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About Bart Everson

Creative Generalist in the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development at Xavier University of Louisiana

Hey folks! Hope you're enjoying summer break and this record-breaking heat. Hopefully it will be a little cooler when this event rolls around in the fall. We're posting this in support of our faculty in the Division of Business, aiming to spread the word and get on calendars. Download the flyer in PDF.

The Catholic Business Leader: A New Orleans Symposium
Save the Date - September 29 through October 1, 2022
With Keynote Speaker, Cardinal Peter Turkson
Sponsored by Xavier University of Louisiana and Loyola University of New Orleans

We're all concerned about the climate. That concern can be wearing, to say the least. Many young people now suffer from climate anxiety, and some climate organizers are “burning out.”

After the year we've had, this might sound all too familiar.

We need to encourage young people, activists, and teachers of all ages to nourish themselves. As a community, we need to offer support to each other, to give each other permission to slow down and engage in self-care.

Often we try to do too much in too short a time, rather than pacing ourselves for the lifetime mission to which we are called.

And so, on the second Thursday of May, we invite you to do nothing — for the climate!

What’s that mean? Well, the accentuation is actually on the nothing. In other words, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything for the climate (i.e. give up for a day). Rather, for one day, we should intentionally do nothing for the climate. The climate needs us to do more nothing—as it is our pursuit of growth and more, more, more (whether profit, stuff, or children) that is at the heart of our sustainability crisis.

How you do nothing is up to you, but we suggest taking a day away from the fight, away from emails, from work, from school; from the news, from TV shows, movies, and definitely social media. We suggest keeping your devices off completely if you can, and — if you can take a personal day, a mental health day, a vacation day — take one.

Make it a day for relaxing, chilling, nourishing your soul, and reconnecting to the ineffable spirit of being.

To learn more and sign the “Do Nothing” pledge, see Gaianism.org

This is a guest post from Mary A. Guillory, Remote Assistant Librarian for Xavier University Library.

In November 2022, the “Goodbye, Google!” blog post series sent the University Library on a mission to prepare its Youtube channel for the impending email migration. Faculty and staff XULA email accounts were migrated from Google Workspace to Microsoft 365 in December and student accounts will be switched over in May. ITC has not announced an official date for the migration of department and special email accounts. As is likely true for many other departments, the University Library’s social media channels are attached to a department account. 

A video demonstrating how the library packed up its Youtube channel for migration was created in partnership with Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development (CAT+FD). Though Google Support offers some documentation on the issue, the process may not be straight forward for all users—and librarians love to share the fruits of their research so sit back and enjoy the show

Links to Google Documentation 

No fooling: If it's April, it must be time for the Bike Easy Challenge!

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 — yes — even 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!

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

Imagining Grace is a performance-oriented installation of wellness and contemplation inspired by the work of St. Katharine Drexel and the words of Toni Morrison in recognition of Women’s History Month, presented by Xavier's Women’s Studies Program, Performance Studies Laboratory (PSL), and Department of Art & Performance Studies.

Photo courtesy Robin Vander. All rights reserved.

We've heard a lot about "breakthroughs" over the last year, in contexts that are often alarming. That's why it's so refreshing to get news of a different and thoroughly beneficial kind of breakthrough on our campus.

I'm talking about Imagining Grace, of course. You've heard of it by now, I'm sure.

To call it an art installation might miss the point. It is artful, to be sure, but moreover it's an invitation to participate, to immerse oneself, to chill, to simply be. I call it a breakthrough.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, stop by the Administration Building Art Gallery at your next opportunity and experience it for yourself. Moreover, I urge you to allow yourself a little time for that experience.

Dr. Robin Vander says the space is there for everyone "to make it what they need." So you can sit in silence, you can meet a colleague, you can meet a student, and so forth. There's no right or wrong way, but here are a few pro tips.

  • Candle remotes are tucked under the rear of the basket in the center room; change the candle colors to fit any mood.
  • Read the weekly prompt in that room and see if you want or need to respond to it; if you do, place the card in the other basket in the meditation space.
  • Each Tuesday, there's an African Dance class in the space at 5pm, led by Kai Knight, Founder and Creative Director of Seasons Center. Space is limited, so please register by emailing Dr. Vander.

Please make sure you spread the word. Many students have been discovering the space on their own, but Dr. Vander says the biggest thing she's confronting is "trying to let staff know that the space is there for them as well."

CAT+FD has been advocating for contemplative practices on our campus for over a decade now, and we are proud to support this initiative in our own small way. We're moving our long-running weekly Quarter of Quiet meditation to the space for the duration. Join us there at 12:30pm on Mondays for a silent meditation, about 15 minutes — a great way to start your week.

Photo courtesy Robin Vander. All rights reserved.

See also: Imagining Grace press release [PDF]

Ready to learn some grammar? How's about something on optional modifiers?

OK, so maybe you're not studying grammar right now, but the point is the technique. This movie was produced by Dr. Jason Todd (English) in our Camtasia studio using our brand-new Lightboard.

How does it work? According to Dr. Todd (and I quote):

Writing big letters and wearing dark clothes is key to getting this look.

He also asserts that our Røde microphone is "awesome."

Please don't be mystified by all this technical jargon. The Lightboard is just a way of doing old-fashioned chalkboard-lectures. Except without the chalk. If you want to make a video like this, don't be shy. Get in touch. We'll help you. We're learning along with you.

  • Learn more at lightboard.info, and be sure to check out the section on "best practices."

Many thanks to Dean Kathleen Kennedy for making this available to Xavier faculty through the College of Pharmacy's Center of Excellence grant.

woman holding two coins
Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

The XULA Entrepreneurship Institute is interested in gauging the Xavier communities' attitude and general knowledge regarding cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Please take a moment to fill out their survey and they will be sending you some crypto of your own!

Three easy steps to get started:

  1. Take the survey 
  2. Download Coinbase Wallet app (make sure it's the Wallet app)
  3. Email your USDC or ERC20 address to swolfson@xula.edu
    (A little video shows how.)

Further reading?

1

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.