The unOffical CTY Alumni Association: Work In Progress
NOTE: I am no longer working on the uOCTYAA. I have some other projects and ideas at this point, and hopefully, I'll update this page before the earth crashes into the sun.
The idea of an unoffical, student run alumni association first
started being tossed around the CTY-L list in the summer of
1999. Despite much discussion and lots of plans, it has yet to
really get off the ground. In the next couple of months, I'm
going to be working to set up at least parts of the association,
and see where it goes from there. The following webpage is a
compilation of various e-mails I've written about the
organization, and gives a pretty good idea of what I would like
to see happen.
There are several things that I feel that the official CTY
Alumni Association should be doing that it isn't doing. I have
been talking to Holly on and off for the past year and a half,
and the entire time she has promised that things will get
better soon. At this point, I am slightly doubtful... however,
if improvements are actual made the official alumni
association, we will most likely need to rethink our purpose and
such. For the moment, however, I feel that the purpose of the
uOCTYAA is to do some of the things that the official
association should be doing, but isn't.
I figure I should let you know where I'm coming from. My
nomore year was in 1997, three years ago. I have a rather busy
life outside of CTY... I have a full time job as a secretary
for a lobbiest, I have a boyfriend who I've been dating for the
past year. I have my own apartment, and I hope to go back to
school real soon.
My eventual goal is to go into Gifted
Education, specifically as a psychologist studying the mental
and emotional effects of being gifted in today's society and
discovering if there is any corolation between high
intelligence and emotional problems, and if so what can be done
about it, and also providing counseling to gifted students. CTY
is a good starting place for this, I think.
I also think
there are flaws in the program, which need to be fixed. I
think a lot of the problem has to do with lack of community
and communication. CTY, in a sense, is one big community
divided into a lot of little communities. There are at least
15 separate mailing lists, and at least 50 webpages that I've
found. There are probably hundreds of little groups of CTY
friends, each with their own community and complaints. All of
them have at least some problems with the program, usually with
the administration. I've been monitoring a couple of these
groups for a couple of years now, and I'm close friends with
people in a one or two of them. A lot of the complaints are
the same. However, because the groups are small and isolated,
no one know that everyone has the same complaints, that people
have been complaining about this for years. And no one knows
how to get the Administration to listen.
Basically, if we
can get a large enough group of people together, than we stand
a better chance. If we could create some sort of organization,
it might help in getting problems with the program fixed, at
the same time providing cool services for those who are too old
to go to CTY.
The five things that I would like the see the uOCTYAA do are
- 1st: an extensive webpage for CTYers. This will be
in more detail later; however, I think that
should be the first priority, as it can be used as a hub for
all the other activities listed below.
- 2nd: an centralized e-mailing list. CTY-L is a very useful
list; however, most younger CTYers don't even know that it
exists. Currently, I send my reunion notices to about 15
separate mailing lists, all with a population that doesn't
really overlap. It would be nice if we could organize some
sort of central mailing list for all CTYers and promote it
through the website. That way, instead of mailing information
to 15 different lists, I could mail it to one list. Another
possibility would be making it an announcement only list, or
have a separate announcement only list. The biggest problem
with this is actual making it a central mailing list as opposed
to just another CTY mailing list.
- 3rd: Reunions. Currently, I organize reunions in DC about
twice a year, and Tracy appears to have organized a similar
reunion in Boston. I have noticed that, with a couple of
exceptions, only DC locals attend the DC reunions. This means
that the more places that host these reunions, the more people
who will get to go. I can't organize reunions in other cities,
because I don't know the cities well enough and I don't know
how to get to them. However, if I could find people to
organize reunions on a regular basis in at least Boston and New
York, and possibly other places, it would be very happy.
- 4th: Student Outreach. Several people have
proposed mentoring programs and other such things to JHU, and
have met with little response. I would like to investigate
these programs further, and see if they are feasible for the
uOCTYAA to work on. Along a similar line, informing younger
CTY students, probably through word of mouth at CTY campuses
would also be very useful. It would be good if there were
current CTYers who would volunteer to hand out fliers and such
- 5th: Postal newsletter: this is probably the least
aspect, and will probably wait until everything else is done
and running smoothly.
As the webpage is probably the most important part of this
project, I'm going to outline briefly what I would like to
see. Much of what I currently have on my page would move to
the uOCTYAA page, as well as content created by other CTYers
working on the site.
- NEWS: Info on what is going on with CTY, CTYers, and such.
Updates on our dealings with JHU, news articles about CTY,
stuff that is going on at the CTY campuses, upcoming events.
Also, who and what we are. Includes a bulletin board for
students to post news and class reviews.
- FRIENDS: Socialization and finding old CTY Friends,
including a chat room, mailing list information, bulletin
boards, an alumni database, passionfruit on-line, and possibly
webhosting for CTY websites.
- CULTURE: The Canon, The CTY Hall of Fame, CTY history,
essays and rants, and various links.
- FUNDS: Links to scholarships, both for CTY and for college,
as well as some general college information.
- ACTIVISM: Resources for both CTY activism and gifted
education activism, including a large selection of links,
essays about CTY, and a discussion on the "Decline of CTY", as
well as information on how to help the uOCTYAA.
- MIS.: Random junk, like who we are (ie, who is running this
mess, thus who you should write with questions), site news,
copyright info and disclaimers, etc.
After some discussion, I think the best way to get things
rolling is to get people to volunteer to work on various parts
of the project.
Here are a list of jobs which I think need to be done; if
people have any comments or questions, or would like to
volunteer to work on something, they should mail me at email@example.com.
- Server set up and maintenance: finding a server, setting it up
for the use of the group, getting a domain name, and maintaining
dealing with any server problems after everything is set up.
- Databases and bulletin boards: I know squat about squat
the technical side of this sort of thing; maybe this should be
two jobs; I don't know. Someone to write, set up, and maintain
bulletin boards, databases, chat rooms, and all that sort of
stuff. Anyone who feels like filling me in on how one would go
about creating that sort of thing feel free.
- Page layout and design: There are a lot of different web
design tools (server side includes and cascading style sheets
are the two I know about) that allow pages to have uniform
layout by only putting in a few lines of code. Because ideally
we will have different people working on different sections of
the page, it would be good to have one person in charge of
creating a uniform layout, and then showing what bits of code
the people working on individual pages would have to put in,
and where to put them, and going through and making sure all
the stuff matches.
- Individual editors and writers for each section: basically,
ideally, one person would be assigned to a section, and be in
charge of creating and maintaining that section. (This makes
the design and maintenance tasks small enough that if one person
has to stop working on the project, they don't have a job so
large to make it prohibitive for someone else to step in and
- News Editor: research CTY in the news, write the
outlined above in the "news" section, and integrate BBs and
stuff into the section.
- Friends Editor: write the sections outlined above, maintain
the BBs and links and whatnot on this page, maintain
- Culture editor: create and maintain all the stuff outline
this page.... this involves a lot of looking for broken links,
and whatnot. Personally, I think this would be the most fun
section to do... it also bears the most resemblance to what the
typical student run CTY site is like.
- Funds editor: pretty easy section... for the moment, it
seem to be just writing the pages and keeping links updated.
- Activism editor: Creating and maintaining this section...
someone who could write acrobat stuff might be useful. Also,
maybe, trying to advertise this page, and dealing with JHU.
This is the section that I am most interested in working on
- Mailing list people: moderators for any related e-mailing
- Non-computer stuff: organizing reunions, handing out
organizing outreach programs. Stuff like that. More details
If you are interested in helping out with the uOCTYAA, you can
e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org