tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:/posts QS PRN 2022-06-06T21:49:12Z Shea tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1839373 2022-06-06T21:39:58Z 2022-06-06T21:49:12Z phases

Passed both Comprehensive Exams! This means I am officially a doctoral candidate, and in the ABD (all but dissertation) phase. 

It’s been a month filled with phases. And, I won’t elaborate but I’m hoping that it’s true that all things pass. “It’s just a phase.” I suppose I should take that perspective if to grind this thing out inside a year, and grab that diploma in June 2023. 

In the meantime, here’s a few pictures of my favorite Sierra Nevada foothill winery…going through phases of its own. 

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1831390 2022-05-20T01:39:20Z 2022-05-20T01:39:20Z Folsom Lake

A nice day for a nice day…on the water 

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1829114 2022-05-13T16:14:13Z 2022-05-13T16:14:13Z May

This month has brought change, and only two weeks have passed. Comprehensive exams almost compete. I passed Exam #1 and barely failed the other. Upside: I have another week to revise and resubmit Exam #2. No pressure, right? The successful completion of Exam #2 only dictates whether I can continue to my dissertation or wait out the summer semester and try again in the fall semester. 

This past Saturday also marked the first Kentucky Derby my parents have hosted in their new residence. That is a big change, since they have hosted 100+ people for as long as I can recall. Rich Strike, the long-shot with 80-1 odds, won in spectacular fashion. What a change from years past when the horses who won had much better odds. It gives me hope. 

I have been trying to change jobs, and I feel like Rich Strike. I feel like the long-shot, but I know there’s still a chance. 


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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1825787 2022-05-02T23:33:56Z 2022-05-02T23:33:57Z walks

Now that the weather is warmer, and the sunlight lasts a little longer, I have been going out for walks more often. It's nice to see the trees, the blooms, and the animals. A workday afternoon walk helps me relax. A weekend morning walk allows me to refresh. I highly recommend either one, or both. 

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1820427 2022-04-18T20:43:05Z 2022-04-18T20:43:06Z Easter Monday

A day off work as Spring Break comes to a close, but not a day off of my doctoral program. I am still hammering away at the two comprehensive exams that are due by April 24.  I've been slowly grinding out those two, 15-page papers...even blew them off for the four days I was in Palm Springs. And, I managed to pick up a head cold just before Easter Sunday. Good times. 

Back at the writing today. But, I did take a lunch break and repotted the (Tradescantia fluminensis) Nanouk that I picked up at Trader Joes's a few weeks ago. It needed a bigger pot, one that is not a bunny. And, I decided to break off the Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) sprout from its mother and plant it on its own. Not only did it provide a nice break from writing scholarly papers, it serves as a reminder to nourish and recenter on occasion. 

note to self: only 29 more days of school until summer 

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1819674 2022-04-18T20:22:57Z 2022-04-18T20:22:58Z hummingbird

Moment of zen — a brief encounter with a hummingbird, hovering around my Meyer lemon tree.


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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1819311 2022-04-15T23:28:23Z 2022-04-15T23:28:23Z Indian Wells

Took a trip to the Palm Springs area for three nights/four days. A road trip. While the winds blew like hell the last few miles on the way there, it was totally worth it. And, I’m now beginning to understand why people retire to the desert. 

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1817202 2022-04-10T23:13:39Z 2022-04-10T23:13:39Z philately

Scenes from the newly inherited collection of a novice philatelist

I haven’t had much time to examine my grandfather’s & father’s stamp collection, because there’s a whole dissertation to slog through. And, there’s a full-time job that’s eating up a substantial amount of time. Although, when I have a free moment or two, I love to randomly pull a stamp to learn more about it. 

I find some of these stamps fascinating. This one is one of the few cancelled or postmarked stamps, from grandpa’s time as a professor at Stanford. 

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1817181 2022-04-10T19:22:03Z 2022-04-10T19:44:53Z dissertation outline

formatting template by The Meanest TA, PhD

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1816260 2022-04-08T03:33:59Z 2022-04-08T03:33:59Z maintenance

This sign sums it up quite nicely…

It’s a sign

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1815314 2022-04-05T21:04:35Z 2022-04-05T21:04:35Z questions

• How are instructional technologies socially conceptualized?

• Which theories are predominant in specific learning domains?

• What new theory has been developed, and/or is "old theory" adequate to the task of explaining the social impacts and use of the digital?

• To what extent is digital research theoretically or empirically driven?

• Which concepts and key themes cluster and link regardless of theoretical or empirical approach?

• Can a new "theoretical framework" for understanding instructional technology (digital learning) be generated, and is this needed?

• To what extent have interdisciplinary approaches modified or developed theory?

• Which methods and approaches predominate in education?

• Does the availability of large volumes of digital data change how the digital is studied and/or the approaches taken to instructional technologies in education?

• Are certain methods intrinsically linked to certain domains or theories? How are methods tied to the social contexts around instructional technology research?

• Have interdisciplinary approaches modified or prioritized certain methods in the study of instructional technology?

*list of questions adapted from various existing research journals and texts 

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1815010 2022-04-05T02:09:10Z 2022-04-05T02:09:10Z knowable

Meaning is defined by at least three points: the personal, the factual, and the resonance between them. 

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1813276 2022-03-31T22:39:01Z 2022-03-31T22:39:01Z sorting

Sorting things is a fascinating process. Lately, I have been sorting through my Dad’s stamp collection, which includes my grandfather’s stamp collection. 

The two small file boxes in the image above show only a fraction of what I have inherited—there are two large file boxes filled with binders, envelopes, and loose stamps from all over the globe. 

What strikes me as I sort through this collection is not the monetary value of the stamps but the sentimental value. Collecting and cataloging stamps is a labor of love, but it is also a connection to something bigger. 

I wish I could properly convey how it feels to handle this stamp collection. Maybe the tangibility fosters connection. Maybe it’s the attention to detail and beautiful print work that is evident on the stamps. It’s wonderful. 

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1812573 2022-03-29T23:00:00Z 2022-03-31T22:35:29Z 1972

El Dorado National Forest, past the Swansboro Airport and up Mosquito Road, 1972

This must have been shortly after Dad returned from Viet Nam and bought 55 acres here. That parcel has grown to 90 acres now, with half of it bordering National Forest land. 

The rad Pontiac station wagon is long gone. But, the sign is still there. And, I’m still here. 


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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1812041 2022-03-29T02:37:41Z 2022-03-29T02:37:41Z experience

"It is only with experience that you begin to understand everything you do not know."

As I enter the Comprehensive Exams portion of my doctoral program, I realize that I am beginning to understand. Education is an interesting construct. It is personal, and it means different things to people. Education flows along a continuum, and begins to take different meanings as a person grows older. Perhaps the experience truly is the education.

*video: my moment of zen today 

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1809596 2022-03-23T14:05:38Z 2022-03-23T21:12:58Z next year(ish)

“When do you finish your doctorate?”

I’ll finish this time next year. Spring 2023. So, one more year of doctoral studies before I earn my degree. And, that’s only if I hustle. 

It’s a long road…

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1809595 2022-03-22T01:48:15Z 2022-03-22T01:48:15Z dreams

“Students tend to think that once they are done with the coursework, they are pretty much done with the program. This is not the case with the doctoral education. In fact, the coursework is only a preparation (appetizer) for the dissertation research (the main dish). Once done with the [Research Design] class, typically students take their competency exam and, upon passing, the students become doctoral candidates (aka ABDs – “all but dissertation”). This is where the real challenge begins because unlike very structured coursework, the writing of the dissertation is an independent process where the researcher must be self-organized and self-driven to stay on task and to work on this long project for a long time.

How much time do you need? Well, the answer varies. From experience, we know that once you are matched with the dissertation committee, the very best case scenario is that the dissertation takes about a year – This is only possible if you 1) already know EXACTLY what you will be doing for your dissertation; 2) you are super organized and self-driven; 3) you have already done extensive reading and some writing about your topic; 3) you contribute at least 20 hours each week into working on dissertation until you finish. 

More typically, it takes students about 2 years from the passing of the comps to the finish line – Even this timeline requires you to work on your dissertation on a weekly (if not daily) basis. If you procrastinate, or take a few months off, or change your topic a few times, you will likely spend more than 2 years and you are at-risk of never finishing the program.” 

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1809340 2022-03-21T02:57:29Z 2022-03-21T02:57:30Z 1st day of Spring

spring equinox 2022 

Seasons & change 

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1802090 2022-03-03T04:42:15Z 2022-03-03T04:42:15Z research design

I have officially entered the halfway point of my Research Design class. It's odd how, when I reflect back on weeks or months past, I no longer think of them in terms of milestone events. Instead, I look at markers to indicate my progress in the doctoral program.    

It is March and there are still oranges in the tree. The blood orange tree needs to be harvested as well, and my birthday passed me by last month. Putin invaded Ukraine on my birthday, and my parents officially became homeless (according to the text my dad sent). They are not physically homeless...although, they will be moving into their condominium this week. And, all I can think is that I have 8 more weeks of research design before I can officially begin my dissertation.  

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1793607 2022-02-10T00:46:05Z 2022-02-10T00:46:19Z NAITD

It is truly a privilege to live by what I call the “no asshole” rule. I don’t do business with assholes. I don’t care how much money they are offering me, or what project. Life is too short. Quality of life is important. I’m fortunate to collaborate with a lot of people who I respect and like, and I’d like to keep it that way.

—Anthony Bourdain

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1783940 2022-02-10T00:44:38Z 2022-02-10T00:44:38Z TOOL

"Go ahead and get your phones out, crackheads." -Maynard

Epic show, as always. 


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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1783621 2022-01-16T01:15:50Z 2022-01-16T01:15:50Z 2022

What an action-packed couple of weeks. The omicron variant has surged here in Northern California, as it has done everywhere. The parents closed the deal on the sale of their property. And, my research design class has begun.  

It has been nice, being out of class for October and November. For 2.5 years, my doctoral classes ran straight through summer, fall, and winter with very few breaks. This most recent break at the end of 2021 came about because of my transfer to another college. It was not planned. Yet, since enrolling in the doctoral program, I have learned a lot about myself. 

Sure, I have learned about other things. I have read numerous books and countless journal articles. I have lost track of the number of papers I have written and the total number of annotated bibliographies. And, I have changed my thoughts on my research topic several times along the way.  

This current 11-week class will allow me to shape my research and begin the dissertation phase. Of course, there is a 5-week session for the final exam after this course, so my dissertation will not begin until summer session. The dissertation phase will run through the fall session and end with the spring 2023 session. And, that's a little disheartening. 

While I am happy to know that the finish line is in sight, I am frustrated that I am faced with another year of research. It is agonizing to think that I will not officially graduate the doctoral program for another calendar year. To stay focused and to stay on the path, I began to think about what is going right. And, I find a little joy in the little things...like a nice sunrise, a quality pencil and trusty notebook, and an annotated book of Tennyson's poems that belonged to my great grandfather.

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1764650 2021-12-01T02:24:43Z 2021-12-01T02:24:43Z ruby

I said goodby to a dear friend today. While I am full of sadness, I take comfort in the fact that this little dog brought so much joy to not only my life but to my son's life. Ruby was his first dog, and she lived a great life for 14 years. 

She was stubborn and bull-headed, but that’s what made her adorable. She always ate first and asked questions later. But, cancer reared it’s ugly head. She tried to battle it, and was brave to the end. It’s only fitting that we say goodbye on a Tuesday. Goodbye, sweet girl. 

Ruby Tuesday

Ruby bonded with C from the moment we brought her home. And, she taught us to see the simple joys of life in your 14+ years with us. Oh, she were stubborn but that’s just one of the things we adored about her. She was always up for adventure and she wagged that tail until the very end. She was pure of heart and she was absolutely the bestest of doggos. 

Run wild, and sniff all the things. Eat first and ask questions later. Be free, Ruby girl. 




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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1763858 2021-11-28T20:27:16Z 2021-11-28T20:27:29Z thanksgiving

Traditionally, this is a time of year for giving thanks. And, while I am thankful for many things, I have been giving that word "tradition" a lot of thought lately. Gratitude is a constant in my life but as I get older I am beginning to understand that some traditions carry forward and other traditions come to an abrupt end. And, I’m not sure how I feel about that.  

One tradition that is coming to an end, after a 30-year run is the tradition of meeting for Thanksgiving and Christmas at my parents home. They have decided to sell their home and move to a condominium. I’m going to miss that 6-acre property and all the memories made there, during holidays and regular days. I already miss the animals: the dogs, cats, llamas, goats, chickens, and miniature donkeys. 

It’s an odd thing to watch traditions be slowly disassembled. My parents are in the process of downsizing, donating and selling things. In some ways, it is odd to see them part with so many things they've gathered over their 50+ years of marriage, and as individuals over 80+ years of life. When I visit, I take as many pictures as I can...knowing that those images may be the last things left after the traditions are gone. 




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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1743394 2021-10-03T20:49:07Z 2021-10-04T00:23:39Z fall 2021
Welcome to decorative gourd season, 2021! 

Upside: I am so close to completing the prescribed list of courses for my doctoral program, and should be finished by the end of October.  

Downside: I am forced to wait until Spring 2022 semester to begin the research/dissertation phase. 

Honestly, there are so many positives and negatives to my current situation that I feel like I should make a T-chart. One the one hand, I will have a nice break over November and December. On the other hand, this delay pushes my graduation date out by a semester. I'll stop there before I get myself irritated over the whole mess that was initiated with Concordia University Portland suddenly closing their operations after I was 1.5 years deep into the program. Ugh. 

Instead, I will focus on the positives. Hey, maybe I'll have time to clean up this clown show of a website. It is in serious need of updating. After all, I began this site as a way to document the processes, pains, and products of my doctoral studies. And, maybe get back into the letterpress workshop and make something! 

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1713887 2021-07-15T21:36:42Z 2021-07-15T21:36:42Z sorts

This summer I’ve been sorting. Sorting a lot of things: assignments for my terminal degree, schedules and timelines, clothing for donations, items in the garage. 

Yesterday, I had a few minutes to sort my type cabinets. Technically, the individual drawers are known as job cases. Although, I realized that I had not sorted them properly since moving my work shop & letterpress printing equipment last April. All 48 drawers were stacked in the garage and then reinserted into the cabinet in no particular order. "I'll sort it later," I told myself. 

Over a year has passed, and I am still sorting. Only, my sorting logistics seemed to be constantly shuffled this past year. C will be moving out mid August to attend University of Nevada Reno. I report to the school district August 9 for the 2021-2022 contract. And, I am continuing to pursue my doctoral degree (approximately one year til completion!).

While sorting this out, I realize that I also need to sort this site...to add additional classes, topics of research, and published papers. For now, I've got a solid to-do list going on my notepad app. I'll get it sorted soon. 

*image of 48pt titling sorts   

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1711460 2021-07-08T00:13:34Z 2021-07-08T00:13:35Z Kaua'i

Finally made it to Kaua'i. This trip was planned for the summer of 2020, but delayed due to the pandemic. It was a bit of a battle to get there...COVID test 72 hours prior, uploading information to the Safe Travels website, obtaining the wristband to board the airplane. But, it was worth it. 

I actually read several fiction books while on vacation. Caught up on the Harry Hole series by Jo Nesbø. I'll spare the full reviews but they did not disappoint. First time that has happened in two years, since I began my doctoral program. Had a wonderful dinner at The Beach House. Swam in the ocean and the pool. Tasted some amazing Kōloa Rum.  Ate the most delicious Sugarloaf Pineapple

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1672466 2021-03-31T03:10:39Z 2021-03-31T20:09:32Z greenery

Really into plants lately. I have always been interested in plants, honestly. However, this past year has given me time to focus on the plants I have in the house. I searched for a Norfolk Island Pine for months, but finally found one (in the black container below). 

My grandmother had one that was over five feel tall. Hoping mine will reach that height some day, like the fiddle leaf fig. 

And, I have been growing some more succulents from cuttings. Love these little jade plants. Plants really do make things brighter around the house. A little positivity is a good thing.  


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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1672469 2021-03-20T19:00:00Z 2021-03-31T03:10:20Z napa

It’s been a while. Well over a year since I’ve visited Napa, for business or pleasure. I suppose that the pandemic is to blame, like many of us who wanted to travel but decided to self-quarantine. Maybe some of use wanted to travel but no shops or stores were open. 

This isn’t a political commentary on the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s simply an observation. Just as many of the businesses wanted to remain open, many of us wanted to get out of the house, many of us could not get out due to concerns about COVID and/or government regulations. 

But, I love the way the way many businesses were able to work around the mandates and directives. Hooray for Napa and St. Helena! 

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tag:blog.qsprn.com,2013:Post/1665283 2021-03-13T19:54:52Z 2021-03-13T19:54:52Z spring

Now that Daylight Savings Time is upon us, I began thinking about change. This morning, on a long walk, I reflected back on what has happened these last couple months.

Like many people, the pandemic has changed my routines, my priorities, and my sense of normalcy. Yet, that is not necessarily a negative change. The things I took for granted have a renewed sense of meaning. And, priorities have been replaced with healthier options in both the physical and mental sense. 

In late January, I became eligible to receive the COVID immunization due to my position in education. Pfizer was the only option, as all the Modern vaccines appointments were slotted by the time I logged in to schedule my appointment. To be honest, I did not care which vaccine I received...I just wanted to stack the odds against contracting COVID, especially with the changes at school.   

The district has returned to a traditional schedule, and eliminated the hybrid model. And, it will be interesting to see how the 2021-2022 school year plays out. The online school model will run through this year, but it will be interesting to see if the online learning model continues to be an option for students/parents in the coming years. 

My doctoral program continues, under an online model. And, I continue to reflect on my priorities to finish the program, examine career opportunities, and return to the print shop. ⟳ 

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