Friday, December 27, 2013

It's Back to School in a Month

In one month from today, classes start again for second semester. I’m not sure I’m ready for that reality again.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to go back to school, I really do. I’ve been missing my friends like crazy the past few weeks. But am I ready for my course load? Not entirely.

Screenshot I took on my phone of the calendar. 
Last semester was pretty bad for me in terms of my course load, and I’m hoping that this semester is lighter, despite taking 18 credit hours. I would rather not repeat the week of 13 papers, so my goal is to avoid that.

One nice thing about this coming semester is that I’m taking a lot of classes that pertain to my major and my minor. In fact, all 6 of the classes I am taking are for my major and minor, which is really exciting to me.

This will be the first semester that I’m not taking any classes to fulfill my Miami Plan requirements.

On another note, after being home for such a long time, it’s going to feel really good to be back in Oxford. While I love coming home and being able to eat home cooked meals and take showers without flip flops, among other things, being at school has several benefits. 

At school I'm on my own - to a certain extent - and I do things at my own pace and on my own time. In addition, I get to see my friends. 

The hardest part about going back to school is getting back into a schedule. After being at home for a month and a half, my sleep schedule will be off and I definitely will not be accustomed to schoolwork. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

What I Learned This Semester in Education Classes

This semester, I only took one teacher education class, EDT 246A, Foundations of Language and Literacy. However, of all the education classes I’ve taken so far at Miami, for me, this one has been the most beneficial.

From this class, I learned more about the “how” of teaching than in any of my other classes. During my freshman year, I took EDT 190, which is an Introduction to the Teaching Profession class.

In EDT 190, it wasn’t so much about how to teach, but it was more about testing the waters, so to speak, and reflecting on whether or not we wanted to be teachers.

As a result, I really enjoyed my EDT 246A class since it was my first real exposure to teaching. We covered a great deal of topics in the course, all of which were valuable.

It was an interesting class as it was mostly discussion based and since there were only 10 of us in the class, it was nice to really be able to listen to and learn from my peers.

In this class, we created lists for both reading and teaching strategies as we read through articles that were assigned to us. I plan to hold onto both of those lists and add to them as I go through the rest of my education.

Image I took of a scantron test.
Within reading, we talked a lot about Kelly Gallagher’s concept of readicide. The basic definition of readicide is that students are beginning to despise reading for a multitude of reasons, one of which is standardized testing.

In his book, Gallagher writes that “…schools are working against developing independent readers” (7).

As a future teacher, this is an issue that will most certainly play a role, in one way or another, in my classroom. Students, reading, and standardized tests are almost inseparable, and I have not yet been in enough classrooms to see the impact that reading and standardized testing have on students today. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

3 Semesters Down, 5 to Go

After a lot of hard work and stress, this semester is officially over. Finals are done, and it’s time to go home. All that’s left for this semester is to wait for final grades to appear online.

This winter break is particularly long since Miami added a J-Term, and this will be the first time that it is in effect. I’m not taking any classes this J-Term, but I’m looking forward to being home for about a month and a half as a result of this added term.

My least favorite part about leaving for breaks is that I miss all the friends I’ve made at school. And as much as I don’t like saying it, I start to miss schoolwork too. At a certain point, being home starts to get boring when there’s not much to do. But maybe I'm alone in that opinion...

Picture I took yesterday in celebration of the end
of this semester.
One nice thing about having such a long winter break is that second semester starts 2 weeks later this year, which means that we’ll miss 2 weeks of cold weather at school, which is fine by me. Yesterday, I had a final at 8 a.m., and when I walked there, it was 3 degrees outside -- I was frozen.

That’s one of the reasons why I’m looking forward to break. I won’t have to walk outside to get food and I won’t have to wear 4 different shirts, a sweatshirt, and a jacket, just to make sure that I don’t freeze on my way to class.

Miami always looks pretty in the winter, but the cold weather and the snow aren’t fun, in terms of walking to class.

Catching up on sleep will also be a nice thing to do over break too, after a semester where sleep seemed to be an option and not a necessity. 

Hibernation sounds like a good idea for this break…

Friday, December 6, 2013

Better Catch Up on Sleep While You Can

With finals looming around the corner, sleep deprivation is starting to happen naturally, it seems.

Image I took while studying during finals week in
December of last year.
This week was the week before finals and there are always so many papers and projects due during this week. I’m lucky with the fact that I only have 2 finals during finals week, as I took one final yesterday and the rest of my finals are papers, only 1 of which still needs to be written.

Finals week is always an interesting time. The library is always packed with people studying for exams and pretty much every quiet spot on campus is crowded.

Coffee, energy drinks, and snacks surround each table that’s coated in laptops, cords, headphones, and books too. Sleep becomes an option, sadly, and healthy food options are traded in for processed food. It’s a true test of survival in college.

During fall semester finals week last year, I nearly forgot to put soap in my laundry. Then during spring semester finals week, I ran into a door and a pole on my way to a final. In my defense, when I ran into the pole, my mom was talking to me, so I was distracted. As for the door, I have no excuse for how that happened.

Finals bring stress, tears, and they can bring joy if properly studied for. The trick is to not only survive finals, but to survive the week too. 

Despite the gruesome nature of the week, finals week is also rather gratifying. It’s a sign that you’ve made it to the finish line of a semester after a lot of hard work. It’s a test of strength, in a way. Especially if the semester has been difficult, as this semester has been for me.

The best part about finals week is finally being able to go home for an extended period of time at the end of the week. After the lack of sleep and the stress, sleeping in my own bed is all I will look forward to.

Good luck on finals, and may the odds be ever in your favor.  

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thankful for Being Home

Going home is a rarity for me, as well as for a lot of other students. When I have the chance to go home, I take full advantage of it.

Image I took of the table on Thanksgiving
The best part about being able to go home over breaks is home cooked meals. While Miami has exceptionally good dining hall food for a college, nothing compares to a home cooked meal. Especially since walking outside is not involved in getting food.

Another perk of being home is being able to take a shower without flip flops.

And then of course, it’s always nice to be able to see family. This Thanksgiving break is especially nice for me, since I’ll be seeing some family that I haven’t seen in over a year.

Catching up with old friends is also fun, especially when they go to different schools and it’s hard to see them often.

A big bonus is being able to do laundry. While there’s usually a limit on how much I can bring home, it’s nice to not have to use the washers and dryers in my dorm for a change. What’s even better is not having to pay for the washers and dryers.

In general, it’s just nice to be home and be able to sleep in and not have to worry about going to class. As much as I love being at school, it’s nice to go home every now and then, especially for holidays.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Why I Want to Become a Teacher

Lately, people have been asking me this question a lot: “Why do you want to become a teacher?” So, why is it that I want to be a teacher? Well, there’s a whole assortment of reasons. 

First, I want to make a difference. While this may be a typical answer that most teachers/teachers in training give, it’s the truth. I want to inspire students and I want to watch them learn and help them achieve whatever it is they want out of life.

Secondly, I had teachers from my schooling experience that inspired me and pushed me to do my best. I hope to one day be that teacher for if not all, then some, of my students. If it weren’t for those teachers that made me love to write and have a passion for learning, I don’t think I would be going into education right now.

Image I took outside of my high school in October
2010 for my photography class.
Thirdly, no two days will be the same and two class periods, despite being the same subject, could turn out completely differently. Each year, I’ll have a new group of students, so that alone will change the atmosphere of my classroom. I’ll have to cater my teaching to each specific group of students, so even classes will vary. While there is some repetition in teaching, within reason, it’s always going to be different.

Fourth, while I teach my students, I’ll also be learning from them. To me, this is another benefit of teaching since I love to learn new things. Not only will my students be teaching me new things, but as I teach different units, I’ll have the opportunity to dig deeper into literature, which is something I love. Learning is a life-long process, and I think teaching easily facilitates learning.

Fifth, I’ll have a direct impact on the future of the world. When teaching, I could have students who will go off to have a career in virtually any field. It’s cool to me that I could be teaching a future President of the United States or a doctor or even a teacher, any number of careers really. All teachers have a direct impact on the youth of society, which is extraordinary.

In all, I could go on about other reasons, but the ones I’ve listed stand out to me as some of my most important motives for wanting to become a teacher. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Teacher in Training

There’s only one way to put it. I love writing lesson plans. I never anticipated liking them this much, but as it turns out, I really do.

Image I took of some of the reading and
teaching strategies I put on my lists.
For about the past month or so, I’ve been working on a group lesson plan project for one of my classes. Prior to this project, I only wrote one lesson plan on my own, as a sort of introduction to lesson plan writing. It was the first one I’d ever written, and it was a fun process. While making these lesson plans is time consuming, I’ve found it to be enjoyable.

There are so many different parts that go into making a lesson plan, and it’s fun to think about the possibility of actually being able to incorporate some of the ideas I’m coming up with into my future classroom.

For the first lesson plan I wrote, my professor asked us to create lists of reading strategies and teaching strategies. I’d never sat down and created a list of either, but after I completed my lists and looked back on them, I noticed how many of the strategies on both of those lists are things that I already find myself doing. Not so much the teaching strategies right now, but in time, I will need to employ them beyond the writing of a lesson plan.

I have a passion for teaching and I look forward to next year when I can start my field placements. Last year, I was in one classroom during first and another classroom second semester, but neither of them were in my particular field. While I enjoyed my time in those classrooms, I also found it challenging as I was helping students with math and science, neither of which have ever been strong subjects for me.

As challenging as it was for me to help these students, I found that they taught me a great deal when I was helping them. This is one of the many reasons why I look forward to becoming a teacher in just a few short years.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Cycle of Procrastination

One of the biggest things I’ve struggled with since coming to college is time management. How do I balance my time between school work and socializing? Is it even possible? The answer is yes…sometimes. And what about procrastination? How does that fit in?

Keeping up on schoolwork is generally not an issue, but some weeks, things just slip through my fingers and I find myself a victim of procrastination. That’s right. I don‘t intend to procrastinate, it just, well, it just happens.

Image I took in September of my planner
of a particularly bad Monday-Wednesday.
But, I’m not blaming my inability to get ahead on procrastination - not exactly. I know that I could start projects and other assignments earlier than I do, but that’s not always possible.

For example, take the week I had 13 papers due. I hadn’t started any of them before the Sunday leading up to that week as a result of having so many other things due the previous week. The thought of having 13 papers wasn’t even on my radar. I thought I would have my usual 4-5 due. But that wasn’t the case when I went through and counted.

The longest paper I had due that week was 5-6 pages double-spaced and it was due that Friday. Luckily, the rest of the papers I had to write were less than 2 pages, but they were all single-spaced.

As that week started, I didn’t even know where to begin, let alone how to manage my time. And I guess that’s just it.

Sometimes, the workload in college can be so unpredictable and unexpected that there really is no effective way to time manage all of the time. What works one week may not work the next. It’s a sort of guessing game.

But that’s part of the fun of college. It’s hard to have two days, let alone two weeks, in a row, that are the same. While this definitely makes time management more difficult, it’s a learning experience.

Trying not to procrastinate is something I’ve gotten a lot better at. In high school, I was pretty good at writing a paper the night before it was due, and I’m not entirely proud of that. Now, I try to write my papers a few days in advance, if at all possible, so that I can go back and revise what I’ve written before I turn them in.

This is definitely something I still need to work on. I was better about not procrastinating last semester when I didn’t have as large of a class load, but, again, it’s a learning experience.

It takes time to stop procrastinating, as procrastination is a habit. But it’s a cycle that can be broken, it just takes time and effort. Time that not every college student has…

Friday, November 1, 2013

In the Spirit of Halloween...

In the spirit of Halloween this past week, I went on a Haunted Tour of campus lit by a spooky candle-lit lantern. It was led by two of the RA’s from my dorm and we walked all around campus and heard different tales.

Image found on the Miami Alumni Association website of
what the original fountain looked like.
There are a handful of ghost stories surrounding Miami, and I’m amazed at how many I am still unaware of. On this Haunted Tour the other night, I heard, for the first time, the story of Henry Thobe, a strong supporter of Miami athletics, as well as the nation’s most notorious gate-crasher during the early 20th century.

Thobe managed to get into a number of World Series games and Rose Bowls without ever paying for a ticket.

When Thobe attended Miami football games, he was known for sporting a white suit. He also carried a megaphone with him and had diamond-studded teeth. At each game, Thobe would assert that in the previous night, he had a dream about the outcome of the game. He would use his megaphone to tell the crowd about his dream.

In the early 20th century, Thobe, a stonemason, gave Miami a fountain that he built. The fountain was placed near what is currently King Library and Harrison Hall. Throughout the Miami community, there were mixed feelings about the aesthetic quality of Thobe’s fountain. Soon after it was installed, the fountain became a spot famous for fraternity hazings.

Image I took of what Thobe's Fountain looks
like today.
Until his death in 1950, Thobe took care of the fountain. However, after he died, no one picked up the job, and the fountain was soon in disrepair. 

In the 1950s, the fountain was replaced with a smaller one, but was then later removed. To cover the fountain, a seal for Kappa Kappa Gamma was placed on top.

The legend is that if you stand on top of the seal covering the fountain, and face in the direction of Harrison Hall, you can yell “Henry Thobe” and you’ll hear his voice echoing his name back.

I had the opportunity to try this the other night with a few others from my dorm, and we were surprised to hear a voice echo Henry Thobe’s name back. Whether or not it was Thobe’s voice is still up for debate…

Friday, October 25, 2013

Finding an On-Campus Job

This past summer, I started looking online for an on-campus job for the school year. While I was looking, there were a lot of jobs that involved dining halls and food service, but I wanted to avoid that if I could.Two of the summer jobs I’ve had have both involved food service, and while there’s nothing wrong with food service, I was hoping for a change.

I applied to seven different on-campus jobs this summer that would either provide me experience so I could build up my resume, or they were customer service positions, which I have experience in and have found I enjoy. When I found out about a job in the College of Education, Health, and Society, I was beyond excited. It was perfect.

Image I took for the EHS Instagram.

Currently, I work in the College of EHS as a Student Reporter and a Communications Assistant. In addition to keeping this blog, I also conduct student interviews which are put on YouTube on the Miami University EHS YouTube channel. This week, I also began posting tweets on Twitter and pictures through Instagram for EHS.

I’m glad that I have the opportunity to do something I love (writing) and that I have the opportunity to work with and learn more about some of my classmates through the interviews I conduct. I’ve enjoyed working for the Communications Team and I’ve been happy with my experiences so far.

Having a job that builds my resume is also a benefit since none of my summer jobs have been related to my major. In addition to loving writing, I also love photography, and with Instagram and the interviews, I am able to apply my skills as well as some new ones that I have learned.

Finding a job on-campus was important to me and I was amazed at how many options there were on the student jobs website.

(If you’re interested in following the Twitter account, the handle is @MiamiUEHS and for the Instagram account it is @miamiohehs)

Friday, October 18, 2013

A+ for Academics

When I was looking at schools, the strength of the overall academic atmosphere played a role in my decision making.

Image I took this week outside of Pearson Hall.
I was seeking a healthy balance. I didn’t want a school that would challenge me to the point where I didn’t think I could handle it, but I also wanted a school that would challenge me to think outside the box and do the best I could. I definitely found this balance at Miami.

All of my classes push me to think in different ways and to look beyond the obvious. While I think that my high school prepared me well for this, I don’t feel that Miami has set the expectations too high.
In my experiences here so far, my professors have been willing to help me when I’m struggling with certain topics in class, and it’s obvious that they want me to understand and that they want me to succeed.

At the beginning of each semester, almost all of my professors have expressed that they want students to visit them during office hours. That’s what office hours are for, after all. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about office hours, it’s that everyone should take advantage of them.

In office hours, everyone will receive individualized, or nearly individualized, attention on issues that they may be having in the class. This one-on-one time with the professor can really help, as it’s easier to really focus on any issues or problems with understanding the content.

What I have learned through attending office hours is that I’m usually not the only student in the class who is having trouble grasping a certain concept. Frequently, I find that other students will attend office hours when I’m there and we all work together with the professor to tackle problems that we’re having. 
Knowing I’m not the only student in the class who is struggling has definitely helped in some of my more difficult classes.

Academics are definitely valued at Miami, and it’s obvious through the willingness of the professors to help students succeed both inside and outside of the classroom. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

I Love to Write

Image I took of a blank journal page.
I love to write. There, I said it. Unusual for a college student, right?

How many college students feel the same way? Not many, I bet.

I know it’s odd that I sometimes actually look forward to writing papers, depending on the topic/subject, of course. But I can’t hide it. I love to write. It’s as simple as that.

I don’t know exactly when I started to love writing. If I had to guess, it would have to be somewhere in my middle school years. While in high school, my passion for writing kind of fell to the wayside for a little while, but I picked it back up.

 I don’t exactly have a favorite thing to write, but I do enjoy writing literary analysis papers, poems, and even the occasional research paper – really, how many people admit to that?

The biggest reason I think I like to write is that writing is free. While there will always be grammar rules and some structural restrictions, depending on what the writing is, writing is therapeutic. It’s easy to put a pen to paper (or in most cases these days, fingers to a keyboard) and just write, or type, I suppose. Write down feelings, write down facts, write down stories – write anything.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have teachers and professors in my schooling career who value writing just as much as I do. While not all of my teachers have shared this passion, I can say that the ones who did/do have definitely influenced me in my decision to become an English teacher. I hope to one day inspire my students just as some of my teachers inspired me.

Words are a form of expression. They reflect us. We choose our words because they suit us. We each have our own writing style, just as we all have our unique personalities. I think this is a big part of why I love to write. I am free to write what I want and how I want to. I haven’t necessarily always liked being told what to do, and writing gives me a reason to take charge. I have the authority. It’s my choice.

Writing is an escape. For me, it’s an escape from dealing with the stresses of life and college, and it allows me to put my feelings into words when my mind is spinning and I can barely form a thought. It helps me “get a grip” on reality. When all else fails, writing will always be there. It’s as simple as that. I love to write. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Finding the Right Balance

Image I took while studying for finals for the fall semester last year.
College is stressful. Everyone knows that.

It’s a constant battle between what I call the 5 S’s.
1)      Sleep
2)      Social Life
3)      Studying
4)      Showering
5)      Snacking (eating in general, really)

The trick with these 5 things is that you can only pick a couple of them at a time, depending on the week, it could be 3 or 4. For me, usually its only 3. A lot of times, you have to multitask when doing these, so things overlap and it can end up being all 5, but that’s not easy. For example, a lot of the time, I find myself eating while working on either work or homework. As I type right now, I have a coffee and a breakfast bar sitting next to me.

As for the content of the list, I know. It's weird that showering made it on the list, but really. You need to make time to shower at some point. As for sleep, well, sleep isn't always a priority, as it should be. Some nights I can get 8 or 9 hours of sleep, while the next, I'll only get 4 or 5. It just depends on my workload.

As your workload shifts, your priorities shift. This week, I had 13 papers due (don’t worry any prospective college students out there – this is NOT a typical week). I opted to sleep, study, and shower. Clearly eating is in there too, but it mostly occurred while I was studying/writing paper after paper.

Having a social life in college takes up a lot of time. Luckily most of my friends are just as busy as me, and they don’t seem to mind that I don’t always have time to do things with them every week. But, when I’m really stressed and do need a break, it’s good to know I have people to do things with, and the same goes for them.

It’s a struggle to find the right balance, and sometimes I feel like I’m being pulled in a thousand different directions. Early this week, I knew I really should focus on my papers, but I had promised my friends last week I would go off campus to eat dinner with them. So I went, but that meant that I had more work to do later.

Every choice has a tradeoff. Opt to take a break from homework for one night, and the next night you’ll have more to take care of.

But college is fun. That’s what I need to remind myself when things are particularly stressful. My friends and I watch movies, eat ice cream, bake things in the dorm kitchen, paint nails – things that seem simple enough, but they’re enough of a break and a stress reliever that they help make college life less stressful.

Friday, September 27, 2013

When Opportunity Comes Knocking...

Image I took in November 2012 when First
Lady Michelle Obama came to campus.
            Since I started at Miami, I’ve had the opportunity to attend lectures and events with public figures and interesting people. Last year, I had the opportunity to hear First Lady Michelle Obama speak and I attended a lecture given by Zainab Salbi, who grew up in Saddam Hussein’s inner circle. I had several other opportunities that were available to me to see figures such as Neil deGrasse Tyson and Jerry Springer, but I couldn’t fit everything into my schedule. This week, I attended a lecture given by Benjamin Jealous, the President and CEO of the NAACP. I had hoped to attend a lecture given by Kari Byron and Tori Belleci from the show Mythbusters that was also this week, but this lecture sold out before I had the chance to get a ticket. Other than educational lectures, I also had the opportunity to see bands such as Timeflies, South Jordan, Parachute, and O.A.R last year. In addition, I’ve seen comedy groups such as Dakaboom, and Sketched Out, Miami University’s own improv group. Later this year, I have the opportunity to see comedian Jim Gaffigan. While all college campuses make an effort to bring public figures to their campuses, I feel that Miami does an exceptional job with this. In talking to my friends who attend other schools, I’ve recognized that I’ve had more opportunities to attend lectures such as these, as well as concerts and comedy nights. Miami does a lot for the students and makes it easy to find something to do on campus. There’s always something going on somewhere on campus, and in my experience, the events are generally worth attending.
It’s so easy to be involved on campus, especially when there’s such a wide array of events to attend and different organizations to participate in. There are so many groups on campus that put on their own programs each week, it’s impossible to attend them all. I attended a lot more events then I listed, including sporting events, but these are the ones that stand out in my mind the most. My experiences at Miami so far have been mostly positive, and the events that I have participated in have helped create some of the best memories of my freshman year of college, and I’m looking forward to seeing what this year and the years to come have in store.

Friday, September 20, 2013

My Experience in Education Classes at Miami

All of the education classes I have taken at Miami so far, have been very beneficial in preparing me to become a teacher. All of my education classes have been relatively small, and right now, one of the classes I am currently enrolled in only has 11 students, including myself. In comparison to other education classes where there are generally 20 or more students, I've come to really like this smaller class. There’s more room for class discussion and everyone can share their opinion with this smaller class size. While this can also be done with larger class sizes, it’s harder for everyone to say what they are thinking/feeling because of time restrictions, and I think everyone in a class can benefit from hearing what their peers have to say.
The general education classes offered at Miami focus on the perception of schooling and teachers in today’s society. In these classes, we cover a lot of what teachers face in schools and the wide array of students we could teach. There’s also a heavy focus on federal laws and mandates that will, no doubt, have some effect on any future teacher, just as they do on current teachers. Covering all of this material is crucial to becoming a teacher because it’s important to know the climate that surrounds the field of education. Having an awareness about the issues and problems I could face as a future teacher is one of the many keys I need to become an effective teacher, and Miami is helping me achieve this goal by giving me some of the tools I need.
Some of my classes have required Service Learning, which is a great feature that Miami offers through some of their classes. Service Learning could mean several different things depending on the coordinating teacher, but in my experience, I have typically been tutoring students outside of the classroom. In my case, Service Learning has always taken place outside of my field of English, and I've generally been helping students with math. Despite not helping students with reading/writing, Service Learning was still a beneficial experience for me because I gained experience both in the classroom or helping a student outside of the classroom, one-on-one.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Deciding on My Major

          When students leave high school, and go off to college, everyone asks them the same questions: where are you going to school? And what are you majoring in? Throughout my life, I’ve changed my mind on what I wanted to be when I grew up so many times, that even as a junior in high school, I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do. When I was younger, I considered being a fashion designer, then I switched to wanting to be a dance teacher, at some point, I wanted to be a graphic designer, a photographer, and then in my senior year of high school, I decided I wanted to be a first grade teacher. However, when I was applying to schools at the beginning of my senior year, I put “Undecided” on my application. I was slightly embarrassed about this, and I didn’t like the idea of not knowing exactly what I wanted to do when all of my peers seemed to have a grasp on this. I felt a little lost, and I still wasn’t even completely sure on my decision to become a first grade teacher. While I loved that age group, and I knew that I would have a lot of fun being in such an environment, I still wasn’t sure exactly how to go about deciding on what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. What did I want to devote 40+ years to?
            I entered Miami as a freshman in the fall of last year. Before coming to school, or even scheduling my classes, I officially declared my major as Early Childhood Education. I was happy with this decision, but more importantly, I was excited. As I started my classes first semester, I really enjoyed them. My professors were great, and I was interested in the topics of the classes required for my major. One of my classes required service learning, and I was placed in a third grade classroom in the Talawanda School District. The students were excellent, but I realized that I was simply just not a third grade teacher. I recognized that if I stuck with Early Childhood, I would only want to teach first grade, even though I would be certified for kindergarten through third grade, and I didn’t want to limit myself that much. I wanted to be a teacher; my general teacher education classes taught me that. I just didn’t know what I wanted to teach. In the back of my mind, I knew that I always had loved English, and it was always the class I looked forward to. So, in October of last year, I made the decision to switch my major, and I officially became an Integrated English and Language Arts Education major. I was ecstatic with this decision and I couldn’t wait to start taking classes that were directed towards my major.
            English is something I’ve always loved, and writing papers is something I actually do enjoy (well, for the most part). I wasn’t always excited about books and reading, but I’ve grown to love books and to love reading. In second semester of my freshman year, I added a minor in Writing and Rhetoric so I could study English even more in depth. I’m so much happier now that I’ve finally decided on what I want to do with my life, and it’s nice to know that I’ll be doing something that makes me happy.