Spencer writes in the library, part 29: Hot and cold.

Written by: Spencer Greenhalgh

Primary Source: Spencer Greenhalgh


This episode of Spencer Writes in the Library took place Thursday, February 5th around 9:30am.

The Spot

Where am I working today?

I’m continuing my exploration of the south side of the second floor of the west wing of the library. This time, I’m tucked right up against the south wall, with a perfect view of the stadium.

What’s a perk of this spot?

Once the sun got high enough in the sky, it was nice and warm! However…

What’s a problem with this spot?

Until the sun got high enough in the sky, it was kind of chilly being right by the window.

What have I learned in this spot?


I found out what some of the microfilm is for! There are decades of newspapers preserved in some of the cabinets back here. It would be really interesting to go through some of them one day.

How would I rate this spot?

5 out of 5 dentists. (Why dentists?)

The Work

What am I working on today?

Stats, stats, stats. I made it through factor analysis today and started reading about hierarchical regression.

What’s the highlight from today’s work?

One of the side benefits of this practicum is going to be a greater knowledge of the statistical package R. Even though I made some good progress on puzzling out statistical techniques today, what I got most excited about was a particular R package that lets you work with XML documents. All of my data for this project is currently in a bunch of XML docs that are accessible through a website’s API; even though I’ve figured out how to get all of this from XML to a Google Sheet, I think it would be handy to know how to get it straight into R for further analysis.

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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.