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DAY 1: Assignment 4 Begins…

March 24, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

And, proposal writing is put on hold for a little bit while the final monster to conquer, Assignment 4, takes precedence. I’ll admit I wasn’t all that worried about Assignment 4 until after meeting with the cohort last night. I think the past month+ has been so challenging+stretching in so many professional/work/personal ways that all I could conceptualize was what I needed to do in the next day or two. The end of April felt like forever away and Assignment 4….yeah, pretty much a 6000-9000 word mirage because I was drowning in the dailies.

But after meeting with the cohort, hearing them ask questions I didn’t even fully comprehend, and looking at the calendar and realizing the sobering fact that April begins like…next week I realized the monster is actually way closer than it appears in the mirror.

So, I know you’re probably wondering…just what is Assignment 4? Glad you asked! Basically it’s called “Planning Research Strategies” and is meant to mimic the “methods” section of my real dissertation. (AHHH!!! real dissertation!!!….sorry, just needed a textual freak out moment because honestly I felt way closer to a real dissertation about a year ago before I knew all I didn’t know…if you know what I mean.)

But anyways, the idea is that we’ve already got brilliance in the research questions, paradigms, inquiries, etc. and now it’s just time to hammer out the research methods, then examine the prospective data collection and analysis strategies (of course, keeping consistent with preciously established theoretical/philosophical orientations and practical research methods). Cake, right? Hahaa….if only.


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time for some more writing…

March 23, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

So…this conference is happening in September and I thought that I was through with writing conference proposals until I actually have rooted into my research and dissertation topic a bit more because I am way more talk than action at this point and way more elegant phrases than hard core research.

But then I read the third theme (which you can see below) they were seeking papers on…and yeah, it’s pretty much got my name and my research written all over it. Plus, I want to see who else might be part of this merry misfit band of new pedagogical model-enthusiasts might be. Portland…Beer….September+fall colors….and a boatload of design educator goodness….hmmm….Time to fire up the proposal crafting machine!

Graphic design educators are increasingly developing new pedagogical models that are distinct from traditional classroom- and studio-based models: low-residency programs, student centered pedagogy, MOOCs, and on-line learning, to name a few. These emerging teaching models pose particular challenges for design education while presenting unique and rewarding opportunities. This panel will take a close critical look at new pedagogical models to help design educators learn from, and question assumptions about, both conventional and unconventional models.
This panel seeks abstracts that:
• Articulate educational advantages and disadvantages of new pedagogical models.
• Address how new pedagogical models affect the development of curriculum and assessment.
• Examine and present tools, techniques, and technologies to maximize the potential for new pedagogical models.
• Propose how conventional graphic design programs can learn from experiments in new pedagogical models.


March 20, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

“It is however remarkable that a profession that prides itself to be change-driven, visual, and communicative is so poor in changing its education, visualising its educational problems, and communicating in a clear way about these.”

Karel van der Waarde and Maurits Vroombout in Communication design education: could nine reflections be sufficient?

DAY 3: reflecting on reflective practice

March 19, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

Today’s 500 words of written brilliance (ha) are around an article I read this morning while working out. (Yes…I’m on Day 3 of a workout-and-read-academic-articles kick and it’s pretty amazing. Sitting and reading feels almost like torture unless it’s accompanied by whiskey and it’s in the evening but manically moving with the aid of a machine and reading…best thing ever. Go figure.)

The article is by co-authored one of my new friends, Karel van der Waarde, and is called Communication design education: could nine reflections be sufficient?

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DAY 2: conference recap pt. 2

March 18, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

The first day of the conference left me equal parts exhausted and excited. When I climbed into the shuttle van back to the hotel (coincidentally seated next to keynote speaker, Karel van der Waarde…we talked about Ikea furniture and I tried to be chill even though on the inside it was very very out-of-body) it was with the distinct feeling that I was a bit different than I’d been that morning…like my mind had been stretched just a bit wider than before in a sort of mental yoga exercise.

Day two came way too early but away I went for another round of inquiry, challenge, and spontaneous meeting of awesome educators. The second day was a bit heavier on people presenting papers of their research. I attended several interesting sessions including one by Daniel McCafferty challenging the dead metaphor of designer as problem solver and instead re-framing it to be designer as gardener. (And yes…he is Canadian and I’ll be very shallow and admit the reason I originally chose to attend was because I totally miss my cohort and just listening to his accent was a bit like coming home in an academic manner.) Perhaps the most provocative paper session I attended (though didn’t realize it at the time) was by Dori Griffin whose presentation was titled Design + the Doctorate: A Call for Participation in the Disciplinary Discussion Surrounding Doctoral Education in Design.

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DAY 1: conference recap pt.1

March 17, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

So…today’s been my first full day back post-conference thus it seems only fitting that I should make Donald Schon proud and be a reflective practitioner about the whole experience…well at least a little bit. And, since I need to get back into the writing habit sooner than later, what better place to do it than here with the sacred 500-ish words.

First off, let me say that the conference was totally beyond all of my expectations. I don’t know what exactly I was thinking it would be (because honestly I was so fried by the week preceding it) but I can say I had no idea every speaker and almost every session would be an somewhat of an “aha” moment for me. Perhaps it’s because I lead and work on an entirely location neutral team or perhaps it’s because my own educational journey is one that is so obscure, but whatever the case may be at the conference I discovered others who not only were tracking with me but actually understood a bit what I get amped up about and, oddly enough, get excited about it too. There is indeed deep life-giving power in hearing the two simple words, “Me too”.

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DAY 6: dots are connecting

March 16, 2014

lisa hammershaimb



…and I survived. And even more am legit more excited about my job/dissertation/future than ever before.

But tonight’s not the night for thoughtful reflection…tonight’s all for…


DAY 2: exhale.

March 11, 2014

lisa hammershaimb


It. Is. All. Over.

Jury duty, Assignment 3 conceptual framework, Assignment 2 presentation, and probably all of the chemicals my adrenal glands had stored up for the past month. Today was a cacophony of experiences that in many ways are completely out of body. I thought I’d have a ton of words to process it all, but it turns out…not so much. All I really want is whiskey and sleep and to feel my own permanently tense back muscles revert back to their flesh and blood state as opposed to the rock solid masses they’ve become.

That said, there’s no doubt in my mind that this path, however hard or confusing or stressful it may feel at times, is precisely where I should be at this moment…these battles are exactly what I should be fighting and this dread-mixed-with-ecstasy is changing me for good and refining me for whatever future is in store. and in that, even in the midst of so much chaos there’s a weird tranquility that legit I have no idea how to explain.

So, enough for now and enough words for one day. Here’s a link to my Assignment 3 if anyone in the wider world wants to see it and my hand prints (which like the design nerd I am, I’ll totally admit still make me so happy to see.)

Good night world. See you tomorrow.

DAY 0: tissue paper typography…

March 9, 2014

lisa hammershaimb



I’m not going to lie. My favorite part of prepping for this presentation was creating these opener slides and type throughout the presentation. After the insane trajectory of this week and the looming monster of next week, I’ve lost all my verve and passion around arts-based research and presenting and all the other stuff that goes with being an academic and I just want to cut out shapes with tissue paper and drink Saint Germaine martinis and listen to Sigur Ros and be an artist. Not an artist-educator, not an artist-educator-researcher, not an artist-educator-researcher-Senior Associate Dean-out to save the world and fight the injustices of the world by her own cleverness, and creativity…just someone who’s work is totally her own, whose vision only impacts the very narrow boundaries of her own life.

I might be a little burned out.

Which is why Sunday is such a good idea. And days off are so vital. So today I’m okay with being just lisa. (And yet being just lisa who is also blogging a bit because she’s kind of ashamed of the fact that last week had a total of one post. Oops…good news is that Assignment 3 is finished and out of my hands, the slides for Assign 2 are killer, and there will no doubt be words galore this week as pretty much everything will happen. But not today. Today none of that even exists…

DAY 3: digging out…

March 5, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

The continuous raging blizzards of Midwestern America are indeed an apt metaphor for my life these past few days. It’s more and more and more emails and calendar events and reports all the time and this morning I was a bit of a frazzled mess about it. Tonight after a highly productive day in the closet office, a successful piano lesson, and liberal amounts of both siracha aioli and Beligan beer, I’m feeling way more like I have at least a tiny grasp things and my pace of life has slowed from Mach 3 to 1987 VCR fast forward. Today the spinning plates haven’t shattered and even more my own soul is firmly intact…..which feels very very good

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