play

I had a one week break before the Fall semester began. It was nice having that week free of doctoral studies, as I prepared to return to the classroom full time. I am now a week into the Fall session, and two weeks into the middle school 2019-202 year.

It has been a struggle to balance classes and research, but not in ways I anticipated. Meaning, I feel guilty for retiring to my office to read or write when I could be spending that time in ways that benefit others and myself.

But, I keep telling myself that this is only for a short time. Labor Day weekend is coming, and I am working furiously to complete the assignments due Saturday so I can enjoy some time to play. #selfcareisnotselfish


intentional

Every letter. Every space. Every line space.
Every bit of it is intentional. It is deliberate.
Why am I writing about typesetting and the care it requires? Mostly because I am in a reflective mood on this last day of summer break. I am just winding down the second 8-week session of my doctoral program, and I am thinking about what it will take to get to the finish line. Also, it's a school night—PD session tomorrow morning, followed by a staff meeting. Tuesday is a teacher work day, and the students return Wednesday!

And, I want to ensure that all of my actions are intentional. I want to continue to learn and grow, and I want the same for the students. They deserve it. And, maybe if that intentional type of learning is modeled for them, it just might stick.   

Side note: someone asked about the picture in my previous post. Specifically, the question addressed the way in which spacing is achieved within the words and the material at the end of the bottom line. The answer lies in quads and spacers (pictured above). Much like kerning and tracking on digital text layouts, there are defined widths used in letterpress. However, working with metal type is more like mortising.

Have I bored you to tears yet? Good. The em dash and the (more common) en dash form the basic units of spacing. For filling larger spaces, furniture and reglets are needed. Typesetting requires careful intent and deliberation...which is why it is such a great metaphor for learning. 

value and worth

Over the last eight weeks, I have done some deep thinking on transformative learning.  

And, I have given consideration to the metaphors we use to make meaning. This one seems fitting.

Mirror image | hastily set in Cooper Black 48pt

filed under: 3-Word Rules 


stem to idea

This concept is now 10 years old. And, It fascinates me that many in education are still debating the merits of art and design within the frameworks of STEM. There is value in STEM, but where does it lead? 

I posted this graphic on Instagram today, and someone asked me to explain. My response was this:

This graphic exemplifies the STEM vs STEAM debate. STEM learning is valuable, but it is mostly based on principles. To find creative solutions, those STEM fundamentals must either contain or lead to an element of art, design, and empathy. 

I posted a similar sentiment over a week ago. At that time, I was considering the merits of incorporating art and the ways in which it stands in contrast to STEM.

When applying the STEM > IDEA concept to public education, I would argue that we are not there yet. We are only now beginning to appreciate what design thinking offers students and the ways the design (or IDEA) impacts learning. 

image credit: John Maeda, Rhode Island School of Design  

design and art

What is good design? What makes it good or bad? Can it be hostile, beneficial, neutral? 

#failforward