Question for the metabrain: I have seen rumors that one can get an RSS feed of a Zotero library/group, but haven't been able to figure out how to do that for any of my groups. Anyone know how I can make that happen? That way, I can pump my reading notes out for easier public consumption.

I use Zotero for notetaking on readings and citation management. I've also gotten in the habit of starting and sharing public Zotero groups for class reading bibliographies; sometimes my classmates appreciate not having to do the data entry for citations, and sometimes other people ask what I'm reading because they'd like to follow along. So without further ado, the classes I've got Zotero groups for - most are empty because classes started yesterday:

  • Metagradschool (EDPS 633 Seminar in Educational Psychology) - a little 1-credit class on navigating academic career advancement as a graduate student. It's led by an Ed Psych professor who started the course last year out of frustration that nobody actually taught grad students, y'know, how to get jobs. I had already blocked out Monday afternoons for what turned out to be the course assignments -- make a CV, revise a paper to submit for publication, write a teaching statement -- and figured that I'd rather do those things with scaffolding, resources, and a little group (11 other grad students) than on my own.
  • Rstats (STAT 695 The R Language) - Look, if I have to take a statistics class for grad school, I'm not going to spend it staring at formulas on a chalkboard. I'm going to spend it learning an open source statistical programming language from a guy who's written good books on information visualization. (I just hope my CART provider can keep up.)
  • DesignCogLearn (ENE 620 Design, Cognition, and Learning) - My advisor's signature class, known for scrambling your neurons in a how the hell does she think like that? way. I look forward to the mindwarp. I think we tackle questions like "what the hell does 'design thinking' mean, anyhow?" -- imagine a group of engineers attuned to subjectivity, boundary-making, and qualitative methods, but discontent with the magical-hand-wave explanations of "design" spending a semester on that. Maybe there isn't a singular definition; there is almost certainly not The Answer, and we're not going to emerge at the end of term with the Grand Unified Block Diagram -- but we can learn deeper and more sophisticated ways of talking about the process and analyzing it, certainly.
  • HAtech (SLHS 519 Hearing Aids II) - Hearing aid technologies, a class for audiology students that I'll be the first person who actually wears hearing aids to take. The first lecture talks about (among other things) the recent patent US 2012/0183165 A1 filed by Apple last month (July 2012) for controlling hearing aids via iPhone. I'm taking this as one of the engineering classes my degree requires, and hoping to keep the hearing aid hacks community updated with cool stuff from it.

In other news, I joined a small ADHD coaching group on campus, will be continuing with aural rehabilitation/speech therapy, am going to  and am auditioning for the campus dance company... tonight. It's something that scares me shitless, but I'll never know if I don't try, right? Modern dance has been a thing I've admired from afar for over a decade; I always watched school dance companies in high school and college with a sense of awe and wistful longing that I, too, could have the guts to be on stage and moving someday. Between then and now, I've had a lot of scar tissue unlocked and can now do things like breathe and touch my toes. I also now have hearing aids and a fighting chance of hearing the music I'm supposed to dance to. And the audition announcement said No Experience Required.

So I'm going in. If my body's physically capable of doing this, my brain should be able to get over stage fright and the million other things that make me terrified of acting like a physical being in front of other people. (I tend to not inhabit my own body; it scares me to have muscles, to have organs, to walk, to feel the power of my hip muscles, to have my skin touch something that isn't a machine that I control.) It is the sort of thing you only learn by doing.

I've been trying to nurse my left ankle back to resilience since the hike, and my hips (especially my IT bands, but also my quads and calves and hamstrings and... ergh) are still going "HEY WE JUST FINISHED WALKING ACROSS ENGLAND HERE" and last night my immune system gave out and sent me to bed early with nausea and a headache, so it should be an interesting experience. But I am taking very, very good care of myself right now, so... fingers crossed.

Finally, some advice I'm trying to ponder in grad school:

Don't imagine that the world compels you to work on certain topics or talk a certain way. First things first: once you can explain what you care about, then you can build a community of people who also care about that.

What do I want?