Books I Read in August 2022

My reading over the summer took a bit of a dip over the first part of this year. My goal this year is to read 75 books, down from 100 last year.

I set that goal knowing that I would begin my doctoral work this fall and would likely have less time to read non-school-related books.

But I seem to be ramping back up heading into September. As I write this, I’m 13 books behind for the year, so the pressure is on!

Books I finished reading in August 2022:

How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Ahrens, Sönke (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 178 Pages – 03/08/2022 (Publication Date)
Sale
[Leviathan Wakes] [By: Corey, James S. a.] [May, 2012]
  • James S.A. Corey (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 05/01/2012 (Publication Date) – Orbit (Publisher)

Using Notion as a Doctoral Dashboard

In all of my previous degree programs, my biggest struggle was knowing what was due when and what I needed to accomplish next.

I have been an online student through two degree programs. One of those programs, at the University of Kentucky, did a tremendous job of connecting the students through synchronous meetings. The other, at a place I won’t name, did not.

Both degree programs required independent learning, fully expecting that all students could take it upon themselves to have enough organizational prowess to complete tasks promptly.

I can tell you that I was awful at that. Too often, I raced through work at the last minute because I forgot about it, mostly because it was buried in a module in the learning management system that I’d missed.

Last week, I began my doctoral work. I was determined not to repeat past mistakes and to be more organized.

It’s not that I’m not an organized person. I usually am. I like checklists. I like writing things down on note cards and tearing up the note cards when I’ve completed the work.

But I couldn’t wrap my head around why I struggled so much with my studies. Then, I had my lightbulb moment.

The problem wasn’t that I was not organized; the problem was I was using someone else’s organizational process and trying to figure out why they did what they did and how I could work through it.

Now, I’m working my way through this semester and organizing my work in a way that makes sense to me.

Enter Notion. I ran across The Redhead Academic and how she uses Notion for her own doctoral studies. She put together this fantastic tutorial and even has a template you can grab to use for yourself.

I’m new to using Notion, so the template helped me familiarize myself with the service. But now I’m burning it up.

I’ve quickly created my own dashboard for my studies and shared it with my entire cohort. So far, that dashboard allows us to keep our sanity.

I’ll have more updates for Notion soon, along with a few tutorials you might find handy.

A Return After a Long Break

Well, summer break is over for all my students and me.

This week, I begin my doctoral work at the University of Kentucky. As such, my reading will likely increase dramatically and, with that, an increase in my writing.

It’s been a good break, but I’m ready to get back to posting here and across the web.

See you here next week.

Making Bach Accessible to Everyone Online

I know not everyone is a fan of classical music. I get it. But you don’t have to be a fan to recognize the impact that music written hundreds of years ago still has on musicians today.

Composers and songwriters still take inspiration from the melodies created by Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, and many more.

Think of the possibilities with your students if you had one place to access all the available performances of someone like Bach.

Now you do. Enter the “All of Bach” project.

Since the start of this unique project, more than 350 of the total of 1080 works by Johann Sebastian Bach have been performed and recorded in special ways. They include some remarkable highlights, such as the St Matthew Passion in the Grote Kerk, in Naarden, the Six Cello Suites at beautiful Amsterdam locations like the Concertgebouw and the Rijksmuseum, and Brandenburg Concerto no. 4 in Felix Meritis, in Amsterdam.

Informative texts, interesting facts and interviews with the performers provide a wealth of background information. All the works are performed by the Netherlands Bach Society and many guest musicians, and you can watch and listen to recordings of the complete works. In personal interviews, the musicians themselves talk about what touches them in the music or why they enjoy playing it so much. In order to keep close to Bach, the recordings are made at suitable venues, but we also look for unusual recording locations. Cantatas are filmed in a church, for instance, and chamber music at the musicians’ homes or at special locations in the Netherlands.

https://www.bachvereniging.nl/en/about-allofbach

Of course, these works are available for performance by anyone since they are part of the public domain, allowing new generations to experience the work of a master and be inspired to create their own masterpieces.

Books I Read in May 2022

I’m consistently working to keep my reading on track this year. I have a book with me wherever I go (physical & ebook) and carve out a little time each day.

Some days more than others 😉

Here are the books I read/finished reading during May 2022:

Gun Control and Schools

school safety
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I’m having a hard time putting into words my feelings over the past couple of days. I work in education but I’m also a parent. I worry about the kids and teachers whom I work with but I also worry about sending my daughter to school.

Note: she just finished 4th grade, which has struck me right in the center of my being after the deaths of many 4th graders in Texas. They were the same age as my own daughter. Frightening, to say the least.

My biggest issue now is responding to those who believe we don’t need to do anything about gun control in the US. I’m tired of their “thoughts and prayers” that don’t do much.

Thankfully, Steve Singer has a good response:

This is not hard.

The rest of the world has cracked the code. Just not us.

Not the U.S.

Guns are the leading cause of death for American children –  1 out of 10 people who die from guns in this country are 19 or younger.

Steve Singer

Read more here: If You Don’t Support Gun Control, You Support School Shootings

On the Uvalde Tragedy

27 school shootings have taken place so far in 2022.

https://www.npr.org/2022/05/24/1101050970/2022-school-shootings-so-far

What we know about the terrorist attack in Uvalde, TX on May 24, 2022:

  • At least 21 dead; 19 students and 2 adults
  • Uvalde is “the kind of place where ‘interconnections are thick’ and no one would have expected a mass shooting at the local school”
  • The suspect also allegedly shot his grandmother before going to Robb Elementary
  • The suspect (terrorist) purchased two assault-style rifles on his 18th birthday, though authorities have not confirmed whether these were the weapons used in the shooting
  • All victims were in the same fourth-grade classroom at Robb Elementary School

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/texas-news/uvalde-gunman-bought-two-guns-on-his-18th-birthday-texas-senator-says/2977034/

https://apnews.com/article/uvalde-texas-school-shooting-44a7cfb990feaa6ffe482483df6e4683

On the Terrorist

  • Ramos had hinted on social media that an attack could be coming, state Sen Roland Gutierrez, who was briefed by police, told reporters. “He suggested the kids should watch out,” the lawmaker said.
  • He shot his grandmother before driving to Robb Elementary just before midday on Tuesday
  • He “suffered from a fraught home life and lashed out violently against peers and strangers recently and over the years…”
  • The Texas Department of Public Safety said he was wearing body armor and armed with a rifle.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/crime/salvador-ramos-texas-school-shooting-uvalde-b2087035.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/05/25/uvalde-texas-school-shooting-gunman/

Responses:

My Response:

I’m tired of reading these headlines. I’m tired of thinking about my own daughter not being safe in her school. I’m tired of thinking about the teachers and students I work with every day and them not being safe.

I’m tired of having to think about getting shot while in school when there are so many other things we should be focused on during our days but we can’t because we continue to allow guns like this to be sold.

I’m tired of bullying. I’m tired of not taking mental health seriously.

I’m tired. And I’m mad.

Hopefully, you are, too. And you’re ready to do something about it.

Assorted Links for Friday, 20 May 2022

Photo by Colton Sturgeon on Unsplash
  1. R.I.P. Vangelis: The Composer Who Created the Future Noir Soundtrack for Blade Runner Dies at 79
  2. David Letterman hosted the Late Show for the last time seven years ago today
  3. Panic Over SEL Is Unfounded. Here’s Why.
  4. Reducing Stress Through Tech – Podcast
  5. The Summer Reads Edition from Why is this Interesting?
  6. 13 Strategies That Will Make You A Better Reader (And Person)
  7. 13 Websites That Provide Lots of Digital Books for Summer Reading

And now, your weekly wind down…

Stress Reliever: Dirty Dancing with the Muppet Theme

Feeling overwhelmed as the end of the school year approaches?

I prescribe this video to bring you some smiles.

Thanks to @Pandamoanimum for creating this awesomeness. If you feel so inclined, buy her a cup of coffee.

You can also view the video on YouTube:

Colorado Teacher Reaches New Heights

Colorado chemistry teacher Eddie Taylor has something new to add to his resume: He’s reached the peak of Mt. Everest.

And he did it with the first team of Black climbers

While other Black climbers have previously climbed Mount Everest, this was the first summit by a team of Black climbers. The other Full Circle team members who summited were Thomas Moore, also of Colorado; and Manoah Ainuu, Rosemary Saal, Demond Mullins, James “KG” Kagami, and Evan Green. Phil Henderson, who lives in Cortez, Colorado, led the Full Circle team but did not climb. 

“If you’re a black person or a Latino person and you Google ‘climbing,’ you’re going to still see lots of people who don’t look like you,” Taylor said. “That, I think, makes those sports … seem a little bit more unapproachable.”

https://co.chalkbeat.org/2022/5/16/23076383/colorado-teacher-eddie-taylor-summits-mt-everest