This week I experienced something nearly unrecognizable: free time. I had about 45 minutes before I had to arrive at school to teach preschool. Emails had been sent, jobs had been applied to, dishes had been washed, and my latest craft project was drying. It was an amazing feeling!
The past year has certainly been an adventure full of deadlines, rewrites, and curriculum planning. I'm currently in the process of what I've aptly called "The Great Job Search 2011." With a bit more time to write, I am happy to announce that I will be posting regularly on iGeneration and am very pleased with the redesign. Please read on if you're interested in what's been happening during iGeneration's comfy nap.
Big Top Fitness
Despite the lack of updates on the blog and Facebook page, Big Top Fitness is alive and well! My colleague Sabrina Connell and I collected data on all five episodes and gained a bit more insight into which episodes children preferred and what prompted them to get up on their feet and get active. I hosted two screenings of the series: one in Brooklyn, NY, for family and friends and another in Somerville, MA, for my students, their families, and my Massachusetts friends. Rachel Yonda made unbelievably beautiful invites for both events.
It was nice to catch friends and family up on what I've been doing at Tufts. I felt very fortunate to be surrounded by so much love and support! You know people love you when they wear a clown nose for you.
I was very lucky to get some press around the Massachusetts screening. The Somerville Patch included a nice article about my work and the event. You can read it here.
I was ecstatic to complete and defend my thesis on time. It was looking a little grim there for a bit. I'm very proud of the work and hope that I can modify parts of it for publication in the near future. Researching my own artistic project was very difficult. I also found flaws with my methodology and would love to go back and do the study differently. Unfortunately, IRB and Tufts' lab school restrictions made it extremely difficult to perform the ideal study. I learned a great deal about methodology during the research and writing processes. It would have been nice to perform the study in a more naturalistic setting and perhaps use the caregiver as an investigator in the project. I'm interested in comparing these possible methods with other children's media studies performed both in academia and in the industry.
I think my favorite part of graduation was when my dad pulled out a clown nose from his jacket pocket and encouraged me to wear it for the ceremony. We Zagarinos love to push buttons, especially when it comes to pomp and circumstance! More than anything, I was so touched that he had held onto the nose. I could tell how proud my parents were of the work I had accomplished these past two years. Friend and Big Top production assistant, Audrey Raboin, and I sported our noses as we left the ceremony. In addition to working on the series, Audrey and I also spent our first semester studying puppetry for television, taught by none other than the amazing Sabrina. Those workshops provided me with some of my favorite Tufts memories. Here's Audrey working with Naranja:
I think we're mostly caught up! I look forward to posting more regularly and reading your comments.