Thursday, October 15, 2009

What happens when I can't stop typing (long post)

Thanks for your warm wishes about my class!

It all went very well. I experienced a few minor technical difficulties before the class began but found workarounds. The assistant director gave me a fantastic introduction ("she's our most creative staff member...don't expect anything this fun from the rest of us for the remainder of our series of talks...") I liked looking at everyone's faces while they were selecting answers on their remotes: puzzlement or smug satisfaction were the two ends of the spectrum.

The evaluations came back very positive--100% would "strongly agree" that they would recommend my session to a coworker. Most everyone said the part they liked the best about the class was using the iclickers, learning new tricks, seeing the examples or some combination thereof. And it was fun to see how the class answered as a whole. For the last question, 8 people answered a and 8 people answered b. It confirmed just how much confusion there was surrounding that particular topic. So if you teach or train, I highly recommend the iclicker system. Although I didn't use this feature, it does have a way to display at the end who had the most correct answers, which is touted as a motivator for students. But as you know, I gave everyone goodie bags.

MaryNanna hypothesized what went wrong with my jacket/shirt. I'm going to rip out that facing and try it again. We'll see how it goes. She is such a gifted writer and humorist!

Antoinette asked how I use google maps to calculate distances. Here goes my non-screenshot, very laid back tutorial:
a. log on to google with your acct information
b. go to
c. search for your starting point
d. click on the "my maps" link ( a new bar may appear on the left, but I ignore it)
e. in the map itself, you'll get some new icons, one of which looks like a squiggly line (gah, wish i had snag-it installed on my netbook). Click on the arrow on the squiggly line button
f. i select "draw a line" option. if you're jogging along roads, you can do the "draw a line around roads" option. since I go "off road" by crossing a foot bridge, i choose the former.
g. i then click on/near my starting point, then start clicking around my route. it displays the distance.
h. i trace out my whole route, and then click on the point that started my route. it then becomes a full "route". A box pops up on the map, where you can create a name and enter details about your route and save it to your maps. The total distance is also displayed.

Because of it, I discovered;
*most of my neighborhood walks are ~2 miles, but lately I've been doing 2.5 miles
*walking from my desk into town and back during work is a 1 mile trip
*the lightning that struck and destroyed a nearby condo building this past summer? that was only 1/3 of a mile away!!!!

I'm taking tomorrow off. It's raining a lot. I need to stay home and clean up my house because I have a friend staying over tomorrow night. It was a coincidence that I'm taking tmw off. I didn't intentionally take tmw off to clean!

My back has been feeling a lot better this past week--I still have pain but it feels a lot different and a lot "lighter". It's been 9 months so I am grateful for some relief--I now have minutes without back pain. One of my coworkers said I seem "normal" again--she used to pick things up off the floor for me, and she saw me struggle to tie my boots, to point at something on a monitor screen, plug in the computer, and all those kinds of things that I took for granted 9 months and 1 day ago. Now I have been getting headaches at night, though. Last night, it woke me up at 1am. It was one of those pounding, splitting headaches. I broke down and took Aleeve. I went 6 weeks and 2 days without taking Aleeve. Sigh. My knees have good days and bad days but the bad days aren't really so bad.

Are you still reading this? ;)


  1. It wasn't so long! and it was good to hear about your class, sounds like it was a real success. Also I imagine that the iclickers are a good way to find out how people really know :)

    Btw there is a Firefox extension called SureShot that you can install to take screenshots. But I don't know if it lets you crop etc like Snagit does.

    And glad to hear you have "most improved back" :)

  2. Glad your class went so well! Sounds like a great success. I've toyed with the idea of clickers, but haven't yet gone the distance and begun the process to start using them.

    Also, glad your back is feeling better. I'm sure it's a big relief.

    And lastly, here's another option for mapping running/walking routes that you can do off road and also in some areas has elevation maps!

  3. Thanks for the directions! Believe it or not, I'd "googled" for instructions before you posted, and I couldn't find an explanation! It's like a hidden gem. I found other distance calculators that used maps but none were quite so simple to use as Google Maps'.

    Your class sounds like a lot of fun! Glad it went great. I have 4 days of training to deliver this week. No iclickers for us, but maybe next time. :)


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