It’s definitely been far too long since I’ve been writing here. Life has been crazy, but quite wonderful at the same time. I recently finished my final season of collegiate swimming, bringing my fifteen years as a competitive swimmer to an end for now. I haven’t managed to stay away from the pool, however; it still remains an integral part of my workout.
I’ve also been hard at work on a variety of projects.
Mentored Advanced Project
(In case you are just joining me, I’ve been working on an independent project to place historical maps and pictures onto the current campus by designing and programming an application for mobile devices.) This has probably been one of the most exciting and fulfilling challenges I’ve had the pleasure to work on. Not only have I been using tons of historical research skills in digging through archives and maps, but I’ve gotten a chance to use the training from my Value Sensitive Design class in designing and reworking my prototypes. Alongside using the traditional education, I’ve been dipping my toes into alternative education by using the well-regarded Codecademy to learn the programming skills necessary to complete the app. I’ve really enjoyed the discussion this dual-education has sparked between my adviser (Sarah Purcell) and I. With the education world currently atwitter (ok, bad pun) about technology and social media in regards to education, it’s enjoyable to be exploring a rather new area of learning.
I’ve been wanting to write a cookbook for just about forever now, and am finally doing it! SPARC, the committee in charge of distributing funds to aspiring publication projects, has decided to fund my endeavor to create a “cookbook” based on the Dining Hall. I’ve written a column for the past few years on creative eating in the Dining Hall, and am looking forward to developing a set of recipes for this cookbook from past successes and new experiments. It’s a bit of a challenge, as there is a relatively small range of constant ingredients and the only cooking surfaces open to direct student use are a microwave, toaster, and toaster oven, but I’ve had a great deal of fun and success over my four years here, and can’t wait to put my ideas into print.
Creative writing/ Photography/ Artistic Endeavors
I’ve decided to set aside time almost every day for a little bit of creative work. I’ve found it helps me relax and work better, plus the results are something I can enjoy later. I’ve been spending my Tuesday and Thursday mornings doing pottery in the student ceramic studio, which has been so much fun. It’s been really enjoyable getting back into throwing, which I used to do in high school almost daily. I’ve also been taking pictures of Grinnell’s campus; it may be blisteringly cold, but it sure is beautiful. (Check out the pictures below!) My latest, and newest creative endeavor is food writing exercises. I picked up an amazing book called Will Write For Food by Diane Jacob; it not only has fantastic advice and interviews, but Jacob offers a variety of enjoyable writing exercises at the end of each chapter. It’s been fun working my way through them and seeing different tweaks I can perform on my writing.