Category: World of Adventures

The Four Processors: A Neogeneralist Problem?

My husband has been joking for years that my brain has 4 processors. He says I can’t relax unless at least 3 processors are turned off, but that’s not an easy thing to do. When one processor can’t solve the problem it is stuck on, my brain brings up the next-most-interesting processor and begins working on that problem instead. Often, I wake up at 5am to find that one processor has kicked out a solution to a problem and then it is impossible to go back to sleep. Sometimes I can’t sleep because the processors are occupied with such interesting...

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My New Work Colleagues

Last month, I took a new position as Director of Learning and Innovation for Area9 – they build personalized learning software and learning simulations (e.g. LearnSmart, SmartBook, and SmartLabs). In this new position I am something of a learning software ninja. I propose, improve, design, spec, manage, test, and document new software features. I get to follow features and improvements from conception to completion and it is super fun!  I even write a little code here and there, which I haven’t done seriously since I was a chemist (a long long time ago when I was just out of college). I...

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Momentary Lapse of Memory

I feel like I’ve been in life free-fall all summer.  I didn’t begin the summer intending to quit teaching, change jobs, and move 1000 miles away, but that’s what I did, and it still catches me off-guard sometimes. It’s amazing how rooted your brain can become in patterns of behavior.  I keep having these momentary lapses of memory, especially when I travel.  I’ll wake up in a strange hotel room and my brain will begin searching for the “teaching tasks” I have to do (paper grading, class prep, test writing), and then all of a sudden I will have...

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New Chapter: Life Reboot

For the last year, I’ve felt this yearning to do something different. I’ve been a full-time faculty member for a decade now, teaching many of the same courses semester after semester after semester after … yeah, well, you get it. A series of conferences and events in the last 6 months has made me realize that my “alignment” between my passions and my job was off.  I attended the UpToAllOfUs un-conference in February, and felt a strong pull to do something different, something more amazing.  I attended the TEDxSummit in April, and coming back to work was like a...

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Self Evaluation: List of Fives

Whenever I hire a new assistant, I have a list of questions I ask to get a feel for how we can best work together.  I want to make sure I take advantage of their strengths and provide them the opportunity for growth.  I think that good working relationships are developed when each person’s skills are valued and when they can learn about the things that they enjoy. So, I’ve developed my “List of Fives” to feel out the strengths and growth areas for someone I’m going to work with, and I try to use it to help us...

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