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Maybe the Amish are on to something...

March 18, 2009

Jesse Hernandez

You probably already know that part of my job involves traveling to high schools, reading and handling applications, and other obvious admissions-type things. But did you also know that I have the distinct honor and privilege of being the admissions in-house "web guy"? Yep, I also spend a good part of my day (or all of my day depending on the time of year) updating the website, building or tweaking the registration forms you may have become familiar with, and trying to make sure the site is easy to use and appealing.

With that being said, let me first apologize to anyone who has suffered from my lack of web expertise and may have come across various mistakes and problems on our website. While not all of them may be the result of my tinkering, I'm sure I've done my share. But hey, I guess that's what happens when a former cello performance major in college takes a basic html class in grad school that eventually leads him to the captain's chair of the Oberlin College Admissions website. (Scary, huh?) True, I am exaggerating a bit, I don't have that much power over the web and am well supported by the College's real web guys (and the grad school class was only half about html), but you get my drift.

So, recently I've spent the last few work days staring angrily at pieces of javascript, perl script, and html, desperately searching for that one little ";" or ")" or incorrectly spelled tag or an incorrect letter case or misplaced div tag or poorly written function or incorrect reference or broken link or...
Let's just say it can sometimes be a somewhat frustrating task, especially when you're pretty much self-taught in the "Internet Arts" as I am. A lot of it is straight trial and error while building off of someone else's genius (Nate). I've stood upon the shoulders of giants, and seen just far enough to duck when that flock of geese almost took my head off.

At the same time, the nerd in me is hard to suppress. I gotta say there's nothing like finally getting that one script to work (especially when it worked because I actually knew what I was doing). It's also pretty fun to bust out the ol' designer's eye and make feeble attempts to create eye-pleasing web pages. And, for reasons I still don't understand, it is somewhat enjoyable to scour the web reading random tutorials on php or mysql and literally learn something new for the day (even if the technology is obsolete by the time I finish the tutorial).

Well, this entry really didn't have much helpful info about the admissions process for you, but I needed a break from breaking the All Roads registration form and thought I'd share with everyone my life. Before I let you go, let me just throw out there that the office is VERY interested in hiring a student computer/web scripting guru, so if you're currently here or will be soon joining us and are interested, PLEASE HELP!

By the way, my band's album is finished, so here's my shameless plug: myspace.com/vitiumband

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