#UnpluggedNCState Week 4: We Are Ready

By Maria Gallardo-Williams

Listen on Google Drive (transcript) Week 4 with Bethany Smith (Associate Director of Instructional Technology Training, DELTA) and Dr. Carlos Goller (Teaching Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences)

Welcome to #UnpluggedNCState’s fourth and last week, and thank you so much for signing up for this series! Creating this series has been the highlight of my summer, and it is my hope that has been helpful to you during these difficult times.

Ready or not, the Fall semester is almost here, with its perpetual Back to School theme, even if it might look different than a traditional Back to School. We have certain expectations, and we all had hoped that the pandemic would be over by now. However, things happen in their own time, and we are still living with a fair amount of uncertainty. That doesn’t mean that we can’t look for inspiration to get ready for the Fall. I would like this installment of the Unplugged series to help you find your own mind fuel, the things that can help us get ready and to move past any roadblocks that we are experiencing so far, just like shopping for school supplies capped the summers of our childhood and brought with it all kinds of new possibilities.

When I drafted the dream lineup of podcast guests for this season, Bethany Smith and Carlos Goller immediately came to mind for week 4. Two of the most inspirational people I know, the kind of folks that leave you energized every time you meet with them, each in their own unique way. I was so curious to find out what drives them, and how they find creative inspiration to produce innovative training opportunities for faculty and staff (Bethany) and teaching and learning materials for students (Carlos). They didn’t disappoint. Each one from their own perspective, they got my mind racing with possibilities. After we recorded our podcast I found myself browsing Pinterest for professional reasons, and signing up for podcasts to get better at my job. I have found so many new and wonderful things, and I can’t wait to incorporate them into my own process this fall. I am ready!

I hope that listening to this week’s podcast (complete with subliminal messages to acquire new stationary and office supplies, you’re welcome) will move you to get a renewed sense of purpose as you get ready for the next semester. Just in case that was not enough, here is an article full of ideas that might resonate with you. You might find yourself laughing out loud, like I did, when you read some of these ideas. Playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild for cooking inspiration would never have occurred to me, but it might really get your mind off the pandemic rut that we find ourselves in. And you certainly can’t go wrong with adding some greenery to your workspace. There is some serious research that shows that environments that incorporate plants result in increased creativity and productivity.

I have enjoyed the last four weeks with all of you more than I can say. You can leave us a comment (if you have an NC State id), or we will be following this conversation on Twitter at #UnpluggedNCState and you can join us there. Tell us how you will be getting ready for the fall semester, or just let us know what is going on in your life. Let’s inspire each other to get ready.

Journaling prompts/conversation starters:

  • What is your go-to source of inspiration?
  • If you were to try one of the ideas for inspiration from this week’s reading, which one would you pick?
  • Are you ready for the fall? And, if not, what can you do to get ready?

Some useful links:

Suggested Reading for this week: 18 Out-of-the-Box Ideas to Spark Creative Inspiration

From Carlos Goller: A website full of teaching inspiration and a podcast

Creativity Studio at the NC State Libraries

Summer Research and Creativity Symposium on July 29, 2021

Video Library of Teaching Techniques

Teaching in the Fall: Get Ready to Meet Students Where They Are