slowing down

So much for posting daily, huh? I was waylaid last night by a scintillating scotoma, which is way more fun to say or write than it is to experience. I have this happen once or twice a year, and it disturbs my vision for about half an hour, but then leaves me feeling exhausted, queasy, and occasionally dizzy for another 12-24 hours.

Today was the first day that I tried to give a fairly traditional lecture in class–talking about quantitative and qualitative methods of research. It was not particularly well-received, and it didn’t take more than about five minutes before I’d clearly lost 80% of the students to whatever game or social media was on their screens. I was feeling crappy enough that I just gave up after an hour and cut them loose; there didn’t seem to be much point in requiring them to sit there if they weren’t really getting anything out of it.

I’m going to have to really think about how to make these classes more about interaction and less about lecture. Easier said than done, really, since there’s not much I can draw on from others in terms of non-lecture, non-video activities. I hate that I’m going to be relying a lot on videos, but on the other hand they’re things that are genuinely interesting and relevant, and I suspect the students will remember more about a Google user experience researcher telling them about methods used to collect data than they will about me telling them the exact same thing.

On the home front, we seem to have acquired a new friend on our 2nd-story balcony.

kitty

She’s quite lovely, with one green eye and one blue eye, and an irrepressibly affectionate personality. She was there yesterday morning, and again this morning when I got up–although Alex says she wasn’t there last night when he watched a thunderstorm over the Adriatic (it was a big one–the thunder woke me several times), or this afternoon.

Tonight when I went out to retrieve my candleholder from the deck so I could have it on the table where I was working, I found her nestled on a cushion on the bench. I have a strong suspicion that she’s pregnant–she seems healthy but has a large, firm belly with very visible nipples. I’m hoping she doesn’t decide our balcony is where she needs to give birth, since I’m not really prepared to take on a new family right now. (And she seems well fed and groomed, so I suspect she’s got other places to call home around here.) We’ll see, I guess.

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