An Inkling of C. S. Wyatt
the online portfolio of a…
Writer? Programmer? Entrepreneur? Teacher? Consultant? Researcher?
Yes, and another dozen labels could be added to that list. Given the opportunity, I'd pursue degrees and training in a dozen fields — because everything is connected, somehow. I consider myself many things, with more interests and passions than time. Others can try to decide if I am an educational technologist with an interest in writing, or a writer with an interest in technology.
One label that always applies to me: curious.
Passionately curious about economics, philosophy, politics, and history, I seek understanding of how we communicate about these topics. How do views, often based more on beliefs than facts, win arguments within a community? We apply labels to others and ourselves during these debates. We embrace and reject various labels.
Descriptions of how labels might apply to me reinforce the connections among the areas of interest. My identity begins at writer. As a freelance writer and freelance application developer, I am a small business owner. As a business owner, I must consider economics, politics, and philosophy. When I worked in the financial industry, again my writing skills enabled the translation of complex compliance issues into understandable language.
My concern for society led me from private industry to teaching. As a teacher, I apply concepts from economics and philosophy. Writing remains at the core of my teaching approach, as I guide students in technical fields to develop their communication skills. Knowing math, science, or computer programming does not guarantee success. Effective communication must accompany knowledge, making transmission of that knowledge possible.
As this short introduction illustrates, I cannot be one thing, because every passion I have in life draws from the others. You might not meet many poets fascinated by economics or statistics. One colleague called me a “connector” between disciplines. I would love to earn that label.
Writer and Editor
I am a freelance writer and editor. Writing is about the words for me; having my name on a byline, cover, or playbill matters less to me than that the words find an audience. I prefer to work in relative anonymity, and thankfully do so most of the time. My wife and I do offer editing and writing services, generally on a confidential basis. Having my name on a book or in a byline is not my primary motivation for writing.
As a produced playwright, my works seek to entertain and persuade. Retaining an audience comes first; without their attention, you cannot hope to influence people. Creative writers are in sales and marketing, writers are in business and in competition with other writers seeking publication, production, and audiences. The rhetoric of fiction goes beyond holding the attention of readers to the core process of analyzing what readers might want.
As an academic scholar, I am a “public intellectual.” An online portfolio is expected of university instructors with interests in new media and digital compositions. Since returning to graduate school in 2004, I have experimented with screenwriting. Although plays reach more people than academic papers, films reach an even wider audience.
While in junior high school, I started helping friends and neighbors use first-generation personal computers. I taught people to program BASIC on everything from Apple IIe to TI-99/41 systems. While in high school, a science teacher and I cofounded a software business. After college, I co-owned and managed a retail computer store. I still do some freelance development, and even some hardware repair.
My technical background reflects my curiosity and enthusiasm for programming and new media. I have maintained a Web presence since 1994, using this site as a platform for design experiments and the learning of new technologies.
How can we best use technology to help students? Too often, new technologies have been rushed into classrooms without a clear pedagogical purpose. My academic research explored the why and how to use technology in classrooms — and when virtual classrooms might be best for some students. Though I love computers, that alone is not justification for using them in our schools.
We should teach introductory programming skills to all students, in my view. Learning about technology improves math, science, and reasoning skills. We should teach students to critically analyze new media, as we have long taught students to be critical readers of the printed word.
Autism Related Blog
“Autism researcher” appears last because it is the most challenging label to explain in two paragraphs. My research focuses on how autistic individuals learn to compose written language and how to best nurture those skills. I did not intend to research autism when I entered graduate school. What I discovered is that the science and technology fields I love include many people with cognitive differences, including autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).
When gifted people, including many savants and geniuses, cannot explain their ideas to others, we risk losing the benefits of their insights. Helping these people approach writing as they might other pattern-based problems, offers them a path towards intellectual and financial independence. Meeting brilliant men and women who struggle to communicate socially and professionally has forced me to consider what personal traits society values most.
Screenplays, a non-fiction work on education, two short story collections, and several client projects currently receive most of my attention as a writer. Additionally, I contribute a monthly column on technology and life to Visalia Direct magazine, write short stories for two online publications, and provide confidential writing and editing services.
I always have various projects on my desk: novels, plays, software ideas, database applications, and various articles I have written. As mentioned earlier, I never have enough time for all my interests.
- Tameri Guide for Writers — I know this project will never be done, but it is probably the most interesting and challenging. My goal, starting in 1997, was to convert any class I taught about writing to Web content.
- The Existential Primer — The project that started it all. In an age of Wikipedia, blogs, and other forms of community editing, I still retain editorial control of The Existential Primer. It is important to me that the site be easy to read and appreciate, while being as accurate as any text on philosophy can be.
- 2015 September
- Updated personal home page, teaching pages, and creative portfolio.
- 2012 June
- Updated CSS to accommodate devices from phones to wide screens.