Okay, Virtual Reboot, Now What? 

keep-calm

Hello – amazing teachers who are having to change your Face-to-Face (F2F) classes into virtual classes overnight! (See this previous post for more – Help! I have to change my face-to-face classes to online in just a few days).

Here is another example of what I am doing with my classes. Feel free to use it as a spring board for:
  • ideas,
  • to change around to fit what you are doing,
  • to save time thinking of how to “word” things,
  • and/or to use as a template for your courses.
So you’ve contacted your students, now what?
May I suggest some of the following:
  • Make a general plan for the next few weeks (however long the semester or quarantine lasts).
  • Remember that EVERYONE is using technology during this pandemic (from the business sector to schools all over the country – not to mention everyone at home who is trying to keep busy and our default mode is to live online) so have a few different ideas up your sleeve in case the tech crashes.
  • Consider the value of asynchronous classes (in which you give the students the freedom to do the course work whenever they can throughout the week before the weekly due date).
Because we are all busy needing to learn new technologies (and each one will have its own unique learning curve) I am hoping that this will be something that can help save you time. Please pass this post on to the teachers you know that could benefit.
I put this (see below) where the students are used to finding the information.  In my classes I already have them working in the modules of Canvas (our course Learning Management System, LMS) for their classes, so the following is in our Week 10, Day 19. I suggest using what you have already trained the students to do – be it modules, announcements, emails, etc. This example is for a family history class and we were already on a semi-hybrid model.
Now, I can easily copy and paste it to my other courses and edit in the correct details for that class, letting them know what will remain the same and what will change as we move forward.
If you don’t have anything set up, consider the following:
  • What has your school been using?
  • What has your school already paid for? (At BYU-I we have specific licenses for certain tech, see if your school already has something in place)
  • Look into free options such as google hangouts or blogs (I’ll send ideas in another post)
  • Perhaps a weekly email with at-home lessons created within the message?
As ever, I know that you can do this and I will keep adding ideas to help you. Feel free to send these posts along or to follow this blog if it is of use. I would also LOVE to hear your thoughts, comments, ideas, or suggestions.
Thank you!

 

Example of my first day information:

Day 19: What Are We Going To Do Now?

Temple Banner

Hello, Everyone!

Welcome back to our virtual rebooted class.

It will work very closely to what we were doing before –

  • We’ll typically meet together once a week and the other day we will have an at-home type lesson with an assignment attached.
  • All of the assignments that were previously part of the class will continue to be due on their scheduled dates – follow the modules.
  • If you are behind and interested, you can check out extra credit assignments here: Resources

Here are some changes – 

  • I’ll be putting you into groups so that you can still have connection together during this time (more on that later).
  • You will need to be able to meet with us virtually – you can use your phone, a laptop, etc, in order to do that.
  • There will be a few added assignments to accommodate this new learning style. I will try to be flexible and understanding of your time, but I also need you to understand that these assignments will be necessary to make sure that you have an engaging learning experience .
  • Daily reading quizzes will be changed to reflect what we have done for that day’s work (I gave everyone full credit for the daily reading quiz for Monday’s (3/16) class. Please don’t take it again – unless you want late points or you don’t like to have full credit). 😉

For Wednesday’s (3/18) Class  – 

  1. Please complete Monday’s Readings and Questions (so that you can discuss with a breakout group): Day 18: Finding Connection Through Family History (What an amazing coincidence – the whole day was going to be about connections – and right at the time when we seem to be forced into a global isolation. I truly believe that the Lord wants us to be connected into our Father’s Eternal Family and into our own families. What a great opportunity to do this!)
  2. On Wednesday at our regular class time, please join me in our
  3. You are welcome to set the software up ahead of time (see #4 below to learn how), I have sent up a virtual waiting room so that you can do that. 🙂
  4. If you need to learn how to join this virtual classroom (hosted by Zoom), watch this video  (Links to an external site.)
  5. Should (Zoom)  the virtual classroom fail, (and with the current situation, and all of the colleges relying on this tech, it may) check the announcements and I will have a back-up ready.
  6. You guys are amazing –  keep moving forward!

Help! I have to change my face-to-face classes to online in just a few days

woman holding microphone standing in front of crowd

Photo by ICSA on Pexels.com

So, you’re in the same boat as we are? Because of the novel COVID-19 virus (a.k.a Coronavirus) we have been asked to change our classes from Face-to-Face (traditional model) to online in just a few days to finish out the Winter 2020 semester. I’m hoping that this post will give my fellow teachers some helpful tips with the transition. The posts will be written for college professors, but the ideas can be adapted to any teacher in any teaching situation (Elementary, Jr. High, High Schools, or even in the private sector).

First, some counsel for those who may be silently panicking – you are a teacher, which means that you are capable and creative. You’ve got this! Sure, there may be new technologies to learn (and there will be a unique earning curve for each one) but remember that you are in a profession that allows you to be amazingly creative – and the more creative you are, the more ability you have to enrich the lives of your students.

So, the venue has changed slightly – your knowledge and abilities have not. Take all that you have been doing, put it into a new format, and take advantage of this amazing opportunity for growth for you, as well as for your students.

Second, I am not trying to replace anything that your school, supervisors, teaching & learning teams, etc. are sending out. There is so much material on the web to help teachers – (what a great blessing!) I simply understand that sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start and some tips and encouragement go a LONG way.  Use the information in these posts as a springboard for:

  • ideas and strategies,
  • to change things around to fit what you are doing,
  • to save time thinking of how to “word” things,
  • and/or to use as a template for your courses.

Third – Communication! My first suggestion is to make sure to keep the channels of communication open to your students. They were used to coming to see you during office hours, or before or after class. Now, online, you need to make sure that they hear from you often. If you already have a channel that you have been using all semester (emails, announcements, blog posts, etc.) continue to use that. If nothing is currently in place, consider some of the following –

  • What are the students used to receiving from the school (What tools are already in place? Do they receive emails, blog posts, etc?),
  • Mobilize whichever medium you are good at using (this is one area that you don’t need to stress about learning a new tool – simply use what you have),
  • Be consistent in that medium for as long as either the course or the pandemic lasts.

Fourth – an example. Here is an example of an announcement that I sent up in canvas (our school’s LMS) on Friday (3/13/20). Our University cancelled all Face-to-Face (F2F) classes on Thursday late afternoon (3/12/20) and after a mandatory department meeting (in which they briefed us on what we would be doing) I sent out this announcement.

I suggest making sure to give your students the following:

  • Reassurance,
  • Information about what is going on with the school and with your class,
  • Keep the info simple – you don’t need to brief them on everything, just enough to move to the next step.
  • You don’t need to have a full plan for the next few weeks, just an outline of what to do when they return to your (now) virtual class.
  • Remember –
    • In this first letter, you don’t need to teach them how to use the tech or every plan that you have in mind, just where to go to find you and the class.
    • What leeway you will give for assignments, due dates, etc. that are effected during the transition.
    • Which overall major items will be different and which will be the same in the curriculum.

This is my first offering – introduction & encouragement as well as help in sending out your first item of communication. If this piece was helpful to you, I am so glad – there are no strings or requests other than to help those in our profession during this difficult transition – please pass it on to other teachers.

Best wishes for your success!

Laryssa Waldron

 

A little about me – I am a Visiting Professor at BYU-Idaho in the Religion Department and previous to that taught English Courses in both Writing and Rhetoric, and Technical Writing at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) where we did a lot of work online and with synchronous, asynchronous, and hybrid classes – mainly working on the canvas platform. I am so thankful to my  forward thinking colleagues and departments at both schools (and many others before) who have richly blessed me by freely sharing their knowledge, expertise, and help. It is thrilling to be in a group so willing to freely share their ideas. At every institution I have taught in, I have found this generous attitude. Thank you!

A GREAT Big Thank you

Waldron Publishing

In 2011, I started an eBook publishing company. Just as

WP collageit got going, I found I was pregnant with our third daughter. Due to my age and other circumstances, the pregnancy was rough and I was unable to keep up with the pace that the burgeoning company needed to survive and thrive. So, in 2014, I gave all of the publishing rights back to the authors and still maintain two books. I am looking to one day begin again, armed with the great knowledge and experience gained from the original attempt.

I am very proud of the work that we did and what we were able to accomplish.

As a shout out, I recommend the wonderful books that we published. I was so blessed to work with such talented authors and creators, for whom I owe such a debt of gratitude for believing in me and in the project. I hope, at the end of the day that it was as good an experience (to learn and to grow) for each of them as it was for me. Here is a run-down of what we did in three short years.

Published Works (and links to where you can find them now):

(in order of when we published the book)

Artists

Featured Blog Writers

  • Tiffini Knight, eReads with Tiff
  • Jana Friel, Printables
  • Roy Wilhelm, Movies and Media
  • Harv Wilhelm, Memories

Editing and Consultation

  • Harv Wilhelm and Molly Wilhelm
  • Fiona Ostler
  • Bryan Waldron
  • Cameron Wilhelm
  • Jana Friel
  • Andra Jensen
  • The Knitting Club (Fiona, Tiff & Matt, Brady Tanner – SHAME!)
  • Shawna Fillmore and Ganel-Lyn Condie (G&S Marketing)

Authors (in various Stages of Production or discussion)

  • Elizabeth McConkie, Unpublished Work, Absolutley Simple: A Guidebook to Get-it-Done Memory Keeping
  • Kylee Shumway, Untitled Book on Soap Making, Tree Graphic
  • Steve Asay, Untitled Work on motivation
  • Various Author friends from LTUE

Pinterest

We still have a great following on Pinterest, and lots of free printables for your home and non-profit use.


Writing this has been healing. Sometimes we look at our past and think that certain experiences are complete failures because they don’t match our expectations. Though I was so proud of the work we did, I mainly saw Waldron Publishing as a disappointment. As I wrote this list however, I was amazed at what we actually accomplished and how many people believed in it enough to be a part of it. I feel humbled and extremely thankful!

“Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage,

no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow …

You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your [art]. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.”

Kurt Vonnegut

 

Forum: J. Kirk Richards

Yesterday I was privileged to go to a forum at BYU-I by artist J. Kirk Richards entitled – Entrepreneurship in the Arts: How covenants brought me a career of creativity and service  (which was such an intriguing title, I had to make time for it!)

Here is a sample of his work, Cherubim and a Flaming Sword

Which you can purchase at the BYU store along with many other amazing pieces.

Unfortunately, I had to come late to the speech, however I was able to catch the last half and the Q&A. I wanted to share a few notes that truly impressed me with any of my thoughts in italics –

  • God cares about our desires to make a difference in the world [D&C 4:3]
  • The difference that you make may not be the one that you expect/want, but it will be what God wants/needs. [And what a privilege to feel that you are wanted/needed by God!]
  • Quote by Elder Gerrit W. Gong, Strengthen One Another in the Lord, BYU Women’s Conference, May 2018 –

Our covenants connect us to God and to each other. Meant to be eternal, our covenants include God our Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Eternal covenants can bring the power of God’s love—to give hope and increase love; to lift and transform; to edify and sanctify; to redeem and exalt.

In the revelation of our true, divine selves through our covenants with God, we learn to recognize and love our brothers and sisters as He does. This deepening love and knowledge invites, empowers, and sanctifies us to know and, in our own way, to become more like Him.

[I need to study this talk in tandem with some personal revelation and his October 2018 General Conference talk, Our Campfire of Faith .]

  • Quote by Chieko Okasaki, (General Relief Society Presidency 1990-1997) from her book Lighten Up!

“Only you know your circumstances, your energy level, the needs of your children, and the emotional demands of your other obligations. Be wise during intensive seasons of your life. Cherish your agency, and don’t give it away casually. Don’t compare yourself to others — nearly always this will make you despondent. Don’t accept somebody else’s interpretation of how you should be spending your time. Make the best decision you can and then evaluate it to see how it works.”

I will add more (about the Q&A ) another time, out of time for today. I would love to hear from any readers your thoughts, insights impressions on the above.

Thanks!

Notebook 2: Social Exploration on Creativity

So, for my notebook prompt today, I wanted to see what people thought about creativity and whether it was just about the Arts, or whether more areas could be considered as creative fields.

5i. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Pinterest as a way to explore how people communicate messages/information about your issue. Try posting some information about your issue and then pose some questions to your audience. What happened? Explain why you think you received the answers/feedback that you received. Create a Wordle word cloud with all of the responses OR create a collage of the photographs and other information that was offered.

After sharing a quote from a blog-post on the way that creativity is viewed in Asia, I asked my friends if they would answer one or all of the following questions –

1).What do you think? Can you be creative in other areas besides the Arts? Have you been?

2.) Do you think creativity is important? How? Why?

3.) How are you creative? What do you make time to do?

I created word art from the site tagcrowd based on their responses –

creativity-tag-cloud-small

My friends felt that creativity was used a lot in daily problem solving and work as an adult. Here were some of those comments –

“It’s incredibly important to see things in a different light. It’s creative problem solving in daily life, and we all do it more than we think. I’m creative in what punishments my kids get. I’m creative with cooking (I’m not a “follow the recipe” type of chef). I’m creative when teaching lessons in church or at home. I’m creative when there’s a home maintenance problem that arises, finding a work around. (As an example, we have a super long rod in our closet. It got weighed down too much and pulled the whole shelf and rod off the wall. To fix it, I didn’t just put it back up the way it was. We found shelving that provided better support on the two end then did the standard braces in the middle. We lost some hanging space, but now it’s not going to fall again and we have more shelf space.)”


” I am most creative when there is a challenge or problem that needs to be solved. My creativity usually has a specific purpose: write a song for Girls Camp or an upcoming baptism, create a custom planner page so I can stay organized, make dinner without going to the store for one missing ingredient, date night on a budget, figure out a solution to help my 11 y.o. to be organized, etc. Creativity doesn’t come in bold flashes while I’m binge watching cat videos. It comes through hard work, brainstorming a bunch of really half-baked ideas, then simmering and sifting until a creative idea feels right.”


” Growing up I definitely thought creativity was limited to the arts, but during my adult years I have slowly been redefining creativity until it spread to every area of life. I think there is a specific process that often results in creative thinking: see something from a new-to-you perspective, then combine that with your existing understanding, and something altogether new has been created. That process happens in painting, parenting, teaching, diplomatic exchanges, computer programming, and just about everything else.”



Other friends talked about their creative endeavors (both within the traditional arts, and outside of them –

“Love this!!! I never thought about it until I read it, but I think you can be creative in multiple ways. I lean towards what we term “arts” here, BUT as a child I used to “play” with math. In my free time I would practice doubling numbers on paper because I thought I enjoyed the challenge. But looking back, doing numbers like that put me in my creative space (same as when I write stories or do art) and that’s what I loved about it. Later on in my advanced math classes after I completed my test I would go back and find ways to redo most of the problems to check my work. Sometimes that took some creative thinking!”


“Organizing home/making personalized funny greeting cards/planning parties.I think we’re happier humans when we are creative in some way and I agree with the statement that says innovation stems from creativity. Music and I just started an art class in hopes of recapturing a lost love of creating art. Also I’m in the process of trying to figure out how I can use my music to help others.”


“I think being creative can cover any area, especially if one has some skill with a tool/medium. I have felt that connection, almost meditative feeling, with cooking. Moving beyond the recipe, using the catalogue of tastes and texture in my mind, using the kitchen skills, and coming up with new meals.”


“Having worked in the tech industry for ~15 years, the answer is yes. Creating a useful piece of software is an incredibly creative act–just as creative as writing a book or painting a masterpiece.”



I was especially happy with the thoughts that went along with my previously written research questions

” I think we need to teach the arts and science creativity as a way to teach kids how to be stereotypically creative first, and that will then flow into other areas of their life without anyone realizing how is all interconnected.”


“Creativity is essential to human growth and happiness. We spend so much time consuming (FB, Pinterest, BuzzFeed, news, etc.) yet, our greatest happiness and fulfillment comes from producing–not consuming. Dieter F Uchtdorf said ‘The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.'”


“Creativity is important, but I think the initial stage of brainstorming and playing with ideas is more important. It’s playful, frustrating, experimental. It also lets the mind expand.”



It’s been a fun experiment, I’ve enjoyed engaging with my friends about something other than re-posted “crazy cat videos” or political rants.

My next Notebook assignment is to choose a different one than the one I chose this week – choose from 3a, 3b, 3c, 4f, 5i, or 8c. That may be hard! I am very much appreciating the work that my students have been doing as I have been working on these pieces. In order to engage with the materials, it cannot be a half-done work, and engaging in work that is not half-done is quite time consuming – a lot of fun, but quite time consuming.

desire-to-create-wordle-smaller

 

 

 

 

Issue Exploration: Human Creativity – musings and questions

So, my first notebook piece (that I assigned myself) is late. As the professor, I have given myself an extension, however, I will have to dock some points off of myself because of this gross disregard for my own rules. 🙂

I have decided to do 5f, and here is the prompt: 5f. Collect several images that interest you, related in some way to your issue (the relevance can be tangential, as long as you feel it). Then write something that connects the images, one to another. You can think of your connections as a story (one thing connected to the next), or as a web (everything cross-connected), or as a square, with two sets of opposites, or as a circle (ideas leading back to the place you started).

 


rogers-and-king-fridayCreative People – A while ago I wrote a blog post on Mr. Rogers, and began to do a series on creative people.  When I study the lives of uplifting creative people, I tend to be filled with ideas and motivation. Perhaps sparks of creativity are contagious? Then, does creativity from another beget creativity? Does it give us some unconscious permission to do? (And why do I feel that I need some sort of permission or validation to create, but more on that later.)  Or is it that when I see how others  create, it gives me a hope that I can as well? Is there a quantitative way to study this idea?


ethics-in-creation-1

Ethics of Creation – I’m not arguing about a person’s right to create whatever material they desire (i.e. Freedom of Speech). What I am concerned about is the ethics of creation. The moral obligation that we should bring to creating materials that do not exploit humans. Example – Hugh Hefner – can he create porn?  Yes. Should he? When this material ( Hefner’s first playboy magazine was released in Dec. 1953) has lead to objectification of women, and as the materials have lead to darker and more violent types of “entertainment” these have led to sexual exploitation and domination of women and in more recent years children and has become fuel for the sex-slave industry (see Our RescueElizabeth Smart, Fight the new Drug, and Cambridge study).

I could go on a similar exploration of links between the violence in media and video games and its effect on society. Or creating product that destroys health or leads to addiction (think cigarettes, overly processed foods, gambling, etc). The guiding question here is – should we create things that in some way exploits others, or in other words, leads to the exploitation of humans?

I tend to believe that the human race can do and be more. There are so many creations that build and uplift mankind – the arts, medicine, invention. We individually decide what use we put to objects, and we collectively determine what the markets are by our dollars. We can achieve so much more if we build rather than destroy (and if we must destroy something, let it be to build up something greater to benefit man).


pumpkin-coachCreativity without (or with very little) money– [which is an exercise in creativity all itself ;)] Sometimes I will just stop myself or my children when they begin to describe what they need to create a project and we will begin to brainstorm about what we have and how to use it (see a series of posts I wrote on creating on a tight budget).  When did we stop using what we have available to us? Think about all that we can do  – Writing is free. Some art can take very minimal supplies. Art from nature. I remember reading once about creating music out of the world around us – the idea that anything can make music.


champions

 

Creativity without remuneration – Does it matter that I don’t get anything back? Especially in the Arts, do I need feedback or money to entice me, or can I create for myself and family? I’ve noticed that the more I create, the more I don’t care. I just love the process and gain more confidence in my abilities.

 


steve-apple-wikiCreativity in areas other than the Arts – This is an area that many don’t agree about. I personally don’t believe that creation is only about the arts. For my definition I will be talking about creation in problem solving, engineering and ingenuity. Have you seen the glow in a builder’s eyes as they walk into Lowes? 🙂  Or Office Max? Or a thrift store? It’s the same wonder and excitement as those who get giddy walking into Michaels. Beyond that, can you believe the wonders that are coming out by forward thinking companies with creative engineers? I am in AWE of the ability we have as humans to create.


Can all individuals create? – I believe that everyone has within them the ability to create.I think that it just needs to be encouraged and practiced.


pink-piratesTeaching Creativity to Children –  Picasso is attributed as saying  “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” How do we encourage them to continue?  Ideas: Teach them new techniques, supplies, and opportunities. Immerse them in creativity. Encourage creative problem solving and thinking. Lavish praise (deposits) but be honest and teach them how to use and appreciate constructive critiques. Teach them to try again, to learn that failure is temporary and part of learning and growing  (can even be an opportunity)- depending on our attitude! And teach them to practice, practice, practice! I once heard an artist talk about being given a stack of papers to practice one stroke over and over until her hands had memorized the movement.


grandmamoses-pub-domainTo Adults – Grandma Moses began to paint at age 78.  Let us learn to not only be continuously learning knowledge but skills as well. Now, a person can get a total education online.  Remember the term “self-educated man”? We can do that. Never stop learning! An art teacher once told me that many people have 6th grade art ability because that’s when they stopped drawing, so pick it up and start again in whatever you enjoy – piano, guitar, cooking,  chess – whatever ! – don’t let the voice of critics stop you.


a_child_drawingBalance between Create and Consume – [Picture of child with phone.] Computer solitaire is  a fun game, so is scrolling down my Facebook news-feed, but I have found that I need to make sure that I’m doing it intentionally, after I have finished my to-do lists and my creations – with a timer set, so I’m not finding myself up at 2 am watching re-runs of Fraiser. Families used to create together, it was second nature. There was no TV, so they would have family concerts, readings and plays. For example, in the books  Little Women and Anne of Green Gables the characters would perform plays, concerts, poems, go to dances and dance (rather than sit at the dance, faces buried in phones).  The Bach family picnics, my own mother and her brother would have full musical family concerts at night. As a society, despite all of the gains from it, have we lost something in technology? Can we gain it back?


johann_sebastian_bach-pub-domain

 

Uplift from consuming the creations of others – But on that last note, I’m not suggesting that we never consume. It’s a balance. There is creation that takes my breath away, stops me in my tracks, brings such an emotion to my heart that I cry. When I spend my time in media, on the internet, in thought, I want to spend it on things that are worthwhile and uplifting and not a waste of time.

 


Join me next time with the notebook assignment – choose from 3a, 3b, 3c, 4f, 5i, or 8c.


Picture Credits –

Fred Rogers: see http://www.fredrogers.org/

Ethics Wordle: created on WordItOut (https://worditout.com/)

Champions: created on PicMonkey (https://www.picmonkey.com/)

Steve Jobs: By Matthew Yohe, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10584359

Create Video: lds media library (https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2009-02-06-create?lang=eng)

Grandma Moses: By New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer: Roger Higgins. – Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c15888, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1577316

Child Drawing: Benoît Prieur (Agamitsudo) – CC-BY-SA, https://commons.wikimedia.org

Johann Sebastian Bach: (aged 61) in a portrait by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, copy or second version of his 1746 canvas. The original painting hangs in the upstairs gallery of the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) in Leipzig, Germany.

English 2010 Notebooks

So, I am teaching this English Writing and Rhetoric course this semester and I have been THOROUGHLY enjoying this semester long assignment, so much so, that I am going to do it right along with my students this semester.

We’ve been asking them to choose a topic to write about over the course that is a problem with social implications. Some call it an issue of public concern, some a social justice issue (that last term is so politically one-sided, that I don’t care for it much AND because it’s so charged – it can be an off-putting.  This is a shame because, quite honestly, there is a lot of good that can come out of the work that is brought about through writing, researching, and creating around these problems and questions.  I suppose that in itself is another blog post for another day). But, I digress…

The topic that I’ve chosen to write about isn’t necessarily earth-shattering, life altering, nor controversial, but it is something near to my heart and, I believe, may be one (of many) contributing factors to problems within our society. Are you ready?

Brrruuuuummmmm (that’s a drum roll, by the way)  😉 –

Creators and Consumers

Some Guiding Questions that I’ve been thinking about –

  • Are we a society of creators or consumers?
  • Should we be worried about how much we consume?
  • Would creating more give our collective souls a much needed uplift?
  • What is meant by creativity?
  • Is creativity more than just crafting or working in the arts?
  • What constitutes creativity?
  • Does each individual inherently have the ability to create?
  • Is creation for myself fulfilling enough?
  • Or must creation have some sort of monetary remuneration to be worth my (or  anyone’s) time?

Anyway, these notebook assignments have been created so that the students can explore their issues and create in an online space. The prompts were created by two of my brilliant colleagues, Lisa Bickmore and Kati Lewis. The reason that I love the course that they’ve written is because there is SO much freedom for creativity built into the work. Here is the link to the notebook prompts  and I encourage you (if you are interested in doing something that will open up your writing) to join me this semester. For the first assignment, my students can choose one of the following prompts – 5b, 5e, 5f, 5g, or 5i. You may choose to write on any topic you would like (from really angst ridden ones like abuse, to comical ones like the 2016 US Election Cycle ;), or things that would improve the world or place around you (I had a student write about bike trails in his area, another about prepping, and another about how using too much social media as teenagers can stunt their social abilities). Choose anything that you want to research, study, or explore this semester!

See you tomorrow with my first notebook (the assignment is due at 11:59pm, and seriously, if you decide to join me in this little project, link your first assignment to me either in the comments or thorough the contact page) and I will review  and “grade” your work  (people … as a professor, I have a going freelance rate of $50 – 75 an hour. I’m sending out this one time, special offer to review your notebook work FOR FREE to any of you who join me in this endeavor, this Fall 2016 semester!)

Talk soon!

sign off note

P.S. Here are some ideas to research topics that are quire interesting to me (please feel free to add some of yours in the comments section) –

  • Religions effect on society
  • Boundaries with friends, family, etc.
  • School choice (charter schools, home schools, public schools)
  • Breakdown of the family and effect on society
  • Freedom of thought, press, speech, religion – are these being attacked and what to do about it?
  • Clutter and chaos in the home – how to make it a better place
  • Technologies effect on children
  • Dating or Hanging out? – how to help our children have healthy social relationships
  • Media – it’s effects and how to create more uplifting media

 

Hiding under a rock …

Well, not really, but as far as my online writing is concerned, I have been taking a sabbatical. For about a year and a half, it was to focus on a full-time job that required some intense re-training.

After the bid for that job failed, I took the summer off to re-group and re-evaluate.


re-

prefix

Simple Definition of re-

  • : again

  • : back to an original place, condition, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary

So, as I assess my almost two years of “RE” I am of the opinion that:
Orson Quote.jpg
Though my heart is broken … I don’t regret, I have learned much.
Though my self-doubts are creeping in … I know I am a stronger, better, worthy being.
Though, in painful honesty, I feel frustration toward some … I can forgive.
Though I’m annoyed at all who say, “the Lord has something better” … in my silent heart,
I hope for that truth.

The upside for me, as I break out of my “mini-depression” is that I will be creating more.

sign off

The Doodle Collection

Here’s another set of Valentine’s Day Printables, again from designer, Jana Friel and featured on Waldron Publishing. This one was called The Doodle Collection. Jana described it as a look back at the Valentines of childhood. Do you remember the school parties? Making a big Valentine’s Day mailbox and delivering them to all of your classmates. Loved those times! Please feel free to use them to brighten the day of a friend, child or grandchild.  Enjoy!

WP Romance Collection

One of the things that I loved doing at Waldron Publishing was creating free printables for non-commercial home, school, what-have-you use. The most loved (by far) on Pinterest was the WP Romance Collection, by designer Jana Friel. I’m re-posting it here to update my pinterest links and to get you all excited for Valentine’s day. Click on the pictures to see them up close. Enjoy!