sites and wikis

Because I am not a huge fan of BlackBoard as an LMS, I created my own container for all of my coursework. It's a bit antiquated, and the mobile apps is horrible. The alerts and notifications lag, and the whole system needs an overhaul. Moving content over to my own space is a bit of a hassle, but it allows me to organize the course content in a way that makes sense to me.

For the past three months, I have used Google Sites. Sites works well for embedding videos, creating subpages, and displaying the required readings (texts, and PDFs). Sites look great on mobile, too. However, the Site seems to take up a lot of storage space in Drive. This is a problem because I am only in Week 12, and have about 132 to go. And, it has no task list, unless I embed Google Calendar and maintain separate entries.

I thought about hosting a personal wiki as a solution, but that just seems like a lot more work. For the sake of trying to find a flexible solution (for laptop and mobile) that has a smaller footprint, I am going back to Byword and using Notion to create a wiki. I love the features on Notion's iOS app (and website), and I love that the Markdown files in Byword barely take up any disk space. Both have awesome readability, too. And, that makes a huge difference. Here's my first attempt at creating a wiki entry on Notion.


book cover

Can we just admire this beautifully designed book cover?

It's simple. It's colorful. And, it's probably the best one I have yet to see...in my relentless slog of reading material as a doctoral candidate.

Still not sure if there are only six steps to success on the path to quality literature review, though. Further, if the steps are linear then why is the path of the arrows somewhat erratic? 

I'll reconsider those questions once I've completed the book. Meanwhile, I'll simply appreciate the bold lines and the color palette of this cover.  

source: amazon

bottling

Spent the morning bottling old vine zinfandel with my Dad. Much needed break from the books.

A little “reset” before it’s back studying. Kinda like the wine, I think I might be suffering from bottle shock. 

Upside: "bottle shock" is a temporary condition. Most oenophiles will tell you that "bottle shock" is a slight disruption characterized by muted or disjointed flavors.  

It typically occurs after wine transfers, filtration, bottling, and sometimes during transport. 

The cure? Let it rest for a few days. Let it settle...



highlighters

What is the best highlighter? Liquid, gel, pencil? What brand would you purchase again, or what is your "go-to" brand? 

As a doctoral candidate, I've spent a lot of time with "required readings" these past months. And, I have many more months ahead. About 36 months, to be precise. I knew that I would be spending a lot of quality time with analog texts, but I didn't anticipate how much I would be highlighting. 

And, most highlighters are garbage. I know that a quality highlighter exists, but I have yet to use one that made me happy. Maybe that is where I went wrong: buying whatever was on sale at Staples or Target. Some dry out too quickly. Some smear too easily. Some do not transfer properly. Some bleed through the pages. #frustrated

So, I did a little digging on the interwebs, and found a wide variety of opinions. JetPens has an entire blog post about highlighters, and I appreciate the thoroughness of the post. I don't mind paying for quality because quality pays for itself. The problem is finding the quality. I asked twitter and Instagram earlier today, and I'm curious to read the responses...but I may just have to spend the money and write my own review.


mantra

This week threw me a bit. It started Monday when I realized that I had forgotten to post at least two responses on the BlackBoard discussion for one of my classes. Thankfully, the professor allowed me to make up the work the following day. And, I only lost one point out of 20. 

But, that one misstep derailed me. I was on a roll prior to that. In the previous three weeks of the classes, I was working ahead. Somehow, I completely missed that assignment. I'm not sure how or why I forgot about them, but it bothered me all week...I beat myself up and engaged in a lot of negative self-talk.  

After a few days of questioning my worth, I have finally decided that it was a simple mistake. Maybe I got wrapped up in the weekend, and enjoyed spending time with my family. Maybe I was preoccupied with the 4-6 page paper I had due Saturday night for the other class. Whatever the reason, I have decided that I can only do my best. And, I cannot ruin it for myself simply because I missed (and made up!) one simple assignment.