Spencer writes in the library, part 33: The spring break edition.

Written by: Spencer Greenhalgh

Primary Source: Spencer Greenhalgh


Well, I finally missed a week. I spent all of last week at the SITE Conference in Las Vegas and didn’t quite make it to a library. I gave a fair amount of thought to doing a special edition of “Spencer writes in the casino,” but I ultimately didn’t get around to my practicum last week. I am writing this post during spring break, though, so that must count for something!

This episode of Spencer Writes in the Library took place Thursday, March 12th around 2:00pm.

The Spot

Where am I working today?

In keeping with my theme of exploring some of the hidden niches of the west wing, I’ve gone up to the fourth floor to try to find a new spot up here.

What’s a perk of this spot?

Well, being in the fine arts section of the library does make me feel kind of classy.

What’s a problem with this spot?

I don’t know much about the fine arts, so that feeling kind of goes away quickly. Plus, I don’t think I’ve quite found the hidden depths of this part of the library. There aren’t the kind of desks that I’ve grown to appreciate on lower floors, and I’m not a huge fan of working at tables.

What have I learned in this spot?


I did get to flip through a few pages of a book on M. C. Escher, which was kind of cool. I really should have taken the time to learn more about Escher and his art, but just seeing the pictures was still nice.

How would I rate this spot?

2 out of 5 dentists. (Why dentists?)

The Work

What am I working on today?

Well, shortly before leaving for Vegas, I met with a statistics consultant, so I’m finally working on polishing up my practicum proposal so that I can send it to my committee!

What’s the highlight from today’s work?

I spent a lot of today reading about principal component analysis, since that’s one of the steps I’m taking in my statistical analysis. I have a statistics book with a chapter on this, but despite reading through this before, it’s still somewhat fuzzy to me, so this is going to take some hard work to master. My major breakthrough today was a question that kept nagging me for quite some time about sample size. I’m looking at reviews of games, and I needed to figure out whether I wanted individual reviews to be the unit of analysis or whether individual games would work better. I think I’ve figured it out, though, so I’m looking forward to taking my next steps.

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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.