Ph.D. Adventures!

Waiting on Good News (Ph.D. Year 2, Fall Week 15)


Designed two different potential courses from the spring. (Thanks to Rogelio who co-designed one of them with me… will hopefully be hearing good new soon!). Tons of grading, worked on some, have lots left to do. Helped students feel better about the semester (a couple regrades). Gave a presentation on formal game design to the EAE 6000 Game Engineering III course. Had a great holiday.

For the Interested Reader:


We cooked/baked (and by we I mostly mean my amazing husband) everything from scratch for Thanksgiving. It was so delicious. I have now had Thanksgiving leftovers every day for nearly every meal. We got a little creative and made sandwiches and tacos with leftovers. And most surprisingly, my kiddos have been eating salad without me having to ask them to.

We also got a mini fridge for our bedroom. It currently houses water, and my husbands chocolates. These are not small bags of chocolate. The man has the right priorities I think.

I was asked, 30 minutes prior to class last Tuesday, to present something during an approximately 15 minute downtime. “Sure,” I said… so I threw some slides together with zero time to rehearse on formal game design (specifically the FBS and MDA+GFI frameworks). I think it went well as few students thanked me and the professor, who had been busy setting up the next AI fight round and so missed some of what I was saying, said he was going to go back and watch the recording of my presentation!

I spent quite a bit of my time writing up potential spring course offerings for the undergraduates in the EAE program. Unfortunately my favorite idea was too technical, and more for graduates. So I had to go back to the drawing board. In total I pitched four ideas and I am hoping that the one Rogelio (whose original idea it was) helped me create will be accepted. Should hear back today. We’re thinking good news is coming as yesterday I was asked to send in a draft syllabus under the email subject “Urgent.” So Rogelio rearranged his morning schedule to help me craft the syllabus, he said first-pass it looked great, and then helped me add the necessary missing components. It looks totes legit now fools! Fingers crossed!

Besides the course designs, I feel like all I’ve been doing is grading! And there is still so much more to do! OH. SO. MUCH. GRADING!! Doing my best, but it is definitely a lot of work!

What’s next

  • Gra…ding
  • GraDInG
  • Looming deadline: Apply scholarship (Due date Dec 4th!)
  • Research
    • Finish reading through cognitive load theory 20-year review paper.
    • Draw up a preliminary model for the current theory I’ve written up
    • Read through a school “research” paper I wrote last semester to glean the theory I want to create from and to also highlight the papers I want to cite in my new paper.
    • Write, write, WRITE! (January deadline!)
  • Continue dailies and personal health goal
  • Continue house projects: Learn to compost! Find furniture for the house (dining room chairs), etc. (I don’t have time for house projects this week)
  • Get some sleep (me tired!)


Man, I need a nap. I’ve been up two hours and I’m tired already! But really I was up late and I need a nap… sleep, how I’ve missed you…

Other than that I feel okay as long as I don’t think about the scholarship deadline or all the grading that needs doing, or my impending January deadline on the paper. Then I start to feel panic rising.

So, I just focus on one thing at a time and hope I don’t forget anything.

Ph.D. Adventures!

Joyful Movement (Ph.D. Year 2, Fall Week 5)


Found a whole bucket load of papers on cognitive load and cognitive load theory. It will take a while to dig through and find some key papers, but I have some ideas. Had a great conversation with Rogelio about how to model and talk about the theory. Started working out! My daughter started M-Th school yesterday and it’s been great so far!

For the Interested Reader:


I had no idea when I went looking for cognitive load papers that I was going to open pandora’s box! My goodness! Loads of research! The hard thing will be just locating the paper(s) that will explain the theory and be a backbone for mine.

Rogelio and I talked a lot about creating models, something visual that explains the theory, and taxonomony, something verbal that we can call these things we know about but don’t know how to discuss. So I’m going to be doing reading in other areas to find vernacular that we can borrow from.

There is a LOT of grading I have to do this week. It is a little overwhelming and… if I’m being honest, grading isn’t my favorite task. It’s why I don’t want to ever teach a writing or reading and essay writing course: it takes so long to grade and you don’t always get a TA.

What’s next

  • Theory paper:
    • Read up in VR for vernacular
    • Read up on types of models
    • Draw up a preliminary model for the current theory I’ve written up
  • Continue with self and goal dailies, as well as working out
  • Do grading for TM and TA


Motivation and time to grade. :/

Doing the hybrid and homework thing with my kids takes up wa-ay more time than expected. My husband and I discussed homeschooling the kids this year and I told him that if that’s what he really wanted me to do I could do it if I dropped out of my Ph.D. program, because I know from spring semester that I would not be able to keep up. He is supportive of me pursuing my Ph.D. so we put the kids back in school (the best decision for the mental health of our daughter, and myself, I believe). But they are still home, or have been, more than 50% of the time and the teachers haven’t made it easy for us. So I feel I am constantly behind on everything. I’m really stressed, but only about keeping up with grading. Also, we are all struggling, and my professors have been giving me things to grade on days that I don’t have time to grade and asking me to prioritize that grading that day is a little much to handle, so I don’t. Might get me in trouble, but I can’t do everything.


Adding in the Movement

Been loving my self and goal dailies so much so that I felt I could make the time to workout again, finally. I know, it sounds terrible, but I didn’t have the space in my home, nor the time or care to really make working out a priority last year. It is really nice to be working out again and I have a much healthier attitude about it than ever before I think. It’s okay to not push myself to injury, I can still enjoy myself, and it’s okay to miss a day, or two (or three!), because I’m doing my best and I give God the rest. It’s been really energizing, and reenergizing, to move in a way that makes me happy and honor my body by taking the time for joyful movement again.

Things Keep a Changing!

My daughter started M-Th school and I have to say that it is going great. She liked that her older brother didn’t start that this week because he got to walk her to the bus stop. Thank goodness because she forgot her mask and older brother had to run, neigh, SPRINT home to retrieve her mask before the bus arrived.

Unfortunately, because of the nature of Jr and High School, those schools won’t be starting M-Th school until November. However, I think it works out better that at least it is my son home and not my daughter as she needs more in-person contact for her happiness, and my son will do better at home without his sister constantly distracting him, and visa versa. So it all works out.