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Valentino Lin

[10 points] Steve Job's speech is extremely motivational. It is very applicable in our lives too. In certain aspects, I find that it is an ideology that we are all working toward to, only that we might not realize it. It was hard to believe while i was reading his three stories that they some what relates to my life in certain aspects too.

“Connecting The Dots” has most similarities to my educational path when I was applying to transfer to a four institute. Before I starting applying to the institutions this winter, I wanted to stay in Foothill College for another year before transferring. However, my parents forced me to transfer this year instead. Thus, I carried on with the application. With the deadlines closing on, I had really a short time to prepare for the whole application process. I had to connect everything that I have done in the past and put all my accomplishments into my personal statement. As I recalled my accomplishments, I wondered how were they associated with the educational aspect. Little connections were established as they were mostly leadership awards. There was little to do with education. But somehow, I was able to connect those accomplishments to associate them with my future educational goals. I only started taking my education seriously after I came to Foothill. The combination of my past leadership awards and education at Foothill transformed into a perfect personal statement presenting me as a well-rounded student rather than an academic nerd.

“Do what you love”is a dogma that I live by everyday. There is no other satisfaction that could make you happier, more excited everyday than to doing the things you love. Imagine how is one, who dreads studying, going to wake up every morning only to find out that he is going to do the thing he hates most? Well, that person used to be me. I don't like studying, but I enjoy learning. To others, it may seem like studying and learning is one similar item. But to me, they are totally different, which explains why I do take education seriously these days. The best feeling that I got out of learning is when I felt that I have gained a new knowledge on a particular subject, skill, or even capability. I feel more empowered with the new knowledge. So, how does it brings back to the main dogma? Every morning, I wake up and look outside the window. As I admired the beautiful sunrise, I tell myself “what a exciting day it will be. I am going to learning something new today. I can't wait to get to school and get on with learning.” With that, I get all pump up ready for school. I love learning and when I love doing it, I am at my most productive level.

“Death is inevitable” might be a statement that we all fear of, or maybe to say most of us. This brought me back to the days before I came to America to pursue my education. Everyday, a 'life seeking” question kept daunting me. What is my purpose in my life?” I asked friends, family members around me. But what stroke me the most was an answer from one of my best friend who was a Buddhist. He said:”we are all living in this world to wait for death. But it is what we do while we are still alive that signifies the most importance.” Till this very day, I believe that this is the best answer I ever had. To the world, I may be one person. But to my surrounding, I may be everything. While learn in class, I notice the people around me, especially those who were falling back in class work but were intimidated to ask for help from the professor. Slowly, I work towards helping them. I explained complex questions in class during break time. I tutored them after class. Somehow, it just falls on to me that if I am able to do well in class, I don't to be the only person who is happy with an “A”. I want to be happy together with the rest of my fellow class mates. When everyone was happy and accomplished “our” goal, I felt that so much more had been accomplished rather than me being alone at the finishing line. I am so much happier when I could see the laughter and joy in the eye's of others. I knew I have had made a better change to someone's life and maybe someday they will think of me. For this, I am happy.

How does Steve Job's speech got to do with designing an eportfolio? In my opinion, both have a similar aspect in which they tell a story about a person. In his speech, he talks about his life, his character, and his perspective towards life. With reference to the previous assignment, I analyzed an artist/educator based in Florida. To compare both the speech and an eportfolio, they both talk some thing uniques to each individual. If I am Steve, I can create an eportfolio about my life and the obstacles that I went through. However, I think the most important similarity is the “connecting of dot” In an eportfolio, we compile our past work. We gather everything that we have done or accomplished and combine them together. It creates a compilation of the past to envision us clearer about what we have accomplished. We are connecting our dots. [SCOTT: thanks for the long, thought-provoking response Valentino. I especially enjoy your distinction between "learning" and "studying" -- and I admire the way you've become a well-rounded student here at Foothill (including all that extra help for your peers!]

Toni Murphy

[10 points] My own educational path is a bit different from Steve Jobs with a few similarities. I chose a degree and educational path in which I was interested and felt passionate about. The choice was entirely my own decision, and although my parents supported me emotionally, they knew nothing about the educational path I had chosen. As a result, they could not offer any advice or guidance. My interest lay in Sociology and Psychology, and I knew from as early as my freshman year in college that I would continue my education after undergraduate school and earn a Master’s in Social Work. I felt a strong desire to champion the disenfranchised and underrepresented segments of our population; and I hoped to one day influence public policy through my knowledge and professional experiences. So, this is the course I took, following my passion, etc. I barreled on through, so to speak, and never stopped to reflect on where that path might take me financially. After reaching my educational goal through a self-funded graduate degree, I found myself working for non-profit agencies, which typically don’t have piles of cash lying around. So, although I had many rewarding experiences in the workplace, and loved going to work everyday, living on a tight budget became tiresome. (especially after completing 6 years of college!) There are times I look back, and wish I had taken time to explore how I could express my passion for helping others through other career avenues (i.e. avenues that paid better) . . . . Or perhaps earned a different degree I could use to do something I enjoyed, and still participate on a volunteer basis in initiatives I felt passionate about . . . . I agree with Jobs that you should follow your passion and do what you love. But with a little effort you might discover a way to express it differently than you originally thought you would. Perhaps mapping your course using an ePortfolio may enable you to visualize various pathways toward the same desired destination. Had I created an ePortfolio the first time around, I think it would have been useful and insightful to include a section on researching my chosen career by interviewing those in the field, conducting salary searches, etc. (Unfortunately, I didn’t have the benefit of the internet back then). Now I find myself in school once more seeking another degree for work in a healthcare setting. Fortunately all of my general ed is completed already. So, my previous time and effort in college, that at times seemed like somewhat of a waste, is actually still enabling me to fulfill my (current) goals. I have young children, so that occupies a GREAT deal of my time, but I haven’t given up the notion that someday I want to be more politically active and make a difference on issues I care deeply about. Perhaps stating this desire on an ePortfolio will be launching point for me to examine how I may fit these activities into my life now and at some point in the future. How can I utilize my past professional experiences and inform public officials on issues I feel passionate about in order to influence public policy? I found it interesting that Jobs notes you can’t “connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backward.” I guess creating an ePortfolio can assist us in connecting the dots of our past, identifying possible new dots, and ultimately connecting all of the dots at some point in the future.
Toni Murphy [SCOTT: what a great idea to use an eportfolio not just as a way to "map the past" but to "map your future"!]

Daniel Lafrentz

[10 points] i really liked jobs' commencement address because it was something that i think will stick with graduates as they go into the world. its east to forget what we're passionate about and to become wrapped up in the mundane day to day happenings of our lives. many of us at foothill went with the intention to study something in particular and lost sight of what we were really there for when taking prerequisites, or stressing about not having enough money to make rent that all the joy that comes with learning is lost. jobs' speech is something not to remember in its entirety but something to remember the gist of. the theme of his speech is more important than the specifics of it.

i love his idea of dropping out and dropping in. sometimes we're too young to know what we're passionate about or we just haven't found it yet and we either figuratively or literally need to bum around a bit and look at things we feel are interesting and when it strikes us, it's like he says, we'll know.

also the idea of loss as vehicle for learning is something i thought was interesting. usually when people think of loss they think of being set back or losing ground. instead, sometimes it is a pause in a journey. a path suddenly stops so we're forced to look for another or sometimes to make our own.

coming to grips with death is something many if not most people are not willing and not prepared to do. there are industries, organizations, and groups whose focus is avoiding, prevention, slowing, etc. of death. and our society in the united states isn't designed for living every day as if it were our last. i've never liked that expression because it isn't practical. if if would i be mandated by law to attend school through 12th grade? no. when i was younger, i wouldnt have spent two seconds there of my own accord if i didnt have to. eventually i would have come to it on my own and really enjoyed myself instead of going through the motions until college. instead of "living life to the fullest" why not make the most of what youre given and not letting your obligations and responsibilites of your life dominate your day?

my absolute favorite part of jobs' speech are the last four words: stay hungry. stay foolish. thats the way to live life. always hunger for more of what you want. its a great philosophy for education (finally getting to the point). at this very moment i'm trying to be a vaccum for knowledge. i want to be an informed, aware, active, participating citizen. college helps me to become that. i'm hungry to learn. that's why i'm in this seminar, thats what i'm learning about international relations, and middle eastern history and so on. i'm hungry and i'm not satisfied yet. staying hungry for whatever your passion is, is the way to succeed at it.

staying foolish i think has more to do with our eportfolios. since almost no ne has made one before its like there is no right way to go about it. its trial and error almost. we've got to fool around until we get it right. if it takes a few tries, oh well. move on and try again. just to get to the point of even having eportfolios as a possibility took someone being foolish for a while until the method was developed. actually, now that i think about it. its a good possibility that almost every invention EVER came about by being foolish. someone had to invent something first. and i highly doubt everyone got it right on the first try. i think the phrase stay hungry, stay foolish reach a lot deeper than jobs and maybe even the writers of it even knew... [SCOTT: your phrase "loss as a vehicle for learning" is even more graceful than Jobs' original!]

Andry Jong

[10 points] I think I agree with Jobs' opinion that Colleges always force us (the students) to take every class that we do not wish to take. I personally do NOT like reading anything except for things that are related with literature and fantasy (and some music scores). And yet, I am still forced to take history, economics, and politics classes just so that I can get graduated and transferred. Can you imagine how bad it is doing what you do not like for the whole three months, reading books that you know is important yet you do not have any interest in?
This really annoys me, since every time I get into those classes all I want to do is to go out right away. And the worst part is: those subjects do not have anything to do with my major, the subject that I have real interest in; and I still have to get them done.
There are just so many things I need to think about, that makes it impossible for me to think like Jobs. I am here as an international student, who have to pay a great amount of money for tuition. Unlike some other international student, my expenses in America are not paid by my parents, but by my brother. Some people think that parents are responsible to support their children before they become independent. However, in my case, I feel like I owe my brother more than I owe my parents. The implication of this is, I think, that I do not want to back off from anything I am doing right now, because if I do, I will spend even more of my brother's money.
Another thing that makes me different from Jobs is that he thinks that if he lives each of his days like it is his last; he can do everything that he wants because he does not want to have any regrets in his life. I, too, do not want to regret anything in my life. That is why I am doing what I am doing right now. However, I think that we might have different motto in life. Jobs' might sounds like, "I want to be happy." Mine, however, is, "I want everybody who knows me to be happy." That might be the reason why I cannot do what Jobs has done. Or maybe, I am just too afraid to do so. Who knows; we all have doubts.
Relating to building my ePortfolio, basically, the way he presents his story in three segments is such a good way to build an ePortfolio. I mean, by cutting down our life story in parts, we will be able to put more emphasis on parts of our life that matters a lot, instead of just writing random stories without any emphasis on anything at all. I think his way of representing himself is so effective because I, as an audience, can really grasp the essences of his stories. That way, we can also put more emphasis on "effort, progress, and achievement" as Dr. Helen Barrett says. [SCOTT: I certainly agree that most of us are not as "lucky" as Jobs -- but I agree (with him) that the relevance of many classes you now find useless might surprise you someday!]

Michelle Grannum

[10 points] After reading Steve Jobs’ speech I felt really inspired and motivated. The part that I identified with the most was his story about death. Fortunately I have not had any health scares, like his cancer diagnosis, but I do try and live each day as if it were my last. I have a poster on my bedroom wall with one of my favorite verses; “Dance as though nobody can see you, Sing as though nobody can hear you, Love as though you have never been hurt, Live as though heaven is on earth.” I think this is really valuable advice and no matter what happens if I can remember to live life to the fullest then I will be happy.

The story about finding what you love and not settling really inspired me. I am not sure if I have found what I love to do yet but I am going to keep searching until I do. I do know that being here in California and getting my education makes me happy, so I feel I am heading in the right direction. What Mr. Jobs says about your work being such a big part of your life and the only way you will do great work is if you love what you do, is so true!

“Connecting the dots” looking backwards really makes a lot of sense. Looking back in my own life I can see how each step has led me to where I am today. I could not afford to go to University after high school so I started working straight away. After working for 2 years I had saved up enough money to go to the U.S. for a year. Once I got to California I realized that I wanted to stay here and study at Foothill. I believe that I am getting a better education than if I had stayed in South Africa. My mom always says that “everything happens for a reason” and once I connect the dots I realize that she is right.

I think the process of “connecting the dots” could be made a lot simpler with an e-portfolio. We could use our e-portfolio to see where we have been and what we have accomplished and use it to see where we are heading. With our educational goals clearly defined in our e-portfolio it would be easier to look at them and reflect whether or not they represent what we love. If our goals don’t reflect what it is that we love to do it would save us a great deal of time and effort to tweak our educational goals now rather than graduate and then realize we did not make the right choices. An e-portfolio could even be useful in evaluating whether or not we are making the most of life because inevitably we are all going to die. Our e-portfolio shows what we have accomplished and is kind of a summary of our lives, if we are not happy with the contents of our e-portfolio then maybe it is time to change things with the way we live.

I really enjoyed reading Steve Jobs’ speech. I found it relevant to my own life and could easily connect it to the use of e-portfolios. [SCOTT: It's great you saw the eportfolio connections so clearly.]

Meera Parbhakar

[10 points] I wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago about Jobs’ speech, so this time around I am going to try and look at it from a different angle. I discussed in my blog how much I agree with the idea that when looking back at your life, the dots do always connect, but here is another thought. I think it is funny that despite the fact that most people that I know can indeed look back and say that everything worked out, that the dots did in fact connect, we as people still find it so difficult to trust our decisions. We worry because we have so many options, and we are made to feel nervous because making one decision means effectively closing the door on all other choices. I think that people like Jobs should speak up more. It is refreshing to hear someone admit that it is scary to trust in fate, but that we have to do it because there is no other way to live life.

The second point that struck me was the importance that he placed on not settling. Too many people fall into careers, for whatever reason, and live their lives wondering what would have happened if they had actually done something that they enjoyed. Jobs isn’t the only one who has shared this philosophy with me- I have had countless others tell me the very same thing. But I think it’s a lot more difficult than it initially seems. It’s difficult to differentiate between something that you genuinely love because it is something that you are truly passionate about, and something that you “love” either because you feel like you have no other choice but to do it, or because you don’t love it- you love the possibilities it would bring you. So I guess that really, it is a two step progress; defining “love,” and then going out and seeking it.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” I love this line. Sometimes I really feel like society has ingrained within each of us a sense of fear. Fear that we will lose something if we step in the wrong direction, if we make the wrong choice, but this should not be the case. It goes back to connecting the dots. It is difficult to have faith in your decisions and to really believe that while things may not always work out the way that you expect them to, only good things can eventually come out of every situation, as everything we do, good or bad, teaches us something, and there is no one anywhere that would say that learning something new is a bad thing. There is no way that obtaining knowledge about anything, however big or small, could mean losing something.

One of Jobs’ main points at the end of his speech was to not let your thoughts be too influenced by those of the people around you. I always struggled with this. Often times it feels like your views and those of your close friends and family sort of just blend into one. The line between what you really think and what other people want you to think becomes blurry, or even disappears. This is sad. It is so easy to get caught up in what everybody else is doing, but its dangerous because one day you will be forced to make your own decisions, and if you don’t know what your own opinions are or what you really want, this would impossible to do. There comes a time in everybody’s life when they must step out, and how will you ever step out if you don’t know which direction to step to.

Having an e-portfolio would mean documenting everything you do. This would help with everything that Steve Jobs and I just mentioned. It would remind us that the dots always connect, and that they always will. Maybe then people would have the courage to make more affirmative decisions. Maybe having an e-portfolio as a young child would help people figure out and track what they truly love so that when the time comes to have to make a decisions regarding this, they wouldn’t be so nervous. They could look back and be able to know what had consistently made them happy. They could also look back at what they have achieved in the past and be able to perhaps make sense of their thoughts, which could help them figure themselves out as adults. They could make sense of their actions, too. They could analyze the logic they applied so situations passed, and this could be a real eye-opener for some people. Finally, and e-portfolio could chronicle what we’ve learned, not just through schools. Some of the best lessons learned are not taught to you by a teacher, but its easy to forget some of these critical things because they weren’t learned in a classroom. Maybe if we were forced to put these things into an e-portfolio they would stick.
[SCOTT: Thanks for a SECOND thoughtful and provocative posting on Steve Job's article. You were the one who inspired me, originally, to post this question.]


[10 points] In “connecting the dots”, I see Steve just like my father. My father has been dropped out of school. But it doesn’t mean that my father cannot be a successful man. My father started as a taxi driver, and now owns a logistic companies with five lorries. The determination and courage that keeps both my father and Steve spirited towards their life has lead them to a successful path.
One more idea that came into my mind with this story is that, life is like a poem. We cannot force ourselves to sit there with a white paper, holding a pen, and expect to write a wonderful amazing poem. We have to be inspired. We cannot force ourselves to write a poem suddenly. But, when we do things like normal life, when we go relax and do things we like to do, we get new ideas and inspiration. It is the persistence and faith in doing what we like and in the belief that will bring us to success that makes a good poem, a good life. Just like my educational goal, we have to keep our spirit up, we know our effort will be paid someday. We just have to keep faith and believe in what we believe. Grades doesn’t determine your whole life. It is the knowledge that we get, that pave the way to our future. This is my moral.

Do what you love is one of the most inspiring story that I like from his speech. Nowadays, people change majors. They go for informational technology because there are more demand for these kinds of professionals. They want to become a professor because there is a great demand for it. They go for a doctor or a lawyer because it is a well-paid job. However, would you really want to stay working on the field that you don’t like for the rest of your life just because of material comforts you can enjoy? Are you willing to give up what you really like, give up your favorites, your dream, and get defeated by the materialistic world? We should like Steve, despite the threat of the materialistic world, despite the failure and setback you’ve been thourhg, go for our dreams, pursue what we really want to work for, and this rare strong faith and determination will bring us to our dream. That’s is why I am taking my favorite subjects as my major: Economics and hopefully English! People ask me why I want to take English, because studying English in America is more difficult that studying it in Hong Kong, because you need to compete with native people here. However, this is what I am interested in. I want to do what I love to.

“Death is inevitable”. In my opinion, the comments and morals that Steve gives to us may not be original. It may not be the first time that you’ve heard of these morals. But it is the repetition of these morals that emphasizes on the universal consent and agreement of its importance and truthfulness of the morals. We are borne, and we will die. It is a normal cycle of human. However, we do not know when we will die. It might be this minutes, this second, or next year, or next 10 years. We never know. How we are going to die of, we don’t know. What influences and impact our death will have, we don’t know. We have to treasure each day we have, each minute we have, and be thankful for the days you have lived. We need to live fully to treasure our days, so we won’t regret for missing something in our lives before we know it’s too late. That’s why my educational goal, is to lead a full life. That’s why I am working at Smart shop for 11 hours a week, taking 18.5 units this quarter, finish 6 Honor courses within 2 quarters, now taking 2 more honor classes just due to my interest and my want to enrich myself, as well as getting into the Senate Board as a senator and joining a shared governance, “ Smoke Free Campus”. I do not want to waste my life for nothing. I want to be able to tell what meaningful achievements I have made in my college life when someone asks me about it.

An eportfolio is just like Steve’s speech- an inspiration, a reflection, a record of life.
It gives us a reflection of his life, a record of his achievements, his past, his moral beliefs learnt from lessons in the past, as well as an inspiration to people who listen to his speech.
An eportfolio can be just as inspirational, reflective and recording like his speech. An eportfolio is to reflect on oneself, and describe how examples and experiences of one’s life can lead to a build up of a moral. [SCOTT: that was a very inspiring discussion Joyce! I'm especially glad you recognize all that your father has accomplished -- and that things can "work out" in the end if you have faith and passion.]

Katja Broddesson

[10 points] First off I thought the speech was a little too simplistic as I expected more formality given the setting [SCOTT: if you expected formality, you don't know enough about Stanford undergraduates yet!--ever seen The Stanford Band play?] , however Jobs’ mass media genius is evident in his deft handling of the speech. The light rhythm and tone, as well as mentions of karma and intuition infuse the speech with a West Coast-y “granola” feel, well suited to its audience. However I think Jobs’ references to death and dying seem like overly melodramatic juxtapositions to the already established positive chi. The morbid theme seems maybe somewhat serious for a commencement speech, even though it is meant to motivate the graduates.
On the other hand, I feel a connection to Steve Jobs on many levels. Like him, I attempted college once before but also dropped out, primarily due to the fact that I had not yet found that one elusive thing that I loved. Unwilling to succumb to societal pressures and expectations I did what Jobs recommends; I followed my heart and kept looking. It has taken me almost fifteen years to begin to form an idea of what it is I want to spend my life doing, and I shudder at the thought of the what-ifs. Realistically, many young adults may not be ready to make decisions as weighty as those pertaining to career path or education until later in life. Jobs speaks from life experience, what he has undergone has led him to where he is today and he is clearly trying to represent those individuals out there who share his experience. Being living proof that the notion of kismet does occasionally work, I commend Jobs for daring to utter those words in front of parents who have just parted with many tens of thousands of dollars for their children’s education.
Even though I can relate to Jobs’ fatalistic stance, I, as a re-entry student (a role he never achieved) understand the importance of planning. When karma has delivered you on the right path, a manic work ethic takes over and you just want to get to the end of your chosen path as soon as possible and with straight A’s. The means to this end involves a surprising amount of maneuvering: financial, temporal, amorous and professional. All areas of you life need to be re-arranged and/ or put on hold. Unlike Jobs, my personal recommendation is to get your life in order before you are at death’s door. Plan now, then start to follow your heart, then arrive at your selected destination, then face your demise more relaxed and fulfilled. Needless to say, some may need more time devoted to planning than do others.
In my opinion, planning is my version of “connecting the dots.” In some cases my dots are hypothetical and point to the future while others are firmly rooted in the past. By trying to understand how they interconnect, by drawing on past experiences, by laying the groundwork for tomorrow, I can form a matrix that could be seen as a base for an ePortfolio. While the dots themselves are static, they inevitably influence each other to create a dynamic and viable image of my individual achievements and help guide me forward.
Eportfolios, much like a speech, or life, or a sandwich, will have dimensions, layers, stages or sections. By comparing three divergent episodes of his life, Jobs is trying to stress to the graduating class that they have not yet arrived. Each stage of life, or as it may be, your ePortfolio, will come to reflect some new or different aspect of yourself. What Jobs is touting is to embrace this inner exploration. What we need to embrace is to put that knowledge to good use in our portfolios.

Katja Broddesson

Benedicte last

[10 points] Like Steve, I dropped out of college after six months when I was 19. I just could not focus at the time. I had no idea what I was studying for. I first had to live a bit. So I worked and traveled to Africa, got married and had kids. We moved form Holland to the United States. And all of it I enjoyed tremendously. Every choice was the right one at that time. I left my husband and started to work again. My first job was at Sun in the furniture department(in the good days)
It was fun, we were successful and I made my own living. Then the bubble burst and I was all of a sudden unemployed. Until I found that tiny add in the paper where they were asking for a horse handler. I was a horse-girl in my teens, but I had not seen a horse up close for 24 years, but they invited me over anyway for an interview. The first thing I did when I met one of the horses was dig my nose in his fur and take a deep breath. Horse smell has something very therapeutic (for me). They kinda decided to hire me right there and then. I have worked there ever since, grew from horse handler to riding instructor and eventually want to become a psychologist, using the horse as a therapy tool.
Now I go back to school knowing where I am going.
I am doing what I love and I love what I do. And I am trying to live each day as if it was my last. Or rather as if it has all the opportunities in the world. And each day has! I find it a miraculous way of living. It means you do not block things from happening by believing they cannot happen .

How this ties n with-portfolios? The message I get is, “Don't be embarrassed about your mistakes, setbacks, failures , off road expeditions, successes. Own them all. They are all you. They are all valuable life experience and opportunities. . Your e-portfolio is mainly for yourself, to link all those things you have done in some way. Some you may never link to anything and some only much later. Some will be very apparent. [SCOTT: what a fascinating life you have had (already)]

stephanie wijaya

[10 points] What appeals to me the most about Steve’s speech is the part where he says that we have to start living each day as if this is our last. Sometimes, I neglect my school work and hang out too often thinking that there’s always tomorrow. Although this kind of attitude gives me less pressure, I realize that it can’t bring me any further in life. Sometimes, we have to feel pressurized to do well. and we really should follow our instincts and not follow what others might say about what we should do. I think he is also right in saying that we have to pursue things that really interest us and as such, we would spend our time doing things we most enjoy. When we immerse ourselves in the things we love doing, we will able to make a difference in this world at some point – just like Steve and his “Macintosh”.

I also like his point saying that our life is all about dots. And only when we look backwards will we be able to see how those dots connect. In the year 1998 when Indonesia was facing a drastic economic downfall and riots were prevalent, my dad forced me to spend my school years in Singapore. It was a dramatic change in my life. I had a hard time coping with the new environment without my parents around. But I guess looking back at my past, I am thankful that my dad had made that decision. It was in Singapore that I experienced learning in a condusive learning environment for it seems like everyone’s life is about studying and doing well in exams. Being part of the community, I gradually became a hardworking student. And it was then that I begin to notice that I am more capable of doing well in math and sciences. And so, this leads me to think that I might have a potential in those areas, and that is why I came to choose engineering. Besides, spending that many years abroad has made me become an independent learner and person. I believe that it was all those years spent in Singapore that has prepared me with the courage and skills to be here today. So I guess they are those difficult phase as well as trivial things in life that shape our lives; just like how the saying goes, “Everything happens for a reason”.

And about how this speech relates to designing an eportfolio, I think Steve’s last message should explain it: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish”. Designing an eportfolio certainly requires time and effort on how to improvise it. We should be hungry for more knowledge and information on improving eportfolios. And I guess staying foolish means that we shouldn’t fear of experimenting or being laughed at by others. Because it is by craving for more knowledge and not fearing of failures that will make us succeed in creating eportfolios that know no boundary. And if we make it, we would be the first few people who experiment on eportfolios, and who knows that in the future, this simple project will serve like Steve’s calligraphy class that made all the difference. [SCOTT: Wow, if it really was like Steve's calligraphy class that would be wonderful..]

Avinash Nayak

[10 points] If it is anything that I got from Steve Jobs, it is that he is an achiever. Whatever he puts his mind to he gets it done. That is what I walked away with when I read his speech. It is very motivational to hear him talk about his rough times and how he overcame them It just goes to show that there are diamonds in the rough.

The message that he wanted to give to the graduates was that they have to find something that they would love to pursue. In his speech he says – “I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life.” I felt the very same thing when I was making the transition from high school to college. I think that we take it for granted when we are offered so many educational opportunities so early on in life. It is still great to know that we can still make something out of ourselves IF we find something that we love to do, like Steve Jobs did.

As Steve Jobs said – “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” I believe in this because it is true, as they say, you don’t know where your going until you know where you’ve been!

It is true that sometimes that you feel hopeless because “life hits you in the head with a brick” but it’s important NOT to give up. I try to tell myself that there will be better times but to get to these better times I need to work hard and not give up so easily. That’s why I am a strong believer in what Jobs said – “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” This goes hand in hand with the belief that we have to follow our hearts and our intuitions.

I believe that an e-portfolio will help everyone if they choose to use it wisely. There are great opportunities out there for all of us on the internet. All we have to do is grab it. There is always going to be many misdemeanors but this should only want to “clean the internet” even more. This should be our motive to do create an environment for our kids and our grandkids. There are so many things on the internet that can really help anyone who is in need and it is there for us to use, free of chare, If we add to what Steve Jobs believes in, which is to create something that we love, I think that we could all make a difference. After all, information researched by you will definitely be useful to someone else. By posting this information it would help a lot of people around the world. So as I have previously stated before in my previous posts, I think -- To get you have to give.

This is what I have gotten from Steve Jobs’ speech.

William Simiadi

[10 points] I strongly agree with Jobs’ opinion that to do things that you love. It is true that in Colleges we sometimes have to do things that we don’t like. I personally don’t like subjects that required students to write an essay or paper. For me, that’s too much time consuming. Unlike Job, this does not make me want to drop out of college because I think that all the thing we learn is somehow important and useful for our future.
After reading Steve Jobs' Stanford Graduation Speech, I conclude that everything happens for a reason. Just like Job dropping out of college lead to his Macintosh jobs. In my case, during the tragedy that happened in Indonesia on 1998, I moved to Singapore to continue my studies. I learn many thing in Singapore. One of the most valuable experiences for me is that I become a more independent person. So I think that there is always a positive side in every bad things that happened.
By doing the things we love, we will never feel bored with it and enjoy our lives. Just like what Jobs says that our lives are too short to do things that we do not like but sometimes we have to face it in order to reach our goals. If we like what we do, there is nothing that could stop you in doing that. If you do something that interests you , you will be motivated and at some point you will come up with a great idea that could change the world. At this point, I am still not sure what I want to do in the future. I am currently majored in Engineering as I prefer subject with calculation. But I can’t guarantee that in the future I will be doing a thing that is related to my major. I am still seeking what I loved doing and I am pretty sure that at some point in my life I’ll find it.
The other thing that I conclude from Jobs’ speech is that dare to take big decisions. He makes a big decision when we decided to drop out of college. It is a matter of being successful or a failure. I think that in this world we have to trust our instinct and dare to make important decisions. It some kind of a gamble. When I was in Singapore studying, my father asked me whether I want to come back to Indonesia to study. And I said Yes. I make a decision to come back to Indonesia, even though I know that Singapore has a great education system. I think that I make a good decision as I also learn many things in Indonesia.
I think that Jobs’ speech suggest us to write our personal experiences in our eportfolio. This will enable other people to learn things that we learn during our lifetime. It could be a lesson to other peoples too. But I think that the most important thing is that we could connect the dots of our life. Just like what Jobs said that it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward but possible when looking backward. By writing about our life, we could connect the dots and know exactly what we have done and accomplish in our life. [SCOTT: I really appreciate all the personal connections you made here!]

Andrew Tan

[10 points] Steve Job's speech spoke to me, I think he's a very inspiring speaker. The problem is that he is one in a million. His intuition, genius, and a little bit of luck escalated him out of a place that many have never come out of. A quote that was interesting to me was "The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting." I think this speaks very much to our ePortfolios. Not directly, but in the sense that the internet breaks down a lot of the contstrictions of traditional education. With this new found freedom, some things are lost, but there are infinite possibilities, especially since this type of learning is so young. That's what I took from the speech in terms of the class, that we should be open minded and aggressivley progressive in order to take this somewhere. I also related to the speech on a personal path. I feel that fate has "thrown bricks" in my life many times, but i recovered and am now better for that recovery. For instance, I've never been a stellar student. I never was organized or had any direction or motivation, but foothill's environment has given it to me. Had I not been forced by fate into foothill, who knows where I might be? I look at friends of mine who were on the same path and didn't get put here, and they aren't very well off. I think Steve Job's obviously has the credentials to speak on success. His message is really good. Whatever life throws at you, just go with it because it may all be for the better in the end. [SCOTT: you're totally right that he's 'one in a million' and that's a weakness of his speech. But I also like your point about being 'forced by fate']

Judy Chen

[10 points] “You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” I absolutely love that quote stated by Jobs. I was truly so impressed by his speech that I read it over and over. He gets through to you as if he was the guy next door, yet has such a powerful story to share. When he talks about his cancer, I remember him saying “I didn’t even know what a pancreas was.” That, to me, was very clever and humorous. It’s great how he turns his story from something that people first thought as having no hope, to something so successful.

I would have to say that his speech doesn’t really relate to my educational path, even though I would LOVE to be able to say it does. I would never in my life have as much guts as him to just drop out of college. Just like him, my parents put a lot of emphasis on me to go to college and do well. At times I’m just like him, not seeing any value in school. I don’t know what to do with my life, and every time people ask “What are you majoring in?” that just makes it more confusing. I would just want to give up, but believe it’ll be such a waste considering how well I’ve been doing up till now. I think everyone has been at that point somewhere in there life. But not everyone believes in themselves so much that they know they’ll make it back up after leaving college. Not many people will take the extra step to challenge themselves in the real world without a college diploma at hand. That’s a big step to make. When he mentioned that after he dropped out, he didn’t need to take those required classed. However, I think that’s what keeps me in check. I need some sort of guideline so I know how I’m doing to reach my goal. I really do wonder what life would be like if I dropped out of college though. My parent’s would probably throw a fit and I wouldn’t be alive. But to think of it, I don’t really think I could live on my own. Jobs slept on the ground, walked 7 miles, and all those other crazy stuff; I don’t think I can survive living like that. But I think his speech did inspire me to keep on going no matter what bump you hit on the road. Just because he dropped out of college, had no food to eat, fired from a company he started, and believing he was going to die from the tumor in his pancreas, none of those obstacles stopped him. That makes me question myself, why would I give up just because I failed a test, or had a fight with my parents? I really admire his persistence. It gives me a sign of hope. I printed out his speech, and I’m going to read it whenever I feel like I can’t go on. As cheesy as that sounds, it’s a real inspiration.

Jobs’ speech emphasizes to “trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” I believe that somehow ties together with designing an e-portfolio. An e-portfolio is something that allows you to reflect upon something you’ve accomplish, or something you wish to accomplish. But to really see what you have done, you’ve got to shuffle through your work. If you build your work within the duration of 5 years, you can look back and see what you’ve become. Just like Jobs says, you can only figure things out by looking backwards. You don’t see how your life is, or how successful, or how much closer you are to your goal until you look back in your life. There’s no way to see the future, so the only way is to look in the other direction. It’s like working backwards, yet striving forward. I guess I’ve learned that you cannot accomplish everything just because you planned it out. That never guarantees it will happen. The only way it’s secure is to just go with the flow, and when it does work out, you can think back and realize how great it was. Jobs’ theory is like the famous phrase “carpe diem,” which means seize the day. [SCOTT: or 'seize the dots'!]


[10 points] People usually think that the only way to succeed is academic studies. After reading Steve Job’s graduation speech, I think many of us will change our mind.

Jobs’ first story is “connecting the dots,” my educational path is different from him but I believe in what he says about “you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” I did not drop out of school and not intending to drop out of school. Unlike Jobs, I choose to continue my academic studies. Even it is true that not only academic studies will lead to success, but I do believe academic studies can enhance the chances of success. Jobs has his own destiny and I have mine, which is to finish my studies. Sometimes when you miss one thing, something good may come up, just like Steve. If he did not drop out of school and attend the classes he interests in, he may not be able to stand in this position with success. No one knows what happen in our lives. Like my father, he only graduated from elementary school, he has his own business and lives happily. Life is like dots, it depends on how we connect them and depends on how we locate the dots to our future.

In his story about death, I like his logic about “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." Last year when I had my car accident, I thought I was going to die. My car was total lost, for sure no one including me would expect something happened like this. We never know whether we are still alive tomorrow or in another minute, so what I do is to live my life fully everyday, and not regrets. This is what Jobs do also. Jobs lives his life fully and he calls it “destiny.” His educational path seems like “If…….., I will not……” to me. So if I did not make my choice to come to study in America, I will not have improved my English. Is this the same as him?

So what might it have to do with designing an ePortfolio. Like Jobs, his ePortfolio can be all his dots that he has connected, and dots toward his future. Jobs can definitely include his life, how he dropped out of school and got into the thing which he really interests in, how he face death, his jobs and all the hinders that he has encountered to his ePortfolio. And that will the place to show his true self to others. Also, it will be a place to keep track of his invention of Mac and how he can improve it. Therefore, ePortfolio is always a place where we can keep track of our accomplishments and to reflect on them in order to make improvements.

Ping Tong Lo

[10 points] I do still remember Professor Scott once posted a famous journalist Mark Twain’s saying, “I never let my schooling interfere with my education”. Steve Jobs’ story is the best illustration of the saying: There is not restricted way for people to learn and grow. [SCOTT: excellent connection!]

Reading Steve Jobs’ story about how he felt bad with squandering his parents’ income and had experienced certain degree of failure, I find my educational path parallel with his. I was born the son of a fisherman in a secluded village in Hong Kong. Even though the government promised to provide compulsory education, most of the children in the village preferred marijuana to textbooks, disco to library. But I was the lucky one. My parents worked exhaustedly to pay for my educational expenses. However, I was never a dedicated learner. During my secondary school period, I always skipped schools and earned many failing grades. But I didn’t quit school. I stayed, and eventually, I found the true meaning of Mark Twain’s saying and Steve Jobs’ story.

I learn best when I am learning something I love, something I have passion in. The first time I attended the economics class, I fell in love with the amazing subject. I realized how the study of economics can help fighting against poverty in the developing world, and therefore, I have built my sense of responsibility on conducting economics research and help reducing the poverty level on earth. However, I realized that studying economics require a very high level of mathematics skills, and I had never passed a mathematics class in secondary school. I started to worry and finally, because of the drive of my passion on the subject, I pushed myself to learn all math all over again. Until this moment, I have almost finished all calculus courses in Foothill and have well-prepared to take up upper division level economics and math classes. Although my story could hardly compare with Steve Jobs’ astonishing story, I believe I, at least, currently have earned a certain degree of satisfaction from doing these stuffs. My little success is a showcase of the fruit of pursuing your favorite subject. Steve Jobs said that he continued to pursue something he loves even though many adversities came his way. After dropping out from a company he established, he continued his dream and created a very great animation company. His story is really inspiring.

If Steve Jobs could write his story on blog, his ideas and story will influence a lot of people. Sharing his life story on a graduation ceremony, he could still make such an inspiring speech. He could do better if he had written his feelings, reflections and ideas through his adventurous life. People could read how this successful person survives from the big challenge at that particular time. His experience is truly really valuable and even educational. Moreover, putting his thoughts and story on an eportfolio can invite feedback and ideas exchange. People can share how they would solve the problem through those hard times, and to promote a positive attitude for people, especially businessmen, to face the hardship. [SCOTT: I loved the story about how you learned math!]

Michelle Ho Pui Man

[10 points] I agree with John Steinbeck [SCOTT: oops, I think you mean Steve Jobs?] that we have to find what we love to do. For me, it was my college education that helped me find out what I love to do. When I first started out in college, I was not even sure of my major. I did not even know what I was particularly interested in. So I started out taking classes to fulfill the general education requirement first. In this way, I could also try out different classes to see which one I liked. After taking the first calculus class, I really fell in love with calculus and decided to major in mathematics eventually. People are usually surprised whenever I tell them that my major is Mathematics as they usually ask me if I feel bored to face a bunch of numbers and graphs all the time. However, just as what John Steinbeck said, I never feel bored towards what I love to do.
I also agree with John’s experience that we never know what’s going to be useful to us in the future, so we should try to learn different things when we are receptive to new knowledge. I have once taken a discrete Math class to fulfill the transfer requirement of a particular university. Most of the course was about logic and I really struggled to get an A throughout the whole course. I had thought that the course had no use for me except for meeting the transfer requirement. However, as I proceeded to take more math classes of higher level, I found that the theories that I learnt from that course became really useful. Having taken class, I can grasp the new ideas and concepts better. The discrete Math course really enhanced my logical thinking, which is crucial in many areas, and my general understanding for Math.
I agree that people do not really need a degree in order to stand out and succeed in the society as exemplified by the life of John Steinbeck. However, I still insist on getting at least a bachelor degree. Nobody can predict the future and not everyone can be as lucky as John Steinbeck, so we should equip ourselves as far as possible now in order to ensure a better opportunity in the future.
People nowadays still place a lot of value on credentials. This is why everyone is striving to graduate from college and obtain at least an undergraduate degree. A lot of people also go for a master or even a doctorate. Hence, the competition among fresh undergraduates to get in the job market is very knee now as a lot of people have an undergraduate degree with them. It is thus even harder for those without a college degree to survive in such a keen competition. In this situation, an electronic portfolio which can reveal all our potentials and talents helps to make us more marketable. In designing the electronic portfolio, we should put more emphasis on the skills and techniques that we excel at so that people may be impressed by our qualification despite the lack of credentials. I think that this is especially useful for those employers who pay more attention to actual experience and practical skills than credentials.

Robin Angell

[10 points] It is interesting that Stanford would choose someone who has never graduated from college to give their graduation speech. I suppose it might have something to do with our society’s admiration for underdogs. I must admit that I am one of those people who enjoy reading about people who make it through against all odds. [SCOTT: It also has a great deal to do with Stanford's admiration for money!]

While I enjoy reading about entrepreneurs, authors and scientists who took unconventional routes to success, I do not think I want to drop out of school to start my own company, or write a best-selling book, or discover a new theorem. I’m just not that talented. If I were to drop out of school I would probably end up working at WalMart and watching a lot of television.

The reason why it’s so interesting that Steve Jobs managed to be so successful without going to college is because it is unusual. Most people with high paying careers have graduated from college, and most people with low-wage positions have not graduated from college. Just because Einstein consistently failed his math classes, does not mean one should not worry if they fail math. All of this being said, we can still take hope from Steve Job’s story and remember that no matter what kind of schooling we have, it is still possible to achieve great things.

I liked that Steve Jobs read when he was seventeen. “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” I also think it is wise for Steve Jobs to think about changing his behaviors after the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row. After all, if the answer was “yes” every day, we would never think about the future.

I also enjoyed the “connecting the dots” section of his speech. Steve Jobs obviously believes everything happens for a reason. Many times if you have the right state of mind and think about you situation in the right way, you will be able to overcome your dilemma and maybe even grow back to be at a better place than ever before. He must be a talented man to be able to start from nothing, lose it all, and then build up his kingdom again.

If Steve Jobs had an e-portfolio, this speech would be a good selection to include in his. It’s interesting to hear stories from his life and also the advice he would give to young people just beginning to find their place in the world. Perhaps everyone should think about including a “Lessons Learned” or “Views on Life” section in their e-portfolios. After all, one can learn a lot about a person by the advice they might give to others.

Anna Flink

[10 points] Like Steve Jobs’ parents, mine never got a college degree. As a matter of fact, they didn’t even finish High School, and have therefore never pushed me into finishing my studies. Despite this, I’m here in the US half way through my Bachelors degree when my sisters are still at home, happy with their High School diploma and their careers working with horses. I’m here because I’m working towards my dream, and because the dots have connected for me to come here. I had never thought about it that way, but after reading Steve Jobs’ graduation speech about the dots, and thinking back about my life makes me realize that these dots is what has taken me to such a different direction in life compared to the rest of my family. I’ve realized that different moments in my life have connected in random ways, contributing to my pathway that got me where I am today. Like Steve Jobs, I don’t know how these dots will connect to form my future life, but I’m sure I will be able to look back on my life in a couple of years and the dots will make perfect sense then.

Steve Jobs also talked about was how he found love early in life—a love for what he did that came to motivate him to work hard. What has kept me motivated is that I’ve had the same goal and dream for my future since I was 10. That was when I realized I wanted to become a doctor when I got older, and after all these years it still keeps me hardworking.

Finally he talks about death and how to try to live life and do things you actually want to do. During our educational years we all have to do things and take courses we think is a waste of time and many students tend to long for the day they get their degree. So did I until a while ago—then I woke up and realized I have to live life now as well. With this present in my mind, I know that I sometimes have to do things I’d rather not do, but I also make sure I do enough things I like to keep me enjoying life at the moment. Because after all, you never know when it’s your turn…

Reading and thinking about the words in Steve Jobs’ speech makes one think about what’s important for you in life. I think that those kind of thoughts can be very useful when trying to decide what to include in an ePortfolio. An ePortfolio is supposed to reflect your development and your best work, which represents you. Only if you get to know yourself through analyzing your goals, passion, and connected dots in your past you can get to know yourself in order to know what is actually YOUR best work.

Ronald Tan Kiem Seng

[10 points] “You’ve got to find what you love” I strongly agree with this quote by Steve Jobs. This quote actually makes me think whether I make the right decision choosing my major. I’m still not sure myself. In college, however, we often have to take classes that we don’t really like. I think it’s just a waste of time for the students. Students won’t have the motivation to take those classes. Those who have high standards will still want do well in the classes that they don’t like but they will feel pressurized.

Personally, I don’t like to take classes with a lot of writing. But then, Jobs said that,” you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards”. So what we learn right now might actually be useful later on and when we look back, we might actually be grateful that we have learnt subjects that we don’t really like. Even with the knowledge that “the dots will eventually connect”, students still find it hard to take those classes that I don’t like. However, success doesn’t come easily; you have to go through rough times first before reaching success. In Jobs’s case, he was fired from Macintosh but he came back to become the CEO of Apple. In the end, those rough times that he had actually are “the best thing that ever happened to him”.

Looking back at my education so far, some of it has started to make sense, the dots are starting to connect. For example, I was being sent to Singapore for secondary school education. I can say that it was a bittersweet experience. I don’t like the education system there, it is too restrictive, it seems that the path is already set, you just have to follow it or you will stray. But I learnt a lot too by studying there. Living without my parents help me to become more independent and it makes the transition to go to U.S here much easier. Many people there are very competitive by nature and this gives me motivation to do well too.

Jobs’s speech suggests that we should put our personal experiences and our thoughts about it in the eportfolio. This will help us to connect the dots later on when looking back. And later on, perhaps, we can look through our personal experiences and write about how it connects. This can serve as a motivation to other people who see the eportfolio, just like Jobs’s inspiring speech. We should also write something that we are passionate about in the eportfolio. Jobs said,” the only way to do great work is to love what you do”. And if we write something that we like, I think it’ll result in a great eportfolioo too.

Cassie D-A

[10 points] Steve Jobs’ life relates to my educational path in various ways. I think both Jobs and I want to discover our own way for learning. He didn’t see the value of going to college and he had no idea how college was going to help him figure out his life. I went to high school for a week and then left to come to Foothill because I knew that the high school atmosphere would definitely not help me figure out what I wanted to do with my life. (Coincidentally, I went to Homestead High School in Cupertino for a week, which is where Jobs went to high school!) Jobs says, “The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.” At Homestead or whatever high school, I would have had required classes and maybe one or two electives. On the other hand, at Foothill I can take any kind of classes that I want. I’ve decided to get my Associates Degree in Math but I could have chosen anything! I have so many different choices and so many different paths that I can go on.

I love that Jobs states that, “You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” I can now tell everyone who has questioned my reason for leaving high school that Steve Jobs says to trust your gut! After just a week of high school, I had this gut feeling that the high school environment wasn’t a good place for me to learn and grow. College wasn’t the right atmosphere for Jobs and high school wasn’t the best place for me and it’s good we both trusted our guts in these situations. Another great point that Jobs makes towards the end of his speech is to not live someone else’s life. He urges the Stanford graduates to not, “…let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice… have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” I think so many people are living for other people whether it’s their parents, friends or society. They go to the schools their parents choose for them. They get the job that all their friends encourage them to get; nothing is what they really want. I don’t want to be the kind of person who just goes along with what everyone else is doing just because it’s easier. A pretty scary and jolting way of remembering to follow your heart and only do what you truly want to do is by “[r]emembering that you are going to die…” Jobs thinks “remembering that you are going to die is the best way… to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”

“Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later,” Jobs states. This “connecting the dots” concept Jobs discusses is one of the key ideas of ePortfolios. I think I should be able to look back on my life and see how I started going to computer camp when I was seven years old, got interested in digital video, and now I’m taking digital video classes at Foothill and I’m planning on getting a digital video certificate at Foothill. If I had an ePortfolio of my life then I could look back and reflect on these connections. Jobs says, “Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college.” Perhaps it could be easier to connect the dots in the future by including a goal setting area in the ePortfolio system. This area could help the user look ahead and see how what she is doing in the present could affect what she could do in the future.

Jobs does a great job with ending his speech with the two sentences: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” These two sentences define education in my mind. I want to be a life-long learner and always be learning new and interesting things. Also, I think that ePortfolios can help encourage users to keep learning and exploring throughout their educational journey, whether it’s going to high school or college or making their own path through life. [SCOTT: having met your parents, it seems like they came out of a similar era/experience (me, too). Wonder what they would think of Jobs' speech, however. Was he just blindly lucky?]

Ka Ho Lee

[10 points] After reading the job’s speech I feel that some how I feel the same way like he did. Sometimes I would think why I need to study astronomy but I am a business major. All I need to know is how to run a business or how to manage and company. Also as an international student I can absolutely feel what Job’s thinking when he said ‘And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life.’ Since the tuition fee of an international student is 12 times more than the local student. SO always appear in my mind that I should drop out all the class and go back to Hong Kong since I think I may need 10 years to gain back all the money I spend in order to study in U.S.A. So someone would ask why don’t you juts go ahead and do what you think. I would say although is expensive and the classes we take is useless. But I know that getting a bachelor degree in U.S.A. is like a ticket to enter success, which means if you don’t have a bachelor degree, is very hard to competitive with others. Besides that in story 2, I especially like the sentence he said, ‘I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love.’
Which I think that’s what we need to understand and what I should think when I choose my job or my educational path. Someone we may do something that you don’t love to do, you did it because you think you can get benefit. But from my own experience, at first you may gain some benefits but finally you would just become unhappy since I think happy is based on love. And I think what we are seeking for our life is happy. At related to my own educational path cause why I choose this major is because I love marketing. I know there are a lot of people studying this major. But I think if I love to study it I could do my best. I don’t know how’s other think about there major the may love it or hate it. But all I know is I need to do what I like actually I think it related to his first story cause why he drop pout all his courses in college was also because he want to do what he love .
Finally, I think what I can do for our eprofolio is that in the internet world there are thousands of information what and how should our eprofolio have and contain in it should based on our own thinking instead of following others. Also Job’s speech shows us that when you make a decision there must be some risk but if you can’t bear the risk and try it, you won’t get any surprise or opportunity in your life. So I think what we can related is that in our eprofolio we should have creativity and also we should never stick to the way.

Mary Elaine Akers-Bell

[5 points. And as Jobs demonstrates so well, sometimes the marginalized end up being the Captains of Industry and Masters of the Universe types after all....on the flip side, I just finished Edmund White's autorbiography this summer, and one of the comments that stuck with me was how the old Bohemian American artist class (including the Beats) never dreamed they would ever WANT to be rich and so never felt the same angst about not "making it" financially so many of us 21st century types do. Financial security was solely for Squares and Life Losers.] Steve Job’s speech fit with my current educational path perfectly-- Follow your heart. I am interested in Japanese, art, creative writing, anthropology. I am NOT business major, or a accounting, political science, dental hygiene major. I’m not on the money-making career, and it’s difficult. Here in Foothill, I’m surrounded by the upper class, more than I ever was in Indiana, and there is tremendous pressure to join them.
But my saving grace is that I know what I want to become. I’ve found my passion has some skill to back it up—getting A’s in creative writing or art classes is a piece of cake, and it isn’t for other students. And my family has always been middle class, full of pastors, social workers, and teachers (with a few biologists and carpenters mixed in for good measure.) Since my background is a comfortable middle-class with a good helping of social interaction, I have a nice padding to stay right where my family has always been.
There is a joy and sadness in that confession. The joy is that I can pursue my joy. The sadness is that I feel I will always be on the borderline of society. Perhaps artists always feel like they are on the sidelines, or perhaps we’re just more self-conscious and empathic than other classes. Or perhaps it’s not the artists’ fault at all, but the business people try to claim they are the norm. I don’t know what the cause of the feeling is, but I have felt it, and Jobs has probably felt it too—otherwise he wouldn’t feel the need to call people towards their “dreams”, the more creative and daring side of humanity. It is easy to sit and plug numbers—it is very difficult to put your dreams on the line, your own intimate creations, and then have your well-being and bank account dependent on whether or not other people like it.
That is what Jobs encouraged people to do—live their dreams. Perhaps dreams don’t mean creating art, as it does for me, but simply pursuing the career of your choice. Some person radically different than me might find pleasure at being a number cruncher—and I do not hold that against them. By all means, if it is your dream, go for it! I found his speech particularly helpful because my career choice is a little more frightening than a business career, but the point is the same for everyone—do what you enjoy.
So, Jobs message ties in very nicely with what I foresee my portfolio as: a projection of my dreams. He said “And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” The most important stuff is what I plan to put into my portfolio. Hopefully I will surprise myself, as a culmination of my work often does.


[5 points. It's only the searchers who find anything worth looking for.] One of my life's mantras has been that when I get to the end and look back, I want the mistakes I made to be my own. Steve Jobs has a similar attitude. In his Stanford Graduation Speech of 2005, he says, "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life ... have the courage to follow your heart and intuition".

In my junior year of high school, I made it clear to my mother that I wanted to go to college. It was a desperate aching need. She made it clear to me that she had no money for college, so I wasn't going. However, I replied with what has gone down in family memory as the famous "Don't burst my bubbles" speech. At this point, I knew college might just be a soap bubble that I was blowing in the air, but it was my soap bubble and I was protective of it. I told my mom about financial aid that was available and basically made it clear to her, that come hell or high water, I was going. She was a lot more supportive after that. Of course, as my debt racked up, she liked to needle me about the whole thing. "How are you going to pay for it all?" I really did not have a clue. I was living on a wing and a prayer but some how it all worked out.

However, one thing Jobs only alludes to, is the range of the human heart. One minute it is enchanted by calligraphy and the next, it is off running towards something else. Reading my transcript is like that. Since I was doing it and funding it myself, I felt that I was beholden to no one. My transcript races from one subject to the next and I am afraid that I am not even done yet.
And then there are all the "fun" jobs I took to pay the rent, reasoning that if I had to work, I might as well find something I liked. How many people do you know who have ever worked as a "Balloon Twister"? Of course, all of these explored variants of my personality are going to be hard to display in an ePortfolio. In retrospect, I realize that to be really good at something, invariably means to specialize. Which means settling down in some field and giving it all of your attention. This important key of success Steve Jobs doesn't mention perhaps because it is the traditional route. Or maybe, if you find what your heart is looking for, you spend all your time and effort here naturally.

Years, or decades, later I find that I am still searching. So, I guess I wonder if it all will ever make sense like it did for Steve Jobs. However, I am resigned to the fact that even with hindsight being 20/20, my life may never fit into a neat little box. This following your heart isn't the easiest thing to do. I remember the tough times and all the mistakes I made. However, it was fun and definitely not boring.

Finally, I was impressed that he mentioned his biggest failure as well. I think the message to follow your dreams, implying that there will be no tough times if you do this, is irresponsible but I've often heard it. Steve Job's example was important, reminding us that we have to expect loss in our life and do the best that we can when we meet it. Like in his case, loss can often move us in a different direction if we aren't paralyzed by it. Which I guess is how he revived Apple, with the imac and now the ipod. Which is probably why his ePortfolio, or resume has had 405,254 hits on it. See it for yourself at http://homepage.mac.com/steve/Resume.html

Christine Ferry

[5 points. Loved the way you tied that into ePortfolios!] “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life”. Those words written and spoken by Steve Jobs for the Commencement address at Stanford struck a cord with me. I had sold my business, moved to the Bay Area and started school. Becoming a re-entry student I have the lightness of being a beginner and of being less sure of everything. It’s not horrible it’s just different. There is an excitement in starting over. Now I am following my curiosity and finding what I love to do. I think when I was younger it was the fear of failure or getting things wrong that would make me not want to try a new challenge. But Jobs is right that “these things just fall away in the face of death”. It doesn’t matter if I get the wrong answer in class now. Who will remember in 12 weeks and who really cares? I know that I will have learned something. It is really silly when I think about it and it sounds a lot easier said then done. But Jobs makes a great point for us to follow our hearts and intuition.
Where I disagree with Jobs is when he says that he didn’t think college would help him figure out what he wanted to do with his life. He dropped out but still continued to take classes at Reed. Taking only things of interest to him. Adding to his own learning portfolio, the courses he dropped in on were very valuable in helping him. He points out in his speech that the calligraphy class helped him design the typography for the Mac. It’s careless for him to say college didn’t help him.
Job’s story on connecting the dots relates not just to me but in also creating an eportfolio. A class I take now may seem useless but there will be bits of information that I can gather from the class. And later on those bits can be connected and related to the past. A lot like an eportfolio. The artifacts from my past and present will help shape my future. These items I save will be what I reflect upon in the future. They will be the dots that I connect. Jobs stressed “you can only connect them (the dots) looking backwards”. This is true in making an eportfolio. You will have the work you did in your past and present so in your future you can go back and reflect on your work. The same is true in my educational life. The courses I take now may sometimes not make sense but in the future as I look back their value will make sense.
Steve Job’s ends his speech with “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” But it’s the image of the photograph from “The Whole Earth Catalog” that sticks in my mind. Hitchhiking down an early morning country road, an adventure waiting to happen. It’s my path and it’s only right for me.

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