September Update

The past three months have been the busiest in my life. I am seeing major success at school with my updates in the science classroom. I’m pushing the envelope with technology integration and piloting a bunch of new technologies in preparation for a one to one initiative the next school year. Next week should see a new chromebook cart arriving with five different convertible models to choose from and put their their paces for the selection process this December. Fun times, but super draining on my mental energy.

I have definitely cemented watercolor painting in the mixed media urban sketching style as a new hobby. I have a large collection of paints and have developed what you might call a passion for color and pigments and I think the watercolor medium is excellent for showcasing these pigments due to their transparency as opposed to most other media which are generally opaque in nature. I think I’ll start putting some watercolor content up on this blog soon.

That reminds me… I’ve been thinking about blogging every week for months now but have hit a time issue and energy issue. Also, as far as content, I was really hoping to focus on poetry and bible study when I deleted my old biblioblog and created this one. Due to my varied interests I think I’ll need to just post whatever is on my mind. I don’t think I’ll be writing my own poetry any time soon but I can go back to posting poetry that I find and that I enjoy. Same with scriptures; I can post things that stand out to me.

However, I think I’ll add in art content and technology and other things I find interesting. I definitely am learning a lot of new things in the fields of psychology, mental health, as well as in the education technology areas. So, I’m hoping to just start creating here again. I’m also hoping to get more active in Instagram, which is a great art format. I’ve been seriously thinking about upgrading to an iPhone SE to get a better camera but keep the small form factor of my 5S which I love.

Speaking of Apple products. I am also using an iMac for the first time. I have some high flyer students who I really pushed earlier this week to try some new things in class. They came back with a request for a video camera, lapel mic, green screen and computer with iMovie so they could write and film some video content for our current lesson. I’ve spent the past week assembling such from misc. resources in our school and they filmed their footage Thursday. Monday starts the editing process. I have one of the two iMacs updating to High Sierra, and the other is already in use. More soon on that front.

Finally, I’ve been back to game mastering table top role playing games, mostly D&D 5e right now. I am running two campaigns, a Tuesday/Thursday after school group is running through Tomb of Annihilation. I have a former student playing four PCs in Curse of Strahd on Friday nights, who is also thinking about taking up the DM wand for the first time; and I would switch roles and play a different party of four PCs. Anyways, lots going on and I anticipate becoming more active in October as I settle back into a routine now that school is back into full swing.

The Broken Sword

A novel by Poul Anderson was a fast and interesting read. I read Three Hearts And Three Lions earlier this year, and had purchased this second book to read as well. I found the descriptions of Europe and the lore of the Norse and Faerie to be very interesting, and much different from what I’m used to from Tolkien.

I imagine this will have quite an impact on my D&D games at some point, as it is fun to learn about different takes on ancient stories and lore, and depictions of how such fantasy things might have been. It is a shame there aren’t more movies in the fiction and science fiction genres for me to watch. There are fortunately many books in this area, and I suppose that will remain a future source for me, while gaming remains a creative outlet.

Role Playing Games

One year ago I pretty much gave up a major past time, which was playing video games. The only games I really play any more are card games and board games with my family, and role playing games.

My role playing game of choice is Dungeons & Dragons, and I have a few places where I play it currently. I mostly serve as a game master when I play, and have spent most of the past year and a half playing the new fifth edition (5e) of D&D.

My brother mentioned recently that he now mostly plays a newer gaming system called Shadow of the Demon Lord. It’s a horror fantasy style game. What is really interesting to me is watching how the creator, Robert Schwalb, DMs his own game.

Essentially, Schwalb puts the story elements first, and seldom gets hung up on game mechanics. He also has an rather interesting dark humor approach to his games. I’m going to try to emulate the speed of his story telling in my future games.

More on this as I modify my 5e D&D games, and especially if I try out this new system.