At this point, I am finished with my first week of creating my portfolio of original compositions. Although in my abstract, I expressed my desire to notate 16 original compositions, I realize now that I will probably have fewer than sixteen compositions in my portfolio at the end of two weeks. While creating my piano vocal sheets for my original compositions (the first one a song called “Someone Doesn’t Love Me”), I have realized that it is more difficult than I had thought to transcribe the nuances that I naturally sing and play. In order to reach the level of perfection I desired in my transcriptions, I spent a day on each song, resulting in 5 fully notated songs at the end of last week. These songs are, “Someone Doesn’t Love Me”, “I Just Don’t Love You Anymore”, “What Broken Hearts Do”, “Back Again”, and “I Know Your Type”. At this rate I will have 10 notated original compositions in my portfolio! It is also important to note that this week I am moving into the more contemporary pop side of my compositions, as last week I transcribed my older sounding compositions!
I’ve successfully interviewed a community college writing professor, a high school English teacher, a writing instructor for an online college, and the Writing Center Director at the University of Minnesota.They tended to emphasize writing as a relational process, the value of failing, the concept of authentic communication, and the development of an individual voice. I recorded all of these interviews, and am in the process of transcribing them. All of my interviewees recommended books on the teaching of writing: next up is reading those books, to enrich and supplement the interviews. The interviews, combined with the books, will provide the foundation for a summary paper, in which I’ll examine the aspects of teaching writing and reflect on my own writing experiences.
Today I found myself at the Main Branch of the Richmond Public Library. Even now, I sit at a worktable among the books, staring past the potted plants on the sill of the massive library windows and out into the city. It is a good library for my research; the unique Richmond History Collection is worth the 10 minute bike ride through the trademark, swampy Virginian summer day.
I have been working on getting an android phone to connect to the Lego NXT Brick and, so far have encountered some interesting problems. Essentially, leJOS (the Lego programming extension to Java) provides Bluetooth functionality for connecting the robot to either a PC or another NXT. Additionally, Android provides an API for connecting to Bluetooth devices. The trick is to get these two different API’s to work together. This gives me an interesting chance to learn about how devices connect to each other and implement some low-level solutions in Java, which is typically a higher level language.