A couple weekends ago I decided my room had been messy for too long. I know the end of the year is quickly approaching (with all the pressures of final projects, clinical hours, and tests) so I contemplating packing up a few things. Instead, I found myself completely reorganizing and redecorating my room. You know what I decided? It was a good decision. Why? Because it helped me relax a little bit, it was a type of therapy if you will. When I was all done I had a nice, clean room that I could get work done in. The thought of redecorating at the end of the year might sound weird, but it tricked me into thinking it wasn’t crunch time. It made me feel refreshed and at ease. Anyways, I think everyone should try it.
A couple of weekends ago my roommate and I took a spur of the moment trip to Nashville to visit her grandparents and explore the city on St. Patty’s day. It was our first weekend off of lacrosse in a VERY long time, so we took advantage of our temporary freedom to travel somewhere new.
During the day (when I wasn’t knitting) we spent our time hunting for green clothing to wear that night. We were a bit unsuccessful…
Kappa Delta Epsilon stands for “circle of well trained teachers”. Me and two of my teammates were initiated into Converse’s Gamma Chi chapter of this honorary education fraternity last Wednesday. I didn’t really know what to expect at this event, but during the ceremony I felt honored to be a part of it. I really enjoyed taking part in this tradition like so many other education majors at Converse had done so in the past. A few of the highlights of the event were watching the ceremonial lighting of the candle and being able to pledge my name to a book that every Gamma Chi member had signed since the chapter was started here. Other events of the night included reciting the pledge of KPE, being pinned by one of the officers, and enjoying some yummy finger foods at the end.
Today I’m going to blog about my major so you can have some insight to the general outline of what it entails. Also, I’d like to advertise it in case someone can’t decide on a major or is looking to switch majors. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into until I started doing clinicals so hopefully this helps some people out. I just figured it was something I could see myself doing and my assumption was correct. No other career could make me happier than being able to spend time with and teach children that have intellectual disabilities.
Here are some basic facts:
Intellectual disabilities is the new term that was previously referred to as mental disabilities.
The phrase “Children that have intellectual disabilities” = PERSON FIRST LANGUAGE, and is the correct way to phrase a statement like that; saying “The intellectually disabled children” is INCORRECT
ID- Intellectual disability
ED- Emotional disability
LD- Learning disability
A clinical is when you’re assigned a teacher and school for a certain class that you’re taking at Converse. For that class you’ll have certain requirements you’ll have to fulfill at your clinical placement. Some things you’d be doing is observing, teaching lessons to a class, teaching lessons to a specific student, recording data, and having fun dabbling into your future career.
Now here are some facts about getting into this major.
First, the courses you need to take are split up into two benchmarks. Benchmark one consists of intro classes, human growth and development, and reading/language arts in the elementary classroom. There are 6 classes you have to take in benchmark one, and 1 class that can be taken in benchmark 2. After you complete your benchmark 1 you need to have passed your PRAXIS 1, have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA, 45 credit hours, and to have completed clinical 1. The PRAXIS 1 is like an SAT (if your SAT’s are high enough you can be exempt from the PRAXIS). The clinical 1 is a 40 hour clinical that goes along with the reading and language arts class. Dr. Washburn typically teaches that and she’s awesome! You’ll find yourself having a good chuckle at least once every class. Anyways, after all that you apply to the teacher education program. Once accepted, you can begin benchmark 2 courses.
I’m in benchmark 2 right now. In benchmark 2 you take math for the child, science for the child, social studies for the child, reading and learning strategies, assessment of exceptional learners, Clinical II (for Intellectual Disabilities- it’s 40 hours), educational procedures for ID, educational procedures for ED, and behavior and classroom management. In addition to these courses I’m also taking educational procedures for LD, Clinical II- LD, and Clinical II- ED. That way I can be certified to teach all three plus elementary education by the time I graduate.
After you finish the benchmark II classes, you must have completed at least 100 clinical hours and then you apply to student teach. I’ll be doing that next spring – I’m super excited, but a tad nervous about the workload since it’ll be taking place during lacrosse season. . .
Student teaching is in Benchmark III. You must student teach for 60 days and it’s a pass or fail grade. You need to take the PRAXIS II for the subjects you’d like to be certified in. For ID it includes the PRAXIS II tests for Education of Exceptional Students/Core Content and Teaching Students with Intellectual Disability. For elementary education the tests include Curriculum Instruction and Assessment and Content Area Exercises. I would also be needing to take the tests for my ED and LD add-ons. And you need to take the PLT- which stands for principles of learning and teaching.
After you’re done with all that you’re on to Benchmark IV, which is completed by your adviser and the director of teacher education and certification. They just make sure you’ve completed everything. So. . . I’ll be on my way to the finish line soon!
A friend of mine, who I met from working on a Creative Collaboration project with me, had her senior art show this past week. Although I was unable to make the opening reception, I did make my way down to the West Main Artist’s Co-op yesterday to view the last day of her work being displayed. Even though those reading this blog will no longer be able to view her artwork in person, I did snap a few pictures- so you didn’t miss out completely . Her show btw, was called Unraveling: A Snapshot of 21st Century Americana and it featured photographic-based imagery.
Her show was inspired by things she’d learned during world travels to places such as Germany, Israel, and Honduras. I was going to paraphrase what she had said in a statement for Unraveling, but it’s best I just quote it.What she wrote and what she produced artistically was very powerful and moving to me. ” As an American living in the twenty-first century, I know I am one of the luckiest person to have ever lived. Rarely have I known a day where I was hungry or cold or in constant fear of death. In fact, the opportunities afforded to me have enabled me to think and speak freely, travel and be well educated. Traveling in particular has had a great impact on my world view. In Germany, I observed efficiency at almost every level, from food production to city planning. On an Israeli kibbutz, I learned true community. In Honduras, I was humbled by how simply the people lived, as they did not have much to complicate their lives. These gifts demand from me that I give something back: what I have observed and learned about my home country from afar. Unraveling is essentially a show about reverse culture shock. Returning from these various nations should advent in a recalculating of one’s awareness. For me, it was an amazement at the resources wasted to create the next whim of those with power, either monetarily or in government. The empty building captured through the lens of my camera are essentially the epitome of this greed and wastefulness. While people nation- and world-wide are starving and homeless, hundreds of empty strip malls sit with gleaming black parking lots. Our expansive automobile-centric nation has become the international symbol for extravagance and selfishness. America’s physical and economic infrastructure have been so poorly designed and maintained that now our culture is coming undone, unraveling.What are we as Americans willing to do, to give up in order to create a more healthy nation? Where do we want our city, state, country and the world to be in ten, twenty, fifty years? We need to look to people like environmental essayist and poet Wendell Berry. Some lines of his poetry have been worked into Unraveling, knit out of items no longer needed or wanted. These words were photographed outside, where Americans need to go more often and contemplate: to get outside, away from cars, conveniences and the busy-ness of the typical American daily life. We need to decide who we as a nation want to be and what thread our we want our future to follow. The question we now face is, will we continue to unravel in the direction of self-centeredness and self-indulgence or will America realize the opportunity it now has to ‘knit together’ as a truly United States of America, a responsible and conscious member of the international community. Together let us end this abuse of a beautiful gift, our land” – Katy Corbin, 2012
I hope her statement has touched you as much as it has touched me. After reading that and viewing Katy’s work, it truly did inspire me. Katy herself is an inspirational person. When you’re younger you see/meet certain people and you think “I wanna be like that when I grow up”, well Katy’s one of those people to me. Here’s some more of her work from that exhibit.
Although her exhibit is over, West Main Artist Co-op is still there. It’s located at 578 West Main Street and is open from 3-6 pm Thursdays and 10 am-4 pm on Saturdays. On the 3rd Thursday of every month they have an Art Walk from 5-9:30 pm. Not only do they have awesome art to view, but a gift shop to buy something unique, AND classes to take! I was just browsing their website (www.westmainartists.org) and found out they’ll be having an Offset Letterpress Class starting March 19th for six weeks from 1-5 pm every Saturday. I’m for sure going to try to make it to those! Everyday I find out there’s more to the burg then I thought haha!
As much as everyone here loves going to grab there meals at Gee or Sandella’s, sometimes you need a break. Or maybe you’re seeking to get out and try something new. Or maybe you’re a kid in college who wishes they could learn to cook. Well that last one’s me. One night my roommate and I were on the way to the Redbox and felt a little grumble in our tummy’s. So, we knew we had to stop somewhere and get some food. Then I remembered by Big Sis used to go to a grocery store down the road called The Fresh Market, so we went and checked it out. When we entered the store it was bliss. There was so many foods to choose from. That night I went with a chocolate croissant and a cinnamon sugar donut. Later, that same week I believe, we went back to treat ourselves to some dinner. The time before some paninis caught my eye and I knew I had to try one.
But wait, there’s more… On our way to the checkout line we also picked up a chocolate pie!
Just in case you were wondering, The Fresh Market is open Mon-Sat from 9-9 and Sun from 11-8. Also, I just found out they have cooking demonstrations and there’s one coming up on the 18th from 11 am- 2 pm- and you don’t need a reservation (just stop by between those times). You’ll learn to make butternut squash, apple, pancetta, and sage tortellini, and shrimp veracruz!
I’ll become way more of a frequent shopper next year when I live in the senior apartments with a kitchen to cook in!
Hard work, commitment, team work, early mornings, late nights, running, time management, prioritizing, weight lifting, competition, wins, losses, success, failure,leave it on the field, mental, physical, offense, defense, catch, throw, shoot, sacrifice, speed, being healthy, needing sleep, sweaty high fives, double-teams, interceptions, dodges, checks, fouls, 8 meter shots, composure, work ethic, not quitting, not giving up, mental toughness, no regrets, life. Those are just a few words that come to mind when I think of the game I’ve been playing for the past eight years. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to play lacrosse in college but I do. I play division II lacrosse for the Converse College Valkyries. And yes, there are times I ask myself “Why am I playing a college sport?” but the scarier more worrisome question is “What am I going to do when I’m done playing lacrosse?”.
I guess you could say this blog is an ode to my team. To thank them for all their hard work and dedication. So team: thank you all for sticking it out through fall ball and Jan term because we’re almost to game time! February 24th to be exact. The truth is, even if you don’t think this at the time, your team becomes your family and you’re stuck with them for life. Sports in general are a good way to make those relationships with people that really matter. At the end of my college experience I’ll leave to embark on a future of uncertainty. One thing I can be certain of, however, is that I’m leaving college with a group of friends that have been with me through thick and thin. This sounds weird but going through all the sucky parts of being a college athlete brings us closer. Unless you’ve been on a team, you couldn’t possibly know the feeling of just finishing an impossibly hard conditioning practice and being able to congratulate and praise everyone like we’ve just survived a catastrophic event. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to smile and have a good time like that while been incredibly exhausted at the same time.
It’s not just the tough parts that make us so bonded though. We have fun in other ways too. . .
So the words I wrote above, they all have something in common, other than they reminded me of lacrosse. Those words are my way of telling you how college lacrosse can make you a better person. In the long run the experience you gain from being a part of a team like this reaches beyond just a game or just a sport. Oh the things you learn… whether it’s the hard way, the right way, the wrong way, or whatever, you will grow so much as a person. It’s hard to believe I only have one more season after this.
Other than thanking my team, I’m going to take this blogging opportunity to invite any Converse College undergrads to come out on Wednesday January 18th at 6:30 pm for open try-outs. Just make sure you’ve had a physical within the last year and have evidence of that to give to our athletic trainer, prior to trying out. If you have any interest in joining us at all you should come down and see what it’s all about for yourself.
Ok, so it’s the start of a new semester and everyone’s still getting back into the groove of things. It’s especially hard if you’ve had a winter break like mine, indulging yourself with lots of food and lots of down time with the two friends, the couch and the TV, that you can always count on when your day’s schedule consists of nothing. Yes, I am aware that this makes me sound extremely lazy, but as a student athlete I had other obligations such as running, lifting, and playing wall ball. So, when you finally have days where you can do anything you want- doing nothing might just be the best thing for you. Especially when you know a tough Jan Term schedule is creeping upon you.
So anyways, this blog post is about organization and utilizing your agenda. I am an avid agenda-er, one could even say I’m a tad obsessed. If there is something that could be written in my agenda I typically do it on the spot. Here are some tips to get you started. If you’re not the slightest bit OCD feel free to skip any tips you think necessary. However, being OCD about writing in your agenda is what I believe helped me get straight A’s last semester. Balancing lacrosse, clinicals, work study, five classes, and a Creative Collaboration project is a lot to handle, so believe me an agenda helps you get it all done and find your free time. Plus checking tasks off on a daily basis helps you feel very productive even on the laziest of days.
Tip #1: Plan out what you need to write in your agenda. That way you can write it down sequentially according to the time of day.
Tip#2: Fill out the month part of your agenda lightly in pencil first.
Tip#3: Color coordinate activities into categories. For example: Converse Stuff (advisement and stuff like that): pink, Assignments due: orange (it’s bright so there’s a sense of urgency), Tests: Red (obviously b/c it’s most important), Lax stuff: green, Matt stuff: black (yes, I write down important dates in my boyfriend’s schedule relative to me- creepy? probably.) Creative collaboration project and work study: purple (both purple b/c they’re both “work” and b/c I ran out of colors).
Tip #4: Write everything out on the monthly part of the agenda first. Then if it’s all correct write it out on the weekly part.
Tip #5: When writing in the weekly part I always put reoccurring tasks on the first line or very bottom line of each day (so all of my practice times for that day are on the first line, and work times are on the bottom). The second line and down is where I list tasks/assignments I need to work on that day. If I don’t write the tasks/assignments in order then I number them by what’s most important/due first.
Tip#6: When your schedule gets hectic like around oh say, finals week, it really does help when you give yourself time frames to work on each assignment. Planning ahead really comes into play for this because I try not to work on too many things in one day to avoid getting too mentally drained. If you plan ahead you can do this for yourself too. Also, I know study tips say to work for a certain amount of time and take a certain amount of time off but we all know 10 minutes is not a long enough break. So when you give yourself an allotted amount of time for an assignment or to study think about how much time (realistically) it would take you to complete the task. Then give yourself an extra 20 plus minutes to get it done (depending on what it is). For example, if I was working on a study guide (which is what I do to study) I would say it’ll take me 2 hours to get it all done from start to finish. Then I’d write down a three hour time frame next to that task in my agenda. This way I can be flexible and take as much breaks as I want, but at the same time being aware of my time frame. Three hours might seem like a long time but if you’ve planned ahead and don’t have anything else to work on that day, it’s not much time at all. Maybe this only works for me because once I write something in my agenda, I have to get it done. And since I like to get things done in one hit. PS. let it be known that in addition to making the study guide, I study for like 20 minutes a day until the test. But I can write about studying strategies another time, I’ve kinda veered away from the topic.
Tip #7: Use Sunday as an organizational day to make sure you’re prepared for the upcoming week. Check your monthly section and make sure it corresponds with your weekly section, sometimes you can make a mistake and forget a due date…
So the bottom line is write down EVERYTHING in your agenda (minus obvious things like they made us do in Student Success Seminar, like brushing your teeth and showering… we’re big girls, we can figure that out without writing it down. But writing TV shows down is helpful because then you can set a goal to get all of your stuff done before the show, then the show is your reward. Rewarding yourself is always a good motivator too, if checking something off is not enough.
Ok so back to the bottom line- write everything down, pencil first, then color-coded pens, write what’s in the monthly section onto the weekly sections, reoccurring tasks are written on the top or bottom of the day of the week, priority numbering and time frames do help when written in the weekly section.
So that’s it. Below will be some pictures of my agenda. Was this blog confusing? I hope not. A lot of rambling? Maybe. I hope there was at least one insightful thing in here for anyone reading this.
So this year my roommate, my boyfriend, and I had an unconventional thanksgiving. We decided to go back to that “magical forest” I wrote about earlier in the year and stay the night. Let me just say I’m glad it was only one night. Oh we were warned before hand about the bone chilling cold nights but that didn’t put a halt to our plans. Well, at least it was a once in a lifetime experience for me- and boy do we have some memories.
Well things were looking up for us after we had a real fire started (before we bought wood we were scavenging the grounds for our our own resources- the wood was all wet so that plan failed). As the last Duraflame log dwindled down we knew what was coming… a bitter cold night … in a tent… on the floor – why did we decide to do this again? I’m still not sure. As soon as the sun was up and we were all awake we packed up and set out for downtown Greenville to greet a wonderful hotel room with an extremely comfortable king sized bed and nice relaxing shower.
So anyways, Greenville with my love was fun and I’m sad that break is over; just 2 more weeks till Winter Break!
Here are a few pictures of other things we experienced on this break.
So, before I came to Converse I had heard that Spartanburg was the “melting pot” of cultures. Well, when I got here I was not seeing this said “melting pot”, this city didn’t seem cultured to me at all except for the fact that it was southern. As time went on though, I soon realized maybe what I had heard was true. Freshman year I was introduced to Hinduism, sophomore year I experienced the International Festival, and Junior year my team and I participated in the event. Just recently I was able take part in some Buddhist meditation.
Now I’m going to back this up a little bit. First of all, let’s talk about the Hindu Society of Greater Spartanburg. I went because I had agreed to go with a friend who needed to do research for a religion paper. I found that this place was like a hidden gem, nicely tucked away behind the main roads (we did get lost a few times trying to get there). It was worth the trip though, my only regret is that I haven’t been back since then. I was a little uncomfortable at first since I only knew a little about Hinduism from my intro to religion course BUT the people there were SO welcoming to their tight knit community. I’m not sure if it was because of a special occasion, but they even served food after the service. If you read my first blog then you know I have a love for food and this place got a 10 out of 10 in my book. Here’s a site for some more info.
Ok, next topic. The International Festival. It is definitely a must go to event. There are so many stalls of different countries and cuisines set up that I literally have to save my money just so I can buy an abundant amount of food tickets to satisfy my ever growing appetite. When you play a sport at Converse, you sometimes have obligations outside of your sport. For example, this year our lax team had to volunteer at the sports section of this event and hold a lacrosse clinic. It was the best event we had to volunteer at yet- it’s as close as I can get to world traveling at the moment. Oh, and keep Spring Fling 2012 in mind when the time comes because they also have some cool vendors.
Alright and now we are at the main topic of this blog – the Buddhist temple I went to last week. If you’re wondering what that picture is at the top of this page is- that’s the Buddhist temple. And the two Monks we met actually live there! I tagged along with my roommate and her Buddhism class to observe them chant and meditate. We also tried to meditate, however, I was very unsuccessful because clearing your mind of everything is basically the most challenging thing to accomplish for an impatient person. Want to know something interesting? I was expecting to meet people from a foreign country but they’re both American- one of them is from Georgia and the other is from California. Want to know something else? I expected them to have a very disciplined manner but they were really funny, down to earth guys. They definitely lead intriguing lives; meeting these types of people may or may not influence you to become a monk, but they do inspire you to become a better person. “People come into your life to fill a void or teach a lesson”, it’s obvious which type of people these monks are, but then you have to think- how are you seen by other people? Do you fall under the category of a temporary person who just “fills a void” or are you the person that has something to offer and can make an impact- even in a temporary amount of time?