The Nintendo Switch Gave Me Back My Video Games

The Nintendo Switch Gave Me Back My Video Games by Mark Serrels (Kotaku)
For the longest time it felt as though video games were growing up with me.
Yes, this.

When my son was a tiny thing, I could strap him into his carrier and wear him to sleep as I sunk hours into Dragon Age Inquisition or Final Fantasy XV. But as he’s gotten more mobile, that’s stopped being an option. The Switch solves this problem beautifully. I can play as he naps and stay at his side. If I wake up early, I can play. I think it will take me forever to beat Breath of the Wild but that’s fine.

I love the Switch.

In praise of academic spouses

In praise of academic spouses by Thesis Whisperer (The Thesis Whisperer)
It’s almost Christmas time, when many of us have a bit of time with our families. It seems an appropriate place to pause and think about the myriad of ways that our families provide support for many of us.
Moira Hansen has written a beautiful piece here about academic spouses.

As I was reading it, I nearly teared up thinking of the amazing ways W. has supported me – for our entire almost-20-years-together (yes, we got together very young) – but especially in the past two and a half years.

There are of course all the amazing daily things he handles – dishes, laundry, grocery runs, takeout orders.

And standard academic spouse moments: listening as I work out a new idea, talking me through impostor syndrome, telling me that I should apply for conferences and grants even if I think my idea is dumb.

But also, like, crazy champion moments: making sure I eat in the middle of a paper writing marathon…

Best life partner brings you Mattie B’s while you work on your paper. #readerimarriedhim

A post shared by Kimberly Hirsh (@kimberlyhirsh) on

…and being my rock as I’ve been tossed upon the seas of impostor syndrome and anxiety that are so common among doctoral students.

So yes. Let’s hear it for the partners of academics. They are amazing people.

Also on:

Where is the Humanity in the Computer Science Curriculum?

Where is the Humanity in the Computer Science Curriculum? (DML Central)
“Let us move from human-centered design to humanity-centered design.” — From the Copenhagen Letter I’ve been struggling to write this post for a long, long time. Every time I see calls for teaching coding to young people or to girls or to minorities, I get frustrated. First off, the need f...
Coding is not neutral and neither is cataloging. This is a great argument for requiring computer science  professionals to learn about the social impact of their work. I would argue that information and library science should do likewise.

Inspirational Research: Improvising our Way through Tragedy: How an Improv Comedy Community Heals itself through Improvisation

Improvising our Way through Tragedy: How an Improv Comedy Community Heals itself through Improvisation (ac-journal.org)
It can be easy when you’re immersed in academia to kind of forget what the point is. I’m starting a series where I write about scholarship that I’ve found inspiring. Today I’m starting with Jason Scott Quinn’s Improvising our Way through Tragedy: How an Improv Comedy Community Heals itself through Improvisation.

Why did I read this?

I’m (still) working on a study I started a year ago as a project for my Advanced Qualitative Methods class. Sadly, I didn’t go through IRB, so I can’t publish anything from the study. I’ll just say that I am looking at how learning happens in the context of an improv team, specifically a team that performs the Harold. I picked this site not because it’s key to my research interests (though I can certainly argue that improv is a fruitful environment for connected learning), but because I knew it would be easy to get access.

As a smaller assignment leading up to the full report on the study, I’m doing a small literature review. I’m specifically looking at studies on improv comedy with an eye to their conceptual frameworks, use of theory, and audience. I came across this article in the course of doing my literature search for this lit review.

What’s so inspiring about it?

Content: This is an article about how the NYC improv community used dialogue and performance to heal after 9/11. I mean, that right there pushes a ton of my inspiration buttons. Anything that brings together community, healing, and performance is going to tug at my heartstrings. Also, it’s about improv, and while I’m taking a break of indeterminate length from performing and watching improv due to early parenthood and some other stuff, I still find improv fascinating.

Methodology: This is a qualitative study  using autoethnography. Before I started this project, I wasn’t sure about autoethnography. I thought it sounded self-indulgent. But as I’ve gone through the process of collecting data and reflecting on my own experiences with improv, as well as my experiences with other communities, I’m really beginning to see the value of research that connects the personal to the broader world.

Presentation: This is what really makes this an inspirational piece for me, though. The results of this study are presented as a performance piece. This piece integrates quotes from message board postings, monologues, and improvisational performance. It provides an excellent model for me of how to use this kind of representation. It’s something that the assigned readings for my qual methods class touched on, but it offers a model that speaks very directly to my interests. Sadly, my final presentation for the class will have to be fully digital and thus won’t incorporate improv like this piece did. I wish it could, though, and this has been really helpful in thinking about how, if I ever do research on improv in the future, I might represent those results.

Should I read this?

If you’re interested in how improvisation can be a part of research presentations, absolutely. Also if you just like to read about improv, yes. Quinn’s language is accessible and will introduce you to some interesting theory you might not already know.

Also on:

Drawing as Self Discovery: 5 Ways to Start | Mari Andrew | Skillshare

Drawing as Self Discovery: 5 Ways to Start | Mari Andrew | Skillshare (Skillshare)
Turn emotion into empowerment with illustrator and writer Mari Andrew — all skill levels welcome! Mari’s illustrations resonate with everyone who sees them. He...
Mari Andrew’s Skillshare drawing class is free until Friday. I think I’m going to try it out over the next few days. Let me know if you want to join me!