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Stephen Lenius

Article: Alternative Learning Strategies at Metro State

May 1, 2014

This is an article I wrote about the many alternative learning strategies available at Metro State. The article was originally written as part of the Metro State Tipster, a newsletter that was a class project for the WRIT 371 Copyediting class I took in the summer of 2013. I was subsequently encouraged by the instructor of that class to submit this article to The Metropolitan, the Metropolitan State University newsletter. The article was published on the front page, above the fold, of the May-June 2014 issue.

Article: Leather Life column, "Power, Education and Society"

This is an article that appeared as part of my Leather Life column in Lavender Magazine. Shortly after it appeared in the magazine, I submitted it as an "extra credit" assignment for my ANTH 302 class.

Learning data processing in the stone age

In 1972, while I was still in high school, I inherited a trove of 78rpm phonograph records from my grandfather. He was a lover of mid-century jazz, especially the music of Duke Ellington.

I decided that I wanted to catalog the collection, but I wanted a catalog I could sort by artist, or by title, or by type of music, or by record number. Today I would enter the information for each record into a database program on my personal computer, or even my iPad, and I would then be able to sort the data any way I wanted. But that was not an option in 1972.

So I designed a data-processing project using the technology available at the time. I punched all the information about the phonograph records onto paper Hollerith cards (also known at the time as "IBM cards"), using one card for each record. I was able to do this using a machine at my high school, which I had already learned to operate by independent study.

I then took the stack of punched cards to the campus of the University of Minnesota, where someone showed me how to use a card-sorting machine to sort the cards the way I wanted them-first, say, by song title. If I had allowed up to twenty characters for the song title, that meant I had to run the cards through the sorter twenty times, which took awhile.

When the cards were finally sorted, I took them over to a printer that read in the cards and printed out the data stored on the sorted cards, one line of data per card, to produce a list of records sorted by song title. (That printer was as big as an upright piano and almost as noisy as a jackhammer.)

Then I took the cards back to the sorter and went through the same sorting-and-printing process to produce other lists sorted by artist, type of music and record number.

Doing all that sorting and printing took an entire afternoon. Today the sorting would take milliseconds, and all the printing involved would take less than five minutes.


I didn't know it at the time, but the analytic skills I developed doing this project would be useful a few years later, when I worked at Control Data Corporation in a systems department. Those skills would be useful in my next job as well, where my coworkers and I pioneered typesetting price lists from data stored on punched paper computer cards. Then we transitioned to typesetting price lists from reels of magnetic tape, and then from floppy disks, and today from Excel spreadsheets.

And those old records? Most of them have been digitized and live on my computer in my iTunes library-and I can sort them, and then play them, in any order I wish.

My creative portfolio on Behance

Paper: Connecting "The Adult Learner" With My Own Experiential Learning

Paper: Gender Fluidity: Disturbing the Hegemonic Image

I wrote this paper as my major class project for the ANTH 302 class.

Scholarly article: "Bisexuals and BDSM: Bisexual People in a Pansexual Community"

Published in the Journal of Bisexuality, Vol. 1(4), 2001. I was asked to write this article by Dr. Fritz Klein, the founder and editor of the journal. 

Scholarly article: "Reflections on 'Bisexuals and BDSM'"

Published in the Journal of Bisexuality, 11:420-425, 2011. For the tenth anniversary of the Journal of Bisexuality I was asked to revisit my earlier article, and offer my thoughts on developments in the ten years since the article was first published.

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