Friday, January 15, 2010

Long Overdue Random Brain Dump

Made an important baby step towards greater acceptance of "fun" and "games" in my eLearning tutorials.

Behold! My tutorial doppelganger!



Thank you South Park Character Creator.

Thus far, the tutorial I created with these characters have gotten rave reviews.

Best comment that came back to me was from the director 3 levels up (1 step below the Main Muck)

Not only was that fun, but I GOT IT!!!!

If THAT'S not a ringing endorsement for what I do, I don't know what is.

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I'm finding that the merging of professional and personal within my network is improving the quality of life.

- The valuable conversations I've been having (via voice and social media, probably to be followed by a face-to-face sometime soon) with BJ and Aaron regarding goals and growth.

- Personal friends from the wayback machine who use their professional expertise to help me solve problems. Yes, the same people I did beer bongs with back in the day. It's pretty satisfying to realize that we have (despite ourselves) managed to amount to something.

I am very grateful and never cease to be amazed at the richness of my network.

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Yesterday, I spent quality time at the gym working on snatches.

Here's a video to give you idea of what I was trying to do.

Jon, the coach for the session, watched the most spectacular failure yet as I attempted to lift 52lbs (absolutely NOTHING compared to what most of the beasts in the gym do) and found myself flat on my back with the barbell slowly rolling towards the front of the gym.

I expected to be more mortified as I lay on the floor staring at the ceiling and wondering how I got there. The way Jon saw it, there was a lot of positive to take away from the spectacular failure.

- I was getting under the bar quickly.

- The form was better than I had thought. Apparently, I was keeping the barbell close to the body. This is a good thing and a problem I've been having with all of my olympic lifts.

- The fact that I was working on a movement that scares me and allowing failure was a step in the right direction. Jon knows that all of the overhead moves scare the heck out of me. 7 months into this craziness and I'm only slightly more comfortable than I was when I started. At least I know the vocabulary now. A process that only took 3 months.

Remember - it's a process. And the lift is very technical. Plus it's scary to have that much weight over your head.

Powerful words coming from a man who qualified for Nationals last year.

And though that day was not one of my better workouts (by a longshot), I took more away from it than I have in a long time.
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Still thinking about goals and have come to the conclusion that this may be the year to focus on the personal.

That said, one word keeps coming up as I think about my professional development.

Design.

Not just "Instructional" design - but aesthetics. Elegant solutions.

I'm gonna toy with that for a bit.

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6 comments:

Tom said...

I've been focusing on the personal over the past half-year or so. While the accomplishments are good (Extra class ham license, 17th century black powder re-enactor, etc.), my wife is not impressed.

Wendy said...

Actually, those are both pretty cool accomplishments. And I can see both coming in mighty handy if Armageddon comes.

I'm seeing a lot of bleed between the personal and professional. Improvements in personal accomplishments seem to be carrying over into my professional life and vice versa.

Again - still thinking about all this.

Judy said...

Hi, Wendy! I'm catching up on blogs and such -- even my beloved ID blogs have fallen by the wayside in the last few months -- and wanted to say I'm focusing a little more on aesthetics these days too. Elegance in appearance as well as elegance in functionality... I've found over and over in the last couple of years that attractiveness really does affect how my bosses see my work, and more importantly, how my learners see my work (and therefore, the attitudes they have about what they're being forced to learn).

Anyway, just stumbled across this somewhat-related post... hope you enjoy. http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2006/03/code_like_a_gir.html

Judy said...

By the way, did you use the South Park Character Creator to create a learning agent (in-CBT "teacher") or different characters within the course? This is an area of interest for me... details, please! :D

Wendy said...

In this case - I used South Park character creator to create different characters. In this case - caracatures (sp?) of my co-workers. I was using a "real life" example to explain a potentially difficult concept. They really got a kick out of it. Even more interesting - the resulting video went "viral" before it officially went through the bureaucratic approval process.

Because the intro was so well received - I am using the same characters in the rest of the tutorials in the series. Looking forward to seeing how these are received and whether they improve retention vs. my usual style.

Judy said...

Interesting... thank you!