Spencer writes in the library, part 17: Missed call, missed opportunity?

Written by: Spencer Greenhalgh

Primary Source: Spencer Greenhalgh


This episode of Spencer Writes in the Library took place Tuesday, October 28th around 1:00pm.

The Spot

Where am I working today?

Today, I’m in the basement, just barely within the east wing.

What’s a perk of this spot?

It’s public, but not too public. There’s a fair amount of space here, so I don’t feel like I’m tucked away in a corner. At the same time, though, it’s not one of the big, open spaces up on the main floor, so I don’t feel like I’m surrounded by people. Plus, since we’re in the quiet zone, there’s not a lot of noise going on.

What’s a problem with this spot?

It’s hard to think of any complaints unique to this spot. Electrical outlets are few and far between, and I’m still not a fan of working at tables instead of desks, but with a fully-charged laptop, I think I’d definitely come back here.

What have I learned in this spot?


The MSU Library has help phones! I can’t remember if I’ve seen these anywhere else, but this is definitely the first time I’ve paid attention to one. Is it a “help, the library is on fire” kind of phone? Or more of a “help, I can’t find an oversized book on the Ottoman Empire” kind of phone?

The phone also rang at one point while I was working here. For all I know, it was a call to adventure, a call from a secret band of librarians who needed my help to save the world, but I didn’t answer it, so I’ll never know.

How would I rate this spot?

6 out of 5 dentists. (Why dentists?)

The Work

What am I working on today?

In MSU’s EdPsych/EdTech program, second year students have to complete a research practicum so that they can get some practical, independent experience with research. I’m hoping to build on previous work I’ve done and explore the relationship between player enjoyment of educational games and specific game features of those games.

What’s the highlight from today’s work?

Today, I finally got around to looking up an article on the concept of media enjoyment that I’ve seen pop up a few times in studies on games and enjoyment. It turns out that this one article is actually just one part of an entire special issue on media enjoyment from the Journal of Communication Theory. This felt like a gold mine: I had an entire issue of a journal to help me think about the construct that I’m measuring! I’m sure that will make up for whatever opportunities I missed by not answering the help phone when it called.

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Hi there! My name is Spencer Greenhalgh, and I am a student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology doctoral program at Michigan State University. I came to Michigan State University with a strong belief in the importance of an education grounded in the humanities. As an undergraduate, I studied French and political science and worked as a teaching assistant in both fields. After graduation, I taught French, debate, and keyboarding in a Utah private school before coming to MSU, where I plan to study how technology can be used to help students connect the humanities with their lives. I have a particular interest in the use of games and simulations to promote ethical reasoning and explore moral dilemmas, but am eager to study any technology that can help students see the relevance of studying language, culture, history, and government.