Sunday, May 1, 2016

42. April 2016 Update

Hello all,
It's been an intense first quarter of 2016. Moving into the second quarter, things have stayed pretty intense but I'm managing to carve out some time to do some writing and other needed activities. If I could sum up April in a phrase it would be: revisiting WWII. For some reason, many of the events I attended and books I read were focused on WWII. I intend for this; it just happened. Here's my April, in a nutshell:

April 9: I went to the Waterloo Community Playhouse's production of Cabaret with friends. It was amazing! There is such talent in the Cedar Valley. The show was very powerful. If you haven't seen Cabaret, I highly recommend it. It's one of my favorite musicals. The movie version with Liza Minnelli is alright, but seeing it on stage (so long as it's done well) is much more profound.

April 12: A presentation proposal was accepted to an online conference. My abstract is below:

College instructors typically have dynamic and busy lives and it is easy to speed through grading student work for the sake of saving time and energy. Speedy grading and thoughtful grading do not have to be mutually exclusive. Through the use of audio feedback on assignments, instructors can save time and provide students with in-depth, thoughtful, and personalized feedback on their work improving the learning experience and increasing student engagement in the course material. Audio feedback also supports multisensory learning, an important component of academic success for nontraditional students (Geertz, 2001). This presentation covers research in the area of multisensory learning and focuses specifically on ways instructors can incorporate audio feedback into the classroom using a variety of tools and practices with the ultimate goal of saving the instructor time while not compromising on the quality of the feedback. Keywords: multisensory learning, adult learners, audio feedback, classroom practices

ReferencesGeertz, G. (2001). Using a multisensory approach to help struggling adult learners. Focus on Basics: Connecting Research and Practice, 5(A), Retrieved from

The conference presentation will be a short 20 minute presentation, but I do believe that this project could evolve into a larger research project in the future. If anyone would like more information, or be interested in collaborating, do let me know!

April 19 - 21: The TCC Hawaii Conference was a great experience. TCC stands for Technology, Colleges, and Community. It is an online conference held annually with a focus on the use of technology in higher education. My favorite panels included a study on working conditions for adjunct instructors and a session on online art makers spaces.

April 21:  In February I joined a local Toastmaster's group. I'm an official member of the Waterloo Speechmasters. This month I gave my first speech--The Ice Breaker. My speech was titled "Three Ways Creativity Shaped Me." So far I have really enjoyed this group. The members are diverse and welcoming and I've actually noticed growth in myself as I polish up my speaking skills and learn from the other members. If you want to work on your public speaking and leadership skills, I highly suggest joining a Toastmaster's group. You can look for organizations in your area here.

April 23: Roommate and I went to dinner and a show. We had dinner at Los Cabos, an amazing local restaurant. They have the best tamales in town. Afterwards, we went to a belly dance showcase at the community center hosted by The Prairie Rose Dance Troupe. It was such a fun night!

April 30: Another outing with the roommate commenced at the Grout Museum's Anne Frank exhibit. The exhibit was pretty good. I found the artifacts in the Iowa's Ties to the Holocaust exhibit the most compelling. They had a pair of prison pants worn by a Holocaust survivor during his time int he camps. Seeing that made me feel a little sick to my stomach.

The museum trip was followed by pizza at The OP and cupcakes from Scratch Cupcakery.

Other shenanigans

  • I'm pursuing another bachelor's degree. The reason is a very long story I'd be happy to explain in person if you're curious but long story short, I'm working on a bachelor's degree in business with a human resources concentration at Kaplan University. I'm in my first term and taking two classes: Professional Presence and Business Math and Statistical Measures. So far it's going well and I'm really enjoying it!
  • Anti-inflammatory eating: I'm trying out an anti-inflammatory diet to see if it will help further reduce pain and fatigue I deal with, caused by Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. If you are interesting in following along with my process, follow me on Instagram where I've been posting about it. 

That's my April 2016 in a nutshell. I'd love to know how you are doing and what you've been up to. Comment below. 

Until next time,
J. d'Artagnan Love