Trying to Stay Sharp

Even though I’m not going to continue in academic research as a career after finishing my MA, I’m going to try to not let the skills I worked on during the program atrophy. (This is beyond just the everyday use of analysis and critical thinking that I hope is just a normal part of life for me.) The first two things:

  • Reading the Introduction and Conclusion (or equivalent) of a number of books that I obtained from the library for my thesis but never read; I might try keeping notes, but that might be a little ambitious
  • Continuing to pull locative information from Warsaw Ghetto, the book made from the diary that Miram Wattenberg/Mary Berg kept while imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto 1939–1942, and hopefully adding it to my mapping project on the book

Accomplishments, Winter Break 2018–2019

I’m pretty lousy at noticing what I have managed to do, so I’m taking a moment to try to do it for a short period of time and maybe work toward getting better at it in general.

This year in later December and over winter break*, I managed to:

  • Not mail any Christmas presents last-minute
  • Get what I think were good presents for my family
  • Buy what I think is a good book for our child, Children of the Longhouse
  • Play a lot with our child
  • Think of the thing(s) I might want to try to get better at doing in 2019
  • Visit a local lo-fi exploratorium to see their annual model train exhibit
  • Have dinner with friends
  • Go to a decent new restaurant for one of our anniversaries
  • See an exciting moviein the theater!
  • Do some puzzles in the New York Times‘ annual puzzle section
  • Read a bunch of my dad’s memoir
  • Read a bunch of Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley Under Ground
  • Finally read The New York Times piece on Black men writers and Black men’s writing, only to find that it was but two pages long!
  • Make homemade slow-cooker dulce de leche for the first time
  • Start my first batch of homemade sauerkraut
  • Make my regular batch of kvass (maintenance work counts, though this batch isn’t very good)
  • Play Monopoly with the family
  • Play a car racing game on the iPad too much, though sometimes it was in parallel with our child
  • Mostly write one of the three conference proposal reviews that I owe by 14 January
  • Go to a neighbor’s for some of New Year’s Eve
  • Clean off a bunch of space on my partner’s laptop
  • Partly fix and partly break our kitchen sink spout
  • Replace some light bulbs
  • Vacuum the bathroom fan cover
  • Hang curtains in the room we are +/- converting to a home health aide bedroom
  • Take a walk nearly every day
  • Play soccer a little at the local elementary school with our child and a friend of his and the friend’s dad
  • Stay up past midnight on New Year’s Eve
  • Finish my master’s thesis (cheating, because this took all fall to finish)
  • Mostly subdue my probably-stress-induced stomach discontent that’s been hanging out for 2–3 years, then have a new bout but not freak out
  • Have Christmas
  • Go to church for the last two Sundays of Advent and then on Christmas Eve (I’ve become C&E, and am a moderately intellectual Christian, but I adore my church’s new pastor; he’s both passionate about real social justice and patient about how long it will take to turn this church around)
  • Go to a friend’s annual open house and have a conversation with a neighbor from down the street and their child, who’s always a little diffident with me but who was very conversational at this party

This looks like a lot of stuff! I guess this is why people like to do this documentation, since it reminds us if/that we aren’t just passing the time away.

* My employer more or less closes each year from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day, and when Christmas Eve falls on a Monday as it did in 2018, things stretch out nicely.

Building a One-Page Website

A student asked me during an office hours session about building a single-page website for a project. Or for two projects, actually. They are in a Public Humanities course and also taking a CS course with coding in it. Building a website for the PH course satisfies an assignment for the CS course to build something. Here’s my follow up after the meeting.

Looks like “one-page html template” was in fact the key search phrase.

Starting with that phrase some options start to pop up, like templates: (some free, some not; is a fairly simple one that could be a good starting point) (not always clear which are free and which are not, but some are free) (ditto) (all free, some seem only worth that much) (focused on the transitions between the sections; probably not a good use of time until you have your basic page written and hosted) (separated because this isn’t from a template churner like most of those others; it’s also a little more heavyweight than some)

And tutorials: (contains tip for getting the scrolling smooth)

And longer articles:

Once you have something basic, if you have time you can consider adding design elements —sparingly, carefully— that add more movement to the page. You’ll need to read the markup and possibly script on these to figure out how to copy what you need:

I was reminded that the reason “parallax” came to mind is that it’s the term appended to the scroll that has elements moving up/down the screen at different rates. Here are some resources about it:–net-27641 (same author as previous)

I was having the hardest time coming up with how to guide searching for tutorials etc. on building a single page site. “Infinite scroll” and “parallax” kept getting stuck in my head, occluding the simpler “single-page website tutorial”. As it turns out, the first two terms did come in handy later, but they are refinements rather than starting points.

White Activists for Civil Rights

Really just so I don’t forget these people when it comes time for me to remember them, here are some white people who did the right thing for African American human rights:

June Shagaloff Alexander

Grace Lee Boggs

Patricia M. Derian

Virginia Foster Durr

Bernice Fisher

Andrew Goodman

Abraham Joshua Heschel

Grace Lorch

Ralph McGill

William Lewis Moore

Michael Schwerner

Joel Elias Spingarn

Others can be found at and/or