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About Bart Everson

Media Artist in the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development at Xavier University of Louisiana

Pronoun Nametag by Ted Eytan
Image by Ted Eytan/Creative Commons

Recently a student congratulated me on my email signature. In light of that exchange, I thought it appropriate to share the following "unsatisfactory meditation" on personal pronouns.

He, him, his. These are my pronouns. Or at least, they are the ones I've answered to all my life.

It's become a custom, recently, to let other people know your pronouns by way of introduction. You might see them in an email signature. Sometimes people label them as "gender pronouns" or "preferred pronouns" or simply "pronouns." Or they might just be sitting there next to the person's name. You can now specify your pronouns in your Zoom profile, and on certain social media sites.

This might seem odd or unnecessary the first time you see it, but in practice it's actually very helpful. If you've ever experienced confusion over what pronoun to use with a new acquaintance, well, it can be embarrassing for all parties involved.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. ...continue reading "Yes, you should totally tell your students your pronouns"

Well. Here we are. Again. The school year has gotten off to kind of a rough start, wouldn't you say? I heard one mother with children in the local system remark that this would absolutely, positively have to be the last "first day of school" this year. At least, she hopes so.

On our campus, the physical damage may not be profound, but we have faculty and staff and students who have lost a lot. In some cases, they've lost their homes, possibly even loved ones. We are walking around and doing our best to return to the normal rhythms of the academic year, but it's challenging, to be sure.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just reboot this entire semester?

That may not be possible, but perhaps we can reboot our own experience of the semester. We can make some time for stillness, which can refresh and renew the spirit. Please join us Wednesday morning for "A Quarter of Quiet." See details below. Whether you make it or not, please do remember to engage in some form of self-care. It's absolutely essential in the best of times — to say nothing of right now.

Wednesday is also the autumnal equinox, a very special time when day and night are equal, considered by many Americans as the first day of fall. On behalf of CAT+FD, let me be the very first to wish you a happy equinox!

Meditation Room

A Quarter of Quiet

The Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development invites you to join us for a regular group meditation. We'll meet in the Meditation Room of the St. Katharine Drexel Chapel each Wednesday morning throughout the 2021 fall semester. Drop in when you can.

What to expect?

As the meditation room is located directly beneath the bell tower, we are using the bells in our meditation. They chime quarterly. Our period of silence begins at 8:30 and ends at 8:45.

But I've never done this before!

You needn't have any experience with meditating; just stop by and give it a try. There's no commitment and no pressure. There's also really no right or wrong way to do it. Just sit quietly. Of course, if you'd like some basic instruction we can help; contact Bart Everson.

Why meditate?

Meditation has numerous well-documented benefits, including stress management, improved emotional balance, increased focus and awareness and increased responsiveness to student needs.

  • Date: September 22, 2021 - December 15, 2021 (when classes are in session)
  • Time: 8:30 - 8:45 AM
  • Location: Meditation Room, St. Katharine Drexel Chapel
  • Sponsor: CAT+FD

Photo credit: Bart Everson

How to Make Excellent Video Lectures

Please note the above is not intended as an example of a video lecture, excellent or otherwise. It is merely a recording of yesterday's workshop, a Zoom meeting. Nevertheless we hope it will be helpful for those who were unable to attend.

You'll find this video and other resources in support of yesterday's workshop on the CAT+FD wiki.

Between hurricanes and pandemics, video lectures may be more important than ever to your teaching. Fortunately we have a workshop and also some software for you.

Bart Everson is conducting a timely workshop on "How to Make Excellent Video Lectures." With today’s technology tools, anyone can make a video lecture. This workshop will provide you with step-by-step instructions to make your video lectures excellent.

[Camtasia Logo]

Furthermore, Xavier has secured a site license for all faculty to have immediate access to Camtasia.

For those just tuning in, Camtasia is a tool for making videos by recording from your screen and camera. A common use for teachers is to record short lectures. Many Xavier faculty will be familiar with this software already. In recent years, you may even have come to the fifth floor of the Library to use the CAT+FD Camtasia Studio.

Under the current pandemic conditions, we all have limited access to facilities, and our Camtasia Studio is not open for general use. CAT+FD advocated for a site license so that faculty can use Camtasia on their laptops, desktops, and other devices, wherever they may be. Many thanks to the office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs for approving this purchase!

So what are you waiting for? Yes, you can download and install Camtasia now. Here's the link.

Please note: You will need to our freshly-minted Camtasia License key to unlock the software beyond the free trial period. To get the key, please contact me, Bart Everson. You can send me an email or use this form.

As we prepare to return to campus this fall, we're also planning to bring back our popular mid-week meditation meeting, with a shift to an earlier time: morning instead of afternoon.

This is an experiment. Many traditions emphasize morning meditation as a way to start the day. That's great — but does it work with your schedule? We'll just have to see. Read on for all the details.

Meditation Room

The Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development invites you to join us for a regular group meditation. We'll meet in the Meditation Room of the St. Katharine Drexel Chapel each Wednesday morning throughout the 2021 fall semester. Drop in when you can.

What to expect?

As the meditation room is located directly beneath the bell tower, we are using the bells in our meditation. They chime quarterly. Our period of silence begins at 8:30 and ends at 8:45.

But I've never done this before!

You needn't have any experience with meditating; just stop by and give it a try. There's no commitment and no pressure. There's also really no right or wrong way to do it. Just sit quietly. Of course, if you'd like some basic instruction we can help; contact Bart Everson.

Why meditate?

Meditation has numerous well-documented benefits, including stress management, improved emotional balance, increased focus and awareness and increased responsiveness to student needs.

  • Date: August 25, 2021 - December 15, 2021 (when classes are in session)
  • Time: 8:30 - 8:45 AM
  • Location: Meditation Room, St. Katharine Drexel Chapel
  • Sponsor: CAT+FD

Photo credit: Bart Everson

Last April's Bike Easy Challenge was, well, challenging. This April, at least we can ride to campus occasionally — as staggered work schedules dictate, obviously.

In any event: I'm joining the Bike Easy Challenge to get more Xavier faculty and staff riding bikes in New Orleans. Riding a bike can make you happier, healthier and wealthier. That's what I call professional development!

Did you know that New Orleans ranks #7 (among cities with over a quarter-million residents) for the percentage of people who bike to work?

And yet we could certainly do better by our bike riders, our transit riders, and our pedestrians. As I've argued elsewhere, safe transport is an issue of social justice and aligned with Xavier's mission.

Plus there are awesome prizes for riding and encouraging others throughout the month of April. Find out more and register at lovetoride.net/bikeeasy

It only takes a minute to register. It doesn't matter if you ride every day, or if you haven't been on a bike in years. Everyone is invited — and be sure to join the Xavier team!

Note: Due to COVID-19 protocols, only solo rides or household rides are encouraged.

Holler at me if you need any technical assistance or have any questions.

Tentative Title: The Crucial Conversation: Teaching Race and Racism in the Postsecondary Context
Editors: Drs. William T. Hoston, Laurette B. Foster, and Fred A. Bonner II
Abstract Length: 300 to 500 words.
Abstract Proposal Deadline: No later than April 16, 2021.

Objective:

This edited volume will explore the best practices for effective teaching and learning relevant to race and racism in the post-George Floyd era, where American universities and colleges are placing a greater emphasis on fostering educational contexts that address diversity, inclusion, belonging, and race relations. The emphasis on these constructs in our current societal climate, which has led institutions to pledge a commitment to addressing racial injustices, is the foundation for this book.

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Mardi Gras in New Orleans wasn't much fun this year, what with the pandemic and the subfreezing temperatures. But take heart, friends! A certain carnivalesque spirit pervades the CAT+FD Camtasia studio. Here's our own Bart Everson with a short and silly showcase of the software's capabilities.

What's the point? We just hope to get you thinking about possibilities. Remember, all Xavier faculty have access to Camtasia via site license. (Get yours now.) You may not want to use all of the effects deployed in this demo. In fact, you may not want to use any. When it comes to video production, less is usually more. We just want you to be aware of the possibilities.

We are continuing our popular mid-week meditation series, but as with so many things it will be a little different because of the pandemic. We won't be meeting in the chapel. Rather, we will be "meditating in place" -- separately but together, through the miracle of information technology.

Yes, there's an app for that. In fact, there are many, but we've selected Insight Timer. It's free! Install on your phone or use the website. Be sure to use your Xavier (xula.edu) email when creating your account, so you can join the CAT+FD Circle.

We'll use the app for a group meditation on Wednesday mornings at 7:30am whenever classes are in session this semester. Meditations will be short (about ten minutes) using music or spoken word. No interaction required on your part; just tune in and chill out.

It starts this Wednesday, January 27th, at 7:30am.

[Insight Time logo]

You needn't have any experience with meditating; just give it a try. There's no commitment and no pressure. This is an easy way to dip your toe in the waters and get started.

Why bother? Meditation has numerous well-documented benefits, including stress management, improved emotional balance, increased focus and awareness and increased responsiveness to student needs.

Don't hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or run into any technical glitches.

Full disclosure: CAT+FD staffer Bart Everson has a remunerative relationship with Insight Timer. It ain't much but it does exist. He has attempted to resolve this potential conflict of interest. Full details on his personal blog.

Thanksgiving is practically upon us, and a lot of people are asking themselves:

How long will it take?

No, I'm not talking about Donald Trump conceding defeat! Okay, I confess I do wonder about that, but I'm thinking about something entirely different.

As faculty plan for the next semester, recording video lectures seems like a natural, especially since we now have that Camtasia license (details). Only there's that daunting question.

How long will it take?

I made this video in response.

Please don't take anything I say here too seriously. It's just a silly proof-of-concept, intended to get you thinking. Further pointers on using Camtasia can be found on our wiki. Remember, we're here to help.