Archive

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Unfinished Drafts

January 11, 2017 2 comments

What is and what might never be. My unfinished blog post drafts (and most will probably remain in stasis) includes titles and topics such as:

  • “Return to HTML & CSS”
  • “A Simple Prayer”
  • “LinkedIn Bad habits” (I almost certainly was going to bitch about random people that want to connect and use the generic greeting).
  • “Random thoughts” (surprisingly there is only one such post like this).
  • “Untitled”….ooh I bet that will capture reader attention!

Similar to life, this blog has a lot of incomplete, half-done, and works-in-progress. Perhaps in both areas it is time to close the proverbial loop and complete those blog posts and things we allow to remain unfinished for whatever reason.

Time to work on “Untitled.”

Advertisements

Learning Journal Entry – Fundamentals of Programming

February 13, 2016 Leave a comment

I have decide to use one of my learning journal entries as a blog post. For My course Fundamentals of Programming at University of the People, I am required to do a learning journal. Even though it is required, I think it is a good idea regardless. The learning journal provides an opportunity to write about a variety of related topics to the course content and learning process.  I have tried to keep the tone a little informal and reflective on the process and topic.

My week three learning journal entry will touch on a few different topics. The first is the graded quiz. It was definitely a little tougher than I would have expected. I did okay, scoring a 92% not my best work, but a reminder to study and keep up with everything. I found it particularly challenging given the time constraints. I expect to be more prepared for the next quiz. To accomplish this, I intend to spend a little more time reviewing the non-graded quizzes.

Second, I am currently working (procrastinating) on the second programming assignment. I downloaded and installed it with the intention of using it for the assignment. Opening the program and playing around with it, I found myself becoming obsessed with lining up shapes, boxes, and more concerned with formatting and appearance. While having the flowchart looking visual appealing or at least professional, it should not take away from the ideas. I would prefer to spend time thinking about the code, how it might work, and not whether my boxes are perfectly lined-up. I still have not decided if I am going to use pseudo code or the flow chart. I think it is just easier to user pen and paper or a white board. I am leaning towards using the flow chart.

I think spending some time thinking about the code and the steps that need to be done is very a good idea. Obviously, it can be helpful for even the longer exercises. I am slowly coming to the realization that coding/programming is not just something that happens at a keyboard, but also on paper, using DIA, or a whiteboard. Preparing to code is equally as important as what happens at the keyboard. Again, I think there is a very strong parallel to writing. One simply does not sit down and compose a course paper or a Master’s thesis. It takes some forethought and planning. It may not always be apparent, but even with my learning journal entries, I brainstorm a few ideas and notes about things.

Thus far, I have enjoying the class and find the topic interesting. Concurrently, I am also taking Programming for Everyone at Coursera. I believe (especially for beginners) having as much exposure to the language and programming is a necessity for becoming proficient. I call it the “ABC Method,” “Always Be Coding.” While it is important to understand the logic and concepts, it is also important to be able to understand the syntax and be able to write simple “if/elif/else” statements without looking it up. I think for beginners (this holds true different areas) it is imperative learn and over-learn the fundamentals. Fundamentals provide a foundation for advanced concepts and ideas. One has to know how to compose a sentence before they can write a novel.

A brief thought on Writing

December 20, 2015 Leave a comment

….Sometimes “done” now is better than “perfect” but never completed.

University of the People – Week 1.5

November 22, 2015 Leave a comment

So, I am a week and a half into it. For the most part, I have enjoyed the courses so far.

A few reflections:

  • I can see how people have difficulty managing time (especially working full-time and having other commitments). There just isn’t time to spend (waste) deliberating a forum post or learning journal entry. Important to get the outline of what you want to write, write, review/proof, and post.  I can’t imagine procrastination is rewarded.
  • If the concept is not clear in your head, it probably won’t come be clear on paper, forum post, blog post, or journal entry.
  • Maybe online learning is not for me. I think everyone goes through this at some point.
  • Be efficient.

I think I see a theme emerging – work efficiently and effectively. The same can be said for most things like work, managing projects, and online learning.

Submitted!

February 7, 2014 Leave a comment

My MS degree project was completed, submitted, and approved. Two more steps register for Psychology 590 and design a training.

For the training, I am going to use Udemy. Udemy is online program (free) that allows a person to design, develop, and administer training. I have a few ideas for the training. I need to complete my outline, objective, and the learning template (I love templates).

It is finally going to happen. No more nightmares about not completing it! I am exciting to begin pursuing other endeavors.

MS Project: A Formative Reflection on Writing

January 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Currently, I am working on my MS project so I can finish degree (finally). The project consists of a course paper and a grant. The focus is a student non-profit consulting project. It is as it sounds, Training and Development students work with Marquette Co. non-profits to implement performance improvement technology. The goal for the students is to apply the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom in a real organizational setting with real resource limitations. The goal for the non-profit will be to use the performance intervention for capacity building and to better fulfill their mission.

In any event, I have enjoyed the writing. Surprisingly, I have not always enjoyed writing. “Formatively” reflecting on the project:

  • Writing is easier (much easier) when you know what you are trying to communicate. Preparing to write and communicate your ideas, etc is important. Prep work might almost equal the time it takes to write.
  • Leave good notation from where you left off. Nothing worse than wasting 5 or 10 minutes trying to get back to where you were.
  • Pick it up, touch it, read it, interact with the writing in someway everyday. Even if only for a few minutes.
  • Screw perfection, write to communicate a point.
  • Writing everyday helps. Even if it is just a quick blog post, commenting or LinkedIn group.
  • Be in the moment. When writing don’t think about work, bills, checking Facebook, etc.
  • Writing and communicating are skills, if we don’t use them, they begin to diminish.
  • Think about your ideas, points, etc, when you are away from the keyboard to find clarity.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread…

I am excited about completing the project, so I can focus on other things….writing.

Writing Template

January 15, 2014 Leave a comment

In order to help me produce more posts and I have designed a several templates, which allow for a different style posts.  Example below:

Topics/Keywords:

Title:

Introduction: Introduce article, provide, author name, link, political persuasion, bias, etc.

Summary: Provide a brief 1 to 2 paragraph synopsis of the article

So What? Or the Takeaway: What is it that you want your readers to take from the article. Why is it important? Why does the article matter?

I have constructed the template as table (tables are a great way to structure documents and forms).

 On the the left hand side,  I have what I call my “map.” I use the map to help me structure my thoughts and the article.  On the right side of the table is where I write my post using the left column as my guide. Then I simply paste over to WordPress and quickly format, preview, and post.
So far,  I have found it a helpful and efficient way to write.  My next step will be to integrate a more links and media to my writing. Ironically for this post, I did not use the template!