The Updates #1

Estimated Reading Time: 6.5 minutes

So, it's been a month since my last blog post.  Gaaahhhh!  It's not the first time there has been a gap like this but my momentum has been fully consumed with a great many things of late (see below).  So, I think for the next few months, I'm going to *try* a weekly update about several categories of things going on in my life and see how this goes and throw in photo I took this week to boot! I've got TONS of other posts to write but haven't been able to get myself back into a rhythm.  Maybe this will help spur me along!
A photo of 4 green bags with dying potato plants in them.
From the Photo Stream: Potato Plants Dying

Dissertation:  It's been 2.5 years since I did an update on my dissertation.  No job!  I'm still at it and making actual progress (yay!).  The Ph.D. Chronicles need a deep update at some point.  But the bare bones update?  I finally finished chapters 1-3 last winter and assembled my dissertation committee. I defended my dissertation proposal back in February; got some feedback that I had to work on and fully passed it in May.  I also applied to the Institutional Review Board at UMASS Boston and it got approved.  I'm scheduling 3 pilot interviews to test my protocol and then I'll be doing the full study (ideally starting by September--but stay tuned here on my blog or on my research study page).  It feels good to be at this point in my work and I feel like I can and will make it happen.  

Work: I don't even remember the last time I talked about work other than to mention that I landed as Director of Digital Pedagogy at College Unbound in Providence, RI.  It's been an amazing year of working with great people on important projects and really enjoying the challenges and opportunities that this job represents (more on this in a later post).  Right now, we're in the thick of an LMS transition, moving from Google Classroom to Moodle.  I've been largely leading the project from selecting the new LMS to planning and now, training and getting faculty & students ready to use the new LMS.  As a result, I now have a second YouTube channel that has lots of how-to videos for Moodle (And for those wondering, you can always check out my first YouTube channel). I won't lie, it's a lot of work, and when it is done (ok, when we're later on in its implementation--is it ever really done?), I plan to write a long thank you letter to the director I worked with at my first ID job, If there's any success here, I owe much of it to her.  

What Am I Reading:  Here's what I got for this week (Can catch the latest on my GoodReads, of course).
Star Wars: The High Republic, Vol. 3: Jedi's End by Scott Cavan:  It's Star Wars, 200 years from the current stuff. Not great but enjoyable enough but I haven't gotten as excited about the characters just yet.  

Beyond Powerful Radio: A Communicator's Guide to the Internet Age-News, Talk, Information & Personality for Broadcasting, Podcasting, Internet, Radio by Valerie Geller: Is radio dead? Maybe. Elements of this book were useful and interest while others were dated (e.g. an absence of thought abut the current podcast ventures and ubiquitous access to streaming).  Still, a deep and full look at understanding the radio business.  
A blue bucket filled with fresh potatoes
From the Photo Stream: Harvested Potatoes!

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill: A quick read, but the kind that has lots of spaces to fill in your mind. Reminds me a bit of The Awakening by Kate Chopin and What Diantha Did (also a recent read) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.  

Adjunctivitis by Gordon Haber:  An adjunct gets horribly sick every time he reads students paper while he's scrapping together a life teaching as an adjunct. Not great but captures a lot of the exploitation of adjuncting.  

Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World by Tyson Yunkaporta:  Still thinking about this one.  Yunkaporta really pushes white folks understanding of time, the universe, relationships, and well, all elements of culture with his yarns with different indigenous folks around the world. Definitely worth the read

If Cats Disappeared from the World by Genki Kawamura: A deal with the devil story wherein the protagonist is allowed to live one more day so long as he agrees to let something disappear fromt he world.  What is he willing to let disappear from the world and what does he really need before he accepts his death?

What am I Watching:  We're all sharing the shows we're watching these days it seems.  So here's mine.

Brooklyn 99: I'm nearly into season 5. I missed this show when it aired but am enjoying it immensely as I watch it.  There's always something I'm laughing at.  Rosa is delightful but Charles continues to surprise me with laughs.  

Paper Girls: Adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan and I'm 4 episodes in.  Really good pacing and storytelling--I need to revisit the graphic novels.  A great story about meeting our future selves and wondering about the chasm in between. 

The Sandman:  Only watched the first episode but I'm definitely in for this ride.  Dream is visually cast perfectly in my eyes.  Still reconciling the voice, but that's fine in my book.  I might need to revisit Gaiman's graphic novels--it's been a few years.

What's On My Mind:

Gardening:  As you can see, I grew potatoes this year.  The tomato crop has been ridiculous (currently at least 40 pounds of tomatoes in the last 2-3 weeks).  Eggplants are going strong.  Peppers not so much; cauliflower and broccoli were meh.  Raddishs has a good early start.  Chard is finally doing well while kale is doing ok (but got bugs--yuck).  We're going to be starting a basement garden soon and seeing how we can do with that.  Despite some things not growing or growing well, the garden for it's first year in Rhode Island was great.  I look forward to next year and doing it even better. 

Running/Riding in Hot Weather:  This heat sucks--as is sucks the life out of everything. While I like to do a long run a week of ideally 9+ miles, this heat has been making that hard. So I'm sticking to 3-5 miles a day on most days and mixing in a lot of cycling.  There's some great loops around here as well as the East Providence Bike Path.  For the longer runs and rides, I've taken to bringing a camel pack because I can just feel how much I'm sweating. I really miss fall and spring runnings and will do my best to never complain about winter running again (except the icy parts!).  

Living in Rhode Island: It's still new and still fresh. We're still trying to find our path here, our favorite places, and find/create some community.  We have two neighbors that we get along great with but want to look for more ways of connecting with lots of folks and put down a little more roots now that we live here and will for a good long time.

Well, that's all I have for today's update!  See you next week!

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