Thursday, April 26, 2012

Our purpose

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
--Malcolm Forbes

So I've made it...the last blog I will publish for TO's class. I honestly feel like I just sat down the other day to write my first blog. Anyways, I felt I wanted to take this blog and dedicate it to one of the reasons people like ourselves become teachers and a quality in which I think we should all possess. This quality is an open-mind. As teachers we cannot be close minded to the world--other views, different ways of life or unique individuals. We must have an open mind so that we can instill this quality in our students, or at least attempt to. The quote I found from Malcolm Forbes illustrates this idea magnificently. Teachers are not only supposed educate on "stuff," they should be to open an individual's eyes to new ways of seeing things or even help a student get closer to understanding themselves. With an open mind virtually anything is possible. We don't close out people or things from the world because they are different or unlike ourselves, rather we embrace them and in turn we learn.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The home stretch

It's strange, with a few weeks left of class I keep thinking that I have a lot to do but when I look at my planner it seems like I just have a few loose ends to tie up here and there and of course, a couple of finals. The days are going by so fast I feel as if I can't keep up and the small assignments that stand between me and the end of the semester are taking forever to complete. I wonder why that is...the large assignments I have rarely get put on the back burner and I'm not one to procrastinate on them, yet the small tasks which would take maybe a short hour to complete go unattended. It was so refreshing to get the last presentation over with in our non-print class, giving me one less thing to worry about. My goal by the end of this week is to have a majority of the simple projects out of my hair so I can focus my attention on my finals.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Greek Week

"How do you spell distinguished?"
"Uh, distinguished isn't even a word..."

Tumblr_ludj3wtkxl1qk2f10o1_500_largeI heard this very conversation the other morning while I was eating breakfast at Boozle next to a group of sorority girls. Now I am not one to pass judgment on others, however after over-hearing this exchange of words I couldn't help but roll my eyes. Were these girls kidding?! By muttering those words they were only bringing the label of "dumb (non-distinguished) sorority" girl to life. I guess the irony came with the fact that this week is of course...greek week. A week where greek life is constantly battling against one another in various competitions and drinking mass amounts of alcohol throughout both the day and the night. (I can't deny the fact that I feel a tinge of these kids not have school work?) How could these girls seriously not know what the word distinguished meant or even worse, that the word even existed? It made me think about stereotypes and labels. How can we manage to not judge others or put them in a certain light if they are making themselves out to be just what we are assuming of them?

Friday, April 13, 2012


Due to the fact that scheduling for me has always been a grueling process where I have been left running around like a chicken with its head cut off I felt the need to write about how smooth of a process it was for me this morning. Waiting anxiously for eight to roll around so I could schedule I entered the CRNs for my desired classes and what do you know I actually got ALL of them. As a lower class man we seem to always get the lower end of the stick but my fortunate experience this morning has left me all smiles and so excited for next semester. With a great schedule with no eight a.m.'s to roll out of bed for and the sun shining, today is nearly perfect. =) Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The ubiquity of technology

As the end of the year approaches I have begun to reflect on just how prevalent technology really is and how much of an effect it will have in my future classroom. I am currently enrolled in a production and utilization class which teaches us how to use various technologies and how they will be helpful in the classroom. However, the class is very outdated. While some things we have covered will serve as useful, many of the programs have been along the lines of Microsoft Excel and even the paint drawing tool (extremely basic). It has just been interesting for me to see how drastically and rapid technologies change over time. Currently we are making a video with movie maker...the assignment is similar to our 20 shot video as well as our podcast. It's kind of neat to have two classes so similiar yet contrasting to experience which ways of teaching a lesson will be most useful.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Challenges in the classroom

"If you study hard enough you'll get it, hard work always pays off..." We've all heard this phrase...but it isn't always true. Unfortunately, there are students who are going to be "left behind" no matter how much hard work they put into a class. After studying rigorously for hours upon hours for my math test I received the consecutive D on my test. Now, as fellow English majors I feel you can all relate that for most of us math is the enemy. Personally, usually with enough studying, tutoring and hard work I can pull off a C in a math class (I even pulled off a B last semester...did pigs fly that day too?!?). With that said, even though I always say math is like a foreign language to me I can usually get through it, but the last couple of exams have got me thinking. How do those students who just really don't get more than one subject feel? If a student comes to class, studies, does homework and gets a tutor and STILL isn't getting it what do we do? I laid in bed last night thinking how to answer these questions and how as a future teacher I hope to never put my students in a position where they are so nervous about a test that they worry themselves sick. Additionally, I hope my students are able to get all the help they need without being ashamed or embarrassed to ask questions in front of the other students. Luckily, my professor is very understanding and more than willing to do anything to help me get my C. After talking to her my mind was put at ease and I hope to be as helpful as her one day.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Rewind to the days of make believe...

In the excerpt from Exploring Castles: Authentic Teaching and Learning through Drama, the overall idea presented so far is awesome. Reading through I imagined myself as a young girl playing make believe and letting my imagination run wild. When I was younger I spent what seems to me like my entire childhood outside. From the moment I woke up till the time the night time swallowed the day I was an explorer of all nature had to offer. I was a doctor creating medicines by crushing up leaves and flowers on rocks, an artist, a gymnast swinging from my swing set with chalky hands of green, blue and pink side walk chalk, an archaeologist digging in the dirt for bones and fossils. The possibilities were endless and as you can see, the memories and lessons still vivid in my memory. So why, when and how do our imaginations seem to diminish and get replaced by reality? When do we stop using our imaginations and push make believe to the back of the shelf with the toys we have outgrown and left to collect dust and cobwebs? After delving into this reading I cannot help but think that we shouldn't. Although there is a time and place for make is evidently beneficial for not only students but teachers as well. An assignment like this would be beyond fun even in a high school classroom. It reminds me of a trip to the science or history center where the visitors are able to interact and see through different eyes or walk in different shoes. If by me, a 20 year old, merely reading Exploring Castles made me feel like going outside or finding other ways of using my imagination I can only imagine how exciting something like this would be for students of all grade levels.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

"I Just Need to Draw"

I think class on Friday was really refreshing and would be in a high school classroom, too. I enjoyed how it got us out of our seats and able to interact with one another. While viewing the differences was interesting I felt that the many similarities between our pictures were also intriguing. I'd really like to see how people would draw a more elaborate scene. It would remind me of when a book is transformed into a movie and after reading both versions you stop and think "the characters in the movie were nothing like what I imagined in my head." People might have a completely different image of what characters looked like and I think it'd be fun to play around with why certain characters were thought to look a certain way. Additionally, I feel sketching out certain parts of a story would be really beneficial to some students. Sometimes it's easy to forget that not everyone has the ability to imagine a the story in their head so taking a marker or colored pencil and actually drawing it out could help them grasp the story that much better and really connect with the text.