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…