AuthorWe are a Canadian couple who decided to make a comic book with no previous experience. A year later, our book is on sale now! Ask Us Anything!
Nov 11th 2016 by songscomic • 17 Questions • 162 Points
I'm a journalist who spent three years trying to solve a Rubik's Cube in under 20 seconds. Eleven years ago, I learned to solve the puzzle thanks to Toby Mao, who taught Will Smith for "The Pursuit of Happyness." I documented my quest in "Cracking The Cube: Going Slow to Go Fast and Other Unexpected Turns in the World of Competitive Rubik's Cube Solving," which was recently featured in the New York Post. The book touches on everything from my journey into speedcubing to the story of Erno Rubik, the reclusive Hungarian who invented the puzzle, and whom I had the pleasure to interview in person. Today I'm back in the Post's office to talk more about my love of The Cube and answer your questions.
Update: Thanks for all your questions! I had a great time answering them! I'll get to any I didn't answer later! "CRACKING THE CUBE" is available everywhere books are sold--and I'll be doing more events in the future! Check out my website at www.ianscheffler.com if you want to learn more. I'm also active on twitter at @ian_scheffler, Instagram at @ian_scheffler and @thegentlemancuber, Facebook at @ianschefflerauthor and on YouTube!
What are the challenges you face when starting up a comic.
Is it as simple as coming up with a story, do the art and release?
Edit: I also bought the book yesterday and enjoyed it!
The young entrepreneur invested the ACC compensation payment he received after his accident into the stock market, he "did alright" and used his earnings to buy a house.
Was that a bit of a risky gamble in hindsight?
How much is "alright"?
Do you know what were the reason(s) your family decided to come over to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago, and if so what were they?
Was it the motion of getting up? Like a "burpees" movement to get to your feet?
My question is, could this have happened on land but is more associated with surfers because it happens to them more often?
Did you read guides on how to get faster (such as the Fridrich method), or if you figure it out all by yourselves? And since the world record is around 5 seconds, do you think you'll keep trying to go faster to reach that?
Andrea- I think I speak for Mike as well when I say that I'm thrilled you enjoyed it! That means so much to us!
I think the biggest challenge was all the technicalities. Mike and I are both very creative people and all of a sudden we were worried about things like copyrights, contracts, and coordinating dates for the printer. Figuring all of that out was the hardest part.
I invested about 40k (not all of my money) into 10 different ventures with varied risk, after lots of research, so I was pretty safe but obviously not immune. I made 25-30k over a couple of years.
Specifically? I've heard this and that from my dad but I just never thought about it really. It hasn't been really something I've had to think about. Overall I think it was just in pursuit of a better life. The U.S. carries a certain mythos in Trinidad (probably a stronger, more positive one then than now to be 100% honest).
He was in the U.S. when he got news that my mother was pregnant and from what I understand he fell in love with the place so he wanted to bring us here eventually. I can ask my father more detail when he wakes up if anything and I'll definitely edit this post later with what he says.
EDIT: Typos, it's late :D
Nope simply from laying on my stomach and extending my back. It can definitely happen on land though, some people have gotten it from yoga, Pilates, or even studying on the floor. It's called Surfer's Myelopathy because it's most commonly seen in first time surfers.
So I've interviewed hundreds of people in the process of writing this book, and can more or less count on two hands the number of people who figured it out on their own. (Obviously Rubik, the inventor, had to!) So that's really hard, and you need some pretty high level spatial and mathematical skills.
I learned initially from a person, Toby Mao, a former world record holder, and then got faster by a mix of internet stuff (like youtube--check out badmephisto's videos on YouTube) and meeting cubers at competitions and asking for advice!
As far as the world record goes, there's no way I'll ever beat that. It's down to 4.74 seconds, which was set by Mats Valk, a really awesome cuber from Holland, just the other weekend.
but I do hope to keep getting faster--my goals next year are to get a sub-11 second single and sub-15 second average in competition!
What a dumb question. Have you seen Trinidad and Tobago? Enough said.
I'm so sorry this happened to you. I surf and love it so much. Would you go again, knowing the risk?
I mean I might, it's not really a common issue, you have a better chance of being bit by a shark. I think I would refine my technique however.
Haha, hey Toby!
You've been in the US for 20 years...couldn't you apply for citizenship? The tests are based on stuff you should have learned in school.
So how does this happen? Like what should i avoid doing if i surf for the first time?
Avoid laying on your stomach with your back arched for long periods of time. Like when you paddle a bunch make sure to stop and take breaks every once in a while.
They're (scientists? doctors?) not totally sure what causes it, they think it might have something to do with warm water and recently traveling on a plane.
Most cases happen in Hawaii and Japan I believe.
At the moment, I use a Gans 356 S, but I'm thinking of switching to the Valk 3. I tried out some magnetic speedcubes recently and really liked them!
So weird man sorry this happened to you.
What is the process of making and publishing a comic?
speaking of the bone zone, can your girlfriend enjoy your bone zone?
I read your book and I would like to know whether you started going to competitions because you had the idea to write the book or vice versa.
So when did you decide to write the book? Was that before you attended US Nationals 2012 or did you have the idea there?
Mike: On paper, creating a comic is as simple as coming up with the idea, drawing it, and printing it. One of my favourite things about the artform is that there isn't a whole lot of red tape keeping you from getting your idea into a store.
But there's a ton of minutae in there. Figuring out how your story fits into an ideal page length, learning about and implementing contracts, deciding how the panels will interact with each other on the page. Every simple step in the above comes with about a dozen little things to work.
Already answered - but you bet her sweet ass she can.
Oh my god. I am so fucking sorry, man. This is exactly what I'm talking about when I try to get people to understand that immigration in this country and what constitutes an "illegal immigrant" or someone out of status IS NOT BLACK AND WHITE. People get caught up in human fucking errors every day, people are fucked over every day even though they "do it right". You have my eternal sympathy and I pray this country gets its head right on immigration before too long.
By deporting you and your family and continuing that policy with future immigrants who overstay their visas or otherwise come here illegally we'll prevent these situations from happening in the future.
Been here your whole life? You're right - it would really suck to be deported back to a native Country where you don't know the culture or speak the language. It's not exactly fair.
We should have deported your parents the moment they overstayed their visa. You wouldn't have grown up here for so long, and wouldn't be in this situation.
We can prevent this from happening to future generations by enforcing our immigration policies.
Honest question, how do you prevent pressure ulcers? Have you ever had one? I ask because I treat a lot of them.
Im sorry this happened to you. But I have to say that you are very brave for doing this AMA. I hope it helps. And I have seen plenty of paras who live beautifully.
Protect your butt!
When I'm sitting in my chair I have to always make sure to do weight shifts. So I'm constantly moving around and thinking about getting pressure sores.
In bed I make sure to pad myself with pillows and switch up which side I'm sleeping on constantly.
1) This is a really complicated issue. I try to walk a fine line in the book between explaining that without the titans of Rubik's Cube history like Tom Kremer, the founder of Seven Towns, none of us would be talking about Rubik's Cube today, and to make clear that you don't have to have a speedcube to enjoy the puzzle. But it's also true that speedcubes and the progression in puzzle design are an integral part of the world of speedcubing.
So I think my hope is that both parties can collaborate--if cubing is going to keep growing, they'll have to!
2) I like a lot of different cubes and brands, but QiYi Mofange (which makes the Valk 3, and sponsors Mats Valk) and Gans puzzle are doing great work right now. (And I'd also like to point out that, for beginners, the new Rubik's brand speedcube is a great option!)
My current main is the Gans 356 S, which is a bit old, BUT i've spent a long time breaking the cube in and lubing it, etc., so it works for me.
3) My 3x3 pbs are 11.94 lucky at home, 13.xx nl at home, and 16.xx single in competition. (My best average at home is 16.5 and in comp is 18.4)
I do enjoy solving other cubes, but don't enjoy the other cubic puzzles as much as the classic 3x3, because you're always basically turning them into 3x3s. What I really want to get into is BLD and Megaminx!
My WCA ID is 2012SCHE03
Hey, Sam here! My process is a bit messy. I pencilled the pages in photoshop (I have an old wacom bamboo tablet). The inking was done on bristol with a dip pen and then finally it was brought back to photoshop to colour it!
Hey Tim, just wondering - when you gonna chill the fuck out and stop making us all look bad?
Jk man. I wish you a long, beautiful and productive life.
Eh, I know that I'm not getting deported anytime soon regardless of what Trump has done. I'm fine, my parents did it right.
I think part of the reason they push you so hard in rehab is because they know that you can't do it yourself. It really does help to have an outside motivator. I don't know how hard they're pushing her, but if she's in a good hospital I would trust the experts.
When I was in rehab my days were chock full of things to do, from wheelchair class to meetings with doctors etc etc, I hardly had much down time to feel bad for myself.
I did as much as I could and more when I was there because of the amazing support I was receiving, I think it would have been much harder to figure out how to live this new life were I in a different environment.
So I actually have a lot of hobbies--I used to swim competitively, for instance, and have considered doing that at an adult level (like with masters swimming). So I wouldn't say cubing is my ONLY competition/hobby.
But I would have LOVED to do the spelling bee growing up--only my school never did one! :(
You have my sympathy. If you want more compassion I'd lose the word "entitled" as you communicate your very unfortunate situation. For all those that like and learn from history I recommend the book "A History of the American People" by Paul Johnson. Legal immigration when America had limitless free land needing to be settled was a completely different situation and the context for the words on the statue of liberty. Today's equivalent of limitless land is a job and the pursuit. Unfortunately, when citizens can't find jobs or believe in their version of the American dream, illegal immigrants will be perceived as their competition. My utopia - It would be great if the whole world had equivalent cultures to pursue life, liberty and happiness then immigration would be solved.
Are you in school? What do you hope to do in the future?
Hand controls. Left hand has a glove with a pin in it which slots into the steering wheel to turn. Right has a glove that controls brake/accelerator, push/pull lever respectively. The head rest has buttons for indicator and high beam/low beam, which I control with my head. Auto gears, and auto windscreen wipers.
Well, the visas/green cards for parents seeking to naturalize their children are unlimited in number. I don't think entitled is an entirely inaccurate term. If it's too distracting, then let's say guaranteed as long as I maintain elibiglity (as in, no crimes committed by myself and I don't leave the U.S.).
I'm not taking any classes right now. I hope in the future to be able to work with people and computers, because I seem to have a knack for them for whatever reason.
I also want to get into FPV quadcopter flying, I've only ever flown tiny toy class drones but I want to build something really powerful and soar around the sky.
So, I have always liked puzzles, but I've never been obsessed to such a degree with any other puzzle. I think the cube is fairly unique, because most puzzles you play with as a kid (or that i played with as a kid) are two-dimensional, jigsaws and the like. (Although my mom did love her some three-dimensional jigsaws.)
I would say I'm now super-interested in puzzles of all kinds. I particularly love the work of Oskar van Deventer, a puzzle designer in Holland, and Kagen Sound, who designs these insane wooden puzzles that cost as much as sports cars. (One of them is basically a functional pipe organ the size of a desk, which is ALSO a desk, and you have to play the right sequence of notes by opening and closing the drawers, which activates the pipes, to open hidden compartments, which reveal still FURTHER puzzles.)
I had so much hope that Hillary would win, if only just to preserve my livelihood and place in this country.
if you are not here legally, you don't have a place in this country anyways. If you are here legally, then great to have you--legal immigration is what has made this nation stronger over the last 240 years, and I welcome you with open arms.
How did you manage to come to terms with it?
What helped you to not be depressed or angry about what happened?
What is your favorite type of beer?
That's tough. Aside from lobbying your government to provide carer support for those with disabilities, I would suggest trying to focus on the things you can do rather than the things you can't, and finding the courage to do things outside your comfort zone. Travel takes lots of planning to make sure everything is accessible, and it's definitely nerve wracking and uncomfortable (I had to bed wash while I'm away from home), but I was really motivated to find a way to see the world. Here's my travel blog if you're interested http://timsmosey.blogspot.co.nz/
I don't really leave the house often either, but with a computer and the internet, the world is my oyster. I studied online, except for a couple of block courses, and have tried to set up a career from home. Try to think about what you can do, set your life up to be fulfilling within that lifestyle, and try to forget about the rest. Also make long-term goals about where you want to be and take small steps (so to speak) constantly to work towards that dream. It will happen eventually. Good luck and Kia Kaha.
Thanks, when I get my green card, I'll remember to find you so I can take my place between your arms, baby. Be sure to keep 'em open in the meantime, your individual arms mean so much to me.
Did the process take longer or shorter than you anticipated? What, if anything, would you have done differently?
Can you be more specific about your mobility ? What parts of your body are you able to move?
Biceps, triceps (after tendon transfer surgery), deltoids, half of my shoulder muscles, and up.
I'm really sorry you feel that way. Trinidad and Tobago is not a third world shithole, it's just not my home.
Not Ian, but there is no better feeling for a cuber than figuring out a puzzle on your own.
Andrea-The fact that it happens to be a QOTSA song title shows just how amateur we were when we started. Also as Mike said, we had started working with that title long before we realized. Pretty big derp on our part.
I use my knuckle to type one letter at a time for small things, and the govt bought me voice recognition software which I use for longer messages/assignments. The govt also has technology specialists to tell you the options. Our healthcare is the shit.
I expected trolls, I know /r/t_d must be foaming at the mouth the last couple days and this thread is like a bat signal to them. I'd say it's probably much more than 51%. I trust that most Americans would have compassion for my and other's situations if they knew the realities we face. Thank you for your support. :)
Some people have varying levels of sexual function. Some paras can get off without any help. Others just have to settle for what they can do.
I have to agree. You should give it a try; I regret not trying harder as a kid to figure it out on my own, because that sense of solving a puzzle is super unique and really worth experiencing.
(Still, I don't regret at all learning from Toby! Had a great time falling sidways into the world of cubing.)
When I got a pyraminx (someone gifted one to me a couple of years ago) I was determined to solve it on my own, which is obviously a lot easier, since it has millions of permutations, not quintillions.
A lot of cubers like to do a lot of the various WCA events, is there any other event that you excel at?
And what do you think of some of the cubing legends like Feliks Zemdegs and Marcin Maskow Kowalczyk?
Mike: Oh god yes, this happened quite a bit. We'd think we had things planned out and sit on them for months, only to get ready to put them into motion and see major problems. There were dialog changes being made I'd say even a couple of weeks before going to print.
We've designed Songs for the Dead with the intent of being an ongoing, and as such, changing something even a few issues down the road has repercussions in earlier books and vice versa.
I'm trying to figure out how to ask this question, because I'm behind you. I believe we need to be more welcoming to immigration and create a simple and common sense path to be vetted for citizenship. At the same time, this an opinion formed by compassion, not fairness or logic.
Seeing it from the other side, there are many native born people who feel, how ever misguided they may be, that immigration is a drain on our economy and their well being and that we need to take care of our own first. This perspective, while selfish, does have a logical basis.
These people believe you feel entitled to citizenship, they believe you are not. So all compassion aside, why do you feel you are entitled to citizenship when we have laws that were not followed in your immigrating here?
I'm not against your position, i'm very much for it, I just have a hard time making the case with the people who think you don't belong here. Because my only position is that I believe, out of compassion for others, that we should be more welcoming. This is not a very strong counter position.
Thanks for putting yourself out there.
My cousin died like this. Body surfing on a typical day in Virginia Beach... and he had been going to the same beach the same way his whole life... probably ridden 10,000 waves just like that one. Hit him wrong, broke his back, and he drowned immediately. Was there with his 12 year old son who couldn't figure out what happened... his dad was just gone. My whole family grew up surfing that beach. happened years ago. We still don't know how to process that.
I mean you're more likely to get bitten by a shark :)
The adjustment is an everyday thing, something you have to deal with in every situation you find yourself in.
I did go to a rehab hospital for a month inpatient, and also did outpatient for another month.
I played a lot of classical music growing up. So I like that a lot. (To be more specific: I played clarinet for about a decade, so I have a lot of familiarity with orchestral works and chamber music and solo clarinet pieces; Sabine Meyer is my favorite clarinetist.)
But I listen to lots of things. I have some family in the American south that turned me on to bluegrass, and I really like French hip hop. (Grand Corps Malade, the spoken word artist, is a BIG favorite of mine!)
If you were not already a DACA recipient, would you still apply? With the uncertainty of the future I struggle with telling my high schools students to apply in order to go to college.
What do you do for work? Did you have to change career paths with this injury?
When you try timing yourself solving the cube, do you first get to study the layout of the colors before starting the time, or does the studying happen only once the time ticks? And how does that work when they time the official record at 4+ seconds? If you get to study it before, how long does that take?
Mike: ...you mean with each other?
I was trying to go to school for computer science before I got hurt, but my depression kind of got in the way of that. Then I got paralyzed, tried another semester at school and couldn't keep up.
As of right now I work the front desk at a community rec center, it's pretty easy going and the people who work there are super nice. I'm hoping to wiggle my way into some tech job though, honestly I would just love to work with computers and people because they just make sense to me.
Yep! According to WCA regulations, you get up to 15 seconds to inspect the puzzle. (Except for blindfold solving, where inspection is part of the overall time.)
And are you referring to Mats Valk's 4.74 second record?
Good question! I've met quite a few of them, but it didn't wind up being a big part of the book; I'm all about spreading the word about cubing, and really enjoy many of the videos. (Also, glad you're enjoying the book!) I was more focused on learning to solve fast, and my understanding is that a lot of the YouTube scene is about the personalities of the reviewers, which is great, but I was over here in the corner devouring slow solve videos from Collin and Feliks.
With no legal work how did your family make enough for housing and food?
Can I feel your penis?
They did work, they had visas of some sort I believe, but I don't know specifically and they never had any reason to tell me as I was a child. My mother came here with a degree from Trinidad and was working on pursuing her Master's when she died. Very smart lady. I miss her.
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
What was the first day of being a quadriplegic like?
I'm a DACA student as well and honestly I am terrified. I've cried so much the last few days. What is your back up plan if DACA gets revoked?
What sucks most about being in a wheelchair? Is the wheelchair access where you live/work/whatever sufficient?
Mike: Referring to Marvel & DC, as the biggest comic publishers running today.
Good question. It was a bit shit tbh. I did a lot of thinking, but I was also high AF on morphine and so I was sleeping a lot before my first stabilising surgery. The Drs rightly diagnosed my very broken neck and said I wouldn't be able to walk. They didn't tell me I wouldn't be able to use my hands too, which took me a while to figure out. There was definitely some crying.
The day after, my mum had already arrived on a flight from NZ, so it was really good to have her there. Then more crying.
No idea. I'm just going to pray that he doesn't revoke our status immediately and allows the cards to expire in their set time. I'd be able to continue working, and at the least I'll have my driver's license until that expires as well.
I have a petition in through my mother that I'm waiting for some movement on, so there's a path for me. I'm less concerned about me, more concerned about the people who didn't have my fortune in that respect. I'm concerned about you. What's your backup? It'd probably help to know what other people may be doing, and might open eyes up to previously unknown opportunities.
Honestly the best part of being paralyzed for me is the wheelchair. I like to scoot around all over the place and wheelie off curbs and shit like that. I tend to freak people out when they see me do dumb shit like that though haha.
The worst part for me is the lack of sexual release. I can't feel my junk at all so it's extremely frustration sometimes when I get really horny.
Oh and the constant nerve pain is nothing to shake a stick at. Imagine your foot or hand falling asleep, but instead of just your foot or your hand it's your entire lower body. But there is medication you can take to help take the edge off of that.
How has fighting through all of the adversity and struggle changed your perspective of the world? What things that have occurred would you change and do you think they would change where you would be at now?
In your opinion, what is the best way that citizens can show their support for undocumented immigrants? I plan to write to my congressman, but my district just reelected the same asshole that doesn't give a shit, so I'm pessimistic about that. I've reached out to my undocumented friends to say some words of support personally, but it doesn't feel like enough. I've been posting on Facebook to "publicly" show my support. Any other ideas? What would make you feel supported in the middle of this horrible train wreck?
Just be there for them if you can. Show them humanity, and compassion. When people try to falsely label them as criminals, fight the notion, and do your best to set the record straight. Ask about individual stories, because as you might see, many, many people on DACA came about it through very different paths. Most of us don't come off as very different from any other American at all, so it can be maddening to feel isolated among your own people, and then to fear the notion that not everyone will understand what you've been through and shun or harass you.
You just kind of have to move on. There's no point in dwelling on things that you can't change. It's not something that you can do in one day though, it's a constant every day struggle to keep your head up. But being in a rehab hospital that is well equipped to help you adjust to your new life is something that really helps, and it's also good to meet other people who are in similar situations.
It might sound kind of sad but meeting people who have it worse than you and are more positive is a challenge in and of itself, you are reminded that no matter what if you can keep a positive head about yourself then you can conquer anything.
Mindset by Carol Dweck has some good insight. I think I have been lucky genetically, and in the environment I was raised, but I think it is a mindset thing and it takes practise. Also understanding positive/negative feedback loops and how positive thinking will impact your life, might increase motivation for you to develop a positive (growth) mindset as you will appreciate the influence it has.
I don't really like to pick favorites, and it's especially hard with TV shows because there are so many different kinds. My favorite comedy is either Always Sunny or Community.
I used to be really into Game of Thrones but the quality has dipped since about the 3rd/4th season IMO. Westworld has been pretty good so far, haven't caught the newest episode yet though.
As a person with almost zero physical ability, what are your thoughts on automation, and how it will affect society?
Did you file before DACA?
Cheese! I was really hoping to come up with something more interesting than that but here we are. Any plans to spend some more time on the snow with a ski chair?
They claim that they do because of the ITIN number, but that is just income tax and plenty of them get a large return because they claim family members, often who live in other countries. Those who work for cash do not pay taxes.
EDIT: Keep down voting. I know plenty of illegals and this IS how they do it.
Edit: suprise surprise, im latino cabrones. I know how this shit works. Downvote some more plz
Who even is this? Show yourself. Yeah I would like to but it's really expensive to hire the equipment and instructor.
I have a social security number, actually. I file for myself alone lol.
Little over a year ago
Nope. I live in GA, so I can't even attend any of the state schools. Don't qualify for any federal and really most state forms of aid. I do pay taxes though.
22, Deuce deuces.
Do you use electrical stimulation to maintain your musculature? What kind of physical therapy to you do to maintain your body?
Do you pay taxes?
Do you use medical marijuana? Do you watch that new sitcom SuperStore?
Yeah I use the Revitive footplate once a day to keep my feet healthy, as they can easily break down and are prone to infection due to my poor circulation. Otherwise I play wheelchair rugby, and use gloves with a theraband tied between them to exercise the muscles I have available in my upper arms and shoulders.
Yes, I have a social security card & number, so I have to file a tax return the same as anyone else. I pay for taxes on purchases I make as well.
I used to but had to quit for unrelated reasons. I think it helped a little but I would also get sick the next day from it.
Haven't seen superstore.
Dude! First off, I'm sorry you've gone through this but I admire the way you've handled it. You're the man. Second, is that a wasd hat I see? Where did you get it? Stay positive my man!
I'm way up north but it was still really strong here! Thanks :-)
Can I ask you why I'm less deserving? I literally took no action to be here. I'm an American in every way except for a piece of paper and plastic saying so. It is all I have ever known, and the notion that I belong somewhere I have no connection to is really silly. It is fucked up.
Yeah it is! It's super well made. I got it at a video game convention here in Utah. I found their website just now actually if you're interested
Tough question. Probably completing my thesis for my Masters and finding a great female friend. I'm hoping Rocket Island will be up there.
Lol not really. Was never much of a beach person before and sure as hell am not now.
Hi thank you so much for doing this! I am studying to become an occupational therapist specializing in spinal cord inpatient rehab. Would you be willing to share any OT experience you had, how you would rate the experience and your therapist, and what do you wish you could've told your therapist or wish they understood that you felt they weren't being sensitive to?
Why do you think Americans feel so threatened by your situation, despite trying to demonstrate that you're doing your best to contribute to this country by looking for ways to work legally and pay taxes?
What country are you in? Do they have good spinal rehabs? I had really good OTs that specialised in spinal and a couple of bad ones who didn't. The trick is to encourage and motivate without belittling and undermining. Also treat every person as completely different cases and try not to expect the same out of 2 people, even if they have the same break. Usually the young OTs are good. The annoying ones are usually older grumpy OTs stuck in their ways, just to make a few generalisations :-)
Ignorance. They don't really understand the nuance in immigration law in large part, and how people can get caught in between the gaps in situations like mine. I see and hear that when people tell me I should've just applied for citizenship on my own, or that I deserve to be deported regardless of my individual circumstances and complexities because my parents supposedly fucked up (they didn't come here illegally mind you).
People of age can barely navigate the immigration system with a lawyer. How would I, as a child, have done that? It's silly, and you'd have to literally not be able or willing to conceptualize that people like me are American and also human beings and I think deserving of some kind of understanding. There are only 1.2 million DACA recipients and we've BEEN HERE. Many of us are skilled or have desires to go into areas of work that will absolutely advance the U.S. workforce. Many of us are bright, intelligent people. We did well in school and have kept our noses clean, which is the sole reason we qualify for DACA in the first place. We deserve help.
How do you feel that people who are here legally are not benefited by such laws, and they have to go back, while kids of people people who come here illegally, or overstay are treated better?
I think I would probably be worse off financially and in terms of reaching my goals. ACC provides me 80% of minimum wage for weekly compensation (until I earn more than that), which means I still live like a student, but I can focus on my passions and achieve my goals. It would have been difficult to achieve what I have with a full-time job. And my gf is amazing, so I couldn't have done better there.
What exactly do you mean? If you're here legally why would you have to "go back"?
She got a sister? haha
Seriously though, good on you man. Keep it up.
Considering you have been here for 20 years, is there is a reason why you and your family haven't become naturalized citizens?
No but she's got a brother who's a bit of alright if you're that way inclined. Cheers :-)
My mother did, she died. My father has been caught up in the cogs of a really messy legal immigration system for over a decade.
I had a friend who broke his neck diving into a lake and ended up as a quad. Great guy and he was doing his best to live his life but he had some serious depression issues. He kept a suicide bottle of Xanax and a note that he'd change the date on, periodically. He was 30 when I knew him and had been paralyzed for about 8 years. He said he just didn't know how long he could go on like that for. I lost touch with him and found out, years later, that he eventually did it.
How have you dealt with this?
Also, he actually got laid pretty frequently. He told me that there's girls who fetishize the quadriplegic situation and called them "quad hoppers". Have you encountered this?
Not sure, I just have a different mindset I guess. Haha not really. It creeps me out when girls are overly interested. The gf keeps any advances at bay.
I've flown commercially since I have a Trinidadian passport, so not necessarily.
What are your plans for VR?
The natural interaction with hand controllers like on the Vive and the upcoming oculus touch controllers seem like a huge opportunity and a perfect fit for educational games, because even people without computer and controller experience can quickly jump in.
Yeah I think it's a real opportunity to make education as immersive as possible. I've only looked at the feasibility of VR and possible ways to implement, but haven't fleshed out specifics yet.
I'm entitled citizenship through my mother. She was naturalized.
What is this and why am I paying for it?
It's an executive program that Obama signed into law in 2012 that enables certain people without legal status who arrived to the US as children and who may be facing deportation proceedings to work and pay taxes, and guards against deportation for the term of the program, which is 2 years. It can be re-applied for every 2 years. It is not a path to citizenship and there is not means of gaining citizenship through it.
The qualifications for DACA are as such:
are under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012;
came to the U.S. while under the age of 16;
have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to the present. (For purposes of calculating this five year period, brief and innocent absences from the United States for humanitarian reasons will not be included);
entered the U.S. without inspection or fell out of lawful visa status before June 15, 2012; were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or armed forces;
have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors of any kind; and
do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
why am I paying for it?
You're not actually. It's funded (mostly) through the $465 application fee DACA recipients must send to file an application.
Wow, very cool! I have wanted to create an educational game related to socially responsible engineering for a while. I have a computer science degree and a bit of experience with Artificial Intelligence, but I have had a hard time finding good resources on educational game design. Would you be able to please suggest some good reading on the topic? Textbooks, articles, anything really that you think would help me design a better educational game. Thanks, love your game concept!
If this program, limited to no new entrants, is fully funded by applicant payments (which I would need more proof of), then I personally see the compassion in it and perhaps the merit to allow it to continue.
The argument you must address is the political one. Is it acceptable for a political party to enact specific amnesty programs for illegal immigrants? Is it acceptable for one party to make exceptions to immigration law, with the goal.of earning life long, loyal voters for their party? If you find that thought distasteful, tell me whether you think the people in this program have political leanings toward the party that gives them the right to stay?
There is a good book called Mathematics Education for a New Era, that explains how to teach mathematical thinking in video games. Otherwise, Lave and Wagner (1991) teach about situated learning and the importance of teaching/testing in situations that are relevant to daily life; van Oers (2012 I think) that talks about including students in choosing what to learn, choosing their own goals and how to test skills etc to avoid them feeling alienated from learning process (which often leads to low motivation and behavioural problems); learn about differences and pros/cons for learning face-to-face or online/video games, as different environments affect social hierarchies between students, participation levels, and engagement. Learning these differences will help design the game so it compliments things students will learn in everyday life, such as social interactions and how to treat others. There might be some other stuff on my website you might find interesting :-) www.educationthesedays.com
Yo, I got here as a kid and I couldn't work before this. I fucking hate what the Democratic party has become and I think this country needs political revolution. We are not drones, and nobody will buy our loyalty. If I'm ever hesitant to side with the party of the social conservatives in America, Trump and his base's ignorance about the realities of things like this is an example of why. My first vote may not be for the Democrats, but if the Republican party can't get its shit together, it's not gonna be for them either.
Do you have any sensation in your penis or testicles?
Glad you seem to be doing so well man:)
This is very true, and you also can't put a simple number on the cost or benefit of the undocumented/DACA citizens to the nation. What I do know is that the USA will be respected again, and the boundaries meant to keep citizens safe, physical and legal, will no longer be ignored.
That said, our nation is partly responsible for this problem, because we didn't properly enforce our laws(partisan politics aside). You can rest assured that Trump's administration will not be dumping helpless, blameless people out onto unfamiliar streets. There will be a compassionate softening for those deserving of it.
I can't say I disagree entirely with how you've presented your argument. I just hope the last point you made turns out to be true.
What are the options your parents have in order to become citizens?
Definitely maybe! PM me. I won't decide that till next year though.
EDIT: This question was originally, "What do you think about naturalborn citizenship?"
I think a few years ago I might have stopped there, but I've read some really interesting proposals about alternative means of understanding/defining and gaining citizenship if you're born into a country, i.e. eliminating or never establishing the idea of birthright citizenship and instead withholding it until someone is old enough to prove their understanding of the values of the country, its history, individual intelligence and intention to contribute fully, etc.
I don't know that I necessarily think that's that great of a thing or that it would work very well in execution or do anything but create something of a caste system.
How long did it take you to program Rocket Island? Also, after it takes off, do you plan on updating the game in the future? Great Kickstarter video and thanks!
You are an American, and you are deserving of all the benefits of this country,
That's the thing though...you aren't an American. You are a Trinidadian (Tobagoian?). You are not registered for selective service, and you probably don't have a social security number. You don't vote, nor can you run for public office. It's a federal crime for any employer to hire you or your parents, because you have no right to be here or work here.
So far it's taken 7 months to develop and longer to design. I'd say it will take a year or so to complete, depending on funding. Yeah I would like to update it to add languages, cell-phone features and gameplay, but again it depends on funds. Cheers :-)
I am registered for selective service, and I do have a social security number. I had one when my parents arrived as well. I've been working, and I do pay taxes. I don't get any of the benefits though. No SS, no FAFSA, no health insurance, etc.
My parents came on visas, and my mother was naturalized through her mother. I'm entitled to citizenship, and I'm pursuing the path.
Go on with your ignorant narrative and project your fucked up, compassionless worldview on to me though. There are enough people in this country that see some sense and know the reality about the current state of US immigration that I don't need you to understand anything. You don't even understand how this country works.
Oh, and that gives me another idea. SEA WALL! STop hurricanes and Trinidadians from reaching American shores. DOUBLE WIN!
Sorry but I've got nothing to give, hence the crowdfunding. I find people are more willing to give funds to support an idea or product that they feel will allow you to continue to support yourself in the future. Don't give up, it takes a lot of thinking and research, but you'll think of something if you keep trying. Have you tried training as a draftsperson, 3d modeller or designer? You can do anything on a computer these days, but it takes time and effort to learn.
This may be an ignorant question, but is there any hope for a stem cell treatment that may improve your condition?
You're SSN will be revoked soon, because you shouldn't have it, because you aren't an American. The piece of paper absolutely changes that, because that piece of paper says whether or not you are an American. American is a legal distinction between those who are subject to all the rights and responsibilities of US citizenship and everyone else. You are everyone else. You are a Trinidadian, not an American. One day, if you're lucky, we'll let you become an American. But until that day, you are, unfortunately for you, not an American. You're welcome to be here and bask in the glorious glow of American prosperity (doubly so now that we have President GodEmperor Daddy Trump), but until such a time as Americans, via our duly elected government, decide that you are an American, you aren't. You're a guest, a non-American guest.
Simply put, if you aren't allowed to vote, you aren't an American (with a few caveats). But, because us actual Americans are such a great and welcoming people, we might let you join our club one day, if you're good.
Whateva you say, man. You should read up on our country's immigration laws though. Maybe when I'm naturalized, I can come teach you something, not good to be so ignorant. It's a hot-button topic.
I'll ask a politically incorrect question... as a citizen of Trinidad and a resident of the US what are your thoughts on other countries who's standard of living and conditions are even worse than those your parents (and you) escaped? If the US can sustain, lets say, a population of say 500 million, how should we pick who gets to stay in the US and who needs to leave to make room for someone more needy. I'm sure most of us on reddit are way wealthier (reference) than the average human on this planet, so is it our humanitarian duty to trade places with someone less fortunate.
A straw man argument, I know, but I am genuinely curious as to the economic group think of the open border policy. I know of no country besides the US that has unchecked immigration. We may check it, but then ignore the status. Your story and the 10 million other stories are important, but how is it more important than the 3 billion people worse off than you (and us)?
I have compassion for every person facing substandard living conditions in this world. I don't have an answer to any of that. All I know is my struggle. When I become a citizen, it'll be my priority to work on improving the world for everyone.
In the body of your submitted text you make a statement that ,in general, you don't want to have a political discussion yet you refer to trump in the header of your submission. So my question why refer to trump if you want to keep politics out of it?
It's something that he's vowed to do in his first 100 days. My DACA status wouldn't be in question if he didn't get elected. The only reason I'm posting this is because of Trump's election.
ask me anything
...I'd appreciate if relatively neutral questions could be asked
Do you see the irony? ;)
Hasn't stopped anything, and I am responding, so the original purpose is still there, most definitely. It was just a request, but perhaps I expected too much.
Let me get this straight, you've been living in the US illegally your entire life and now you're upset because someone is cracking down on immigration? I do agree US has pretty strict immigration laws and you should probably be granted citizenship if you lived there your whole life, but countries need to be able to protect their own borders otherwise you get the shitshow that's happening in Europe.
I haven't been here illegally the whole time. I was a baby when I got here, and my parents had visas.
DACA needs to get cut. I and many others including legal immigrants think that this is just flat out wrong. Why should you be given US citizenship because you where able to weasel your way into our country? That's just plain wrong and unfair. Sorry that your country is shit. Stay there and try to fix it, although it may be very hard to do so, it could help the future generations.
I'm a legal immigrant, my mother was naturalized before she died. You're projecting, and I wish you wouldn't.
Opinions are irrelevant.
There's only one important thing: Correcting for other factors, has DACA resulted in more immigration, yes or no? It doesn't matter what people think will happen, since we can simply study what actually happens.
Probably not. As in, it didn't bring people here that weren't already here. DACA has a hard limit on the kinds of people that qualify for it, which only about 1.2 million people have been approved.
The requirements are as follows:
Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday; Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012; Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor,or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Where do you think I should go exactly? Trinidad?
So what prompted your parents to over-stay their visas vs trying to get here through proper channels?
Naturalization through family isn't a proper channel? Naturalization through family is a proper channel, let me just answer that for you.
your ID card seems interesting...
It's not a "Green Card", and it's definitely not good to cross the border. Is it considered a "Permanent Residency" for ITARS purposes? Could you work in a defense corporation (Say in Accounting or warehousing) or are you still considered an alien for arms control and export control purposes?
EDIT: For future reference, this person asked what kind of questions I hoped to be asked because I asked to minimize contentious political discussion/questions. They also made a good point about there previously being a lot of info in my bio so I shortened it to keep it interesting and to leave room for questions and hopefully deeper discussion from there.
Questions about me! I'm a human, and there's a lot to know, and I'd like to share my humanity and my experiences as someone undocumented but outside of the popular narrative about what that looks like and how that has affected my worldview as someone otherwise like any other American on the outside (and inside, really). It most certainly does have an effect, and it is interesting to live it to be quite honest. I have a lot to share and a desire to share it. :)
I really just didn't want to get into an argument because things are difficult enough to process as is, and I wanted to maybe find some support. I'm not happy with Trump as president though obviously.
In your opinion, which U.S. laws are o.k. to ignore and which ones should be enforced.
If current U.S. immigration law is too flawed by be followed, how could it be changed so that it would be right to enforce it?
Should the U.S. have any restrictions on who comes in and how long they stay?
Yeah, they should. They do.
OP, Do you still worry about your immigration status and future?
Less so, since I do have a path that I'm on through parent-child naturalization. My energy is put less into worrying about me and more into worrying about other DACA recipients who have more complex cases that they grapple with these days.
Where exactly will you be on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017? Im totally not an ICE agent.
Hi, Mr. Not an ICE Agent. You'll be happy to know I'm on the path to citizenship, so you don't have any business with me. I'll be on the internet though, so if you wanna talk, feel free to PM me.
Do you blame your parents for putting you in this situation?
Nah. They did everything right. The immigration system is fucking messy, so that explains my dad. Only thing my mother did was die, and that sent my petition into legal limbo so I don't think I'd feel right in blaming her for not knowing she wouldn't make the full 5 years she was given.
Why do you think you deserve an immigration slot over someone who came here legally? If you could talk to the person whose slot you are taking, what would you say?
I did come here legally. I didn't get thrown across the ocean, we were on a plane and arrived in an airport.
Applied for a petition through parent-child naturalization.
The answer is no.
So what's the best way to move to Europe and overstay my Visa? Asking for a friend.
I once heard a speaker discussing immigration. I'll paraphrase what he said to see what you think.
"If you ask most people if unrestricted immigration in the early days of the US were good or bad, most will say they were good. But if you ask them if we could do that now they say, 'Oh no we couldn't afford that.' If Americans are immigrating here for opportunity they should be welcomed. But in a welfare state every immigrant has the potential to cost a lot of money."
Now it may/may not apply to your situation. I don't know you. But do you have any thoughts or ideas about mitigating this aspect of immigration?
I really don't. Immigration is a broad and complex issue, especially in a country like America. I know that the system has failed a lot of people that have done it "right", and left a lot people in extremely tricky situations without simple or clearly defined solutions, and I believe there needs to be a compassionate action taken for those people because the absolute vast majority of them are or desire to be fully productive citizens of the USA, and have a lot of personal investment in the principles and values this place stands for.
What I do think needs to happen is more education about immigration being spread and the narrative around the issue needs to shift to a more... accurate place. A lot of people just don't know what the real deal is, they just hear illegals and Mexicans and criminals etc. etc. etc. and it's like a dog whistle in how instantaneously their hearts go cold. That is to say that there's a perception that we're drains on society, that we don't pay taxes, don't contribute, take jobs that could go to natural-born citizens, etc. etc. It's just not the truth.