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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reality Lab

Today I worked all day at the TASCO Youth Graphics Technologies Lab.  While this is a government program under the auspices of the Leisure and Community Services of the City of Saint Petersburg, it is evident that it is not run like a government program—if by government program one means an assembly line process using second class equipment and software.  We recently upgraded computer memories to handle Adobe Photoshop CS5. The TASCO staff installed wall mounted widescreen monitors.  Adobe Creative Suite CS5 and Photoshop Elements for photo editing and Photoshop Elements Premiere for video editing are installed on laptops.  There is also software for audio editing. (Total number of computers: 7 desktops; 6 laptops.)  Cameras and video equipment are top of the line.  The student creations born from the program testify to the program’s genuine merit.  Judges in graphics competitions bestow top honors on the program’s entries.  Of course, quality neither begins nor ends in technology.  Rather it derives from the commitment of the staff and students to the pursuit of excellence.  Ethical values such as honesty, respect, and discipline are the origins and ends of the program.  Electronic gimmickry alone could not provide the gravitas that sturdily underlies the structure and assiduousness of the program.  This program clearly is more than a thin effort “to do something” for youth and to give officials an easy justification that “something” is being done.  The intention, the effort, and the product are securely grounded in reality.

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