Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Daily Picture 31/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
Pepper's second day outdoors of the year. I took pity on her since 'her mom' wouldn't spend the time to take her outside. She's rubbing her face against the house, in case you weren't sure. She spent most of her time rolling around in the dust, sniffing, and attemping to eat the dead grass.

Monday, March 30, 2009

free hugs campaign

Chelsea posted this amazing Free Hugs Campaign video in her blog post on Google Maps, and I had to pass it along. I love it!

Daily Picture 30/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
The first ladybug of the year!

think green podcast

I finally was inspired to make my podcast by the occurence of Earth Hour. Here is a ???? long podcast on ways that YOU can make a difference in global warming.

I had quite the time uploading this darn thing to the web. It automatically saved as a .aup, but it didn't upload to archive.org. I finally figured out how to dowload LAME to convert it to an .mp3, but then I had to 'find' the LAME file. I found it easily enough, but then had to figure out how to get there from the stupid window in Audacity. It's an hour after I finished recording my podcast, I finally have a way to embed it here. *sigh* You better enjoy it -evil glare-

Daily Picture 29/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
A list of all the homework I have to do by the end of next week. Obviously, I wrote in on some till tape while at work :P

student values

During my mentorship with Jennifer Clark Evan's junior English classes, they were required to make a of post of values that were most important to them. Man, I was impressed. Here are some of the posts that touched me the most. Enjoy!

Stephanie: being an Arts Education student, I was delighted when she mentioned Imagination and Creativity as two of her top five values.
Emmy: wait, a high school student recognizes that etiquette and manners are important? Whoa.
Chelsea: family, friends, freedom and faith.
Jessica: an outstanding job on explaining why some traditional values are so important.
Lucy: "I can't imag[in]e being any shade of a good person without [my family]".
Rachel: a true recognition of the importance of education, freedom and opportunity.
Samantha: honesty, truth, and respect.

Daily Picture 28/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
During Earth Hour, I took a photo of some candles lying next to an album of my parent's wedding.

car wash!

I went through the car wash today, and purposely brought my lovely camera so I could film the process. I know it's expensive and a waste of water, but it's so fun that I let myself indulge every so often. I suppose this is a silly post, but oh well. Here's a video of my somewhat pathetically aesthetic experience (I knew I should have written my EAES paper on this!).

I don't know if I've posted about this before, but my sister is participating in a Japanese Exchange Program. Two students will be living in our house for two weeks starting April 11, then my sister gets to go to their homes for a couple weeks in July.

I am considering kidnapping them one afternoon and taking them through the car wash. :D

Daily Picture 27/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
A pretty necklace I bought my mom on today from the kiosk in the Riddel Centre. You can also see where I get my freckles from :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

earth hour

Just a reminder to everyone that today, March 28, is the day of EARTH HOUR! Earth Hour is from 8:30-9:30pm. Basically, turn off all the lights, electronics and appliances you own, unplug cell phone chargers that are not being used, etc. and be completely green for one hour. Pass the time a traditional way; catch up with family or roomates or play a board game. Or step it up a notch and catch up on your recycling of cans, bottles and soup containers; research ways to be green before Earth Hour and start implementing them during it!

Most importantly, PASS IT ON!

Friday, March 27, 2009

pigeons like to drive the bus and stay up late

I have been working with Mrs. Maria Knee's kindergarten class in Deerfield, New Hampshire, via their blogs. Their first assignment was to draw pictures of spiders, that I already have a blog post about. Their newest assignment was to draw pictures of a pigeon! I am guessing that that was their only instruction, because there were quite a variety of pigeons on their blogs.

Vivian had a blue pigeon with a detailed background. Patrick's pigeon wanted to stay up late. The pigeon that Matthew drew wanted a yppup (puppy)! Grace's pigeon was a bus driver. Plus, Katie drew a whole family of pigeons.

These are just a few of the student's blogs, but I wanted to show you some of the work that we have been doing. I found it interesting that Matthew spelled puppy correctly, just backwards. I showed my mom and she informed me that lots of kids do that when they learn to write - including me! Who knew?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Daily Picture 26/02/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
My eye. Looking a little tired, but oh well :)

mentorship - reading through student eyes

For those of you who have been following my blog, you know that I have been mentoring Jennifer Clark Evans two junior English classes in Fredericksburg, Virginia. They have each made at least five posts at checkpoints in the novel they are studying, A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway.

*Warning: this post contains spoilers on the novel! Do not read if you want the end to be a surprise
**The links go to specific blog posts of some of Jennifer's students

I have never read this novel before, so I was afraid that I would not be able to help them with their blog posts. As I read them, I realized that I could get a pretty decent idea of the novel just by reading their posts. The novel follows an ambulance driver of World War I named Henry. He seems invincible and unemotional to the war until he injuries his knee and is pulled from the front for a few months where he meets a nurse named Catherine, who has just lost her fiance to the war. They begin a relationship, based not on love but on desperation, and eventually Catherine becomes pregnant. Henry has to leave to her get back to the war front. As he is there he continues thinking about Catherine as a distraction from the war. He realized that he has fallen in love with her after all, and escapes the war to be with her. They run to Switzerland, a country neutral in the war, to be together. Unfortunately, Catherine drank mercilessly during her pregnancy while Henry was away. The baby is strangled by the umbilical cord, and Catherine dies from hemorrages. Henry is left alone, wanted from his country, and back to his original emotional state of numbness.

I find it amazing that I know this story so well without ever reading it. I can quote lines of foreshadowing, write another paragraph just about Henry's character development, write about secondary characters and their place in the war, all from reading student blogs. I will write more about my comments and their progress another time. Great job students!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Daily Picture 25/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
My dad bought a 1993 Rover Mini last weekend. I have to admit it's pretty cute. Click here if you want to see more pictures. Just ignore my dad's username ;)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Daily Picture 24/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
Today, our kitten Joey was running through the house and stepped in a piece of my sister's peanut butter toast. Here is the evidence.

Daily Picture 23/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
A cardboard box that has been sitting in our storage room for ages... I thought it was very 'educational-student' of me to find this compelling :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

teaching delicious through skype

Last week, I Skyped with Jennifer Clark Evan's english classes. I have been commenting on their blog posts about Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms for the past month, but this is the first chance I got to see and speak with them. However, this was not just a 'meet and greet' Skype call. They have finished reading their novel and are now beginning research papers. Jennifer asked me if I could teach them how to use delicious!

I love delicious. Not quite as passionately as Dionne loves Twitter, but oh well. I used Pamela to record the two Skype calls, then uploaded the mp3 files to archive.org. I also used the delicious page of my now-abandoned wikispace as a basis for my lesson. You don't have to listen to the whole file(s) as they are approximately fifteen minutes in length each. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

final project update

So, as you may remember my plan was to make a wikispace of all the resources being thrown at my as an education student. The last couple weeks I've been teaching my mentorship classroom in Virgina how to use delicious (blog post about that to come). As I've showed them the usefulness of delicious, I began to realize that even if I beat this wikispace project out for my final project, I would probably never use it again and just transfer all of my resouces to delicious anyway. With this happy notion of motivation stirring me on, it's no wonder I've made no progress on my wiki.

I stayed online after class on Wednesday to talk to Dean. I'd hoped he would be able to give me some ideas and help pull me out of the ditch I was hopelessly stuck in... and he did! The new plan is to pick a grade level and subject, then make a video (possibly Flowgram), on five or six ways to incorporate technology in that classroom. I'm planning to get started on this as soon as I finish my report for my Personal Arts Project for EAES201.

Daily Picture 22/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
Showing off my new lip gloss.

"They say my lip gloss is cool
My lip gloss be poppin'
I'm standin' at my locker
And all the boys keep stopping"
-Lil Mama ;)

Daily Picture 21/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
A painting my sister did on an old window (with my two favourite instruments!).

Friday, March 20, 2009

Daily Picture 20/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
A big shelf of CDs that my parents have collected over the years.

personal arts project

So, all semester I have been working on a Personal Arts Project for my EAES201 class. My goal was to do five art projects throughout the semester to improve my artistic ability. These projects included pointillism (with Sarah M.), sculpture (with Mickey), watercolour (with Marcy), calligraphy and charcoal. This may seem a little familiar as I've made posts about my sculpture, calligraphy and pointillism works, but this is your first glimpse at my watercolour and charcoal works.

Here are some additional pictures of my charcoal pieces. Since I learned this art form on my own, I would really appreciate some constructive criticism - that's actually part of my project - so if you could comment at least on the charcoal works that would be great. Enjoy the slideshow!


Click to play this Smilebox photobook: PersonalArtsProject
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Daily Picture 19/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
My lovely keyboard/piano. *hugs*

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Daily Picture 18/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
The inner workings of... a sewing machine!?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Daily Picture 17/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
Joey, sitting in his throne.

Monday, March 16, 2009

google maps

My Google Map features the places in Regina that I've spent the most time in, excluding my current home just in case you all decide to stalk me (just jokes, but it's good to be safe). Enjoy!

It seems you need to zoom in a lot in this embedding file. If you click on the link above, it automatically focuses on Regina.

View Larger Map

podcast examples

One of this week's tech tasks was to find two podcasts using iTunes that we found interesting or beneficial. The first one I chose was In the Groove, Jazz and Beyond by Ken Laster. I took MU188, Jazz Techniques, last semester and I found that the jazz music we studied in that class and the jazz music heard in this podcast were very similar. If you're looking for some great jazz standards, try this podcast!

iTunes URL: file:///C:/DOCUME~1/Robin/LOCALS~1/Temp/In%20The%20Groove,%20Jazz%20and%20Beyond.url

Website URL: http://www.jazzandbeyond.com/

My second pick is Learn French with Coffee Break French by Radio Lingua Network. They also have a Spanish version. The reason I chose this podcast is because I've always wanted to learn French or Spanish, and maybe these podcasts will give me a head start! It's a very convienient way to get started on learning a language.

iTunes URL: file:///C:/DOCUME~1/Robin/LOCALS~1/Temp/Learn%20French%20with%20Coffee%20Break%20French%203.url

Website URL: http://www.coffeebreakfrench.com/

Daily Picture 16/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
My family had two new windows installed today! They look pretty awesome and we're hoping they won't leak water in the wintertime haha

skyping with maria knee's class

Last Wednesday, I Skyped with Mrs. Maria Knee's kindergarten class in Deerfield, New Hampshire. They were all sitting on a carpeted section of the classroom, and they stood up one by one to introduce themselves. Next, Maria adjusted her webcam and gave me a tour of their classroom which was very colourful and had several secluded sections; perfect for a kindergarten class.

One of the students introduced me to their turtle, as Maria had read on my blog that I liked turtles. Another student showed me the projects they had been working on previous to my Skype call. They also asked me questions, like if I was in high school or college; I explained that university was like college for them. The only other province in Canada they had Skyped with was Quebec, so they wondered if I knew French, and Maria was also very eager to hear how Saskatchewan was pronounced. I was also impressed by the way that Maria had one student click the buttons required to call me, and another student end the call so that they were actually using Skype themelves.

Here are two files that I managed to save through Pamela (a program used to record Skype to mp3 files). Then I uploaded the mp3 filea to archive.org so I could post it here! It's just the very beginning and very end of our Skype call, we got cut off for some reason... I think my voice sounds weird, but oh well. At least John was very eager to meet me!

weekend update

So it seems that it is impossible for me to get homework done on the weekends; too much working and catching up with family. However, I managed to make some progress on my mentorship with Jennifer Clark Evans' Grade 10 English class by posting comments on their blogs every snippet of time I could manage. I usually have an extra fifteen minutes in the mornings before work, then on my break at work, then at home between work and supper, and I even managed to post a couple during the boring parts of a movie we watched as a family on Saturday night.

I feel like I'm constantly behind on their blogs, but I think it's just because they've been posting much more regularly the past couple weeks - which is good, but I'm struggling to keep up sometimes. I also feel like I'm spending way more time commenting on their blogs then doing the several final projects that need finishing. I am also feeling stuck on my final project for this class and am even looking into some new ideas... grr!

My cold also same back this weekend, though I thought it had disappeared. I barely had a voice on Saturday at Future Shop, so I got stuck at front cash rather than customer service. It has been better Sunday and today, but singing in the car is still out of the question for a few more days I think.

... so, as negative as this post is so far, I'm actually in a pretty good mood. Weird haha :) My family watched Australia with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman on Saturday, and I found it quite revolutionary in the way the story was told and filmed - highly recommended. Then Sunday night my work friends got together for a Twlight movie night, and I went even though I'd already seen it. Several of my friends are obsessed with Twlight, so it was hilarious hearing their critics on the movies versus the books.

Well, I hope you didn't waste too much time reading my little rant that turned out a little less happy than I originally intended. I guess I needed to get my thoughts out of my head!

Daily Picture 15/02/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
A drawing my work friend made of some people from work. I'm Robin the Robin in the nest in the tree that is Ryan, our sales manager. My favourite is Jesse the Wasp, or possibly Thomas the Worm. ^_^

Daily Picture 14/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
A piece of my great-grandma's china.

Daily Picture 13/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
A container of little heart glitters that I've had and used for years, but always seems to remain full.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Daily Picture 12/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
Some random CDs that were sitting on my dresser. Can you guess them all?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

the adventures of superpresentationman

I recently subscribed to my mentorship teacher's blog, Jennifer Clark-Evans' 'My Continuing Education'. She must be working on producing powerful PowerPoint presentations (how's that for alliteration?) with one of her classes because she just posted this video on her blog: "The Adventures of Superpresentationman". This student video is really great in showing the good and the bad of PowerPoint presentations and I can definitely see myself showing this video to my classroom. Enjoy!

Find more videos like this on TeacherLibrarianNetwork

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Daily Picture 11/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
Spaghetti. Because it is my favourite food :)

the story of a sign

I also wanted to post this video that we watched in last week's class. It is an amazing short film that uses many shots and angles, plus has a great message. I can see myself using this video as an example within my future classroom.

tech task 12

I had a hard time finding an original YouTube clip for this tech task, so I picked a couple oldies. Enjoy!

The Godfather - a user made this 'trailer'

Gone With the Wind - another short recap of the film

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Daily Picture 10/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
My lovely clarinet, Clarissa. Not the most artistic shot, but oh well. Another time.

Daily Picture 09/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
My mom's pincushion that looks like a tomato. I love it :)

busy, busy, busy

I haven't posted in a few days, so I thought I'd let you all know what I've been up to. Saturday night I went to a bellydancing/burlesque show with Erika for our Expanding My Horizons project in EAES201. It was actually quite exciting and more of a cultural experience than I had expected. Though, looking back I'm not really sure what I was expecting! :) Thanks Erika for sharing that experience with me!

I spent the rest of the weekend working at Future Shop and making lists of all the homework I have to do without actually doing any of it. Then I woke up Monday morning to a sore throat and about five sneezes in a row. I was in denial of my obvious illness until this morning, when I woke up at nine and somehow managed to do nothing for four hours without seeming like I was doing nothing. When I got to school and actually focused back in on life, I realized how much homework I actually had to do!

Since my trip back to Earth, I've had some soup, bought cough drops, had several mugs of tea, started and finished my music theory assignment that is due tomorrow, updated my KHS journal, commented on some mentorship students blogs, set up a Skype call for tomorrow, and made this post! *high fives myself* I will be posting about my Skype call with Maria Knee's class in New Hampshire tomorrow.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Daily Picture 080309

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
A plant that my mom has had since I was born - and a pretty butterfly.

Daily Picture 070309

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
Joey, in one of his favourite spots: the laundry basket.

Daily Picture 06/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
New shoes that I bought at Payless, while shopping with my sister for her grad shoes :)

Daily Picture 03/05/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
Some of my old collection of Nancy Drew books.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

tech task 11B

After successfully making a slideshow on Smilebox, I started exploring some more sites from Alan Levin's 50+ Ways to Tell a Story. My goal for my second story was to find a tool where I could mix videos and pictures taken on my camera.

I checked out ToonDoo, even though I wasn't really looking to make a comic, and discovered it is very easy to use. You just drag and drop characters, backgrounds, props, bubbles, etc. Plus, you can upload your own photos to ToonDoo if you want. I bookmarked this site in Delicious for future use.

Next, I went to SplashCast, which according to Alan's site says you can upload video and pictures - exactly what I was looking for. However, the site must have changed; it is now a site that focuses on 'elusive 15-34 year-olds'. You can watch TV shows on this site, but no where could I find a 'registed' button, only a 'log-in' button.

Giving up, I moved on to JayCut, which also claimed to use pictures and video. It did just that, in a format similar to iMovie, but it got to complicated for me. If I had more time and really wanted to spend hours on editing a video, then this site would be very useful.

Finally, I chose the site Animoto. I wanted to avoid this one originally because several others people have used it, but it in the end, it functioned the way I needed it to. Plus, it looks really cool.

tech task 11A

So, I've been working on collecting pictures for my stories/videos for the past few days. I figured I had enough today, so I began exploring the 50+ Ways to Tell a Story, shared with us by it's creator, Alan Levine during last week's class.

I created an account with Jumpcut (via Yahoo), but quickly realized that Jumpcut was on the fritz. You can no longer upload anything onto Jumpcut, only mix videos previously uploaded.

Next: I saw Jen's amazing video from Smilebox and fell in love with the program. I installed in and created an account and chose a theme. Little did I realize that the theme I chose only allowed three pictures. So, I went back to choose another theme. The new theme is a little Valentine-ish, but the music really suits the story I created. Smilebox was fairly easy to use; it only takes pictures, no video. Keep in mind that at the end of the slideshow it just restarts. Enjoy!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: A Day in the Life: Cat
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mentorship opportunity

Hello fellow ECMP355ers,

Last night, we talked about our mentorship classrooms and I found out that a lot of people aren't having a smooth mentorship as I am. My mentorships with Mrs. Jennifer Clark Evans and Mrs. Maria Knee are going great!

I have a third classroom that I'm having trouble keeping up with, probably because I'm focusing a bit more on the other two classrooms. It it mainly commenting on blog posts, so if any of you are looking for more experience (and possibly a better mark) on your mentorship, maybe you can help me out! Lois Smethurst's students are in the ICT Extension for Gifted Students program at their school in Victoria, Australia. LEEP is their website. Check it out!

Daily Picture 04/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
ECMP355 class... Dean Shareski talking to us about FlipVideo.

visual storytelling

Last night in ECMP355, we met face-to-face. We split up into groups of 3-4 to make some videos using FlipVideo with the FlipShare software. The technology was extremely easy to use, and with step-by-step instructions for the stories, it was controlled but still fun.

Here are the videos that Marcy, Tessa and I created (I saved them onto my USB key before class ended). Isn't Marcy cute?! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Daily Picture 03/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
Showing off the detail that my new camera captures. This is a space of about 1 inch x 1 inch of my laptop.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Daily Picture 02/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
Daffodils my sister and I bought our sick mom this weekend.


During reading week, I taught myself how to do calligraphy for my Personal Arts Project for EAES201. It was actually easier than I imagined, and it looks so pretty! I bought a package from Colours that came with five markers, practice paper, and instruction booklet and wax paper for only $20. I practiced both the Roman and Italian style, but I was better at the Roman style. I wrote out a few of my favourite poems from my English 110 class, so here are the results! I've uploaded them to my Flickr account, but I'm having trouble posting more than one on my blog at a time. Oh well, links are good enough.

By the way, part of the assignment is receiving feedback on my art. I'd really appreciate some constructive criticism. I think the picture of "The Night My Mother Died" is the most accurate one for this. Thanks!!



Daily Picture 01/03/09

Originally uploaded by metro_racer
I promised my cat, Keyaira, that my first picture on my new camera would be of her :)

new camera!!

Hello all,
Sorry I haven't posted all weekend. This is because I've been playing with... my new camera!! *parties* I've given up on finding my old one so I bought a new one! It's the same as my old one, just four years newer. It's a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5. It's a small, handheld camera, but the LCD screen is 3 inches (aka; HUGE), has 10x optical zoom, 9.1 megapixels, plus, it has a 28mm wideangle feature; a new development in camera technology. Basically, it means that if you hold an older camera at a certain angle, you will get a certain image. Cameras with wideangle technology, held at the same angle, will give you a much larger picture. I hope that made sense. Anyway, here are some pictures of my lovely new camera, and never fear; true daily pictures will return!