a letter to David

When my son was 1 year old, in 2000, I embarked on a plan to collect recollections of the 20th century from his closest relatives. The result is a small, spiral-bound book titled Letters to David that includes touching stories, memories of specific events, lists of personal bests, and (wonderfully) a list of “Top 5 Toys of the 20th Century” by his then-6-year-old cousin (1. Guns 2. Swords 3. Sticks (imaginary weapons) 4. Electronic Race Cars 5. Cowboy Paraphernalia. Yes, he said ‘paraphernalia.’).

This year I decided to do something for my daughter, and so I’m taking a photo of her every day for a year, and in the end I’ll send my materials off to Blurb and have a very nice bound book in return. Comparing the two products, I thought I might want to rebind David’s book at the same time, so, consequently, I’m retyping all the memories. Below is the text of a conversation with my grandmother and her two sisters, who all lived together. I taped the conversation. It was short … they always had trouble warming up to “technology.” Still, it was pretty interesting, thinking about what was new tech to a child 100 years ago. Interesting enough perhaps to share on a Saturday.

“From a taped confersation with:
Your great-grandmother, “Ma”: Mary Louisa Evins Crawford (7/17/1910)
Your great-great aunt “Tut”: Novice Evins (1/3/1903)
Your great-great aunt “Enie”: Alline Evins (3/1/1905)

Note from your Mom: I asked your Great-Grandmother and her sisters what would be the biggest difference between their childhoods and yours.

Ma: He will know all of the new inventions that I didn’t know anything about. Like electric lights. We lived in a rural area and we didn’t have electric lights. We had oil lamps. The first car that I ever remember seeing was about 1915. I guess I was about 5 years old. There were cars and electric lights, but we didn’t have those. He will have those.

Tut: The car Mary was talking about, it was an old T-Model. We rode in it. We’d go to church at Coldwater in it. The man who owned it lived down the road near Asbury [Cemetery, in Calloway County, Ky.]. When he would drive it up the hill that you get to before Asbury, he would turn around and back it up the hill. It didn’t have power enough to go forward.

Ma: And when we’d go up a hill in ours [later, their car], we’d some of us have to get out and walk. It didn’t have power enough.

Tut: And it had a hand-crank.

Enie: It was hard to crank!

Tut: And we didn’t have a washing machine; we had to do them [the clothes] all on a washboard. I remember one time we had our tubs on the back porch when we lived out on the hill. Me and Alline were washing, and we had some chairs and were sitting down. We were rinsing the clothes then – you know, we would drag them on the board and then we would rinse them in the tub, in different tubs. We were sitting there on the back porch and we heard the mail carrier coming. We jumped up and ran so he wouldn’t catch us washing clothes.

Enie: We got our first washing machine in about 1925, when we moved to Mayfield.

My Site in SharePoint

Did you know that you can create your own space in SharePoint to save both private and shared documents? If you are at the University of Kentucky, you can login to SharePoint on the LinkBlue page (see the menu at the left on that page and look for Academic SharePoint). Once you log in, you will see a link in the very top right: My Site. Click it. Even if you have not yet set up your My Site, it’s waiting for you. Here’s a view of mine, below. I realize it’s difficult to see details, but this is the overall look, and you will see a red arrow pointing to the My Site link. NOTE: If possible, use Microsoft Explorer as your web browser. SharePoint is a Microsoft product, and so as you can imagine it works best with other Microsoft products. (It does work with other browsers, but you’ll have more options with Explorer.)

My Site on SharePoint

September workshops and events

The Academic Technology Group has a number of events coming up in September, including Blackboard workshops, Echo360 Personal Capture workshops, an Open Education Content Seminar, and even a retirement reception. Be sure to visit our online training and events calendar: http://go.uky.edu/2Y. You can also subscribe to the calendar’s RSS feed, found at http://go.uky.edu/4V, and have events delivered to your feedreader or e-mailbox. (You can also find the calendar link in the left column on the ATG webpage.)

Academic Technology Group webpages

On Sept. 1, UKIT’s Academic Technology Group  launched its web pages. Although we had been sneaking out there throughout the summer, we finally had enough content to make it official beginning this month.

Here’s a quick tour:

  • The home page for ATG is http://www.uky.edu/ukit/atg
  • The the left, you’ll find a menu linking to descriptions of various services. That list will grow. Also worth noting: On each of those pages, you will find a link to a corresponding resources page in our Academic Technology Training Library. More about that below.
  • In the left menu you will also find a link to software that’s available on campus or software that’s being used on campus and was suggested for our list.
  • To the right, you’ll find a “Top 5” list each month that reflects the types of questions we’re getting about services.
  • Just under the Top 5, you’ll find a link to our Academic Technology Training Library. There, you will find a growing number of resources that you may use for your own reference or to assist you in presenting information to others. More to come; we’ve just gotten started.
I hope you find useful information in our web pages. Be sure to let me know if you would like to see specific additions as we grow.
Academic Technology Group web page

Support for UK Core first-timers in Bb

As UK Core faculty begin to use Blackboard (Bb) more frequently for their courses, UKIT’s Academic Technology Group has launched a special entry webpage into online Bb resources for instructors. The new page, located at http://go.uky.edu/ukcorehelp, is a pared-down version of our instructions for placing an assignment in Blackboard. Why? Because there are a number of UK Core faculty who are new to Blackboard and who are contributing (randomly-selected and anonymous) assignments to a pool for the assessment of student learning. In order to make the pool as easy as possible to draw from, the goal is to have that set of assignments submitted electronically, through our learning management system (Bb).

The page at http://go.uky.edu/ukcorehelp is intended to be of assistance, providing 1. step-by-step instructions for both the instructor and the students; 2. providing video demonstrations of both the instructor and students steps; and 3. providing links to other pages in the Academic Technology Training Library, so that interested instructors can expand their new knowledge.

We have also included an email link to a small group that will be available to answer questions on the fly for those instructors new to Bb who need help placing that assessment assignment. In this time of “ramping up” knowledge quickly, we thought that additional piece would be helpful, or at least reassuring.