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Archive for May, 2009

Date Night: The New Star Trek Movie

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Husband and I enjoyed a Date Night last night; we went to see the new Star Trek Movie! It was really a lot of fun – I recommend it!

I am a sci-fi lover from way back, having grown up on Heinlein, Herbert, Clarke, Vonnegut, Orwell, Bradbury, etc. We watched Star Trek when it came on once a week in the 1960s and on through each of the movies and spinoffs. Of course, the original Star Trek covered many social issues of the day, sometimes making it fall flat with today’s viewers. It’s the old, “you had to be there” to “get it.” We were exited to see that J.J. Abrams would direct the Star Trek prequel. I admit right here in public that I am a LOSTAHOLIC. We (husband, son, me) have seen every LOST and actually discuss it!

Now that your nerd-ar (like radar) has been activated, let me tell you about the new Star Trek movie. It was a lot of fun, seeing how they developed the characters and kept them true to not only the original characters, but also the nuances of the original actors. You could almost see younger versions of William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, and Nichelle Nichols. The actors did a grand job channelling these icons’ personalities and idiosyncrasies. As the story unfolds, things make sense (if you know the Star Trek legacy).

I wrote a review of the movie, here’s a link: The New Star Trek Movie Captures the Essence of Our Favorite Characters

Be cautioned – lots of spoilers in the review! So if you haven’t seen the movie you might want to let it unfold without reading the review. But come back and re-read my review and let me know if I captured it right.

So after the movie, pizza and a beer. And of course a visit over at GameStop for a used PS3 game for Husband. We had a great time, taking a break from life, school, teaching, writing, etc.

I’m refreshed and this morning settling down to write lesson plans for week 2 of GEN200 at the University of Phoenix (Richmond). But still thinking about Star Trek – it’s one of those movies that you walk out of and say, I want to see that one again!

Distance learning educators can network by joining a DL group on LinkedIn

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

If you are a distance learning educator, consider joining some of the DL groups on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a networking site for professionals across many fields. You can find others with similar interests or in the same career field and collaborate through messaging and group membership.

After joining, create a profile by posting your resume, summarizing your professional accomplishments and job history. You determine how much information you want to show in this very public manner. You can then begin to build your network and link to others by contacting them through the website.

Joining a LinkedIn group is one way to extend your professional network by making contacts with individuals outside of your first level of contacts (people you know personally). LinkedIn Groups have a forum in which members can post questions or comments. Forum discussions are private as group membership is required.

After setting up your profile, use the “search groups” drop down box at the top right side of the page. Try the word “adjunct” in the search box and 26 groups are found with this term in the group description. The search term “distance learning” returned 69 results, “e-learning” returned 247 results, “online education” returned 161 results, and “distance education” returned 40 results. Of course, you may want to find groups closer to your specific subject interest, university alma mater, or employer.

It is easy to join or un-join a group if you discover the update emails are too frequent or if you do not sense a good fit. LinkedIn does not permit solicitation emails from groups, so do not be concerned that you will be asked to join other groups if you join one group. You may even create your own group to stay in touch with your colleagues.

Distance learning educators and professionals can build their professional network simply by creating a profile and joining groups on LinkedIn. DL educators understand the connecting power of the internet. Using sites like LinkedIn to find like-minded individuals and using groups to discuss current topics is an effective way to network and build your professional profile.

LinkedIn Home Page (to sign up)
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thinkPhD’s LinkedIn profile

Books in Hand

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

I have the texts for RSH9101B, which will officially start on June 1st and end on August 24th. Here are the titles:

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. ISBN: 9781412965576  

Zikmund, W. (2003). Business research methods. Mason,OH: Thomson/South-Western   ISBN: 9780030350849

I did not want to take a chance on used books so I ordered new from Barnes & Noble. The Creswell text was $44.95 and the Zikmund text was $163.96, and shipping was free. I have purchased mostly used books up until now.

It’s daunting to think that I am truly at this point in my education. I never thought that I would have the opportunity to work on a PhD because of my life circumstances. It’s my birthday this month, so I suppose that beginning the research phase on my 50th birthday ought to be a celebration of my life. My family has been such an encouragement to me to continue this path. As a mother, I hope that my children can see the rewards of my efforts. I hope that one day, they will also choose to continue their education as far as possible.

Next: (drum roll please) RSH9101B

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

I am finally at the RSH phase of my journey. I will begin RSH9101B on June 1st, and have been assigned Dr. R for the course. It’s time to reflect back on this journey and place a marker in the ground…yes, I was here! I am nervous about this next step because of all the horror stories I have heard. I am also concerned because I have several ideas for a dissertation, but nothing has gelled yet. I am hoping to find direction in this course. I need focus and so far have not found it.

While I am waiting for the course to begin, I am reading dissertations to understand more about how they are constructed. It seems there is a lot of variability in the scope and subject matter difficulty. Some are very technical and others are weak, to say the least. I will continue to read and may highlight some here. I may start taking off a few days each month to work on my papers. I work best when I can work all day on a project rather than start and stop.

This week we are going to visit relatives and so my reading and writing will suffer. However, I will jump back in next week!