What I’ve Learned Teaching Online

I’ve taught for the USC School of Architecture for seven years, all of it online. When I started, I was an outlier. I’ve become one of many online instructors, lecturers, and professors. My students have consistently surprised me, year by year. Some semesters, they are lively and willing to get into conversations. Other students are feeling disconnected from their peers and teachers. The pandemic has brought out the strengths and weaknesses of all of us, and of teaching online.

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For those who like Field Notes, this should give you a laugh. Heavy Duty Notes


The Lost Daughter, 2021 - ★★★★

My nine-year-old son is turning into a good interviewer. His podcast is on episode four.

I don’t like it when apps sell my own data back to me

Cleverly selling your data back to you

I was shocked to read in the excellent book, Click Here to Kill Everybody, about a defibrillator company that measures your heart and owns the data. What??, I thought. You don’t control your own data? But then I found out this is more often the case than not. The popular running and exercise app Strava, for example, holds back some of the data it collects about you in the free version.

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2022 and Beyond: A Manifesto for the New Year

The future is still ours to envision. No one can take that away. We have an obligation to think past next week and next month and next year, and envision the future that will be lived by the many generations who will come after us. This is a hopeful, and hopefully not naive view, given that we are looking down the barrel of a climate disaster and the social unrest that will come along with it.

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Happy New Year, everyone! 🎆

Currently reading: The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown 📚 My son will be taking this to school on Monday, so I have to read fast.

500 Words Newsletter: The Beginning of 2022

The Beginning of 2022 Greetings! It has been raining in solid gray sheets of water for days here in Southern California, a rare event. Since I moved here, some 30 years ago, I’ve always viewed rain as a special signifier. So I’m assuming this abundance of rain means that 2022 will be a good year. Thanks Thanks to all who gave me notes on my Surrender novel. It’s so helpful to have all of your perspectives.

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Take care of each other.

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