Saturday, January 31, 2009

Daily Picture 31/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
Our tree in front of our house, through our old and terrible windows. Glad we're getting new windows in the summer!

Daily Picture 30/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
My newly (and rarely) painted fingernails. This is what I did during Wednesday's class while listening to the mentorship teachers talk :)

Friday, January 30, 2009

what are YOU doing?

I just watched this video posted on CoolCatTeacher's Blog and wanted to share it with you. It really points a finger at YOU, at us as a generation and what effect we are having on the earth physically, virtually, and culturally. Check it out:

Find more videos like this on Flat Classroom Conference

Daily Picture 29/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
A candle.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

evolution of dance

Insanely awesome. Everyone should see this video lol

Daily Picture 28/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
The ceiling. Above my theory classroom. Again lol

Daily Picture 27/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
(a day late, I know :P)

Monday, January 26, 2009

to get a turtle or not to get a turtle?

So, I've beeing thinking about getting a turtle for the past week or so now and I have mixed thoughts. They're awesome and cool and I'd love it to bits. I only have to clean the tank very two weeks and feed it once a day. However, turtles live practically forever (30-40 years) and they can grow pretty big. Plus, a tank + filter + food + rocks + sunning platform = $$$. Fortunately, a 20 gallon tank should be good for the first 5-10 years according to the lady at Rose's Family Pets. Is it worth it? Thoughts anyone?

Daily Picture 26/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
Three sets of fences on the second floor of the Riddel Centre... outside theory class again.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

all things google

Google tools that I use now and may use with students in the future:
  • iGoogle
  • Maps
  • Web Search
  • Reader
  • Blogger

Things I want to play around with:
  • Documents (as an educator; seeing when and how kids are updating their documents and being able to add comments on their progress before and after the assignment is officially handed in)
  • Presentation (I'd probably still use PowerPoint, but Google Presentation allows me to upload PowerPoints so that kids can review classes at home online)
  • Calendar (for organizing a class schedule ie; due dates, exam dates, lesson topics, etc.)

Daily Picture 25/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
A rock-tree I gave my mom once upon a time.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Daily Picture 24/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
My mom's earring rack.

Daily Picture 23/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
My earring :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

iGoogle Screenshot

iGoogle Screenshot
Originally uploaded by metro_racer
A screenshot of my iGoogle page for ECMP355.

My theme is called 'Pocoyo'; I think it's a kids cartoon somewhere. It changes depending on the time of day; dark blue at night, green in the morning, bright blue in the day, pink during the evening. Plus the little characters are adorable!

I have several widgets, some are new after seeing some other iGoogle pages last class. I have the weather, a post-it note (called 'ToDo'), my horoscope (gemini), hangman (!), google reader, bone-head of the day awards (true stories of some crazy people), delicious, mario-is-back(!!), quote of the day, word of the day, google docs, and document-to-pdf. I used to have joke of the day, but they got pretty lame after a while...

I use my iGoogle page everyday as it is my homepage. I read my horoscope and daily word/quote. Sometimes I play hangman and update my post-it. Now that I have Google Reader, I find it very handy to check in on people's blogs. Yay for iGoogle!

Daily Picture 22/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
Attempting to take a picture of the lights in Lot 15 at night while shivering inside my car -- got a cool random effect when the flash highlighted the frost on my windshield.

The truth is out there.

survey, anyone?

Hello all,

Here is my survey for ECMP355. Creative, I know.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Daily Picture 21/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
A place of comfort and familiarity. Most of our class is usually early to music theory (MU222) and we'd hang out and chat outside the both loved and hated RC228.2 before my teacher came right on time for class.

This semester we have a new teacher and she's even earlier than us, so those good times have ended, but the memories remain.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Daily Picture 20/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
My KHS country line dance group right before our evalutation.

Morgan, Shelby, Brandon and Kaitlyn.
Missing: Dallas (who was late) and Me (taking the pic).

Good job team!!

sunny days

How I love sunny days in winter. They brighten my outlook on life more than sunny days in summer because they are so rare and special. Sure, they may bring slippery slush, idiotic drivers, and muddy shoes, but I don't have to start my car twenty minutes early (only ten). I don't have to bundle up so only my eyes are showing (the rest of my face is bare). I don't have to worry about parking twelve aisles away in the parking lots (even if it still sucks).

Despite the positivity of the sun, I can't help but wonder if our beautiful weather is really a curse caused by the ever-present global warming. I've lived in Regina all my life, and only the past few years do I have memories of days like this during the winter. When I was a kid, it was never like this; always indoor recess, three layers of parkas and car-rides to a home that was only two blocks away.

When the weather changes this drastically, that even a regular girl like me starts noticing it, it becomes obvious without all the stats, pictures and predictions that our physical world is changing. It may be nice, sunny weather for us now, but will there even be snow in Saskatchewan forty years from now? Will our warm summers turn to desert-like heat? Will tornados and drought start attacking our city as the hurricanes have begun attacking the States?

Or am I just being over-dramatic?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Daily Picture 19/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
My keys in the ignition. I thought the flash made the metal look cool :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Daily Picture 18/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
My KHS textbook with my orange bedroom wall as a background.

Daily Picture 17/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
My bedroom window.

Friday, January 16, 2009

a day of connection

Today was a very emotional day for me. It started first thing in the morning when my mom woke me up before she left for work. She is a secretary at an elementary school and has recently applied and been accepted for a new position at a different school. Initially excited for the change, as the weeks go by at her old school, she's started forgetting the positives of the new school and begun regretting the decision to leave. So, when she woke me up this morning, she just needed to talk to someone who she knew would listen and give her the most honest advice possible; I was touched that she chose me to be that person. Despite my slightly hazy mind-set, I listened as she poured out concerns that she hadn't voiced before, and she brought up good points for both sides of her problem. As the conversation closed, no decisions had been made but I hope that she felt more confident in herself to choose whatever path she feels is best for her.

Little did I know that later that morning I would be attending an EAES class that would be equally soul-stirring. We were discussing "aesthetic experiences", moments that touch you. One good example is 9/11. Most people can vividly remember what they were doing and where they were the first time they heard the planes had crashed. I personally was sitting on my couch, eating peanut butter toast while watching the news in my PJ's and I didn't really understand the enormous effects this event would have on the world until I saw the first plane crash into the tower.

Not all aesthetic experiences are that terrible or that profound. They are moments that you remember most clearly; perhaps a moment of pure connection with another person, a sudden insight or epiphany, an experience or conversation that changed the direction of your life. It was only our second class together, but we shared moments that were incredibly personal to us. I didn't talk because I was listening so intently. It was only later, after running a few errands and sitting down for a break at home that I was hit with the amazing experience that I had the privilege to be a part of.

This afternoon, I saw parts of people that I'm sure no one else has seen before. Our class connected in a unique way that I know most of our closest friends, family members and significant others will rarely see. I am honoured to be growing in the education program with some of the most talented and special people I have met. We are teachers, we are a team; we are going to be touching the lives of each other and our students everyday.

Today, I was also given the knowledge to communicate to others the reason why I chose to become a teacher. I could never put it in words before, I couldn't explain it. Now I can: I want my students to experience the high of aesthetic experience each time they attend my class. I want them to come into my classroom, even if it's only twice a week for music class, and leave all of their biases, worries and pettiness behind. I want them to work as a team, to express themselves through the arts without hesitation or self-consciousness and simply let the experience of expression flow through them.

My mom arrived home from work shortly after this small epiphany, and as I futiley tried to explain to her what an extraordinary day I'd had, I dissolved into tears of joy and wonder at the future I have in front of me. If I've grown this much as a person in the two years that I've been in university so far, I can't imagine who I will become when I finish my program in another four years.

To top it all off, I saw "Marley & Me" this evening, and that did not help my over-emotional state at all. If you haven't seen it, go prepared with tissues.

I just want to close by saying "thank you" to the professors and administrators of the education program, and especially to my fellow class-mates for sharing a part of themselves today. I look forward to growing with you all in our future educational years.

Daily Picture 16/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
A candle that I gave my mom today to help her relax when she's alone.

my first online class

I participated in my first completely online class on Wednesday night. I got there a bit early to set up my microphone and wasn't surprised to see a lot of other students from my class there as well. Several people commented on how nervous they were about the upcoming session, and I realized I was a bit nervous too; I didn't know what to expect. I reminded a few people how to set up their microphones so hopefully they felt better after that :P

The actual session produced mixed results. I really enjoyed it, hearing everyone in my class over the microphones, reading their comments and questions, welcoming the 455 class into our session and meeting Chris from Australia. Chris gave a presentation about the social bookmarking site, Delicious. Luckily, I've had a Delicious account for several months now I didn't need to pay as much attention to that presentation because I had a hard time concentrating both on Chris and to the chat happening on the chat board. Everything was very fast-paced, but I felt I was able to keep up in the end. I'm glad that there is the option to save chat files and that Dean posts recordings of the whole session on our website.

Altogther, I was very excited for the online session and didn't come out disappointed. I'm looking forward to next week's class and getting to know more about my classmates on their blogs in the meantime!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Daily Picture 15/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
My cat, Keyaira, caught in a weird night-scene effect. Scary. Her mouth is even open, revealing her not-so-sharp teeth.

Technically, my boyfriend Jeff took this picture, but I want to make it into an animation - coming soon. I need to install the animation software onto my laptop first. That will be my contribution to this picture lol

use of technology in my education

Last class in ECMP355, our professor, Dean Shareski, asked us to write about how technology was used in our educational experience.

Elementary school was a long time ago, but from what I remember, the biggest use of technology was in computer class (surprise!). We had computers two or three times a week and we'd spend half the class practicing our typing skills. I forget the program that we used, but the title of the program, and also the guide-lady's name started with an M... grr, that's going to bother me until I remember it!! Oh well. The other half of computers was literally spent playing computer games or typing out essays we had already written. Other than computer class, use of technology in the classroom was limited to listening to music on a cassette and CD player in music class and... well, that's all I remember lol

Luckily, there was a bit more use of technology in high school. My science classes often borrowed a set of Mac laptops to do research in the classroom instead of heading to the library. There were only ten macbooks for the whole class to use though, so we usually had two or three people crowding around the small computer. I recall a heavy use of projectors and VCR players in social, psychology and math. Information Processing and Computer Science were of course completely computer-based. We learned to use all Microsoft programs in IP and programming software Alice and Visual Basic.

However, if I think of it from another perspective, "Did the teachers put effort into incorporating techonology into the classroom?" Some did. Most probably didn't even think of it.

I don't want to sound like I had a crappy school experience; I loved it! There just wasn't a lot of use of technology when I look back. That being said, I don't consider myself "technologically-challenged"; in fact, I think I'm quite apt at finding my way through the web, learning new programs and not installing a gazillion viruses onto my computer haha

Daily Picture 14/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
This is my boyfriend, Jeff. In his cute little toque :) This was technicallly taken yesterday, I just didn't post it until today - promise! Haha.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Daily Picture 13/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
My mom :) I originally took the picture on an angle, but unfortunately it didn't turn out that great. However, after rotating the image so it was on less of an angle and filling in the leftover white space with colour, it turned out pretty good.

Say 'hi' Mom!

east side's work party

Last night I went to SoHo's with my boyfriend, Jeff, for his belated holiday work party. It was semi-formal, so I even wore a dress and heels (something that doesn't happen very often lol). I wasn't expecting to have an amazing night because I didn't know very many people there, but everyone turned out to be really friendly and even remembered my name throughout the night. One person I was introduced to told me he was glad that I "wasn't fake"; I guess Jeff told him about me but we'd never met so he wasn't sure if I was real or not! Haha :)

There was lots of food, lots of drinks, a ton of dancing and some awesome prizes for the employees. Three people who had worked for East Side for over five years won a trip to Disneyworld, including Jeff's close friend Alisha, plus the two MVPs of the year won a snowboarding trip! Everyone was in high spirits and stayed out late despite it being a Monday night.

I was pretty tired and had sore feet (partly from wearing heels and partly from them being stepped on while dancing...) when we finally left the party, but I was glad that I went to see another side of my boyfriend and to meet a bunch of people that are in his work life.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Daily Picture 12/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
Some clothes that were hanging up to dry in my room... all pink and purple!? I thought it was strangely artisitic. Meah.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Daily Picture 11/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
Me, myself, and I... with my new haircut!

night at the casino

I went to the casino for the first time last night and had a lot more fun than I anticipated. I went with five friends from work, each of us equipped with twenty dollars to gamble away. Mine was gone within a half hour of playing the slots, but my friend Megan actually doubled her twenty dollars which was pretty sweet.

My previous vision of the casino was a fancy place where gambling addicts go to lose all of their money. The vision of a fun, casual evening with friends for the cost of only twenty bucks had never entered my mind before; it was as good as spending ten bucks on a movie ticket plus concession, but with more opportunity to connect with your friends.

After having one of Denny's marvelous chocolate shakes and collapsing in bed at 2am, I reflected on the fun night I had and the relationships developed with new friends. Will there be another casino night for me in the future? Definitely.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Daily Picture 10/01/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
I've made a goal to take a picture a day and post them on this Flickr account. Why? To document the friends and family I love and to expand my photography skills; practice does make perfect. Wish me luck!

This is my cat, Keyaira. She's my best furry bud and I love taking pictures of her. You're sure to see more of her in the future :)

wow, my first post

Hello to anyone and everyone who has decided to drop into my first-ever blog. Technically, I'm required to have a blog for my ECMP355 class. Luckily, I've always wanted to try out blogging so it's not really that much of a chore! Hopefully this is something that I'll stay with, if only for personal reflection once my ECMP class is over.

I'm spending the weekend working and organzing myself for the upcoming semester, so I better run. I'm going to make it a goal to post here at least four times a week, if not more; a bit of a late New Year's resolution if you will.