Isn’t sage some kind of plant?

I’d just like to say, right up front, that I’m not really a licensed sage in any official capacity.

Sages are supposed to be wise and cryptic old guys with funny hats and cool beards.  Unfortunately, I’m not particularly wise, I can’t grow a cool beard to save my life, and most hats will claim me to be the funny accessory.

I typically just go by Alan Flaten.  Or Alan.  Or “that guy over there.  No, not him, the other one.  Yeah, him.”

The title of Sage Alan actually refers to an absolutely ridiculous humor column I used to write for my high school paper (do those exist anymore?) where I used to dispense with terrible advice to fictional people who had imaginary problems.  Not unlike most advice columnists today.  I was a true pioneer!

I have moved on from writing sham columns for my high school journalism teacher and now write sham research papers sophisticated and in-depth research papers for my graduate level journalism classes.  This is my second-year as a mass communications graduate student here at UF.

Before UF, I dual-majored in English and Asian Studies at Florida International University in South Florida.  After graduating, I was fortunate enough to be able to work in Japan for three years as an assistant language teacher for several junior high schools in Fukuoka prefecture.  I reiterate that it was I who was the fortunate one in that arrangement.

Those poor students…

I’m a big time fan of video games and have been able to tie that into my studies here at UF.  Of particular interest to me is the growing relationship between gaming and social networks.  As such, given the focus of this class on new media, I’m looking forward to exploring all the other ways new media is changing and affecting our world.  I’m sure it will aid me in my own research efforts in the future.

At any rate, thanks to those of you who made it through all the rambling!  I can’t wait to be utterly shamed by everyone’s lucid and clear blog posts!


6 Responses to Isn’t sage some kind of plant?

  1. Konban wa, Alan-san. What’s your favorite video game … ever?

    • aflaten says:

      Konbanwa, McAdams-sensei. Oh man, that’s one of those impossible questions. I mean, there are so many choices!

      That being said, I’d probably go with Oregon Trail. Many was the class period in elementary computer lab that I would while away the time shooting far more poor digital oxen then my wagon could ever possibly carry. Its influence on my life is so great that I’d cite it as the number one reason I have a crippling fear of rivers and random bandit raids.

      • A few years ago in a class discussion, one of the students mentioned Oregon Trail, and the WHOLE CLASS made this happy noise, like aaaah … ooooo …. Then they all starting talking about how much they loved that game.

        It caught me by surprise! I’m familiar with OT because I was paying attention to all the games and CD-ROMs at that time — but I didn’t know what a cultural icon OT was for younger people!

      • aflaten says:

        That doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. The game came packaged with a lot of school computer lab setups, and was generally far more entertaining then whatever your teacher was talking about. I mean, “skills” such as typing and web design are only going to get you so far. However, knowing roughly how far you could journey across the country in a wagon before dysentery struck? When wouldn’t that be useful?

  2. PkerUNO says:

    So what was your favourite fake advice?

    I must say, even though this is only an introduction, I’m loving your writing style. Bring on the content and good times!

    • aflaten says:

      Thanks! I appreciate that. You know, I wish I had any surviving copy of those articles, because I did a fair number of them and remember enjoying it a lot. One that I remember in particular dealt with a retelling of the first Thanksgiving that, er, diverted from what most people consider to be accurate historical records.

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