Welcome to the ePortfolio of Russel Ted Fugal. I go by Russel, Russ, RusTed, RussT, or any variation on Fugal (pronounced as Frugal without the r, the adjectival form of fugue, or—if you'd like to get etymologically correct—from the Danish fugl rather than the Latin root fuga). I also go by my Chinese name—武進獻 (simplified: 武进献. romanized: Wu Jinxian)—or the Japanese 武 (romanized: Take).
As my dissertation on appellation may indicate, I am an amateur polygot. I read and speak Chinese, and I am a beginner in French and Japanese. Based on my experience learning languages and my children's experience learning to read, I'm writing a book tentatively titled "Read to Me" to share what I've learned. This book has one goal, that all children enjoy reading. My working chapter headings are:
- Read to Me
- What are Words?
- The Transformative Technology of Typography
- Harnessing Biology
- Abortive Attempts and Successful Scripts
- From The Island of Misfit Words, English Takes the World by Storm
- Using Deep Neural Networks in Modern Instruction
This is a sample description of my book:
Universal Literacy is an ideal thousands of years in the making. Our theories of how best to achieve it are still in their infancy. Despite evidence-based instructional strategies and a proliferation of early literacy activities on mobile devices, proficient reading ability still evades a large fraction of our 4th–8th graders. Every parent knows a child who is a struggling reader. Even when we finally do learn to read, “about a quarter of American adults (26%) say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year,” according to the Pew Research Center.
Shattering paradigms of what means to read, Read to Me explores the biological roots of language, the technology of typography, failed ancient scripts, and the striking similarities of written English and Chinese. Ancient history and evolutionary theory combine with big data and machine learning to illuminate an emerging path to Universal Literacy. Yet the book isn’t academic. Russ Fugal is a father of three young children, and skillfully uses familiar stories of parenthood to tie the narrative together.
I'm also working on a related short children's novel called Sara and the Pooka. I began writing this story after starting work on my non-fiction book and attending a presentation on narrative characters by Paul Genesse in 2016. I finished my first draft in one month, and I'm currently in the middle of a re-write and seeking publication.
I am at SLCC to broaden my exposure to the arts and develop my ability to write. I'm also pursuing an Associates degree in General Studies.