Spencer writes in the library, part 19: Wrong way?

Written by: Spencer Greenhalgh

Primary Source: Spencer Greenhalgh


This episode of Spencer Writes in the Library took place Wednesday, November 5th around 8:15am.

The Spot

Where am I working today?

I am back to the first floor of the east wing of the MSU library. Today’s spot is along the windows facing north, out to the Beaumont tower.

What’s a perk of this spot?

Fantastic view! This is especially true this time of year, since there are still a few colored leaves on the trees to turn this into a truly autumnal landscape.

What’s a problem with this spot?

There’s a “wrong way” sign in this landscape that’s just blocked in the picture I’ve included above but is visible when I’m sitting and working there. My complaint isn’t that the sign is ruining my view; I just imagine that in the feverish throes of reading and writing, I might not see a traffic sign so much as a doubt-inducing omen about whether I’m headed in the right direction on that particular paper.

What have I learned in this spot?


Foreign language reference materials! I’m a big fan of looking things up on the French Wikipédia when I really want to get a Francophone perspective on things – MSU has an impressive collection of reference works in other languages, meaning that I could do the same thing here if I wanted to.

How would I rate this spot?

5 out of 5 dentists. (Why dentists?)

The Work

What am I working on today?

Trying to squeeze every last page that I can out of my interlibrary loan book before it’s due today.

What’s the highlight from today’s work?

I read a really interesting chapter that discussed using games as the thought experiments that are often used in ethics education. This actually describes pretty well how I would like to use games in ethics (and history, civics, etc.) classrooms, so I imagine that I’ll be coming back to this chapter soon. I’ve also noted a couple of references that I can use to read about the use of thought experiments so that I can explore that body of literature to inform my own work.

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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.