In the Heart

Day 2 of this reactivated blog, no thanks to the covid

Livestreamed Mass from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I think we’ll try a different state each week, since we’re going to be sheltered-in-place for a while.

Leftover pizza is great.

Hung up a tribute to my friend who is fighting the coronavirus in the ICU in our big fron window. He isn’t doing too well but he’s a striver. I’m sure he is striving with all his might to get well. Also hung up some Christmas lights to bring a little more light into this world.

After I posted it on his Facebook page, a few people reached out to find out what was going on with him. Mostly people I hadn’t heard from in a long while. Social closening!

I have never seen so many people out for walks and bike rides in our neighborhood. I also met a new fluffy neighborhood cat, out for a walk without a leash. The cat’s hoomans pleaded for the cat to keep up with them, but this cat had other ideas, including inspecting the inside of our garage. Cats are so funny.

Alice made no-flour banana pancakes for dinner. We didn’t have some key ingredients, so they were more like banana crepe mush. I thought they were good, she thought they were disgusting. I also didn’t have an allergic reaction from my oral allergy syndrome, so it was a big win.

Made a big chunk of progress on re-flipping my Web Design course at TJU in time for tomorrow’s restart after last week’s spring break. A few years ago in a bit of a pedagogical frenzy, I turned my standard lecture class into a flipped classroom. This is where the primary instruction is through instructional videos that students watch on their own time, and the classroom time is devoted to working on projects. I found that this was less effective for my students than a straight lecture, so I unflipped it. And now I have to re-flip it, with no in-class time.

Me being me, I produced the instructional video myself, which is how I spent the evening. With no in-class time, I have to do what I can to keep the students engaged. I shot the video in my basement music lab – this way I can let my personality show by showing them some of my guitar and drum stuff. Note to self: I need to lean into this more.

In the middle of this, I remembered to submit the evaluation for the data analytics course I took for my master’s program. Whew, it was due tonight! I enjoyed the class so much, I wanted to make sure I left a glowing review.

Back to teaching, I also thought to simplify this first class back, so I shifted a bunch of things around. My motto is: “do what’s best for the students” so a-shifting I will go. We all have to shift a bunch of things around now, eh?

Return of the Comeback

On the advice of a dear friend, I am keeping a journal of these unique coronavirus times. Re-enter: this WordPress blog.

Yesterday: Attended an uplifting and energizing online conference hosted by one of my digital inspirations, Sree Sreenivasan. Social Media Weekend #smwknd was supposed to be an in-person event at Pace University, but Sree and his team quickly pivoted and put it online. It was still great! I felt highly favored to be a part of it.

Some learnings and takeaways:

  • We call it “social distancing” but perhaps it’s better called “physical distancing” and so we need to find ways of “social closening” so that we maintain human connections.
  • (I already do this mostly) but post on social media so you can remember what you were doing, especially if it is a #LifeHighlight
  • I learned about a bunch of digital #cooltools from Jeremy Caplan that I want to try, including Coda, WorkFlowy,, Spoonbill, Apple Clips, Tilda,, Whimsical, Data Gif Maker from Google News, and for Design Thinking, and MoCA. He also mentioned Airtable and Typeform, which I had been meaning to check out in more detail. The whole conference used StreamYard, which could be useful at work.
  • For presentations, consider preparing two decks: one to present, and one to leave with the audience that includes additional detail. (I had a professor at Penn who hated wordy PowerPoint presentations and that stuck with me, so I really like this idea.)
  • Andrew Seaman from LinkedIn says: “for updates, use your authentic voice, post frequently, start a conversation or share your point-of-view, include rich media, and create opportunities for reciprocity” and “for articles, create a headline that captures attention, include a photo to stand out, be authentic, use your voice, and think about your audience”

Another dear friend “has the rona” and is very sick. He went to the ICU yesterday and is on a ventilator. Just feel so bad for him and his family. It’s tough (for me) to be virtually powerless in this situation.

Ordered pizza in for lunch. The delivery people out there, they’re the real MVP.

Checked in on my FedEx delivery of inline skates. They were originally scheduled to arrive on Friday March 27 but now they will arrive March 24. Before the dark times, before the corona, I was ice skating weekly. I was finally learning how to skate properly (bucket list item) and getting good cardio. I want to maintain the momentum, hence these inline skates. I miss ice rinks, but I am blessed to be able to shelter-in-place to ride out the pandemic.


Current Heavy Rotation

Mystery Science Theater 3000
“The Thing That Couldn’t Die”
“Danger! Death Ray”
“Gamera vs. Barugon”
“The Magic Voyage of Sinbad”
“Space Travelers”
“The Incredible Melting Man”
“The Mole People”
“The Touch of Satan”
“Final Justice”
“Agent for H.A.R.M.”
“I Was A Teenage Werewolf”
“Parts: The Clonus Horror”
“Cave Dwellers”
“Quest of the Delta Knights”
“Puma Man”
“Horror of Party Beach”

Midnight Oil, “Read About It”
Luscious Jackson, “Citysong”
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, “Chicken Dog”