarn Harlot or Yarnivore. It’s a name that would look great crocheted onto a potholder or an afghan. 8-) Hi Beverly!

* deepikaur from Redefinability made some thoughtful comments on social networks and Twittering. Her blog looks interesting!

* Vundavalli from Cricket Crazy would really like some computers for his village and for Sphoorti, a grassroots organization that helps with the education of underprivileged children in Hyderabad.

* Roguepuppet told a great story about being a young Girl Scout in Maryland in the U.S., volunteering at nursing homes. Under Maryland law, nursing homes were temporary residences, so none of the people living there could vote! She and her fellow Girl Scouts campaigned to change the law, and succeeded. Wow!

Several people commented on Highly Trained Girl-Monkey Sys Admin Bait including Rikki from Linux Pro, Jamie, another Syster with a long story about sexism in her department and her data structures class.

* Sara Moreira from Portugal (and East Timor ) posts about a project she works with in East Timor that helps women who are going into Engineering. She works in IT and E-Learning, and has been a professor of Engineering at East Timor National University, uses computers and social media for women’s empowerment, and, along with another Syster from Portugal, is planning to start a mini-incubator for a web dev company run by Timorese women that will focus on arts and local culture. Wow! Ten thumbs up from me on that project! Wait, I don’t have ten thumbs but I do have a whole bunch of computers to give away. I am very happy to declare Sarita Moreira the winner of the contest and I’ll be contacting her for details and to arrange the shipping. Congratulations Sarita, and I admire your project very much. Also, from what I can understand of Portuguese, I love your writing - so beautiful! 8-)




What do you think of my choice of a winner? If you’ve followed along this week with the entries and comments: who would you have chosen?

Thank you again to everyone for participating! I LOVE YOUR BLOGS!

There are still more HP Magic Giveaway contests! So, you still have a chance to win these computers. Go for it!

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12 comments:

Mr. Brammer said...

Liz, thanks so much for mentioning my entry as one that you liked! And first! What an honor. I do actually have a blog, my personal blog is at www.losingtheworld.com and my professional blog is at blog.mrbrammer.com

Some cool news though. While I am sad that I did not win on your site, a couple of hours ago I received an email from BostonPocketPC and have been declared the winner on theirs! How awesome is this contest.

God bless you.

Liz said...

Evan, I saw that you won on my secret backchannel, and was very happy that you got picked on another contest. Congratulations!

deepikaur said...

Thanks for mentioning me, Liz. And congrats to the winner! =]
Congrats to you as well, Mr. Brammer.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

sarita said...

Wow!

You cannot imagine the power this result will have in the future of all these digital divide / social entrepreneurship I have been planning.

It is just the right kick-off for something BIG and BEAUTIFUL.

I am so astonished I cannot say nothing but a big THANK YOU for believing in this. I will make it all happen thanks to you, sys :)

Ana Boa-Ventura said...

Hi Liz and everyone!
I was already in bed 12:40 AM in AUstin when my dearest friend Sara from Portugal called me to give me the news. I am Portuguese but live in the US. I met her when I went to Portugal 1 month ago because she posted on the Systers list something that touched my heart on how she wanted to go back to Timor and make a difference. She is a tiny little thing but with so much ENERGY. Liz, I loved to read about everyone's projects - I think they're all wonderful and I thin YOU are wonderful to have put all this together. I can tell you this much: Sara will put those laptops to very good use with the people of Timor! Thank you!
Ana Boa-Ventura

sarita said...

You can read in my blog a public thank you note and an overview about the genesis of my connection with Timor: http://saritamoreira.blogspot.com/2008/12/thanks-to-fairy-called-liz.html

Best regards!

mãenuela said...

Thank you Liz for your work and the choice you made to this contest.
I am a Phisiatrist and very much admire the stamina of those with "less mobility", but more strenght and joy of living.
Sara is my 3th daughter. I live divided between the wish that her dreams come true, and the "saudades" i feel while she is away.
I know that she will make a good use of the christmas gift she received from you.That prize will give her even more energy to put in practice all the good plans she has for a life.
Thank you, and congratulations for your choice.

neca said...

Great choice!

Liz is #1

Tom said...

Definitely a good pick!

And that sounds like a fun LOTR alternate reality to think about.

Deb on the Rocks said...

I love your recipient. Very intriguing. What a blast you must have had reading all of those entries.

Isn't in interesting the different ways the HP bloggers approached the terms of their giveaways? I liked following yours a lot!

paulomoreirainfo said...

Great choice!

Liz is #1

Kristinia - Loving Heart Mommy said...

Wow Liz, thanks for mentioning Loving Heart Mommy on your blog! There were many moving posts! We will be sure to keep up to date with your blog as we are subscribed! Congrats to the winners!