tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:/posts QS PRN 2020-03-24T05:44:09Z Shea tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1523128 2020-03-24T05:44:09Z 2020-03-24T05:44:09Z distance learning

Practicing my social distancing in the El Dorado National Forest. Giving a lot of thought to the idea of distance learning. Remote learning sounds a bit isolationist, I suppose. Educational continuity sounds too stuffy and a bit like a business model. 

How do we continue to educate students when they are no longer in a physical classroom? For the past 100+ years, students attended class for 180(ish) days and the magic happened in a set routine. With the COVID 19 pandemic, this is no longer the case. 

Maybe this is the chance teachers have wanted for so long—a chance to redefine the educational landscape. Maybe this school closure is an opportunity radically change school. I don’t know what that redesign looks like right now. No one has the answers. But, I’m having this conversation with others...and I’m optimistic about the changes ahead. 

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1520300 2020-03-15T22:39:12Z 2020-03-15T23:02:20Z social distancing

Strange times. Across the globe, and now locally, COVID-19 is altering daily life. And, no one really knows what the "new normal" looks like...we are all still trying to find our way. 

Yesterday, the stores here in California (and elsewhere) were overrun by shoppers. Hysteria finally gained traction, and panic buying ran rampant. Carts overflowing with non-perishable goods. Empty store shelves. No toilet paper to be found. The run on toilet paper really puzzles me, but I am not terribly concerned about it. Thankfully, I have plenty of provisions on hand and I doubt this "flattening of the the curve" will turn apocalyptic. 

At least, I hope my assumptions prove correct. But, the main disruption of COVID-19/corona virus is the "social distancing" and the advisory that people over age 65 (or those with a chronic health condition) stay isolated. Quarantine is such a nasty, clinical word—isolation doesn't sound so punitive, I suppose. Regardless, this is how we flatten the curve and prevent such a mass outbreak like the ones in China, Italy, and Spain.

Schools announced on Friday that they will remain closed for up to 3 weeks. Meaning, no school until after Spring Break. Schools are struggling to push lessons to students and to continue the learning. Many schools are implementing a drive-thru service for student breakfast and lunch, as some students rely on those meals.

Social distancing also means that I will be delivering meals and other necessities to my parents (both over age 65). I am sure they aren't happy about cancelling dinner outings, book club, or any other social event they enjoy so much. But, in order to ensure they have what they need while they remain isolated at their home, I will be making deliveries...and staying 6 feet away. *sigh*

On a personal note: the upside to all of this, if there is one, is that I will finally be able to work ahead on my doctoral studies. And, I like to joke that I have been training for "social distancing" my whole life. That is partly true. As an ambivert, I am elated that I do not have to attend large gatherings! But, I wouldn't wish it for others.

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1512655 2020-02-23T18:39:36Z 2020-02-23T18:39:36Z milestone

Tomorrow, I turn 50 years old. I don't feel 50. And, reflecting back on this birthday, nothing much has changed since I turned 40.

Nothing much has changed at all. Several people have told me that this is a milestone event. So, I suppose I should be thankful that I have made it this far.

I am grateful for what I have, and I am humbled by all the love and support of friends and family. Although, I am still trying to figure things out. I am still trying to find my way. I am still learning...and playing the game.

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1511091 2020-02-19T05:16:52Z 2020-02-19T05:17:25Z aim here

*note to self: have a map—have a plan

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1510919 2020-02-18T20:23:57Z 2020-02-23T18:31:40Z game changer

Last Monday, I received an email from my university stating that they would soon end operations. Simply put, the university is closing at the end of Spring 2020 semester (in early May). As a student who began the doctoral program in the summer session of 2019, it was disheartening and frustrating. Maddening, really.  

How does a school with a 115 year history suddenly decide to close? Like most of the currently enrolled students, I chose this university based on its history and its reputation. How could this happen? Why were we not told before the Spring 2020 tuition check was cashed? The answer: declining enrollment and rising operational costs.

On a personal level, I am faced with finding another doctoral program that supports my given focus...and one that will accept all of my program credits. The upside: several colleges have stepped forward to accept transfers with full credit. So, I am now in the process of selecting another school. 

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1502983 2020-01-26T21:58:20Z 2020-01-29T02:21:48Z theory and practice

Currently reading countless scholarly articles, peer-reviewed journals, and books. Many of them discuss the nuances between theory and practice.

My thinking: the distinction between theory and practice is a wonderfully descriptive metaphor for life.

"Measure twice—cut once" works in theory, but...

...in theory, everything works. In practice, things fall apart. And, then it becomes a cycle. Practice sometimes fails. When it does, we theorize.

Measure three times. 

Cut twice. 

Return to Home Depot.

We ask questions to understand outcomes and clarify. Sometimes, those questions are framed in the simplest terms. 

Standing in the lumber aisle at Home Depot, with the question "What went wrong?" begging for an answer. Eventually, if we ask enough questions, or the right questions, we arrive an new theories...that are put back into practice.

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1501775 2020-01-25T15:35:00Z 2020-01-25T18:49:46Z into it

*mirror image: type cabinet, California job case, & Cooper Black 48pt type

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1501776 2020-01-23T03:47:19Z 2020-01-29T02:59:22Z mood

Last week's assignment required a detailed literature synthesis around a specific topic. The literature research performed for this assignment required that the issues surrounding the topic be examined fully. Simply stated, the literature was to be located, executed, and reduced to an easy-to-follow format for the reader.

In three pages of double-spaced, Times New Roman 12pt text, I detailed the topic, crystallized the inherent problems on the topic, and proceeded to summarize several key arguments found in the peer-reviewed journal articles I collected. A few days later, I received the following from feedback from my professor:

Your have selected to study an issue of great importance, an issue that will get more complex with time. What's your hypothesis (thesis statement) regarding this topic?

The answer is: I do not quite know. I mean...I have a pretty good idea. But, I am having a difficult time putting it into words.  

This week's assignment requires that I go deeper with the articles. And, that has me feeling some kind of way... 

Research 12-18 articles from peer-reviewed journals. Synthesize the data, main arguments, claims, and conclusions for each one.  Place the information into a matrix (spreadsheet).  

I have found 16 articles. As of Wednesday, I have read and highlighted half of them, comprising approximately 100 pages of PDF text. The complete matrix is due Saturday (January 25th). Looks like I have some reading, annotating, and contemplating to do.

I'll be right here if you need me.

*photo sources: unknown

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1500753 2020-01-21T01:07:01Z 2020-01-22T07:17:46Z data

Data mining. Data harvesting. Data profiling. 

This, coupled with student privacy in a digital world, is the focus of my research. 

If you would like to read more about the ways social media impacts education, start here. If you are using Google Suite for Education, check out this research article [PDF] from 2016.

I am not opposed to digital learning, but I am concerned about the data that is collected. Who controls that data? Who makes decisions based on that data? And where is the line between enhancing collaboration (enhancing the user experience) and improving student learning? What is the real cost of all the data we surrender in the name of instructional technology?

The answers to these questions are not limited to one company. Google, Apple, Microsoft, and a host of other companies are all competing for a share of the education market. Corporate strategy in the education sector is nothing new (see below), but the speed and scale of the market has shifted...and the outcomes of these strategies run far deeper.

*image:18pt Century Schoolbook typeface | mirror image for legibility

Another immensely popular face for A.T.F. [American Type Founders] and [Morris Fuller] Benton, Century Schoolbook was either licensed or copied by all the makers of mechanical composition machines, including Linotype, Intertype, Monotype, and Ludlow. Linotype also commissioned Rudolph Ruzicka to design Primer, which was intended to compete directly with Century Schoolbook for the textbook market. -Wikipedia

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1500572 2020-01-18T17:35:02Z 2020-01-19T19:18:19Z research

There is a lot going on in this image below...and, I think this cut (print block) sums up my current situation in life. This image popped up on my facebook "memories" today as a reminder of the picture I snapped four years ago in my printshop.

My intent was to document and share with others this gorgeous vintage cut and type I rescued from a Fresno antique store. At the time, I had questions about the best cleaning methods for the copper plate and the type...and facebook was a big part of my print community. The letterpress and printing groups on facebook are full of wonderful, helpful people. 

Thanks for the memories, facebook. I miss those people in the printing groups, the hobbyists, the artists, and the veterans of the craft. Why am I slowly leaving facebook? As part of my terminal degree, I am knee-deep (not a scientific term) in researching scholarly journal articles for my doctoral degree. Instead of printing and sharing to the communities on facebook, I am synthesizing main arguments within the texts and creating a matrix (spreadsheet). For this current project, I am curating approximately 14 articles around the topic of instructional technology ("edtech") and the ways technology impacts student privacy. It is a bit frightening, to be honest.

And, social media is the biggest offender next to smartphones and apps. The more I read about edtech and student privacy, the more I become concerned over my own. So, my "memories" are methodically being archived and summarily deleted. I am not jumping on the Big Data conspiracy train or sounding the social media alarm bells—I just want more control over my data. On that note: I'll post my findings here later if you're interested.

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1499313 2020-01-15T05:56:46Z 2020-01-15T05:56:46Z tension

Now knee-deep into Week 2 of Spring 2020 semester of my doctoral studies. And, I’m anxious. Not because of the work, the reading, the research, or the writing. 

My anxiety is because of all the questions. Questions surrounding my studies and my pursuit of a degree. Why? What do I hope to achieve by accomplishing it? Will I return to the private sector once I’ve earned my degree? 

Upside: the anxiety fades pretty quickly. I remind myself that I am doing this for me. And, that I don’t have the answers to everyone’s questions. I’m still learning. 

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1494958 2020-01-03T18:25:11Z 2020-01-03T20:54:27Z one word


The world is a distracting place. We hear phrases like, “Pay attention!” and "undivided attention" along with other demands for personal time and energy.

But, is there a cost associated with distraction?

The cost is personal satisfaction. If I lose focus, I allow little things to distract me from my needs and goals.

With so many things competing for my attention, I’ve decided that I need to focus. Focus intentionally. Focus on what matters to me. Focus where and how I spend my time.

To be clear (see what I did there?), my focus is not about self-care. My focus concerns self-awareness, for self-care without self-awareness is useless. I want to focus, analyze, and be critical of how I think, act, and behave.

With an increasingly connected world, it is easy to fall into a persistent state of distraction. It is easy to convince myself that I am accomplishing things or that I am being productive. Only, that is not true because all the little things amount to broad and shallow work. It is a simple justification.

I want to focus on deep work. I miss the long, solitary concentration that yields a satisfaction of knowing that I was intentional and deliberate. There is a state of flow that comes from deep work, and that requires focus.

To be so focused on the work, to be so engaged in the process, is a wonderful thing...even if the work itself is not stellar. The focus is the reward.

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1494673 2020-01-01T21:03:51Z 2020-01-01T21:03:52Z 2020

The new year–the new decade–begins today. And, in my usual fashion, I feel somewhat ill-prepared. At least, I don't spend to much time reflecting on the past year...I don't see change as an annual review process. Reflection, change, and habits are an ongoing cycle in my opinion.

While all the articles and commercials are full of good-intent, it only heightens my level of anxiety. Meaning, when I read an article on "20 Ways to Be a Happier Person in 2020" I begin to question my own happiness. I wonder if perhaps I should be more intentional, more focused. Could I be happier on Day 1 of 366?

If I follow one or more of these 20 ways, will that lead to a more rewarding and fulfilling life in 2020? Perhaps. But, the thought of all this only serves to make feel anxious about my own process. Maybe it's a lack of confidence. Maybe it's imposter syndrome. I'm certain there are articles on how to overcome these feelings, too. Social media is flooded with “one word” declarations, resolutions, and intentions this time of year...yet, I only want clarity.

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1493484 2020-01-01T20:10:58Z 2020-01-01T20:10:58Z leadership vs management

Currently on Winter Break, but trying to read ahead for the next course. Three textbooks for this course.


This course provides resources to apply the powerful approach of servant-leadership. This approach emphasizes leading by serving, leading by example, and recognizing that the more organizational power and influence one has, the more one is responsible for the growth and well-being of others. Leaders in all organizations influence change and re-shape working culture most effectively when empowering others. Those who understand the art of leading without authority will inspire commitment and leadership development in others.

So far, I am learning about different types and bases for power. Also, learning about the differences between managing and leading.

"I understand the compounding awesomeness of continually fixing small broken things."

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1487335 2019-12-10T05:44:00Z 2020-01-01T20:04:32Z magic

There is no magic. 

There is only context. 

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1486874 2019-12-09T03:56:00Z 2019-12-09T03:56:00Z winter break

One more paper to complete before Winter Break. I've learned a lot this past semester, but it is time for a break.  

I have been going full speed with the doctoral program since May. I am tempted to say that I am burned out...but I am reminded of my high school soccer coach whose favorite reply to that was, "You were never on fire."

Maybe I prefer a slow burn. Back to that last paper, a dispositional reflection. Due Wednesday by midnight. 3-4 pages.

  • Connects (a) the core literature from Leading Organizational Change and (b) your experiences within and outside of the course during the last eight weeks, with at least three specific dispositions listed in the Mindset of a Scholar-Researcher (Concordia University–Portland Office of Doctoral Studies, 2018) material.
  • The essay should address the following questions:
How has your understanding or practice of the three dispositions changed with the new ethics knowledge and experiences you have developed in the course?
How do you envision these three dispositions applying to your future work as an ethical social scientist?

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1482121 2019-11-25T20:43:49Z 2019-11-25T20:43:49Z reality

Continuing on my thoughts regarding efficiencies and organizational development...

Is this really the way education works? 

Who is doing the work? Who decides how the work is to be done?

I’d like to think education is much more efficient than this. Yet, my experience and the shared experiences of other educators tells me we have a long way to go before any meaningful change is achieved. 

Professional development, in-service, assessments, testing, social-emotional learning...

All these things hold value. Only, the seem to come from the top down. Meetings and trainings should be focused on craft and culture. All the mechanics can be shared in a slide deck or posted on the staff intranet.

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1481832 2019-11-25T00:54:14Z 2020-01-01T20:05:35Z more musings
Posted as a follow-up to my previous musings.

Don't trust the process. Learn to engage with it.

The path to success is a minefield. Keep the following in mind:  

  • Leadership is a team sport.  
  • Most of us (men more so) tend to be overconfident.
  • Memory is more often reconstruction rather than reproduction.
  • Our conscious short term memory is confined to 5–7 things at once.
  • Multitasking is subject to error.
  • We sincerely believe things from the past that are simply not true; we provide explanations of the past or the present that put ourselves in a good light, and others less so.
  • After a point, more information makes people less accurate than having less information (the overload problem).
  • We don’t like to make mistakes but we dislike even more admitting them.
  • Our best lies are ones that we firmly believe to be true.
  • Confidence may be negatively related to accuracy and in any case is no predictor that you have something right.
  • And worst of all, a lot of this occurs in our subconscious brain, so that ‘‘introspection alone will not help our vision, because it will simply confirm our self-justifying beliefs’’ (Tavris & Aronson, 2007, p. 44). 

Gather. Build. Protect.

✪ see the Dunning-Kruger Effect and Dunbar's Number

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1481808 2019-11-24T23:17:41Z 2019-11-24T23:17:41Z organization

I've spent a lot of time organizing things lately. Organizing my to-do list. Organizing my research. Organizing my time. Organizing my workbench in the printshop (see below).

And, I've read quite a bit about organization strategies these last few weeks, as required for my doctoral program. Some of these books and scholarly articles are written by experts in the field. Organization Development in Schools and Colleges, for example, details strategies and approaches for organizing (or reorganizing) systems for change.  

For all the organization I have done in my personal life, I now have a deeper appreciation for it. There is satisfaction in building something, or restructuring something, and making it better. It becomes efficient, and efficiency is beautiful...efficiency is art. 

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1480756 2019-11-22T05:48:00Z 2019-11-23T04:52:39Z musings

Some thoughts to ponder: 

  • There is no magic, only context.  
  • Help is the sunny side of control.
  • The failure case of clever is asshole.
  • Whatever you're not changing, you're choosing.  
  • If everyone can have it, I don't want it.  
  • It's not what you do. It's who you do it with.
  • TED talks almost fool me into thinking I'm productive. [confirmed]
  • You don't have to be first, just different...and better.

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1472338 2019-10-31T23:07:21Z 2019-10-31T23:07:22Z Fall Semester, part 1

Currently entering Week 2 of Fall Semester, part 2. Organizing my notes, and realizing that I neglected to add my final Mindset of a Scholar Researcher paper from EDDC 716 (Creativity, Inquiry, and Innovation).

I am not adding all completed school work to this blog. Let's be honest—some of that writing is a bit dull. But, I wanted to chronicle my doctoral studies here and I wanted to have a creative outlet for all those mind-numbing reads and discussions. Besides, I told my Dad I'd host some things for him to read. At least I know I have one reader/follower on this blog. Thanks, Dad! 

I've added the final paper from EDDC 716 along with a few other projects to the Writing tab on this site. If you're curious about the curriculum and minutia of the coursework, check out the Reading tab & the wiki I use to track it all.

The writing samples posted to this site are in APA format but set in 12pt IBM Plex Serif instead of the required 12pt Times New Roman...because I think it looks much cleaner, especially on a screen.

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1439780 2019-10-30T03:57:18Z 2019-10-30T03:57:19Z human

Solid advice. Also, the more I like my own decisions—the less I need others to like them.
tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1471725 2019-10-30T03:56:51Z 2019-10-30T03:56:51Z doing the work

People give me strange looks when I say I have homework or when I say I have reading. Their puzzled expression changes when I explain  that I’m working to complete my doctorate.

Typically, I am then presented with a question like, "Why would you want to do that?" or "What job will it create for you?" To be blunt:

A) I am doing this for myself and B) I do not know.

All I know is that this terminal degree program has kept me busy, and that I have neglected my posts here. This blog was intended to be a chronicle of my experience as a doctoral learner. And, I need to prioritize a few things such as this blog, my health, and quality time with my dogs. 

Since entering the program in late May, the focus on other aspects of my life has been tricky to manage. Yet, I'm still learning. Once I complete the program, I am positive that the job opportunities will present themselves...along with a new set of priorities.

So, I keep doing the work.

Plan the work. Work the plan.

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1470671 2019-10-27T16:40:11Z 2019-10-27T16:40:11Z knowledge

“Instead of buying your children all the things you never had, you should teach them all the things you were never taught. Material wears out but knowledge stays.”

—Bruce Lee

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1461839 2019-10-02T02:15:43Z 2019-10-02T02:23:01Z elements

Week 6 of 8. Also the wind-up (or is it wind-down?) of the first half of the Fall term. As my previous post noted, the end-goal of this 8 week session is to develop a framework. Specifically, the alignment between research interest, research question, theories, and a sample of literature. Sounds easy, right?

Finding that unifying these elements is no small task. I didn't anticipate that it would be. However, my research is proving to be the most problematic. There is little data, qualitative or quantitative, that supports my problem statement. At least, newer studies (within the last five years) are scant. 

However, I put this slideshow together. It's basic. It's riddled with errors and it needs clarification by way of refining sample literature. It's also missing the Voicethread narration, but it's a start.

*Once this Voicethread is complete, I will post it here for your critique. Feedback welcome!

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1458009 2019-10-02T01:59:49Z 2019-10-02T01:59:50Z frameworks

Learning about frameworks: conceptual, practical, and theoretical. Framework(s) is a word that gets thrown around a lot in education circles. But, there are so many other considerations:

  • alignment
  • findings
  • data
  • rhetoric
  • the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1455101 2019-09-14T00:47:26Z 2019-09-14T00:47:26Z creativity, inquiry, & innovation

Wrapping up the third week of the first half of the Fall semester. Currently, learning about creativity, inquiry, & innovation. Also, researching instructional technologies. A lot. 

Finding that there are numerous studies that speak to the efficiencies in using tech in the classroom, but very few speaking to the enhancement of learning, or infusing higher-order thinking skills. I am working "to interpret, analyze, synthesize, and develop an argument for [my] research."

By the way, what ever happened to the Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy?

Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.

—Eric Hoffer

tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1450885 2019-09-02T06:39:48Z 2019-09-02T06:39:49Z Labor Day

North Shore | Lake Tahoe 

Tahoe Vista | 2019
tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1449624 2019-08-29T03:02:26Z 2019-08-29T03:02:26Z 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

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.