Helping Hand

Basic Guidelines for Using Version Control

Personal projects:

Just a note, these are more git based notes. You can only commit changes locally with git. That means you have to push things to the repository with other version control, which you don’t always, or can (say, if the internet is down) do. Even when my team uses a different version control system (like SVN), I still use git t control my local changes.

  • Make lots of small commits. Commit even, or especially, after small changes that work so that when you go through and refractor everything you don’t end up losing that small change when you have to revert. There’ll be times when something just like this will happen to you and you’ll wonder why it doesn’t work anymore because you didn’t commit that one small change! Trust me: commit small, commit often
  • Commit before a major change. Often times while coding you come across times when you know that
  • ALWAYS MAKE A COMMENT WITH YOUR COMMIT AND YOUR PUSHES. Sure you know now the reason. You won’t 30 commits down the line and when it comes time that you need to look up this commit, your comment on the commit is going to save you a butt-load of time.
  • MAKE THE COMMENT MEANINGFUL! Seriously, don’t make stupid comments unless they are coupled with a real reason. I don’t care if it’s “Iteration 15: tried -20 instead of -15”. COMMENT SMART! Seriously! Especially if it’s a working version before a big change, “Simple working version. Commit before adding more sophisitication.” You can even let yourself (and your team) know when a commit isn’t quite there, “Not a working version, but need to refractor and want to commit before the big change.” COMMENT, COMMENT, COMMENT SMART!!
  • Branch often! This isn’t something someone using source control like perforce or SVN (do people still use SVN?) would tell you to do because the cost of branching in other version control systems is high. However in git it’s simple and this is where the power of git comes in. Keep separate branches for your master (the working, stable, version of your code), development, testing, and hot fixes. Branches for testing and hot fixes can be made and deleted as often as you need them and as soon as you are done with them. Branch away!
  • Practice branching and merging on projects you don’t care about. As simple as git makes it to branch and merge, you can seriously mess some things up if you do it wrong. Purposely create merge conflicts (edit the same file in the same place on two different branches) and try resolving them. See if it turns out the way you really want. Do it lots of different times so that you’re sure if a merge conflict ever occurs in the future (which it will, especially when working with people who don’t understand how to manage large projects) you’ll be confident in your skillz to resole the issue.
  • Push to the repository. You may not necessarily need to do this for your own personal projects, yet if you work on different computers it’s really nice to be able to pull down the latest from the repository which is quick, rather than having to transfer files between the computers which can take a significant amount of time especially for large projects. You can always sign up for a free account on assembla.com, github.com, or bitbucket, to start practicing. REMEMBER TO COMMENT!
  • Commit small changes locally, but only push working versions to the repository. This is true especially when working with a team. Yet that doesn’t mean there won’t be bugs, it just means that you don’t push code you haven’t at least partially vetted to the repository.
  • The exception: you have local work that isn’t vetted that you need to be able to access on a different computer and you gotta go. Create a branch on the repository to push those changes to. Merge them back into the working branch once you’ve fixed any issues
  • The second exception: you need help resolving the problem. This one gets a bit into the next section (workng with a team), but again, create a branch on the repository and have your buddy check that branch out. Resolve the issue using that branch, then merge it back into the working branch.
  • Practice reverting. There will come a time, lots of times, when you’ll need to revert changes you’ve made. That’s the beauty of version control at it’s heart: to get back to a working version when you need it! And now that you can branch and merge it’s the perfect time to learn how to revert. Make a bunch of branches (try making them from different commits you’ve already made), make and commit changes you don’t want, and practice reverting. This includes resetting from uncommited changes, and reverting to a lower down commit.

With a team

  • ALWAYS MAKE A COMMENT WITH YOUR COMMITS AND PUSHES! Sure you know now the reason why, but how the heck would Suzy Day or George Film know? For that matter how the heck would you know why they’ve committed and pushed? ALWAYS MAKE A COMMENT WITH YOUR COMMITS AND PUSHES! It will save you and them a butt-load of time and work. JUST DO IT! Also, you probably won’t remember in a day or two anyway. Just do it. Okay.
  • It’s best to avoid merge conflicts. When working with a team on a project the way you avoid conflicts is to not edit the same file at the same time. Communicate openly with your team on what files you’re editing and how you’re editing them. If you change a function’s parameters you better let your team know about asap. Pulled down a teammates file to edit it? Better let her know what you’re doing to it and why! You won’t know all the reasons why they did what they did. You’re working as a team because there’s too much to do alone. Ask before you change their code.
  • Be willing to compromise so you can avoid merge conflicts. You may  change how you’re handling things. If someone is unwilling to change you can either help them see how the change you want will make their code better and easier, or change your own.
  • Be willing to wait! If a teammate is editing a file you need, it’s still worth the wait to make avoid a merge conflict. Can’t wait? Create a new branch and make changes there. Merge their changes into your branch once they’ve pushed, and resolve the merge conflict. Once you vetted your code, then merge it back into your working branch, test and vet again, then merge into the repository.
  • Only push working code to the repository! That’s not to say that there may still be some bugs, but don’t screw over your team by not vetting out your code as much as you can before pushing it.
  • Bring your teammates that are unfamiliar with version control up to speed, and be nice about it! Show them how much easier their life will be when they do version control correctly and help them out when they have questions. It is a bunch to learn all at once. To get them started you can give them a link to this post and a copy of Pro git. Then go buy yourself a doughnut for being such a nice person. But really, in the end, it’ll benefit both of you, so buy them a doughnut too.

Good luck!

You’re not on your own though. You can always do an internet search for help with git or check out the version control guide here.

Game Dev Adventures!, Helping Hand

Quick Git Tag Reference Guide (Make, View, and Rename)

Here’s a quick reference to the basic git tag commands that I use frequently, but not frequent enough to always recall offhand. For a more detailed explanation of everything you need to know about the basics of git tags go here.

Basic Tag Commands

These will get you through most things you need for tags.

Make a new tag
git tag tag_name -a -m "message about tag" //creates the tag

View tags
git tag //will show list of tags
git show tag_name //lets you view information about the specified tag including the message

Share tags
git push origin tag_name //will push specified tag(s) to repo

Advanced: Renaming Tags

After creating several tags on a game we were making, I realized we should have added version numbers to the tags so we could visually identify when each tag was made by its version number. This meant renaming tags, pushing changes to the repo, and then having my teammates clean their local repos.

I garnered valuable information on renaming tags from this stack overflow.

1. Rename the tag

Simple tag (not annotated)
git tag new old
Annotated Tag
git tag -a new old^{}

2. Delete the old tag and push changes to the repo

Both kinds of tags:
git tag -d old
git push origin new :old

3. Have team members update their local repos

Have team members run this:
git pull --prune --tags

Git Pro

To be a git pro just start practicing with git. Here are resource links I recommend to get started with git. For convenience, this is the book I recommend: Git Pro, which I explain on the resource links page as well. (#ThanksForYourSupport #CommissionsEarned)

Ludology, Ph.D. Adventures!

Git Onboarding (Ph.D. Year 2, Spring Update 11)

TL; DR

Got a very rough skeleton of the simulation into GameMaker for Project CODE, Sarah is patiently waiting (she is working on other things though!) for me to get something more solid in for persons so she can make the resumes and interview games more dynamic. Onboarded Jialin with git basics, and coding/source control standards. Finished drawing diagrams and revisions for theory backdrop and added in some ideas for the discussion section of my SGD theory paper. Published the last weekly quiz for my class, now I need to decide what the final writeup will be and post instructions. 

Weekly Update Breakdown

Accomplishments Since Last Update

  • Writing (SGD theory)
    • Finished theory section revisions
    • Drew situatedness using a computation model
    • Added some ideas to the discussion section
    • NOTE: do NOT do complicated tables in LATEX! I wasted hours and it never got close to what I wanted it to look like! I finally just made a google doc and then took a screenshot. Much better!
  • Research (Project CODE)
    • Put in simulation skeleton in GameMaker
    • Onboarded Jialin with git basics, and coding/source control standards
      • For anyone interested, I have some basic git posts on my blog here.
  • Instruction
    • Finished last quiz!!!
  • Personal
    • I can hold a plank for 40 seconds. 🙂 

Next Week’s Tasks

  • Writing (SGD theory)
    • Complete revisions
    • Write discussion
  • Research (Project CODE)
    • Sarah needs the person objects programmed
  • Instruction
    • Catch up with grading (presentations)
  • Personal
    • Schedule self-care time (spa day!)
  • Executive
    • Continue weekly planning and dailies

Speed Bumps & Obstacles

  • Research (Project CODE)
    • Still learning GML
  • Instruction
    • Not sure what I want to have students do for final writeup…
Ludology, Ph.D. Adventures!

Guess Who’s in the Big Leagues Now? (Ph.D. Year 2, Spring Update 10)

TL; DR

Started a code structure plan for the simulation of Project CODE Switch with Dr. Cardona-Rivera (featured image). I got offered a position to teach again this fall! I will be teaching the second-year master’s students EAE 6330: Game Engineering III! 🥰 Wrote a syllabus draft for the course. Kept picking away at my SGD theory paper. Just two classes left until the end of the semester. I’m super excited about summer! 

Weekly Update Breakdown

Accomplishments

For anyone keeping track, I’ve now taught a senior-level undergraduate course and will be teaching a second-year master’s level course this fall. Look at me know! Ha ha! This is not to brag, I’m just really, really excited! It will also look really great on my CV.

Next Week’s Tasks

  • Writing (SGD theory)
    • Write discussion
    • Finish revisions
  • Research (Project CODE)
    • Complete code structure
    • Implement sim
  • Teaching
    • S2021
      • Create last quiz
      • Analyze quiz results of last couple quizzes
      • Decide on (if?) extra credit assignment
    • F2021
      • Complete syllabus draft/turn it in/get it approved. ☺️
  • Self-care dailies
    • Keep up at least a 5-minute daily exercise through the end of the semester

Speed Bumps & Obstacles

Just feeling a little short on time and a tiny bit overwhelmed!

Ph.D. Adventures!

Take Time to Celebrate (Ph.D. Year 2, Spring Update 9)

TL; DR

Slowly but surely getting through the revisions on my SGD paper and Project CODE Switch. Tired of writing quizzes and my TA is too. I’m also not happy that I had to fail a student this week, but it’s important to be firm because it’s fair. Been procrastinating my cardio workouts, so need to figure out how to improve motivation for that. Reading Atomic Habits by James Clear (#ThankYouForYourSupportCommissionsEarned) and I have started pairing my pomodoros with healthy rewards that can be accomplished in 5 minutes or less.

Weekly Update Breakdown

Accomplishments Since Last Update

  • Writing (SGD theory)
    • Came up with a name for my computational model which my advisor agreed to (for now. lol)
    • Drew out sFBS in terms of my new model
  • Research (Project CODE)
    • Set up coding/version control standards with Sarah (the team engineer) and came up with a plan for when to use objects vs scripts
    • Rogelio told me that I’m now Engineer Lead (that way Sarah and himself can focus on engineering, not organizing).  
  • Teaching
    • Had to fail a student which made me very sad, but Rogelio reassured me that it was good to be firm and fair.
  • Self-care dailies
    • I realized today that I have been associating my difficult cardio workouts with a negative, too difficult to complete attitude and pain in my lungs. And so every time cardio comes around I don’t workout for a few days. Need to change this mindset. New mindset about cardio: I get to improve my endurance and energy!
  • Executive
    • I have been reading Atomic Habits by James Clear, which is what made me aware of the previously mentioned association. The book is based on actual science to help you create good habits (and get rid of bad ones). I highly recommend! Even my brother is going to get it. 🙂
    • I hit a motivational wall. So I started doing pomodoros (25 min work, 5 min break). But then I started getting burnout. Realized I need to implement longer breaks after doing a couple, and I also need to respect the timer. When it goes off, I need to take a break.
  • Personal
    • Took time to celebrate my two-year anniversary with my husband. We took the Lady dog along. She liked getting to see all new doggies on our mini-vacay and we bought her a really cute Ladybug blanket. In fact, everything we bought on our vacay was for the doggo or the kiddos. lol.

Next Week’s Tasks

  • Writing (SGD theory)
    • Finish theory backdrop
    • Start sSGDT section (maybe even finish it too!)
  • Research (Project CODE)
    • Finish basic sim setup
    • Start hero pool
  • Teaching
    • Just two more quizzes to write!
  • Self-care dailies
    • Implement the new mindset. Perhaps I can reward myself with a bubble bath or shower melt after cardio!
  • Executive
    • Institute a longer 30 minute break after completing 3-4 pomodoros to keep motivation high
    • Use point and say (I forgot the exact terminology from Atomic Habits) to point out when I am procrastinating (or other bad habit) or on task (or doing a good habit).

Speed Bumps & Obstacles

  • Writing
    • The link to Dr. Rogelio’s writing log didn’t work. 😦
  • Research (Project CODE)
    • Lack motivation to program in GML.
  • Teaching
    • Lack motivation to write two more quizzes
  • Executive
    • I’m feeling burnout.
Ph.D. Adventures!

Getting Stuff Done (Ph.D. Year 2, Spring Update 8)

TL; DR

10 days in to the 14-day writing challenge. The extra accountability has really helped me burst through internal resistance I had to doing more revisions; I have accomplished a ton of work in the related works: dug through lots of paper citations and found core papers to cite. I also started writing a second paper that is positional and digging through the citations was key for me to start working on it (It has been on my mind for over two years now). As far as teaching: I’m sick of writing quizzes for my class, just two more to go though. Personally, I designed a layout for our laundry room and my husband has been putting that together. The new paint color is fab-u-lous!

Weekly Update Breakdown

Accomplishments Since Last Update

  • Writing (SGD theory)
    • Discovered a core paper to cite for chocolate broccoli by Amy Bruckman, who is, as far as I can tell, the person who first coined it (calling it chocolate-dipped broccoli). And… she was my favorite professor’s advisor! (I just can’t get away from Dr. Cardona-Rivera and Dr. Zagal! LOL!)
    • Started work on the theoretical backdrop revisions
  • Research (Project CODE)
    • Wrote up some coding standards and put them in the Game Maker notes. Need to go over with Sarah to implement.
    • Sarah made a readme → I put it in a note. 🙂
    • I’m bumbling my way through GameMaker, but I think I’ve got some things figured out. Haven’t merged yet with Sarah but will soon. I have been working on the sim. It’s mostly placeholder code for now, but will get us where we need to go I think.
  • Teaching
    • So sick of writing quizzes. Thank goodness my TA has been on the ball. One of my students has abandoned his team and isn’t even responding to me, so I might have to fail a student. So sad. 😦
  • Self-care
    • I am loving how our new laundry room is coming along! I love that I can draw up designs and my husband and can build it. So awesome. Will include pictures when done. 🙂
  • Executive
    • Completed the NCFDD’s core curriculum #3 on how to do a daily writing practice which I thought worked out great with the challenge I’m doing right now. I didn’t expect to learn anything, but I did. Glad I was open to doing it.
      • Added an end of week assessment which will aid in my weekly planning
      • Want to add a daily writing progress tracking.

Next Week’s Tasks

  • Writing (SGD theory)
    • I wanted to complete the revisions this week, but it looks like it will take me through til next week.
    • Track daily writing progress
  • Research (Project CODE)
    • Finish sim
    • Start on hero pool
  • Teaching
    • Quiz 12 this week, Quiz 13 next week.
  • Self-care
    • Continue with dailies
  • Executive
    • End of week assessment + weekly planning
  • Personal
    • Celebrate two-year anniversary with my honey 🙂

Speed Bumps & Obstacles

  • Research (Project CODE)
    • Might be good to have a coding sync meeting with Sarah. Probs 10 minutes or less
  • Teaching
    • Do I have to write quizzes? ;P
  • Executive/Writing
    • I would like to add a daily writing progress tracker. Wondering if Rogelio has one he could let me use, or knows where I could get one.
Ph.D. Adventures!

Had a Week (Ph.D. Year 2, Spring Update 7)

TL; DR

Personal life had a lot going on so it was difficult finding time to work on other tasks. Was invited to and attended a leadership conference. I am four days into a 14-day writing challenge with NCFDD. So far so good. Got the related works section. There’s a lot of work left in that section. Rogelio believes I’ll be ready to do my written qualifiers THIS fall (2021, not 2022). It’s exciting and scary. Picked out who we think will be a good fit for my committee.

Weekly Update Breakdown

Accomplishments Since My Last Update

  • Writing (SGD theory)
    • Updated introduction, added supporting citations, and began work on related works.
  • Research (Project CODE Switch)
    • Talked with Sarah about objects and persistence in GML. Have an idea of what to do now.
  • Teaching
    • Had a lot of things come up with this last week with students that urgently had to be handled.
    • My TA got behind in work last week (which is fine) and said he would catch up this week, but he has a long to do list. I am hoping he can pull through.
  • Self-care dailies
    • Realized that I don’t need to set aside time daily for teaching because it comes up when it needs to and I have all of Monday set aside for it. One less thing to worry about.
  • Executive
    • Skipped NCFDD’s core curriculum this week since I’m doing the 14-day writing challenge.

Next Week’s Tasks

  • Writing (SGD Theory)
    • Complete Related Works
  • Research (Project CODE)
    • Help finish the vertical slice
      • Basic Sim model
      • Hero Pool
  • Ph.D.
    • Look over Munzer’s dissertation proposal
    • Prep my own
    • Keep track of who to have on my committee. 
  • Teaching
    • Create quiz 10, 11

Speed Bumps & Obstacles

  • Executive
    • Hopefully things in my personal life will settle down.
Ph.D. Adventures!

Why Can’t They Use Powerful Languages that Already Exist? (Ph.D. Year 2, Spring Update 6)

TL; DR

I was sick half the week so I didn’t accomplish much. Worked on refining the beginning part of the SDG theory paper. For teaching, I had grading, quiz creation, and made some minor improvements to assignment instructions. Feeling overwhelmed and not all the way better.

Weekly Update Breakdown

Accomplishments Since My Last Update

  • Writing (SDG theory)
    • Updated abstract, citations, and gathered ACM CCS Concepts. 
  • Research (Project CODE Switch)
    • Started learning GML. The only positive thing I have to say about GML is that it is better than JavaScript. My brother told me that by the transitive property that it is also better than R. 
    • This has been a roadblock because I am unclear what the best way to implement the sim in GML. (I would just do structs and classes in C#.) I believe I have an idea of how to implement it. I really wish we were using an OO language though.
  • Teaching
    • Is going well. Getting lots of good feedback to help improve the class from post-presentation writeups. That was an excellent idea I had. 🙂
  • Self-care dailies
    • Thank goodness for these! Helping me stay sane. The extra daylight is making me feel better as well.
  • Executive
    • I did the NCFDD’s core curriculum #2: “Sunday Meetings.” It was good to listen to the webinar on 1.5X speed. I gained some new insights on the benefits of Sunday meetings and how to frame some concepts (like feeling overwhelmed from a massive to-do list) and creative ways to handle it.
      • One thing to note: the idea that the weekly plan (created during a Sunday meeting) is flexible. It isn’t meant to be rigid. Sometimes life happens and can through off your plan (happened to me right after I did the webinar!) and then you should take some time to replan. 

Next Week’s Tasks

  • Writing (SDG Theory)
    • Keep going through Rogelio’s notes and re-framing paper based on design rationale
  • Research (Project CODE)
    • Help finish the vertical slice
      • Basic Sim model
      • Hero Pool
  • Teaching
    • Create quiz 10

Speed Bumps & Obstacles

  • Research: Project CODE Switch
    • Learning GML
    • Getting over freaking GML (Maybe I’ll like it later????????) This is causing me a lot of anger and frustration. Had I known that I would have been asked to do core programming I would have pushed for Unity so I could have worked in a powerful programming language. I freaking hate programming in GML-like languages and it makes me very angry. I feel incredibly frustrated and really really mad.
    • Rant: it also makes me really really frustrated that these game engines have to write their own languages like they’re going to make something better than other languages that built and used by teams 10s-1000s times bigger than their little game engine team. No, you are not going to write a language that is better than C# or Python and make a great game engine. It hasn’t been done, and if it is done, it will be done by a very large team and/or take another 50 years. It’s freaking ridiculous! These game-engine-made languages are so limited. And why require a programmer to learn yet another crappy language when if you used a language that is both popular and powerful the game programmer to actually do their job: program a game. It really infuriates me.
  • Executive
    • Getting the rest of the way better.
    • Managing overwhelm and stress
Ph.D. Adventures!

Enjoying Academic Life (Ph.D. Year 2, Spring Update 5)

TL; DR

Half way through the semester and, to date, this has been my most enjoyable academic semester ever! I love being Professor Blackburn and have been getting plenty of positive feedback from my class. I am really enjoying my research (both Project CODE and my SDG theory). I finished sub-reviewing for FDG 2021 and learned a bunch. So glad I volunteered (though two weeks ago I felt a little overwhelmed!). As the adage goes: all’s well that ends well. 

Weekly Update Breakdown

Accomplishments Since My Last Update

  • Writing (SDG theory)
    • Went over notes from Dr. Rogelio last night. Have been holding off on major changes until I received the notes. 
    • We discussed yet another change to the paper, but this time it is a reframing rather than a pivot altogether.
  • Service to Profession
    • Completed my first official paper reviews as a sub-reviewer under Dr. Cardona-Rivera for FDG 2021. Added to CV.
  • Research (Project CODE Switch)
    • Have led seven meetings now, two as design lead with Rogelio present. 
      • In the game design meetings with Rogelio present, we used the SDG theory I’m writing to guide the design of our game. Out of that Rogelio pitched his first legit game pitch. (Which he was super stoked about and told me in a later meeting that it validated the work we have been doing).
        • Our game is an awareness learning game about ethics
        • It’s Boss Monster meets Dating Sim
          • Incidentally, I am really excited to play our game. It just sounds fun!
      • The others were game design/code design/team meetings without Rogelio present. 
    • Completed IRB revisions. Back in Rogelio’s court.
    • Code Design/Dev Doc:
      • Designed an MVC model for our vertical slice prototype with Sarah (team’s engineer)
      • Split up tasks with Sarah based on the MVC model we created.
      • Got GameMaker installed and git set up locally.
      • Instituted a simpler version of “GitFlow” for our branching strategy.
  • Teaching
    • Updated my CV with “Instructor of Record” for “The Psychology of Games.”
    • I learned so much about the student code. Read through it for the first time in my life and for the first time, truly appreciated it. 
    • In one week got to talk with students about infractions with student code, and, following the advice of my advisor Dr. Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera, managed to resolve all issues informally (which the University of Utah highly encourages).
      • For the first issue, Dr. Cardona-Rivera stood up for me. It was so nice to have someone have my back like that! It was beautiful! (Big grin!). I also haven’t had a problem with the student since, though I won’t refer to me by any name now. It’s just “Hi,” or “Hello.” Aww, academic life.
      • For the other issue, I updated my syllabus to introduce a “regrets clause” and this was key to the informal resolution! At the end of the discussion with my students, they were thanking me. (Thanks again Dr. Cardona-Rivera for all the advice on resolving these issues!)
    • Managed to not only stay on top of my quiz creation but got a week ahead.
    • 45% of my students currently have an A. Now they’re glad I don’t grade on a curve. 😛
  • Self-care dailies
    • Been sticking to these and it has really helped me stay centered and enjoy my life more. Otherwise, I think I would allow the above writing, research, teaching, to just consume my life, because I enjoy them, but there are other things I enjoy too, and I would burn out if I didn’t take the time to take care of myself.
  • Executive
    • Started going through the NCFDD’s core curriculum. I went through the semester plan webinar for 2021 yesterday and I really liked the simplified flow for the strategic semester planning which they presented.
    • Sunday meetings have saved my keister! The one week I didn’t do since reintroducing it to my life was a very, very bad week!

Next Week’s Tasks

  • Writing (SDG Theory)
    • Finish updating based on Rogelio’s notes
    • Re-frame paper based on design rationale
  • Research (Project CODE)
    • Help finish the vertical slice
      • Basic Sim model
      • Hero Pool
  • Teaching
    • Create quizzes 9 & 10

Speed Bumps & Obstacles

  • Executive
    • Balancing all of my various tasks and responsibilities with some me-time and fun!
  • Research
    • Still don’t have copies of Boss Monster.
    • IRB has not been resubmitted. In Dr. Cardona-Rivera’s court (or inbox) right now.
    • Have to learn a new game engine & scripting language. Should be used to it by now. But I’m a little wary of jumping among all the different game engines all the time. I wish I could just stick to one and get really, really good at it instead of always jumping on different bandwagons. I’m not saying we made a bad choice, but I would rather stick with the one I know the best and improved my skills in it.

Personal Note

We finally (after six months) got our coach! We also got me a new desk and chair (ones I actually wanted, and love!), and dining room chairs and a bench. Our house is really starting to feel like home. And yes, that pillow is “family” backwards. My mom bought it when we were out shopping a few months before she died. She thought it was hilarious!

Lady dog likes to be in the room with me during my class and meetings, and frequently sleeps… and sometimes snores.

The weather was nice enough last weekend that we went on a five-mile bike ride as a family (including my brother who lives with us) and Lady loved the first two sprints around the block (but then we left her at home).

We also spent the majority of Sunday at my dad’s and Momma D’s to help them put up a goat fence so that Lady can’t escape and we can let her enjoy the outdoors. We played soccer, ate pizza, and watched Aladdin.

Ph.D. Adventures!

Back to Dailies (Ph.D. Year 2, Spring Update 4)

TL; DR

Missed the CHIPlay deadline, but have a second chance with a deadline this summer. Finished the IRB draft which Rogelio completed and submitted. I’m excited to move away from the crunch I have felt I have been under. So even though I have a lot on my plate, it feels so much more relaxed. Had a bit of a break from teaching, but some students have asked some great questions on their module 1 writeups and I love their engagement. Got a bit of a holiday with my sister’s family, and happy to be back home.

Weekly Update Breakdown

Accomplishments Since Last Update

  • Research Writing (SDG theory)
    • Missing the CHIPlay deadline was very disappointing, but I am a trained writer (journalism style) so even though technical writing is a new style to me, I could tell the piece wasn’t ready. I expected Rogelio’s “bad” news, but the good news is that we can still aim for CHIPlay this year (PHEW!) by aiming for their Rapid Communications call for papers which isn’t due until July 16th.
    • I am really enjoying writing this paper. I think it is going to be really great.
  • Research (Project CODE Switch)
    • I got to lead two game design meetings using my SDG theory I’ve been working on with Rogelio (see paper above) and out of the meetings came my favorite game pitch that got me really excited for the project and it came from Rogelio. Dr. Rogelio told me afterward that he felt that was his first real game pitch. It was super satisfying to see how the theory we’ve been working on could so positively affect not only our case study project but a fellow game maker as well. It felt really good.
  • Teaching
    • Bit of a break from class because of the holiday.
    • Just answering some great questions from students for their first module wrap-up write-up which showed how well, at least some of them, are engaging with the material. It was very satisfying as well.
    • Got ahead on some of the material so we will be two quiz weeks ahead moving forward, even with the ginormous reading assignment (it is long!) that will be the following week’s quiz.
    • It’s not all roses, but Rogelio has been a great support and I got to learn more about the university’s student code which I have never truly appreciated before.
  • Dailies
    • Self-Care
      • I was purposefully slack with my centering and other self-care dailies last week because of the CHIPlay deadline and the President’s Day holiday. Want to get back on track with it this week.
      • I also want to add more mindfulness to my day. Just experiencing life without judgment. So I am taking time to enjoy the fragrance of my herbal tea and food (as much as I can remember to) to enjoy the eating process more and just be more mindful. Again, without any judgment.
  • Executive
    • I didn’t do my Sunday Meeting last week and I really feel it today because I didn’t appropriately plan all my tasks. Should be okay, but made for a bit of a doozy for my end of the week to-do lists!

Next Week’s Tasks

  • Writing (SDG Theory)
    • Back-planning so we hit July 16th CHIPlay due date
    • Go over feedback (once received)
    • Revise, get feedback, repeat.
  • Research (Project CODE Switch)
    • Create 1-2 game pitches for Project CODE Switch
    • Leading Project CODE Switch meeting again this week — going over game pitch ideas and next steps
  • Teaching
    • Create/Publish Quiz 5 & 6
    • Grade Game Design Snacks
  • Dailies
    • Self-Care
      • Was slack last week with Centering dailies because of CHIPlay deadline, want to get back to my centering dailies. They really help my mood and emotional management. Still haven’t figured out what to do in the morning with kiddos to help me achieve that…
    • Achievement
      • Do my Sunday Meeting with planned daily tasks for each achievement focus area (Forgot to do it last week and I really felt it now that it is the end of the week when my tasks weren’t all complete because I hadn’t scheduled appropriately)

Speed Bumps & Obstacles

  • Writing (SGD theory)
    • Waiting on feedback before proceeding
  • Research
    • I think I need to schedule another supplemental design meeting next week (like we did this week), so we can meet as a team to decide on our game idea moving forward
  • Teaching
    • One student is making class a little difficult. I am hoping the informal interventions will resolve the issue because no one really wants it escalated (I hope!). I do know my next steps, now that I am more familiar with the student code, so even if it doesn’t resolve, I know my next steps, but it has caused me some anxiety and has eaten up much of my time.
  • Executive
    • gotta remember to do my Sunday meetings. It’s not a habit, so maybe I need an alarm or something?