Putting Studio Time AsideMost years I spend nearly all my summer weekdays working in my clay studio at home. This is my main time to get sculpture built and prepare for shows during the year. Also, this work refreshes me for the coming academic year.
|I did glaze a bit before settling down to do some online work|
Other Responsibilities this Summer
Union DutiesThis spring I took over as union president for the AFT faculty union on my campus. As union president there is some stuff that ends up on my plate naturally, stuff like meeting with faculty groups and representing faculty in disagreements (major or minor) with administration. This year I am also researching and organizing a group of faculty to prepare for the contract negotiations that will take place next year. The work is important, though it isn't fun, relaxing, or refreshing in the way studio time is and it doesn't lend itself to sharing publicly at this point.
Interactive Lessons for Art HistoryOver the 2018-19 academic year I took on the daunting, but rewarding, task of "gamifying" my online Art History series. Since I only have so much control over the learning management system, the game elements are not quite as seamless as I had initially hoped, but with game play (and student learning) in mind, I redesigned the classes to feature interactive lessons in SoftChalk.
|I also made a character "Art Student" who is meant to travel with the students on their journey.|
|I made achievement badges for the Ancient & Medieval class, but I'm not sure anyone cared about them, so I didn't bother for the Spring class.|
|Interactive map plan for the Clay Safety lesson|
|Did the SoftChalk lessons result in improved results in the clay classes? I'm going to just say yes.|
|planning calendars and todo lists for the online classes|
Of course I am not spending my entire summer working. My family also has three significant trips planned. Last week my daughter and I were in New Hampshire visiting my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew at their house. We had a lovely time watching carpenter ants at the Museum of Science in Boston (and then getting hailed on!), playing board games in Manchester, and visiting Flume Gorge in the White Mountains.
|An epic paper airplane afternoon|
|The kids getting absolutely wild with their sparklers (both fearless pyromaniacs as you can see)|
|the family trolling other hikers in the White Mountains|
|beach glass and shell collection, properly sorted|
Later this month the whole family is traveling to London! My daughter is very excited. It will be the first time she and her dad have been out of North America. It will be my second trip to London, but the first in nearly 20 years. I spent J-term (January 1 month class) my second year in college in London taking an education class. We spent nearly all of our time in London and had lots of free time to explore. It was great and I anticipate it will be great again this time. We already have our tickets to see the Harry Potter stuff at the Warner Bros Studio Tour and a mile-long list of other things we want to do there, too.
|this month: real Harry Potter, not just Wizards Unite|
Our last summer trip is one we've planned tentatively but we've done nothing to make it official (like booked a hotel). The plan is, assuming we still have energy in August, to drive down through Oregon to the northern part of California and see the redwoods. My daughter has never been to California and Sean and I have only ever been to San Diego.