For the first time in all my years as a graduate student, I decided to take some of Christmas break as an actual break from school work. So, for the first two weeks of break, I refused to read school related emails, read mostly neuroscience instead of theology or philosophy, only thought about my dissertation a couple of times a day, and only glanced at code here and there. After those restful two weeks, it’s time to get back to work though.

Before school starts back up, I’ve got a few things I’m trying to do. Foremost, I’m finishing up building my own website, which will be hosted through Github Pages and run there with Jekyll. I’ve been playing around with different grid frameworks, such as Skeleton, but have decided finally to just write it from scratch with no grid given the simplicity of what I’m trying to do. A surprisingly hard part of the whole process, I’ve found, is picking good typography. As writing focused websites and blogging platforms, such as Medium, become more popular, more and more designers seem to be moving toward clear, minimal layouts and designs which serve as backdrops to more interesting typographical choices. As I am myself drawn toward sites with a lot of white space, minimal navigational elements, and larger text, I’ve been designing my own site similarly, and trying to choose a good font stack to really set off my own written content, as the primary focus of the website will be blog posts. Doing so, though, has led to hours of perusing fonts on Google Fonts and Font Squirrel and reading articles on typography in modern web design.

More immediately relevant to Praxis, I’m reviewing our lessons on PHP from December, continuing to practice through resources provided by the SLAB staff, and beginning to pick through WordPress Plugins. With the last of these, I’m paying a lot of attention to the structure of the plugin, and the structure of the code. One of the most important things we can do in building the Ivanhoe plugin is to rigorously stick to best practices, including clear and consistent commenting, to make our code easily readable for future groups and/or outside developers who might want to work on it in the future.

As we get closer to our official return to school, I look forward to hitting the ground running with the other Praxers and building something not just working but sustainable!