Spencer writes in the library, part 28: Je m’en microfiche.

Written by: Spencer Greenhalgh

Primary Source: Spencer Greenhalgh

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This episode of Spencer Writes in the Library took place Thursday, January 29th around 3:00pm.

The Spot

Where am I working today?

I’m on the south-ish side of the second floor of the west wing of the library. There are a few rooms back here that I’ve never really noticed before — I’m sitting at a row of desks that I currently have all to myself.

What’s a perk of this spot?

Well, it seems like most people have never really noticed this area before. It’s nice and quiet compared to a lot of places that I’ve explored on this floor.

What’s a problem with this spot?

No water fountain nearby. I’m not trusting enough to leave my laptop/stand/keyboard setup just waiting around while I go get some water, and I’m too lazy to pack the whole thing up, go get a drink, and come back. I got really thirsty this afternoon and wished that there had been a water fountain within line of sight of my things.

What have I learned in this spot?

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The library has shelves of microfilm back here, which is pretty cool. I’ve never used microfilm myself, and one of the only things I’ve heard about it being used for is for genealogical research. I didn’t find out what these were for, but it caught my eye to see them all back here.

How would I rate this spot?

5 out of 5 dentists. (Why dentists?)

The Work

What am I working on today?

I’m still working on figuring out some of the statistical tests that I want to use for my practicum project. I started reading up on factor analysis, since that’s something I’ve considered using, but didn’t get very far.

What’s the highlight from today’s work?

Well, I don’t know that I’d call it a highlight, but the big takeaway from today’s practicum work is that it’s important to have a “practicum day” set aside. It’s also important to make that a whole day and to start that day right away. The past few weeks have kept me busy getting ready for the upcoming SITE conference, and today was the deadline for proceedings files. That meant that I was scurrying to get several things done that I didn’t get to yesterday, so my “practicum day” didn’t start until 3:00pm. By that time, my brain was so frazzled that I couldn’t really concentrate on statistics, so not much got done today. I can try to fit in practicum stuff tomorrow and over the weekend, but I’m going to have to learn to have a set day to work on this project if I’m going to get it done on time.

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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.