Study Habits and Apologies

Thursday night my students turned in their outlines.  As per usual, every student had some sort of problem or another.  One student didn’t have his source page because they didn’t get cut and pasted, another student forgot to add a title, so on and so forth.  I always ask them to take out their outlines and the Checklist for Revising and Outline sheet that I provide to them and then give them about 5 minutes to make any corrections that they need to make.  So, for the student who forgot a title he was able to write one in and not lose those valuable points.

I had a super-duper professional outfit planned out because we had important people on campus reviewing us for our accreditation, but I went to get my oil changed and then had to do my 45,000 mile tune-up, and ran out of time to attend the (optional) meeting.  So, instead of wearing the super-duper professional outfit I wore something a little more casual instead.

I love pairing purple and gold together– the combination is so rich and regal!  Usually when I wear gold I tend to pair it with khaki or brown.  But, Thursday I went with gray.  These pants were one of the items that I pulled out of my closet earlier in the week and slated to wear.  I didn’t plan an outfit with these pants, but because they are a basic item I didn’t worry about it too much.  I really like the cut of these pants– they make my legs look super long.  Sadly, I bought them because they were cleareanced out!  But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t have other pants with the same cut.  I will have to remember to look the next time that I am at Target.

Purple cardigan: gift. Gold earrings: J.C. Penney. Gold cowl neck shirt: J.C. Penney. Gray pants: Target. Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Purple peep toes: Payless.

I was a little unsure about what shoes I wanted to wear with this outfit.  I was torn between gray sling back pointy toes pumps, black pumps, or these purple heels.  Eventually I went with the purple shoes because I thought that they had the most personality.

After we went over the chapter on organizational strategies I gave a short presentation on effective study habits.  A few of my students have come to me and asked how they can do better on their quizzes.  It’s a little bit troubling because I have a handful of students who consistently score 9 or 10 out of 10.  But, I had a few tips for the students as a whole for how I go through the information and decide what is high level importance, medium level importance, and low-level importance.  I also reminded them about all the tools that they have available to help them study.  Hopefully this will help those few students who are not doing as well as they want.  Only time will tell!

I also got an apology from the student who took out his frustration out on me over missing a quiz. Luckily, he didn’t overstep the line too much, but it was nice that he recognized he acted out and to apologize to me. He missed class because of some family issues, so I knew that he was just stressed out.

What do you think? Would you have selected the purple shoes, or a more basic shoe? Do you tend to pair gold with khaki and brown and silver with gray and black, or are you open to other pairings?


50 Shades of Grey

I left my first day outfit up to chance and asked all of you to vote.  Sadly, the outfit that I thought was the best first day outfit did not win, but that didn’t deter me from wearing it on the 2nd day of class with my T/TR students.

The 2nd day of class was good.  It’s very hard to get a good read on people the first couple of days– everyone is trying to get situated.  I was sad to see that after Tuesday’s class I had 3 students drop.  Coincidentally, all 3 of the students sat in the front row the first night of class.  (I swear that I brushed my teeth and wore deoderant.)  I am trying not to take it personally, though.  I try to give my students and honest and realistic snapshot of what the class is about and the expectations for the semester.  It is better for students to drop right away if it’s not what they thought that it was, or they discover that now is not the best time to be taking the course.

The course is very demanding with writing the outlines and delivering the speeches, so I always tell students to take an honest assessment of their other classes and lives in general.  If they have another class that they anticipate is going to be very difficult, or they have a lot of responsibilities outside of school–work, family, etc., they really need to be honest about their chances of success.  And, that is the goal– to succeed.

The second night we talked about The Informative Speech process.  This new textbook breaks it down into a 5 step process.  It is also a good overview for the process of writing a speech.  It starts to get them familiar with some of the terminology that they are going to be learning: general purpose, specific purpose, central idea and the steps that they are going to take to complete the process.

The other nice thing is that it creates some redundancy.  They have heard me say some of this information from the Overview chapter we covered on Tuesday and the Informative speech chapter on Thursday.  They are also going to hear it again when we talk about Selecting a Topic and Purpose.  I hope that this redundancy means that they are going to retain this information!

I liked this outfit.  I did add a 3/4 sleeved black cardigan, but my camera battery died and I didn’t get any pictures with the cardigan on.  Oh well, maybe next time!

Grey dress: (thrifted.) Silver hoops: J.C. Penney. Pink belt: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Grey pointy-toed slingback pumps: (thrifted.)

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, why yes that is a 1980’s style banana clip that I am rocking!  Yes, you can still by them new.  Check out your local Wal-Mart.  I took a side shot for you so you could see my banana clip in all its unbridled awesomeness.

What do you think? Do you have a more favorably reaction to this outfit now that you’ve seen how I styled it? Or, are you sticking by your original number 1 pick?

Purple Ties in the Summertime

On Monday, I lectured over chapter 6: finding an using research material and chapter 7: outlining.  It was a very rough morning, to say the least.  A few of my students were missing.  Some of them were falling asleep.  And the others were either uninterested and tuning me out or completely lost and tuning me out.  I felt like I had to drag the students through the material in chapter 6.  I could tell that not many of them had completed the assigned readings.

We barely had time to get through the key ideas in chapter 7– which is a very important chapter considering that their outlines are due on Wednesday.  Also, I had two worksheets that I wanted them to complete and go over in class, but that didn’t happen either.  I ended up rushing through chapter 7 and assigning the two worksheets for homework.  I also warned them that if they continued not reading I would start giving pop quizzes.  They didn’t like that idea very much, so I hope over the next few class periods I see an improvement.

I knew that I wanted to wear my purple silk tie-neck blouse this semester.  I couldn’t believe that I didn’t wear it even once during the entire Spring semester.  It’s one of my favorite shirts and I feel like I wear it all the time, but clearly I don’t.  I paired it with a pair of basic gray trousers and one of my new thrift store finds–a pair of grey sling-back pointy toed pumps.  The outfit worked very well.  I was comfortable for the whole day and felt appropriately dressed.

Purple silk blouse: J.C. Penney. Cream camisole: gift from mother-in-law. Gray trouser pants: (thrifted.) Black belt: Wal-Mart. Gray pumps: (thrifted.) Silver earrings: J.C. Penney. Silver Watch: Fossil.

Are there any pieces of clothing that you wear to death, but really don’t? Or, is the opposite true? You don’t think that you wear something all the time, but yet you always seem to be wearing it in every picture you see of yourself? It’s like when you got back your picture package in school and you were wearing the same outfit. Ughh, how embarrassing!


Last Friday was the last day of Spring 2012 semester.  After my Friday class completed their speeches, I updated their grades in the online grade book, made copies of my attendance records to hand in, and turned in my keys.  It was a very liberating feeling.  I posted final grades online last night and now all that’s left to do is to turn in my syllabi, attendance records, and final grades in hard copy format to the department.  I planned on going to today because I thought there was an open session for photo id badges, but there is not.  I misread the dates.

I was overjoyed to wear this outfit from the first day of Friday classes again.  The first time I styled it, it did not turn out like I had envisioned in my head.  In fact, it was one of my least favorite outfits.  Truth be told, the first few outfits that I happened to wear to my Friday class were some of my least favorites.  If you remember, I was really trying to break the stigma of the Friday outfits for a better part of the semester.

The first time I wore this gray shift I paired it with a light gray turtleneck, black nylons, and a purple scarf.  I also wore purple jewelry.  The look seems disjointed and unappealing to me.  It’s too many different shades of gray in one outfit for my liking.  This time, I still used purple as an accent color, but differently.  It’s only the shoes that are purple.  I could have worn my purple cardigan, but I chose black a simple black one instead.  I didn’t want to repeat the same mistake with different shades of the same color.

It’s hard to even tell that it is the same dress in these two photo’s!

Black cardigan: Target. Gray and black shift dress: Target. Black belt: borrowed from another skirt. Earrings: JC Penney. 3 strand pearl bracelet: Elder Beerman. Silver watch: Fossil. Purple shoes: Payless.

I like this outfit much better than the first one, but I still wouldn’t say that I love it quite the same as I love some of my other outfits from this semester.  Remember, you can view all of my outfits from Spring 2012 semester here.

What are your favorite outfits from this semester? I’d love to hear your feedback.

Colorblocking and Oral Presentations

On Thursday my students were supposed to give oral reports based on a group project that they completed in class on Tuesday.  Since it was somewhat of a carefree day, I dressed a little on the casual side.  Also, because I was cold when I woke up that morning.

Class that day was a little rough.  I thought that my students would welcome the opportunity to do a group project, but they didn’t seem to like it as much as I thought they would.  Well, the group part they seemed o.k. with, it was the oral presentation part that they didn’t seem to like.  Even after all this time and all these speeches, they still have some difficulty organizing their content.

This outfit is a good example of color-blocking.  But, I felt like the pieces were too disparate.  Luckily, I have this scarf that perfectly ties these colors together.  Actually, this outfit was created around this scarf.

I was going to wear my brown boots, but the last time that I wore these blue cords I wore my brown boots.  So, I opted for these gray ones, instead.  Also, because they pair very well with my gray peacoat.

After I thought about it some, I realized that my students were all in a tizzy because they had gotten their outlines back. Although I didn’t think that the grades were bad, I can see how some of them may not have gotten the grade that they wanted. Many of them received the same percentage grade on their third outline as they did on their first and second, but that doesn’t mean that they are not improving. Each time around the requirements increase–as does the point value. So, by getting the same percentage they actually are improving!

In the Middle

Today has been gorgeous–as far as the weather goes.  That, and a week-long break, helped me go into the classroom today feeling refreshed and eager.  I planned a Family Feud style review game for my class where the winners received bragging rights and a lollipop as a prize.

The game went o.k., but some of the students got really competitive and took it way too seriously.  So, what was supposed to be a fun and lighthearted review game nearly turned into an all out brawl.  Ok, maybe I’m over-exaggerating.  (I have been known to do that.)  Anyway, my eagerness was dampened a little bit.

The sunshine did inspire me to wear a maxi-dress, though.  And, I received two compliments on my Spring time outfit– one from a colleague and one from one of my students.  I wore this dress before, but I styled it differently this time around.

This time, I paired it with a silvery-gray tank top underneath to make it more school appropriate and topped it with a gray cardigan. It was a little cool this morning before the sun came out in all its glory. I also went with a flat, bronze sandal instead of a pump or a heel. Lastly, I let the smocking on the dress define my waist instead of adding a belt. I really like the idea of transforming a maxi-dress into a skirt, of sorts.

Do you have any tips or tricks for transforming dresses into skirts, or shirts, or anything else for that matter?

Round 2, Day 2

Yesterday was the second day of round 2 speeches for my t/tr class.  At the beginning of class, I reminded them to really focus on their attention-grabbers and starting their speech off on the right foot.  This reminder seemed to help many of them.

I don’t know if I would say that there is an advantage to going the second day rather than the first, I think that certain students are more likely to prepare and be ready than other students.  I think that maybe one or two of them feel like they’ve gotten a “second” chance when they realize that they are going to present the second day, but I don’t think that it is statistically significant.  I don’t think that very many students take the extra day to prepare or practice more for their speech.  But, I could be really wrong.

I dressed a little more casual than normal, but not too casual because after class I met with my mentor to discuss my teaching observation/evaluation.  I went with a short-sleeved button up shirt and gray dress pants with black shoes.  On film, it is very hard to see the stripes in the shirt– they are black, gray, and red.  But, in the photographs it reads as a dark shade of gray.  I promise, in actuality, that the gray stripes in the shirt are similar in color to the gray pants.

I don’t wear this shirt that often, and I don’t think that it will survive the next round of closet clean-out.  There is nothing wrong with it, it is just one of those items that feels like a fall or winter color palette with short sleeves.  I’ve had it for so long, I don’t even remember where I got it.  The same goes with the earrings and the black shoes.  They are both items that I have had for what seems like ever!  I meant to add my burgundy velvet blazer to the outfit for a bit of warmth, but I forgot.

My evaluation went well. My mentor gave me a lot of compliments and some really good strategies for improving my weaknesses. The best thing is that I already knew my weaknesses– she didn’t identify anything that I felt was a strength as a weakness.  Even though I thought it went well, it was hard to wait a week for my feedback.  I am glad that I got my feedback and I don’t have to stress out and worry about it any more!

Tomorrow my class is taking their midterm exam and then I am officially on Spring Break. I don’t know who is more excited, me or my students.