Archive for the ‘busy’ Category

11
Jan

Explanation & Hopeful Expectation

   Posted by: Nicolas

It’s kind of crazy to realize that I’ve been on HNZ for seven years… and an admin for six of those.
Seven years is about a third of my life, it’s almost all of my adolescence and my adult life.
In that time, I’ve changed a lot – and the site has too. I joined the site entering secondary school, fairly quickly became an admin, and remained on the site through my undergraduate degree into my current schooling.
HNZ has been an insane blessing in my life. Being on the site provided me rich opportunities to hone skills that would have remained in their infancy were it not for being thrust into a position like I had on HNZ. Where many users have seen the site improve their English language skills, I received the gifts of learning how to work with CSS, JavaScript, mySQL, PHP and my HTML improved drastically. Where creative writing was the focus of many, my ability to communicate with others well was where most of my growth occurred (which is not to say my creative writing didn’t also improve… because it most certainly didseriously). All of this just to say, my experience on HNZ has been somewhat unique to most people’s. HNZ has been a pretty different thing for me. Like you, HNZ for me has certainly been an exercise in creativity, but often not on the scale of my character(s) – where I never really succeeded in maintaining any – but instead on what could most benefit the site and its growth, and how best to implement such changes. It’s also been an exercise in commitment, and frustration, and realizing that sometimes I really mess up. I’ve been caused to grow in a myriad of ways because of my role on HNZ over these six years, it’s been the only HNZ I’ve really ever known, and I’ve loved every moment of it.

But my life continues to change – I find myself juggling school, an internship, a social life, continued online commitments, family, reading, and some things have dropped… admittedly, HNZ has been one of those things. I’ve been on the receiving end of an admin’s life taking over (the mantra of HNZ from time immemorial being “real life comes first”) and it’s not great to have a dead weight admin around. Knowing this, I’ve had countless conversations with Cyndi over the past year about what my stepping down from being an admin on the site looks like, and over the last semester the necessity of those conversations became even more apparent to me.

Remaining on the site apart from being an admin has never really been something I’ve considered because I can imagine trying to be an active part of the community on the board and just being an awful member… telling staff how to do their jobs, backseat moderating, not applying for the things I’d need to apply for. It wouldn’t be a smooth transition, it’d be pretty rough; I think I’d be banned in a week flat. So I came to realize that I just need to wrap up my character and take a clean move away from the board. My series of blog posts a few months ago were my way of sorting through what HNZ is and has been to me, and I hope the trio of them meant something to you, too. As I’ve made this slow conscious move away from the board, I’ve also remained cognizant that there are certain things for which I’ll need to be available for Cyndi and Donna. If something goes awfully awry: the hosting is still on my shared host, I still own the domains, and I still care about HNZ enough that I’m more than happy to help and fix problems at a moment’s notice (they have my mobile number) and even help make some larger projects a reality (need to keep my skills up to snuff!).

I also have a number of people from HNZ on Skype, and so I know that not checking into the board very regularly or having an official role on the board does not mean that I won’t still talk to the people who I’ve come to know, respect, and enjoy the company of over the last many years. I expect many a harassing Skype messages, saucey emails, drunken rants – I look forward to it. I also continue to volunteer as the support administrator for ZetaBoards & zIFBoards, and will be a continued presence on the Support Board where I’m always a PM or a support ticket away.

I also look forward to what I know is in HNZ’s future with Donna & Cyndi at the helm, free of my imposition. Cyndi having been the indomitable force behind renewing Quidditch on the site (unquestionably the highlight of the last couple of years on the board) and often having had a handful of long-term plans she’d like to see happen (if only the site would get behind them enough to make them happen! *cough*Ministry Elections*cough*) I know that the site is in amazing hands and there will be a wealth of really exciting roleplaying opportunities to come (after all, HNZ is a roleplaying site first and foremost – which is something I confess to forgetting perhaps once too often). Likewise, Donna has a great love for roleplaying and HNZ and even as she continues to learn a lot of the admin-ing basics I know that in very short time she’ll be an incredible force propelling the site forward, too. These ladies, with all the Global Moderators supporting them and the rest of the site participating and enjoying themselves, really do have me wordlessly excited for popping in and hearing what’s been going on, and seeing a place that I’ve known as my home in cyberspace for so many seasons of my life continue to grow and flourish beyond what I could have imagined.

It’s a new year, HNZ – and a new season for us all.
I’ll miss all the bi-weekly madness, spam silliness, shouty shouting, countless Kaitlyn characters, sorting confusion, April fools jokes, Werewolf incredulity, and of course all the creativity and laughter and love that the site has to offer.
In short, I’ll miss you.
I trust that I’ll always be a welcome visitor and, should it ever be reasonable or possible, find a home with HNZ on the Internet again.

As ever: all the best,

Nick


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20
Oct

The Great Move

   Posted by: Kaitlyn

I am starting to get more and more nervous now. Why is that? Well, most of the people that have known me has the girl from Georgia (Oh yeah, from the same place our Kait aka Kiera Potter, small world?) Though after I started working at Wal-Mart, I quickly learned that it is a physical job, but love it none the less, and people actually talked to me. It was nice, yes. I originally got the job to start saving up for Michigan, and helping out mom because she is being garnished for a surgery I went through three years ago. While helping her out and earning so little money, saving up was just not going to be happening within the next two years. However I figured, hey, get the garnishment stopped, I’d be able to save easier, right? But, then something came along to where I may not have to worry about it.

Mom got laid off, thus being offered a job in another state. Where? New York, one hour away from Canada, in a big city named Rochester. At first, I thought that it wasn’t going to happen, and whatnot, but now I am sitting in the living room, looking at boxes and I have been told to pack my room. It was like a smack to the face. The worst part, I am scared. Utterly scared that we will end up losing everything again, and then ending up in a worse mess than before, though things seemed legit with the forms and mom’s drug test. There was another option, where I could find rides to Walmart, on crazy hours, and fight like hell to maintain a living on my own. However that is almost impossible too. I don’t have a car of my own, thus I would end up losing the job with winter coming. So, I have to go to New York before I can go to Michigan. I would end up losing my job, yes, but in a big city, mom’s work is wanting to hire me too in something. It would be cool working like 12 dollars an hour where she is making almost double than what she was making here, before the garnishment.

On an added note, I talked mom into helping me save up, because she helped Christian and Sarah get a place of their own, why not me too? So, after we get settled, I start college and have a job, with mom’s extra funds, she is going to help me find my goal. Though first, get a car of my own. Once my credit is up a bit, maybe a lease for one but I don’t want to wait a year. So, Used is my best option. I am New York Bound soon, and then later, who knows how much later but it will happen, I will be in Michigan.

This is being posted mainly to let everyone know, I am going to be in the process of moving across the freaking country, and might not have internet for a while. I have a feeling, this would be a great trip, and a better life for mom and me both. Just some thoughts running through my head right now.


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5
May

Warning: This is a Typical Abby Post

   Posted by: Abbyelectric

I don’t mean to steal the thunder from Linda’s very first blog post ever, (as an avid blogger who once wrote an article titled “To Those About to Blog, I Salute You” for a high school newspaper, I salute you Linda 😉 ) but I figured it was about time for a post from me. I’d been pretty much AWOL around HNZ for a long while, something which still upsets me, and it was always for different reasons each time; and I apologize for never really posting an absence post, I mostly only tell the staff that I’ll be missing for a while. The most recent reason was that it was now March and I still had no idea what I was going to do for school exactly. Those of you who know me well/personally, know that school is really important to me and I’m very bitter about the subject of college, or university, as they call it in other places. But for all I know, I’m just a “grass is greener on the other side” type of person who just longs to be in school, but once I actually attend, I’d hate it just as much as most of my friends do.

Anyway, I had an emotional breakdown after having a conversation with my younger sister about her future plans and saw that hers actually seemed to be in motion, or at least seemed like they were tangible. Now I love my sister to death, but school and rules and the like have never been her strong point, ever. And since she had a baby last year I expected her to be even further behind on getting her life together as I assume lots of teen moms are, (no offense to any out there! :x). So when afterward I sat there crying, asking myself what I was doing with myself and why I was letting myself waste time, this wasn’t like me at all. If I wanted something I worked hard for it until I got it (such a Slytherin 😉 ). I had applied to St. John’s a while earlier, but because the acceptance process was so long, the deadline for Housing had past, and since I wasn’t an admitted student yet, I wasn’t allowed to pay any deposits, just in case I was rejected it wouldn’t be money down the drain. Since I live in Texas, living on campus was the absolute most important thing to me, since even the cheapest apartment in New York is completely out of my family’s price range; so since I had missed the deadline for Housing, I considered the option of St. John’s gone, thus creating more hysteria about what I was to do.

After getting myself together, I started writing the essay for an application to another school, and before I knew it, I had submitted my application even though the deadline had long passed. I don’t know why I still decided to submit my application even though the deadline had passed, but I just decided “Oh well, at least they’ll have my application on file,” and literally the next week I got a call from the school. That’s never happened before, a school taking an interest in me personally! We talked on the phone about what else I needed to submit before being officially accepted and I asked about my priority, Housing, and said it was nowhere near close to deadline. This was music to my ears, I cried, out of joy this time, because I felt that I was finally making progress. The only downside was that it wasn’t in New York, and it wasn’t St. John’s, my dream school. Oh well, I could live with that. At least it was anywhere but Texas! (And Ohio isn’t that far from New York). I’d go there for one year and transfer to St. John’s the next, this was just getting my foot in the door, I could live with that! I soon began getting really excited at the fact that I might be going to school again, and the thought of it being in a small town in Ohio (a place I’ve always wanted to visit for some reason) was making me giddy! I had convinced myself that this school was going to be awesome and St. John’s could suck it for not taking an interest in me personally and thought “That’s their loss!”

Then came the mass emails from St. John’s. I had officially been accepted so now they were just going through their routine mass emails to newly accepted students – Come visit the campus! – -Don’t forget to register at our website! – – Want to study abroad? You can with STJ! – the usual. This was my fourth time being accepted to St. John’s so I knew the routine. I was going to delete the emails, I had too many of the same ones from previous times anyway; it felt like a bad break up where I was trying to get rid of old love letters or something. But even with old love letters, I can’t help but open them and read them, which is always a bad idea because old feelings come flooding back and then the waterworks start, or at least that’s the way it is with me. I learned though that the longer it had been between a break up, the less it hurt and the easier it got to throwing away the love letters (or deleting in this modern age). It wasn’t like that with St. John’s; I couldn’t bring myself to delete the emails, and there I was, reading every single email and then going a step further with my pain by visiting their website and I couldn’t take it. I reminded myself what I thought earlier “This is my FOURTH time being accepted to St. John’s”, was I really going to reject them for a fourth time?! Granted they weren’t as invested into the relationship as I was, but really? Four times? That got me into thinking why I kept putting off St. John’s and then it hit me. I had always refrained from admitting it but the reason I kept putting if off was because I was scared of the heartache. I was scared of getting so attached to St. John’s the way I had that very first time I was supposed to go, 2 years ago, that I distanced myself and I called things off before they could, to save me the pain.

So St. John’s was officially back in the running. Even though I had no idea if I could still live on campus or if it was too late for me to accept my place, enough was enough, no more putting it off and living in fear; no more wondering “What if?” I chose St. John’s. Even though Ohio was the safest choice for me, it never stood a chance against my dream school. I paid all my deposits the very next morning even though the Housing deadline had passed, and this time things were different, I started getting new emails from them that I’d never read before. It was the new post-acceptance emails, and this time it felt real. The emails were more personal (still mass-sent emails) but more towards students who had made the commitment to St. John’s rather than the old “You’re accepted, now confirm you wanna come here!” emails.

Things changed from then on. I had chats with Admissions workers and called them frequently for information (who cares if I kept getting transferred to 5 different departments within 10 seconds each time!) And then came the chat with all the Deans. After that chat session with the Deans of St. John’s, I can honestly (and very arrogantly) say I made quite an impression on them, I even got asked to please visit their office when I went to campus in the fall. 😀 And now the emails I get aren’t the mass-sent emails but the personal one-on-one emails regarding my enrollment status directly. The chat sessions aren’t private since students can just pop in whenever they want, so I know that these invitations and requests for my email address aren’t normal, seeing as they didn’t ask any other student who joined the chat. /boasting They not only helped me with the usual FAQ’s incoming freshman have, but they helped me decide what I should study. Journalism was always going to be my major, but lately I had become interested in Politics, which they gushed was excellent to study alongside Journalism, so I wasn’t sure whether to take that as well, or Business. In the end we decided on a double major in Journalism and Politics, with a minor in Business – and if that proves to be too much for me, then the Politics can just become a minor too. 🙂 BEST OF ALL? They pretty much guaranteed I’d have a dorm since I’m a freshman! You have NO idea how ecstatic I was when I heard that!

So it’s official, I’M GOING TO ST. JOHN’S!!! Registration for classes doesn’t start until June, and they won’t start sending out Housing notices until then either, so all I have left to do is wait. I got my financial aid and I still have to apply for a few loans and save up money to go, but I don’t care, I’M GOING TO ST. JOHN’S! I can’t believe it’s actually happening. I said it before, and I’ll say it again, this is my year, I can feel it! In a few months’ time, I’ll be living in the best place in the world, going to my dream school that is so utterly perfect for me. <3 And hopefully in a year’s time I’ll be getting ready to meet Pattycakes and Galinda for the first time too and we’ll all go see Wicked. 😀 And what this means for HNZ? Well as I said, all there’s left to do is wait until June, and now my sister’s out of high school so expect me to be on more often, finally! 😀

Finally, a happy update from me! 😀

~Elphaba


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Disclaimer: This is Nick venting. If you have no interest in reading Nick venting or you get upset/take offence easily then I advise you stop reading at this point. If you enjoy sarcasm, humour, and Nick at his wit’s end: read on, brave knight!


This is a three part blog rant. Each part will build off of the last mentioned part. We’ll start off slow, with the obvious, then work our way up to my deepest frustration. Then I might cool things down a bit with a few funny remarks, positive comments, or hints about the direction which I hope to see HNZ heading near the end. But be warned: this road is rocky before it is smooth (narrow before wide, uphill before downhill, take your pick).

So, as promised, the most obvious point:

I post updates/information on HNZ for my own good health.
It’s true and don’t let anybody tell you it isn’t! Myself and the rest of the site staff really don’t want to keep members in the loop at all. In fact, we hate not having to answer a thousand redundant questions because people have read the Weekly Update and global announcements, or read tweets or clicked rule topics. It annoys us and shakes us to the very core of our being when our hard work is actually used. It’s quite absurd, really. We simply post endless announcements (in the simplest and shortest terms possible) for our own health. It’s to benefit us and solely us. So I encourage ignoring all updates made by myself or others because really – it’s irrelevant to you and you should know that by now. ;)
Note: The above was sarcasm.

Next up to bat:
The Halloween Feast
Part of this may be Déjà vu for many of you, especially if you read my first ever blog post on HNZ – but it continues to persist despite my begging, pleasing, and obvious hatred of this: Members are still using the actual image of something to be their character in costume.
Sure, they’re witches and wizards and therefore some leeway is allowed with regard to how amazing their costumes should look. However, let’s be reasonable.

Banana
Nicolas King as a Banana

That is not Nicolas King as a banana! It’s a banana! Sheesh! >_<;

My next point of contention with the Halloween Feast is it has largely been left unroleplayed in.
There have been 30 some-odd entries to the costume contest – and at the time of my typing this, nowhere near to even 30 some-odd posts for roleplaying in the feast. That doesn’t seem very right to you, does it? HNZ is still and RPG first and foremost, correct? I’m tempted to not consider any costume contest entrants that are not roleplayed in the feast. Something for me to consider, I suppose, as right now it’s not really fair to those who are taking the time to have their characters be there. =/

Finally, the grandest rant of them all:
Site Wide Plots
Since the Dawn of HNZ (or very nearly thereabouts) people have requested, nay, demanded site wide plots. For what reasons, I am still unsure. They take a large amount of planning and dedication and often they do not allow for as great individual development of character as everybody doing, for the most part, their own thing and mid-sized plots involving handfuls of people popping up now and then.

So, Livvy and I and the site staff at the time (so not Kaitlyn), after New Years, made a resolution for HNZ: Larger plots. More focus on roleplays. More awesomeness.
Simple enough, right? Well, I thought so too.
The fact of the matter is, however, that it is now nearly the end of February and we’ve held up our end of the deal. Despite Livvy’s absence, despite Abby’s computer problems, despite all the usual busy-ness (and extra busy-ness) of the rest of our site staff… yes, despite all those things we have held up our end of the deal. We have provided, so far, the makings of an excellent TriWizard Tournament which every member of HNZ can take part in in some way, or some form. We have expanded Ministry/Auror and Death Eater plots. It’s currently only one large one, with a few key players, but there are more in the works. Sure, you might not be the one pulling the strings of the plot (Members never are in site wide plots) but it’s your job to play it up with your characters! Have them react to the plot! Have it effect their lives somehow! What has it done for the most part? Nothing. What have members of HNZ done with it, for the most part? Nothing.

Even regular things that effect only most of the site don’t get the attention they should. Case and point? The Halloween Feast.
Why is this? Maybe people aren’t reading announcements that are posted? Maybe people are lazy? Maybe people just don’t want site-wide plots as much as they think they do? I don’t know. Maybe you should tell me.

With all this extra effort on the part of myself and the site staff, I find it amazing that some members still have the absolute audacity to request/suggest “site wide plots”. Applications for various things with the field(s) about site improvement often get a classic line about site wide plots. Alright. OK. We got it! We acted on it! We’ve started to implement it. Small things at first (though, by my calculations, the TriWizard Tournament is not small) and large things later. But what is to be our motivations for those larger things when these things that we have now are completely ignored and/or used very minimally? I don’t see any reason to keep on trying with it. People that are still suggesting site wide plots need to open their eyes and try to take part in the ones that are sitting right in front of them. They only work if everybody is in them, and right now – everybody is not in them. Heck, it’s the people who I very rarely hear wanting these types of plots taking the most part in them. Does that seem wrong to you?


Otherwise, I think HNZ is doing quite well. :) It’s active almost all the time. (Yes, during the day it’s slow because of school, but it’s never really dead. It’s not like many boards where a day goes by with only two posts or a week goes by with no member log ins.) It’s exciting, and a lot is happening. I enjoy getting the positive feedback I receive, and I also enjoy taking constructive criticism, talking to people about it, and molding HNZ to become better as a result. I really do love HNZ and I think all you members are awesome. I think, however, that a lot of members do need to pay more attention to what does go on – and not complain unless they know what they’re talking about. Ignorance is my chief grief with regards to the site right now.

I caught up on a lot of HNZ things today, and will have more to catch up on tomorrow. I think I’m doing fairly well as short handed as I am – but I’m quite anxious for Livvy’s return and the site staff being in full force once more (once Abby gets her internet back up and if/when Linda’s busy-ness decreases). I thank every member who has offered to help me over the past several weeks, and especially those who have. I also thank all of you who have listened to me vent and just dealt with it (I know I can be super annoying sometimes ;) ).

~Nick
P.S: I hope you find the title to this blog post as poetic as I think it is, given all I’ve mentioned.

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