Monday, October 6, 2014

Things are calming down...are things calming down?

I have been the slacker in not taking my turn in writing on the blog.  Hopefully things will be calming down a little bit and I can get my voice added to the mix.

(I honestly don't think things will calm down, but I can hope.)

Last week I was at the Quality Matters Conference in Baltimore.  I gave two presentations - one on our Introduction to Online Teaching course and another on the delivery side of online teaching.  The second presentation was a bit of surprise, (I had been planning on a short "pop-up" session, but discovered it was on the schedule as a 50 min presentation first thing Wednesday morning!) All, in all, it turned out fine, and I even learned (or relearned) some things about myself as a presenter.  I won't bore you with the details of the presentations, but I will show off the presentation for the first one.  (A special thanks to Marisa for helping me with the magnifying lens graphics!)

(The presentation is not wanting to embed, so you will have to click on this link to open the presentation.)

I did not see much of Baltimor, but here is a picture of the U.S.S. Constellation docked in the harbor.  I didn't have time to actually tour the ship, but it was cool to see it from the outside.

Patrick has been doing an amazing job patching our foundation.  This last wall has been the worst, using lots of concrete and flinging shrapnel, in the form of rocks and bits of nails.  The best part of this last wall is the Gru shaped patch. (Can you see him?  He is the lighter gray.)

I mentioned a hope of things calming down, but with work, writing for dissertation, trying to get a committee together for the dissertation, re-writing based on the feedback I will hopefully get, the NWeLearn conference in two weeks, the usual things with work and church, it most likely will not really calm down.  I will say that with how intense this past summer was, I am feeling more calm now than I was just 3 months ago.  It is all about perspective, right?

Something that has definitely helped was this past weekend with General Conference.  I really enjoy conference and am grateful for the ease at which we can watch it from home.  I like being able to talk about things with Patrick, which would annoy others if we went to a church building or down to Salt Lake City.  Perhaps one year we will go down to the conference center, but for now I like having Patrick's biscuits and gravy or sourdough pancakes during the morning sessions.  I also knit the entire weekend.  Some of the projects I worked on can't be shared just yet, but a recently finished project is a scarf for Patrick.

As I have a great interest in technology, it is amazing all the pieces that come together to make General Conference happen.  It is transmitted via radio, television, satellite, and internet; and it is translated (live!) into 94 languages.  And for the first time, several of the speakers spoke in their native tongue with subtitles put on the screen in the conference center and the internet, radio, and television broadcasts switched to the English translator.  As we are working on closed captioning for the videos at work, I know how much time, effort, skills, and technology is needed to accomplish this.

In addition to all the broadcasting, and live translation, the entire conference is made available online, almost immediately afterwards. So, if you want to check it out you can  go to (that will default to English, but you can pick any of the other languages on the top right!)  David A. Bednar is always one of my favorites - he is towards the end of the Saturday afternoon session.

Well, that is it for now.  Hopefully, you'll hear from me again in two weeks.

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