tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:/posts QS PRN 2019-08-12T01:38:50Z Shea tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1442646 2019-08-11T20:31:00Z 2019-08-12T01:38:50Z 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. 
tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1441856 2019-08-07T04:01:33Z 2019-08-07T04:01:34Z 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 

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1440443 2019-08-02T16:47:08Z 2019-08-02T23:11:53Z 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  

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1437507 2019-07-29T05:26:07Z 2019-07-29T05:26:07Z LDI

A few photos from CUE LDI 2019 @ Asilomar 

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1436548 2019-07-24T00:26:21Z 2019-07-24T00:26:21Z design and art

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


tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1432877 2019-07-17T00:12:39Z 2019-07-23T22:47:38Z reflection

Made it to page 100...in what is quite possibly the densest text I have ever been required to read to date.  

It's a worthwhile read but there is a lot going on in each chapter. Additionally, I'm reading (digesting) a ton of other material each week. Just look at this list of other required studies for Week 4/Summer Session II. 

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1432031 2019-07-13T16:06:37Z 2019-07-13T16:06:37Z supplies

These past 12 weeks of schoolwork have helped me realize what tools are necessary.

Essentials: a .5mm mechanical pencil, and quality pen, a good highlighter, and a trusty pocket notebook.

Also, some lip balm. Because, I tend to bite my bottom lip when I am deep in concentration.

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1431373 2019-07-11T18:47:35Z 2019-07-11T18:47:35Z 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.

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1429638 2019-07-09T19:39:03Z 2019-07-10T20:45:59Z 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

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1429401 2019-07-09T04:18:28Z 2019-07-09T16:55:13Z 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...

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1428532 2019-07-07T15:26:00Z 2019-07-07T16:04:49Z I em

This is brilliant. And, it makes my inner typography nerd happy.

Em Dash: Why Should You Love It?

image source: flowersandfluerons

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1428329 2019-07-06T21:35:00Z 2019-07-06T21:37:01Z best practice

Stop reinventing the wheel.

Stop rehashing past practice.

After all, if everyone is doing it then "best practice" is merely mediocre. 

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1428556 2019-07-06T21:29:56Z 2019-07-06T21:29:56Z 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.

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1428257 2019-07-05T23:14:27Z 2019-07-05T23:14:27Z 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.  

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1426598 2019-07-01T21:08:07Z 2019-07-01T21:08:07Z mistakes

Mistakes men make   

  1. Doing things
  2. Not doing things
  3. Thinking about doing things 
  4. Not thinking about doing things

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1425594 2019-06-28T21:00:07Z 2019-06-29T00:58:26Z workforce

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about words that start with work...

  • workshop
  • workspace
  • workflow
  • workload
  • workforce 
  • workshitssheets 

What is work, and what does it have to do with schools and learning? 

Some would argue that the education system is not doing enough to support the workforce. It is not a Millennial issue, or a standards issue. It is about emotions, and it is about relationships. It is about responsibility. 

Developing A Sense Of Responsibility: Why Emotional Insight Is Critical For The Future Of Work

And, it is now a presidential debate issue, with 18 of 23 presidential candidates supporting some type of tuition relief or assistance. 

"However, a 2013 McKinsey & Company study of youth, education providers, and employers in nine countries showed that while 72 percent of higher education institutions believe they prepare their students well for the workforce, half of students are not sure if their credentials improve their opportunities at finding a job. This disconnect can also be seen in the private sector where only 11 percent of business leaders ‘strongly agree’ that students have the vital skills for the labour market, compared to 96 percent of chief academic officers who believed their institutions were either somewhat or very effective at providing the necessary skills to students. While a post-secondary degree is still proven to be a career asset, the current level of disconnect between what employers want versus what is being taught must be addressed."

—McKinsey & Company, "The Voice of the Graduate"

✱ hat tip to David Culberhouse for sharing these ideas  

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1425280 2019-06-27T21:13:12Z 2019-06-28T00:23:45Z workshop

I miss this place, this bedroom in my house that I walk past every day on my way to the other bedroom in my house that is now an office, a workspace.    

It's not that my printshop is gone...it’s just that I have been spending a lot more time in the office. Like a lot a lot. It’s been over two months since I last printed. 

As a doctoral candidate, I am reading, writing, and researching in almost the free moments available. And, I miss this free moments of arranging type, setting forms, and pressing ink onto paper. Dearly. 

I read this article today, about the benefits of working with your hands, and missed printing even more. 

Some day, I will have my weekends free to print again...

Dreams are forever, but the rent is due each month. 

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1424430 2019-06-25T20:28:41Z 2019-06-27T22:32:15Z email

Setting up a new MacBook, I hesitated to enable email. Why? Because the MacBook already has Messages/SMS built into the operating system, and that can be silenced by clicking "Do not disturb." That's a tricky proposition with email. Sure, I could just quit the email app, but I would know that it is there and I would feel the urge to click it. Somehow, silencing Messages is easier. Like swiping into Airplane Mode. 

The other complication: like most people in the modern world, I have two email addresses. One for work, and one personal. It's almost like an obligation. And, that obligation is what troubles me. Here’s the thing...  

Email is a to-do list other people make for you.   

Besides, if I am going to make a list I will likely use my trusty pocket notebook. Analog lists worked well for others, and it survived for years with pencil and paper. Maybe a pen and paper. Whatever your preference. To prove my point, note that there are several websites and books about the art of making lists. One of my favorites is Lists of Note

One more thought on email:  

Email is a wonderful way to miscommunicate what you mean and misinterpret what others are trying to tell you. 

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1424068 2019-06-25T01:24:21Z 2019-06-25T01:24:22Z new laptop

Finally decided to level up my laptop game. The old Acer R13 still runs great, but I decided that I needed something a little more powerful. I justified it by reminding myself that I'm in a doctoral program.

Don't get me wrong, I love Chromebooks. And, that old Acer is battle tested. I'm pretty fond of it. I’ll continue to use the ol' Acer in the coming the school year. But, for now, I'm probably I'm the happiest I'll be all year...because I'm geeking out over the new Macbook Air Space Grey with Magic Mouse.

*also had to get the USB-C to Digital AV MultiPort adapter because it's a huge dongle

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1422684 2019-06-23T19:19:00Z 2019-06-23T21:16:57Z TLT

Transformative Learning Theory [TLT]

Mezirow's 10 Phases Transformative Learning. 

Just getting started on this book. I've got some notes (pictured above), and I've been reviewing connections to the past class on the ethics of a scholar-researcher. Tying to make connections to previous texts, and to my own life. Looking for that "disorienting idea" that is necessary to start this 10 phase process.  

One of the texts suggested writing as an impetus of change. Perhaps I should continue to write more autobiographically. 

This intersubjectivity, or the internal conversation with our different self-positions, which is made possible by writing creates a fluid space in which thoughts change and hence a fertile ground for transformation. 

K.G. Willink and J.M. Jacobs

key words/phrases from other texts:

  • personal transformation 
  • transformative pedagogy
  • experiential learning 
  • self as relational
  • care and intersubjectivity
  • relational, dialogic pedagogy
tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1422735 2019-06-21T21:24:13Z 2019-06-25T01:41:49Z summer reading, part II

Summer Semester, Part II  

Transformational Learning

Scholarly Writing - Style

June 24-August 10 

A complete list (with articles and video links) can be accessed here or in the site menu under READING

#alwayslearning #nevernottired

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1422668 2019-06-21T19:16:57Z 2019-06-21T20:36:06Z mindset

mindset matters 

The required studies for one of my current courses, Transformational Learning, covers a wide range of situations. Most of the literature speaks to education, but some speaks to other situational relationships. All of them touch on mindset, however. 

Some of the authors and speakers (in the videos) do not use the term "mindset" specifically. Some of the other terms used are more clinical and some are more colloquial. But, all of them speak to mindset in some form or another: 
  • ethos
  • conscious decision(s) 
  • mentality
  • psyche 
  • behaviorism
  • mental make-up
  • mental processes
  • personality study
  • psyche
  • science of the mind
  • way of thinking

How do you go about knowing something? 

What do you think knowledge is?

What does your inner voice say?

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1422293 2019-06-20T21:04:39Z 2019-06-20T21:04:39Z social bookmarking

The past few days, I've spent some quality time thinking about social bookmarking. 

Here's why: the "required studies" in both of my 8-week summer session classes presented lengthy lists of readings that were often in the form of PDFs and web pages. The next two courses in the Summer Session, that officially start Monday, are no different. One area in which I struggled these past eight weeks was organizing (and annotating) all of this material. 

Because the "scholarly research" and writing process for the courses loops back with frequent regularity, I have decided that I need a simpler system.  Referring back to the BlackBoard LMS only ends in frustration.  The links to these articles in BlackBoard are neatly packed into folders for each week, but the links open a series of tabs > Library > Database > etc.  

Previously, I downloaded the PDFs and saved them to Google Drive folders for ease of reference, but I found the PDF comment/copy feature a little clunky. Simply reading a PDF on a small screen is torture, and annotating is an exercise in futility. Really, what I want is to eliminate the PDF component altogether. And, surprisingly there are practically no "social bookmarking" sites in operation in 2019 although the use of "social media" has been steadily increased for year. I'm not sure what that says about society...that's a commentary for another blog post. I just want a functional markup tool that allows me to stayed organized, and maybe collaborate.  

I have used Pinboard ("Social Bookmarking for Introverts!") for over ten years, and I love it. But, it's not built for markup and lengthy annotation.  I almost forgot that del.icio.us (remember that site?) was purchased by Yahoo! and eventually by Pinboard. And, that made me think of Diigo. Diigo works great for annotating, but I'm still on the fence about paying for the upgrade. After all, it's been about ten years since I've used Diigo extensively. It's a good stop-gap solution for now. At least Diigo allows me to tag, sort, and organize the web pages and PDFs, and it allows me to share them for collaborative assignments.    

But, I worry about file size and storage.  I don't want to pay extra to host a massive list of bloated PDFs. Maybe the answer is to find an open-source solution that would allow me to convert a PDF to Markdown. Smaller file sizes and easily stored within Drive. Maybe I just host my own...

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1422066 2019-06-20T18:30:00Z 2019-06-20T18:58:50Z effort and talent

a handy pie chart 

*image by Christoph Niemann 

More about the creative process by Niemann. 

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1422065 2019-06-20T14:28:00Z 2019-06-20T14:46:53Z beginners

solid reminder 

mind the gap...
tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1422024 2019-06-20T01:52:58Z 2019-06-20T01:53:25Z summer session

Summer Semester, part II

Here we go, headfirst into another 8 weeks of doctoral classes. By “we” I mean my cohort that has dwindled to 24 from 30 at the beginning of the Summer Semester in April.   

Technically, the next session starts June 24th. But, the sandbox version of the Transformational Learning course was released today. Still waiting on the Scholarly Writing-Identity course syllabus. 

In the meantime, I’ve got a lot of reading to accomplish.

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1421883 2019-06-19T19:05:09Z 2019-06-19T19:07:01Z printer’s error

Fellow compositors and pressworkers!

I, Chief Printer Frank Steinman, having worked fifty-seven years at my trade, and served five years as president of the Holliston Printer’s Council, being of sound mind though near death, leave this testimonial concerning the nature of printers’ errors.


I hold that all books and all printed matter have errors, obvious or no, and that these are their most significant moments, not to be tampered with by the vanity and folly of ignorant, academic textual editors.


I hold that there are three types of errors, in ascending order of importance:

1. chance errors of the printer’s trembling hand not to be corrected incautiously by foolish professors and other such rabble because trembling is part of divine creation itself.

2. silent, cool sabotage by the printer, the manual laborer whose protests have at times taken this historical form, covert interferences not to be corrected censoriously by the hand of the second and far more ignorant saboteur, the textual editor.

3. errors from the touch of God, divine and often obscure corrections of whole books by nearly unnoticed changes of single letters sometime meaningful but about which the less said by preemptive commentary the better.


I hold that all three sorts of error, errors by chance, errors by workers’ protest, and errors by God’s touch, are in practice the same and indistinguishable.

Therefore I, Frank Steinman, typographer for thirty-seven years, and cooperative Master of the Holliston Guild eight years, being of sound mind and body though near death urge the abolition of all editorial work whatsoever and manumission from all textual editing to leave what was as it was, and as it became, except insofar as editing is itself an error, and therefore also divine.

—Aaron Fogel, “The Printer’s Error”

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1421602 2019-06-19T17:23:00Z 2019-06-19T18:17:01Z plato

The secret of happiness is: find something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it.

⁠—Dennett, 2012

Is there such a person?

⁠—Plato, 399 B.C.E.

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1421601 2019-06-18T23:06:21Z 2019-06-19T05:32:21Z dreams

Hold on to your dreams...

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1421516 2019-06-18T16:17:57Z 2019-06-19T18:15:12Z first 8 weeks

This is it. Sort of. This is the last week, the last few days, of my first concurrent eight-week classes in the doctoral program. Yes, it is only the close of one set of classes in a very long series...of a three-year program. But, I feel like I have learned a lot about the mindset of a scholar-researcher. These two classes have pushed me harder than I had anticipated. 

The closing assignments of these two classes, Scholarly Writing: Identity & The Ethical Educator, require reflective essays (with reference to the required readings!). As I looked back on the organization work I did, all of the analyzing, the synthesizing, and the crystallizing of thoughts, I realized that my pocket notebook carried me through this process. 

Sure, having a Google Drive and other digital tools helped keep my classwork organized. I have color-coded folders in Drive, and I have a series of tags on Diigo for marking up required online readings and PDFs. Digital tools are fun, and they're handy! But, as much as I enjoy the ability to work in a digital arena at the graduate level, I still love analog. 

As I was reviewing my handwritten notes, outlines, to-do lists, and scribbles, I received an email from Field Notes about a new series, a collaboration with Graduate Hotels. A pack of notebooks with a collegiate feel? Perfect. The timing was spot-on. And, I'm hoping to fill one with my next series of classes...that start Monday.