Final Project Text Version

Thesis /Question:  What was the history behind the Columbine shootings?  Who was responsible and what happened during the attack?
I decided to do my project on the Columbine HS shootings because I wanted to know more about the event as a whole.  I knew that Columbine was known as a school tragedy and a lot of people remember it, but as far as who was responsible, what had actually happened during that attack, what the attack even was, and why everyone remembers it was beyond me.  I did not know the details and that was my driving factor in choosing this topic.  I wanted to know as much as I could about the perpetrators, and the event, and if there was more information, about the aftermath and how it affected other people directly and indirectly related to the event.

Eric was considered the mastermind of the duo, planning the outline of the attack on Columbine and being at legal age to buy some of the weapons used for shootings.  He was born into a military family with loving caring parents.  They moved around a lot, so he was not making as many friends as he wanted.  He seemed confident in character and had good work ethic, but was bullied along with Dylan in school, although not as much.  He took a medication called Luvox, which later revealed to have side effects that could make someone go psycho, as proven in some of Eric’s personal journals that included psychotic rants and messages of anger and violence.
Dylan was the taller of the two friends, and would seem menacing, but to his friends and family, was actually a quiet shy teen.  He was born into an affluent family of partial Jewish religion and had loving parents and an older brother.  He was said to not be the type to initiate violence or trouble, but could definitely be the one who could get caught up in it.  He kept personal journals in which he ranted about hating his school, and wanting to partake in violent acts.  Like Eric, he was able to hide his true identity and make things seem like they were normal, as he talked about plans of attending (and making a deposit to) ASU upon graduating from Columbine — This is the link for my customized map of Columbine related locations.

These locations include the high school itself, since it is the center of the entire event; the local public library and a nearby elementary school where, during and immediately after the shootings, students and parents had gathered to find out any information; and the homes of the Harris’ and Klebolds’ to see where they had lived in relation to the school and community, and also in regards to each other.

What I included here is my Timetoast timeline that includes detailed descriptions of the events that happened on April 20th, 1999 from the start of the shootings to  early the next morning.  The information can be found by clicking or copying and pasting the CNN link in your browser as all the information for the events that happened cannot fit in the space that Timetoast has provided.

All  information that appears on my timeline is credited to the CNN links. ß The link to my Timetoast timeline.  ß The link to the “Narrative Timeline” that I used for my Timetoast timeline; all rights got to

I also give credit to the rightful and correct websites for using their public pictures related to the Columbine mass shooting that I have accompanied to each box of my timeline.

Wordle 1:  Text taken from “4-20: A Columbine Site”; This analyzes the body of text which talked about what happened in regards to those who died innocently and what words were used repeatedly to describe the scene and actions.  This is the link to the Wordle associated with the victims of the Columbine massacre.  I notice the words “victims, hospital, medical, injured” and “center”, are the larger of the rest of the words, meaning they are the words that show up repeatedly in the chosen text.

Wordle 2:  Text taken from the same site and analyzes the body of text that explained the event in regards of every possible detail.  This is the link to the Wordle associated with the Columbine event as a whole.  I really like this Wordle because if someone did not know anything about the Columbine shootings, but were told that this Wordle was associated with happened during the shootings, I feel as if the person could give an educated guess as to what areas were most significant to the shootings and who were the most affected and important.

The Ngram shows a significant spike of the subject “school shootings” in English literature in between 1998 and 2001, while there was a slight increase in the subject of “columbine”, and an ongoing increase in the subject of “gun laws”.  Obviously, the spike in “school shootings” is directly related to Columbine, because it was the most influential school shooting that had happened in between those years (in 1999), and because nationally published magazines and newspapers were reporting on the attack since it had started, not to mention the parents, friends, and experts on education/psychology/criminology, etc. started researching and writing about the subject from their own personal accounts and/or scientific accounts.  Two examples of these include:  Time magazine and the Denver newspaper.


“We are… Columbine.”

Cassie Bernall, Steve Curnow, Corey DePooter, Kelly Fleming, Matthew Kechler, Daniel Mauser, Dan Rohrbough, Rachel Scott, Isiah Shoels, John Tomlin, Laura Townsend, Kyle Velasquez, Dave Sanders, and all the other students and staff that were directly injured (i.e. Patti Nelson, Patick Ireland, Evan Todd, etc,), and for all the people in the Littleton/Columbine community, nation, and world, who have been affected by this tragedy (i.e. the family and friends of those who were injured and those who have died.

“15 deaths, 12 murders.  Remember Columbine.”


For the security and preservation of my project, I have two copies of my documents pictures, word documents, presentation; one on my flashdrive and one on my computer.  I saved any other sites from the interent in my bookmarks.   Security wise, I did not have to use passwords for anything the timeline, and I am the only person who knows my password, so I think that is safely protected.  My timeline is public so I think if someone wants to use it, they would credit me as an original source or credit the sources I used.




Published in: Uncategorized on 18/12/2012 at17:51 Comments (0)

Blog 14: Scratch!

I watched the video about “Scratch” before I read the short “how-to” reading. Even though the video was only 2 minutes and 40 seconds long, I had many mixed feelings about the program. At first when the video was describing what scratch was (within the first 30 seconds to a minute), even though it looked easy even to use and filled with color to signify that a child could use it, all I could think about was how much I didn’t really like programming stuff on the computer and how I wasn’t into graphics or editing or anything of the sort. I used be in a high school class where we used PhotoShop almost every class, and though I thought I would like it, that ended up as not the case. The video was saying basically how easy it was to create your own animated clip for projects and hwo fun it was, but again I kept thinking of the word “project” and kept thinking back to how I wasn’t into the whole editing or animating thing on the computer.

However, within the last minute of the video, when it actually showed the viewer the steps of how to make a picture and have it animated and make noises and move, etc, that’s when I started to think it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. The tools that were there to animate the objects were simple enough to use and to manipulate, so I started thinking that this would probably be a fun, yet different way to presentation a project, like our final project, if used correctly! So I started out not very open to the “Scratch” idea, but I think once I try it out, it’ll be more than okay.

Published in: Uncategorized on 26/11/2012 at10:11 Comments (0)

Blog 13: September 11 Archive

I decided to look at the September 11 archive and I found it to be a lot like an archive-esque website devoted to Columbine that I visited a while back to learn about that event.  I like the idea of having an archive because it’s so useful to have a variety of resources in one spot.  If someone is doing research for a project or just for fun, then they could go to one site and it acts as a gateway to find other information and also for possible links to other websites.  This September 11 archive was formatted nicely; the layout was effective and the colors were appropriate and appealing.  They integrated images in the body of the text and did so effectively where it broke up the text in the right areas.  The archive also categorized their data really well; I was able to find what I was looking for quite easily, and stumbled upon things that I wasn’t looking but found out what they were just from the title or information that accompanied it.  This archive is also very. very. very detailed.  The event itself is full of details, but it almost surprised me at how much information there was and how much time it must have taken (and possibly still taking) this person or group of people who work on the archive to organize and valid everything!

I find this site to be well done, and a solid example to model a digital archive if anyone were to make one.

Published in: Uncategorized on 19/11/2012 at10:29 Comments (0)

Blog 12: Exploring Wordle!

Other than reading Mr. Cohen’s article, I enjoyed exploring Wordle! I liked the fact that it was a bit interactive and very creative. You can virtually use it for any thing you wanted to do using words. Some of the examples they had featured on the homepage were from students possibly who made cover for their English notebook, and others were just for fun. I like how you can customize it to your own tastes within the options they have on the site to make it as close as you can to your own. I wish that the website didn’t have to have an RSS feed, etc. on it in order for the URL paste to work, but I guess that’s’ why they have the text box there, so that users can type in any jumble of words they want.
To make it a bit easier, I used the URL option to make a collage of words, and I used the digialpast002 website as an example, and this is the Wordle that it created:

Wordle: Mason

Published in: Uncategorized on 12/11/2012 at10:25 Comments (0)

Blog 11: PowerPoint is Evil

I  found this article to be kind of over analytical at first.  I s PowerPoint really all that bad?  Well, apparently if you’re Edward Tufte, then yes.  I’ve used PowerPoint numerous times for simple and serious presentations for high school and previous college classes.  When I use PowerPoint, I think it’s actually very good for what I used it for, which is collecting an array of data and simplifying it into a bullet format for the audience to know and learn the most important key points.  My PowerPoint obviously have never been for statistics of anything like that, especially if stats have to be compared, but I do agree that if someone who doing a presentation on that or had to incorporate statistical value or any other kind of data into a format where it’s easier to look at if they’re side by side, then yes, I’d agree with Tufte that PowerPoint is not the best way to display it.

Also, the sentence “Audience boredom is usually a content failure, not a decoration failure” actually hit me pretty hard, because it’s so true!  I’ve noticed before when some people would do their p[presentations, there’s not too much relevant content or it seems mediocre compared to other peoples’, but the way they format everything and decorate the slides is would be at 100%.   I think the decorating is just a fun factor to add to the slides, so it’s not boring, and it’s really cool to have, but I do agree with Tufte that it can distract from the actual point of presenting a PowerPoint.

And from what he says about being roped into make marketing and sales pitches because of the decorating and what not, I think he’s being extreme with that.  He may notice that kind of behavior or action in a boardroom or conference room (which could justify his opinion, so it’s fine I guess) , but I’ve never had to deal with someone going too overboard just in a high school or college class.


Published in: Uncategorized on 05/11/2012 at10:33 Comments (0)

Blog 10: Hello China, Goodbye Nepal; and 2005 Annual Report

When I clicked on “Hello China, Goodbye Nepal”, I expected it to be an article with paragraphs to read.  I was slightly surprised to see that it was written in a simplistic way though very detailed about the journey to China and surrounding places.  I liked how the graphics and text were laid out to form the journal, especially where they had statistics in the beginning and more pictures categorized by vehicles, etc, at the end. I really liked how the journal was formatted by the days that the people traveled, and with each day there was a detailed journal every about the place they had visited.  On the same page, underneath the entry was a list of captions that were to accompany the pictures they took while in that area (which were on the next page).  And underneath the entry and the captions was a very simple picture  of China with the capital pointed out.  As the reader goes through more the journal entries, the format stays the same, but if they were traveling to another pace, on the China map, there would be a line to show that they traveled from ‘x’ city to ‘z’ city.

In the 2005 Annual Report, I wasn’t sure what to expect, whether it was an article or another journal-like format.  I was happy to see that it was laid out the same at the  China one.  I really liked that int he beginning, they had statistics on the right side of the page and they had the category on the left, ex.  on the left is the category: 2005 in Books, and the on right would be four different statistics of books, ex. non fiction., best sellers, etc.  I liked how the pictures were all relevant to the categories, and with the stats, they had pie charts and graphs and everything was of the same color scheme to keep that simple look and somewhat interesting.




Published in: Uncategorized on 29/10/2012 at10:30 Comments (0)

Blog 9- PhilaPlace!

I found PhilaPlace to be really awesome, because it’s a huge interactive map!  Although it’s only a map of Philadelphia, I really like how they divided the map into all the different neighborhoods so that people are able to learn about specific ones.   I also like the fact that the map is made to look old; I think that appealed to me a lot.  I found it really interesting to learn the history of specific neighborhoods (and because it’s Philadelphia, there’s A LOT of history granted it was a significant city) especially knowing some trivial facts that I did not know before.

Published in: Uncategorized on 22/10/2012 at09:46 Comments (0)

Blog 8: Learning about Google

Reading up on Google spreadsheets, presentations, and charts was really beneficial for me.  I don’t use Google documents just because I have MicroSoft.  I also used to not use Google as my main search engine, though I now have Google Chrome as my main browser.  I never used Google email, so being exposed to all these different branches that are affiliated with Google is pretty cool.   I think I have to practice using some of the tools to get get the hang of it, since it’s kind of different from using MicroSoft applications, but I think it’ll be pretty easy after that.

Regarding Google Maps, I use that whenever I need to look at an interactive map on the computer.  I always use it rather than MapQuest or any other map.  I feel like it’s more reliable in giving you accurate directions and time, as well as various routes, and street views.  I’m not sure if it was called Google Earth before..



Published in: Uncategorized on 15/10/2012 at11:11 Comments (0)

No Blog 7

No class October 9th, because of Columbus Day, and October 11th is the midterm exam!


Published in: Uncategorized on 08/10/2012 at17:36 Comments (0)

Blog 6: Basic Computer Security

I am really glad that I read the page about Basic Computer Security, especially since it is a Mason site.  I did not know that we had a simple, straight-forward site that tells you what you need to know for computer safety.  I really like how the site’s information was broken down into steps, then each step had information of what you needed to know, and then told you why the information was important.

Some of the information they gave in the steps, such as verifying antivirus software and using anti-spyware software, I already knew about, just from having viruses on the computer (which have been cleaned up) and from running spyware programs to clean the comptuer.  I also knew about backing up  files every so often on a flashdrive or different hard drive, which I do all the time, but I didn’t think everyone did that.

I did not know about the password protected screensaver, and am really interested in setting that up on my computer.  It seems like it would be fun to learn how to do and I now want my computer to be as protected as possible.  I already knew that having a strong password is really good, but for me, tryng to remember passwords that include lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols and numbers, and that fact that it might not even be a word, and then having a different password for your different online accounts, seems to be too much.  I’m not sure if having a master password and a back up password is a good idea, but I have used it before, and I’ve been fine.

Lastly, I didn’t know anything about the Windows XP Professional, so I’d like to read more on that and set that up on my computer.  And I knew about Internet Explorer being a but unreliable just from talking with poeple who are really into IT or computers in general.  I used Firefox after getting rid of Internet Explorer, never tried Netscape, and now I use Chrome.

I’m not a huge tech-savvy person, unlike a lot of students, but I don’t think some friends and family know some of these basic security measures, so it’s cool that this was one of the “readings”.


Published in: Uncategorized on 01/10/2012 at10:23 Comments (0)