Author Archives for mprest13

About mprest13

I am a professional at the University of Central Florida who likes entertainment, politics and sports.

Tired of Celebrity Deaths? Don’t Blame 2016.

Look, no doubt about it, 2016 was the worst. The election was a drag, the Olympics were meh, and in general it seemed that live was a little edgier. And then there were the celebrity deaths. Starting with David Bowie in January it was everywhere from music to movies to athletes – it seemed every ten days or so we were losing someone many of us cared about. And the only thing that they seemed to have in common was this stinking year. But I have another theory; maybe for a good number of these deaths 2016 was not the reason at all (and yes, I know cosmically that is true as well so save it . . . .) Continue reading

Top 25 Albums of 2016 Themes and Preview

So it is that time of year again when I reveal my favorite albums of the year. This year I will review five albums per day leading up to my top five on Saturday, December 17th. But before I get to my favorite albums of the year I wanted to highlight some of the themes that we encountered in music. 2016 was a great year for music and I am so excited about the many new artists who I discovered and the return of many of all-time favorites.  Continue reading

For the Ghost Ship

I acknowledge that I can be clumsy, ignorant, and awkward when writing or talking about diversity or our creative communities. So please forgive me in advance if I am not eloquent in this post. Kindly let me know how I can do better in the comments. I felt compelled to post as I have been consumed with learning about the lives and art that we lost in the Oakland Warehouse Fire, Friday night. Continue reading

The Only Time You Can Have Everything is on a Bagel

Of all of the bagels there is nothing quite as satisfying to me than the Everything Bagel with cream cheese at a shop in town. It gives me everything I want out of life: a warm bagel that is crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside; a savory and salty blend of sea salt, garlic, poppy seed, onion, and other stuff I cannot place right now. And then the cream cheese. Gooey and sweet, it cuts through all of the savory in a way that is magical. Continue reading

If You Want to Be On Time, Make Sure You End On Time

Welcome to Fall Semester 2016! It is a new college year and full of hope.

Many of us have taken the rollover of the calendar as a chance to make changes and reaffirm commitments. Usually these decisions take the form of the New Year’s resolution or in this case, new school year resolutions. Think your annual promise that you will always follow up on emails, take better notes, or get to that research project.  Continue reading

Basketball Lessons: How ‘And One’ Can Boost Your Career

I love basketball and now I get extra basketball for the summer Olympics.

These teams will struggle to score against fierce defenses, try to maneuver for the perfect shot, and hopefully draw a foul and a chance for an “and one” scoring possibility. “And one” refers to the free throw awarded to a player who is fouled and still manages to get a shot into the basket, thus giving the player a chance for a three- or even a four-point play. Continue reading

Want to Make it in This World? Better Learn to Collaborate

Is there any greater struggle between instructor and student than the dreaded “group assignment”?

From the day it is assigned, students begin the process of passive-aggressive resistance and instructors have the difficult task of grading an assignment they know was basically completed by one overachiever. However, we keep giving these assignments to our students because we realize the value of working together in a collaborative environment.

Virtually everything we know about group dynamics tells us as educators that the wisdom of crowds almost always gets a better result than the lone-wolf approach. The reason is simple: When people are working together on the same project they all tend to see the same problem with a different lens – and that results in added perspective.

Continue reading