“As I’ve learned more and different (computer) languages, I feel so much more confident. My communication skills are better, and now that I’m a senior, my leadership skills are on point, and I know they’ll get better.”
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Clarksville, Tennessee
Involvement: APSU Fortera Street Team, CSCI Coding Camps, Structure Learning Assistant, APSU Help
Desk, Association of Computer Machinery
On St. Patrick’s Day last year, Austin Peay student Amanda McNair posted an Instagram photo of her dressed in green – from neon green wig atop her head to the green that lined her Chuck Taylor soles.
The green held a gentle presence, though, compared to the orange splashes in the photo – her Chucks, earrings, scarf and sunglasses all screamed bright orange.
“I love art and creativity, so I try to bring that into my life,” said McNair, who is set to graduate with two computer science degrees in May. “I like doing themes whether it’s Valentine’s Day or Christmas.”
That means her St. Patrick’s Day post was a typical holiday post for her. But her other 2019 posts were not. A friend challenged McNair to post a story every day for her New Year’s resolution.
“I’m more of a picture person, so I came up with the idea to post a photo every day, then I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh! That’s 365 different posts,” she said. “If you check it out, I switched out the wigs every single day, but I actually completed it, my New Year’s resolution.”
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Yes, McNair posted an elaborate Instagram photo shoot nearly every day in 2019. Here’s a sampling of one post from each month:
- Jan. 1: She announces the challenge: “Post something every day! For someone who loves taking pictures, this seems reasonable.”
- Feb. 9: This day celebrates National Bagels Day and National Pizza Pie Day, so McNair carb-loaded on both.
- March 10: On National Mario Day (Mar10), she found a Mario outfit.
- April 28: On National Superhero Day, she put on a superhero costume.
- May 28: On National Hamburger Day, she dressed as a … yes, hamburger.
- June 3: On National Egg Day, she juggled some eggs (some did not survive).
- July 23: On National Gorgeous Grandma, she put on a gray wig with curlers.
- Aug. 11: On National Spirit of ‘45 Day, she dressed as Rosie the Riveter.
- Sept. 15: On National Wife Appreciation Day, she put on a full wedding dress.
- Oct. 4: On National Taco Day, she dressed in a taco-themed shirt and munched on tacos.
- Nov. 4: On National Candy Day, she posed with an assortment of M&Ms AND an assortment of Chuck Taylors.
- Dec. 9: On National Pastry Day, she posted a series of photos chronicling her love of Pillsbury’s Toaster Strudels. Pillsbury responded, “Love it!”
“I took a lot of the photos myself because I couldn’t find someone to take a picture of me every single day,” McNair said.
McNair is focusing on holidays this year and not posting every day because, “It was just so much work.” But her posts were a hit.
“Some people were amazed, some people were always looking forward to it,” she said. “When I stopped, they were sad because it brought them joy. I didn’t think it would bring anyone any.”
Two computer science degrees and a teaching job
In Spring 2020, McNair finished her Bachelor of Science in computer information systems and another in computer information technology, degrees she used to secure a job as coding instructor at Northeast High School in Clarksville.
“It has been an unforgettable journey now that I am teaching my own computer science courses,” she said. “While this opportunity took me by surprise, my professors had no doubt that I could do it. After seeing me help students as an SLA leader and teach at the coding camps (at Austin Peay), many of my professors have highlighted my passion for teaching.
Keep up with her elaborate and creative posts on every theme imaginable every day of the year!@amandamcnair98
“I love teaching people because it helps me learn,” she added. “It was the faculty and staff at Austin Peay that influenced my decision to teach. I admired their wisdom and how they have the ability to teach those who are new to computer science.
“I will forever treasure what I learned at Austin Peay and will bring this knowledge to my new job.”
“As I’ve learned more and different (computer) languages, I feel so much more confident,” McNair said. “My communication skills are better, and now that I’m a senior, my leadership skills are on point, and I know they’ll get better.”