inspiration

Where do you get your inspiration? I mean, where do you find your inspiration to create something? Inspiration is something I've thought about this past week, as I wrapped up my final research paper for the Fall term. Like many people, I used to find my inspiration in outdoor places or through conversations with others. With the pandemic, those conversation don't look or feel like they did in the past. Most conversations are digital these days. 

My creative outlet for that inspiration is letterpress printing. Since I began my doctoral program, I have had little time to print. Regardless of what some might say, a doctorate in education is challenging. It demands a lot of time to complete. I knew this going into the program, and I understood that my other pursuits would be set aside for three years. And, I have realized that I miss that time. 

I have missed the time spent with others. I miss the conversations and the activities. I miss the inspiration and the authenticity of in-person conversations. I realize that COVID has altered the way we communicate, and I realize that my doctoral program has altered the time I have available to find that inspiration. Trust that I am not complaining. And, I am thankful to live in such a beautiful part of the world that offers so many opportunities to explore the outdoors for inspiration. I am also thankful for the internet and social media for providing some avenues of inspiration. But, with the Fall semester now over and a pending two-week winter break from work, I am excited to get back into the printshop.

I am stoked to start pulling some fonts, to start inking the machines, and to begin pressing some paper. I suppose I am answering my own question—inspiration comes from the strangest of places sometimes. It doesn't matter where. It simply matters how you use that time. 

human capital

New course started yesterday. First post requires a bit of research to define “human capital” using a source other than the textbook or required readings. Interestingly, most of the the sources point to Adam Smith (of Scotland) or Marxist writings with the respect to the origin of the theory/idea of human capital. 

In a nutshell, several theories of human capital exist. And, in true fashion, there are alternative viewpoints that focus on Intellectual Capital, Social Capital, or Cultural Capital. Seems to me that it boils down to the old argument between information, knowledge, and ignorance. As a result, here’s what I’ve got so far: 

A fact is information minus emotion. An opinion is information plus experience. Ignorance is an opinion lacking information. And, stupidity is an opinion that ignores a fact.  

quantitative analysis

The past few weeks have been intense. Intense with analysis and statistics. I have learned far more about regression analysis, t-tests, and ANOVA than I ever thought I might. And, I hate to break it to Salkind & Frey, but I still do not care for statistics. Hate is a strong word, but I do give the authors credit for making quantitive analysis slightly more palatable. 
I will say that I hate SPSS software. It is not only ridiculously expensive—it is ugly from a design perspective. I mean, a company who has beautifully designed websites, and even offered up one of my favorite typefaces for free, could do a little better. SPSS looks like the old Excel versions on Windows CE. Thankfully, the Dutch know how to make things pretty. And, they know how to make them open-source. Love me some JASP, even if it still is all about statistics.  
ps—speaking of the Dutch, Eddie Van Halen passed away today. We lost another one of the good ones today. RIP, Eddie. 

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.