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Weekly Update: December 5 – 12, 2021

Inspired by bava weekly and motivated to add a bit more life into this blog, I’m starting a weekly update series.

Professional

Last week of class at W&L. I’ve been busy with grading, wrapping up courses, and assisting students with last-minute research projects. This term probably will be the last in which I’m doing so much teaching. More library technologies duties are ahead for me, and I’ll be happy to get back to a technology-focused position.

Writing 100 Virtual Reality. I’m writing a lengthy reflection on my experiences teaching first-year writing, particularly on this term’s topic of VR. Previously, my first-year writing course focused on the opioid crisis.

Data Science portfolio and independent study. Worked with an excellent student. I wasn’t able to devote as much time as I wanted to working with him. Fortunately, he’s very self-directed.

Journalism 190: Information Sources in the Digital Age is a 1-credit course that I inherited as the liaison to the Journalism and Mass Communications department. The course has been co-taught for years by our long-time senior reference librarian, who retired prior to the pandemic, and by a member of the Journalism/Mass Comm faculty; the “J-School” faculty rotate this assignment from year to year. I’ll be putting a lot of work next term into redesigning this course.

Faculty search committee for a tenure track position in Strategic Communication. Can’t say much about this other than the committee has been very busy this week.

Shenandoah Volume 71, Issue 1. The Fall issue was published at the end of the week. I do all the technical work associated with publishing the literary magazine, which involves “touching” each work that goes online. I try to reach each piece. At a minimum, I quickly browse each work for formatting. And I easily get distracted into reading the text. I’m very proud of the work I do to make Shenandoah freely available.

Tech

WordPress: Shenandoah is produced with WordPress. The theme is heavily customized. We have a long list of features to add to Shenandoah. I hope to revise the theme and create a plugin that will smooth the publishing process. That’s a big goal for 2022.

Unreal Engine: At the other end of the tech spectrum from WordPress is Unreal Engine. My daughter and I have a major initiative, Nightlight Discovery, where we are developing a game in UE. Over the holiday break, I’m hoping to make significant progress on the prototype.

Personal

Celebrated my 56th birthday last week. Enjoyed a relaxing weekend with my daughter. With each year, I grow more and more perplexed by age and the passage of time.

What I’m reading

Still Possible, a new book of poetry by David Whyte. I absolutely love his writings!

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