The Oscars

I wanted to say congratulations to Logan which is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. It’s just upsetting when we can have lots of unmitigated garbage are nominated for an Oscar. I am not saying that Thor should have won or even the Last Jedi. But Logan which was an amazing movie, in every sense of the word was shoved out by, pretentious crap. The Shape of water was a Creature Double Feature movie, Darkest Hour and Dunkrik were yet another WWII glorification of war movies.  Get Out was a low budget horror movie. Lady Bird, I never heard of, which apparently is nothing more than a coming of age movie. Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri — Looks like a mess.  Call Me By Your Name just looks like another bad relationship movie where it glorifies a much older man being with a much younger man. No thank you — I will take Logan and Wonder Woman.. and not watch ….

“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”


Adventure: Liz Steel – Watercolor non-Credit online course

I admit I am an online course snob. I am an Instructional Designer who works for a college. I have won two Blackboard Exemplary Course awards. I have a Master’s in Instructional Design. I can’t help it I love well-structured courses that make it easy for learners to learn.

I am no stranger to the non-college online course, I started to take them when all there was mIRC (a web chat client), a group posting board, and email. At times they were clumsy, to say the least. None were really well designed.

I started to get back into watercolors a couple of years ago. I wrote a blog post about how I created a OneNote notebook to collect and track my journey. I decided to take the plunge and take a non- college online class.I have been following an Urban Sketcher Liz Steel for a number of years on  YouTube and Instagram.

(Note: what is a non-college online course? Any course that is not providing for credit (or degree credit) courses.)

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Project Management/Time Management

I conducted an Introduction to Project Management workshop in the fall for Bristol Community College. This is a follow-up blog. In this Blog post, I will review what the difference between Project Managment, Time Management, and Task Management. Many people confuse the three and are not sure how to integrate it into their daily practice.

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Top Movies 2017/Star Wars

I knew when Star Wars the Last Jedi came out that I would have to change my line up of Top Movies of 2017. I will start with the ranking. I don’t think that the other movies that are to come out in the next few days will alter my expectations. I just don’t think the majority of movies were very good this year. It really was a disappointing year.

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Top Movies for the Year! — Well so far

This year seems to be, for me anyway, the Comic Book adaptation year. I have seen quite a few of them. I have two standouts that I would love to talk about.

The first by far is Logan. I was watching Fatman on Batman a YouTube show by Kevin Smith, and both Kevin and Mark talk about how well written Logan is. For me, Patrick Stewart gave his best performance (maybe edging out A Christmas Carol by just a smidge).  Logan is an amazing movie even without the superhero/mutant stuff. Hugh Jackman showed an aging Logan who needed to care for a “father” with dementia and find out that he was a “father” to a girl who grew up as a lab experiment. Yes, there was violence in the movie, but it was important to the narrative.

The second was WonderWoman. Although it was not as put together as Logan, or written as well as Logan, it was well crafted. There were some moments that put this in second place to Logan (with a deep sigh), I felt that we were left with an ending that was lackluster over the top and very dark. The pacing wasn’t as good as the first 15 minutes of the movie (which IMHO should have been given at least 30 minutes  I would have liked to know how Amazons age and would have liked to see a gap between when Diana finding out that she was powerful to seeing Steve Trevor crash). Aries seemed to be a little blah to me, not as robust as he should be. Although we have in Batman V Superman a Diana that pined for 100 years, the ending didn’t seem to match the level of pining or longing.

These two movies really were great! I don’t think I can say that enough. I think they both surpassed anything that I could have hoped for.

(Okay, I know that Star Wars the Last Jedi is out in December. I think that movie is in a different category, they can’t screw it up, can they? I mean fans have forgiven Lucas for the 3 90s movies, or have I? Plus Princess Leia! Oh My Goddess I will cry if they mess it up…. Just saying…. )

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Inktober 2017, is over!

Well, it’s over! I am sitting here thinking of what to write, and more importantly what to confess.In full disclosure I didn’t finish, I only got to day 17.  I did intend to catch up, but I never got a chance, I kept falling behind, thinking tomorrow that I would but never did.

This was my first Inktober. I was excited by it, making sure that I had all my stuff together to participate. I didn’t do strictly ink, I used watercolor as well. I wanted to do the spirit of the challenge. I wrote a post on my Instagram page, not everything, most though. I did try to follow the “official prompts” and did so for every day except for one.

Besides the never-ending fear of catching up, I felt the pull of not feeling good enough. What does that mean? I don’t know. Maybe I do.

I realize in writing this blog post that I don’t need to explain anything as to why I didn’t finish or to justify it. I think with any self-challenge it’s good on a personal level for self-reflection. It’s good to understand, but not judge, the process, or “your” process.

A process that’s the important part. I haven’t found this easy, in fact, I often sabotage the process, because — of tons of reasons. It’s not my lack of knowing how to create a process, after all, I am a trained Instructional Designer, avid Bullet Journalist, journaling enthusiast, blogger, etc… I know how to create a process – -But staying with it, that’s my problem.

Sure, I can follow through with a process for work, for things that are other than, well, for me it can be difficult. The idea of perfection, that you must complete something before moving on, or even the shame of failure. The culprits, of course, are the common ideas like;  finish your dinner, that or this person is better, make sure you get it right, there can be only one, and if I might, my favorite, you don’t have the talent (not, really favorite, but something I use)… These all interfere with the process, interfering with self-regulation, knowledge of self, and confidence.

So how did I end up not finishing Inktober? Or for that matter how does all this come together, and what have I learned on this journey?

A lot actually.

Letting go of the baggage.

That’s the rub. To throw off those things that are learned over a lifetime.

It’s okay that I didn’t finish because the challenge was to improve, and I think I did. I actually have one that I really do like.

Lesson learned for the next challenge? Simple, well maybe not so simple. The Challenge is for you, and you can determine the rules. It’s okay to leave the challenge when you feel that it’s putting pressure on you because this should be fun.



Open Educational Resources (OER)!

This post is in conjunction with the Workshop that was given at Bristol Community College on October 24, 2017, at 11:00 am for the CITE Lab’s Instructional Design Series. October is OER month so look for other events!

Locating, Assessing, and Adapting OER 

Interested in moving away from a publisher’s traditional textbook? This session will help you understand your options when it comes to locating, selecting, and incorporating Open Educational Resources (OER).   

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It was 1992, I roamed Barnes & Nobles in Saugus. I was looking for anything that was “Celtic” related. Anything and all books that cover Celtic mythology, history, and customs. I saw the cover of the book Outlander. It was a beautiful cover with a tartan covered picnic tablecloth. I loved science fiction and romance, with a smather of, well, history. I sat down with it, when bookstores like Barnes & Nobles still had comfy chairs to curl up in. I bought the book and waited for each of the others to come out. Always wanting more.

I fell in love with the language, the story, the characters of the book. I was working on my own novel back then. I never finished it, and it was for my consumption rather than anyone else. I am not even sure if I still have the files anymore, I doubt it. It seems like many lifetimes ago. I do still have my research and the books. I did create a reference for them but that too is long lost. I will most likely get around to that at some point.

I even started an email conversation with  Diana Gabaldon, the author of the novels, gave me some advice. It was nice that she responded. Diana was an early adopter and was online since CompuServe days! I wish I still had the emails, but I lost them when I stopped using my AOL email many years ago.

The books gave me an escape. I waited with baited breath for the next books over the years. I read up through # 6. The last two books I just stopped reading. I am in the process of re-reading or is that listening to the complete series and I am now on Firey Cross.

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Ceit’s Recommendations from GoodReads: Higher Education

Ceit’s bookshelf: higher-education

How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching
really liked it
higher-education, instructional-design, and learning
Web 2.0 How-To for Educators
really liked it
higher-education, instructional-design, intro-to-tech, and teaching…
Engaging the Online Learner: Activities and Resources for Creative Instruction
liked it
higher-education, instructional-design, and teaching-online
How to Create and Use Rubrics for Formative Assessment and Grading
it was amazing
educational, higher-education, and instructional-design
Project Management for Trainers, 2nd Edition
really liked it
higher-education and instructional-design

#Inktober, why I am doing it this month

Inktober is an initiative by Jake Parker – It is a 31 one day drawing challenge, in which you draw with ink and paper every day for the month of October.  These are the official rules of the challenge. He also has created prompts for the month.

You can follow me on Instagram to see my progression.











This is my first Inktober. I decided to do the challenge this year because I really wanted to challenge myself. I do think it will help me to develop my drawing skills and have something to look forward to every day. I am also getting my niece involved with this as well.





I was hesitant at first doing the challenge because although not a novice, I am still unsure about my skills. I have a hard time sharing my art, because I feel it’s not good enough, or that someone will be unkind. Sure it’s my own insecurities, but that is why I really want to do this challenge, to get to a place where I am not insecure. For this Challenge, I am using a Stillman and Birn toned (tan) Nova series mixed media spiral hardcover notebook. I really do love the feel of the paper, it has a little bit of a tooth, and handles watercolor nicely.

So far, these are these are the images that I created.

I didn’t have my notebook with me for the first day of the challenge I left it home.  I did this on my Samsung Note8 with the app Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. I later printed a copy and put it in my sketchbook. The first prompt was swift, what better way to show swift is a Witches Black cat on a broom. I was tempted to do a Nimbus 2000 from Harry Poter, but I decided for a regularbroom instead.





The next image is not on the prompt but I had so much fun with the black cat I decided to do a witch. I used the same app Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.  I really like how this came out. I love that you can use the Copic colors with this app. I forgot how much I really love drawing digitally, My favorite part of this image was doing the hat.

I printed a copy of this, but instead of putting it in my Intober sketchbook, I put it in my every day one.






On day 2 the prompt was #divided. For this, I had my sketchbook with me, but I wanted to do something different. I pulled out my sharpies. As a Witch (and Pagan) I notice that although not written on a sign, a divide when people find out that I am a witch. Notice that my Witch isn’t dressed in black, or face painted with green, but she is wearing pink. She is just a normal woman with a different belief system. Of course, there are no flying brooms, but it’s fun to play with it. The cat is there at her side so she isn’t alone.

I really liked how the sharpies worked! I love the colors. I also used some highlighters that I managed to blend with a water brush.

Day 3, was poison. What better way than to show a Witches bookcase with poison. Of course, a cat shows up again. Notice on her bookcase, there are books on ethics, herbs, and poison. I bet this Witch has the remedy for the poison.







Day 4, today! So this is the last of the images. I sketched this in another sketchbook last night, I wanted to come up with some ideas for the underwater theme. This is not completed yet and not final. I most likely will sketch some more. I want to get the arms right. This is the one thing that will push me. I need to do more figure drawings.

I decided to draw a merman. I have no idea why, but I thought that it would be fitting. I also put a shark and a squid to be his companions.






I use my Bee Paper Super Delux Mixed Media for my everyday sketching. (I will be doing a video on that soon) It is one of my favorite mixed media notebooks. I have been using them in various sizes for the last year. I have filled 3 of them and just started on another one.  I also love Stillman and Birn.

UPDATE 10/05/2017:

Here is the completed drawing. It is done with all shimmering inks, with a minor exception for his skin which I did use Schminke Yellow Naples Reddish (convenience color for white skin. This quick pick doesn’t really show the prettiness of the sheen. I did a merman because I wanted to try something different. I learned a couple of things; 1) I need to work on my drawing anatomy — especially hands, arms, and torso — 2) I really like ink, but then that is a given.


I hope that everyone has a wonderful #Inktober, #Inktober



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