Symbols: the Key to Visual Communication

We communicate in so many ways. A touch on the arm. A murmur of exhaustion. A chuckle. An extended palm.  But our bodies are only one canvas for expression. Over the millennia, humankind has developed thousands of different forms of written communication, from hieroglyphs to kanji to the characters I’m using to talk to you right now. What connects them is that they are all kinds of symbols.   Symbols have evolved throughout the centuries. Even since 2000, there has been an eruption in the variety of symbols we use to speak to one…continue reading →

Native American Heritage Month – Powhatan History

November is Native American Heritage Month. In Virginia, we live on land the Powhatan Confederacy once inhabited. In honor of them, let’s learn!   The Powhatan language, not spoken for centuries now, is called Virginian Algonquian. We have this language to thank for several words that we use now, such as racoon (aroughcun, pronounced a-raw-coon) and (o)possum (opassum, pronounced oh-pah-som). To say hello, Disney – surprisingly – got it right: it’s Wingapo.  Counting in Virginian Algonquian starts like this:  One: Nekut  Two: Ninge  Three: Nus  Four: Yough  Five: Paranske  To learn more, here are…continue reading →

Banned Books Week – Celebrate Intellectual Freedom September 22-28

Even though the ability to express our thoughts is a fiercely protected right in America, censorship still exists. Censorship is the attempt to remove certain content from public places because it is upsetting in some way. The top five ways that books were censored in 2018 included (in no order): Vandalizing pages Hiding resources Burning books Requiring parental permission to access content Removing materials While this may seem like a problem of the past, just last month (August 2019) there was another story about an attempt to censor materials. The oft-challenged “Harry Potter” series was once again removed from a…continue reading →

Tyler Tips: How to Install Office 365

Hello, fellow learners.  Deadlines can be stressful enough without the added worry of file incompatibilities. Most of us have been there: you’re trying to submit an assignment and INVALID FILE TYPE or something similar flashes angrily across the center of your screen. It’s a real bummer.  One way of avoiding this is to use the correct software, since most built-in word processors have more basic versions of the required Microsoft Office that aren’t always accepted by online submitting portals. Don’t worry about it! Through your enrollment at this institution, you have access to…continue reading →

#WorthReading: Return to Yourself by Escaping

Reading for me is, above all, an escape. Not necessarily from this reality, though. I prefer to visit other universes or realms but even a slight change in scenery (a different continent, a different decade) will do just fine.  The following books have stayed in my mind for years. They make me reexamine the art of world-building, both in writing and the kind that unfolds inside thoughts. The world looks different each time I read.  Watership Down by Richard Adams The Premise: After Fiver has a vision of his neighborhood in flames, he…continue reading →