Teaching and Acute Tonsillitis

Over the weekend, I wasn’t feeling very well.  Sunday was my day off from both jobs, which should have been Date Night with the BF, but instead it ended up being switch between sleeping on the couch and in the bed.  I felt terrible for being under the weather and not having a good date night with my BF, but he understood.

Monday I wasn’t feeling much better.  I debated on going to the dr.’s, but it is always a big decision because I don’t have insurance and I am self-pay.  I spent most of the day in bed trying to rest up and recuperate before I had to go to work that evening.  I even tried to get someone to cover my shift, but we are short on Bartenders and most everyone has a second job or school that restricts their schedule.

I thought about calling off, but that is not in my nature.  So, I put on my big girl pants and went to work.  Luckily, my co-worker was able to switch with me.  I still had to work a 6 hour shift, but it was much better than working the 8.5 hour

Tuesday, when I woke up I was still suffering from a major sore throat.  Since my mom is a medical assistant, I went to the clinic where she works to get checked out by the nurse practitioner.  Because I didn’t have any other cold or flu-like symptoms, she diagnosed it as acute tonsillitis.  She gave me a prescription for an antibiotic and sent me on my way.  She offered to write me a work excuse, but I declined.  There was no way that I could cancel class last night knowing that I was missing Thursday night because of the flair competition.  I did, however, e-mail the peer mentor that was scheduled to observe my class and ask him to consider coming another night.  Thankfully, he obliged.

Purple button up: Wal-Mart. Fall print scarf: gift. Grey trousers: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Brown oxford shoes: unknown.

That took away a lot of my stress.  I also opted to have my students debrief after their first round of speeches.  I asked them all to reflect on how they did and assess what things they did that were successful and what things that they learned not to do for next time.  I think that it was a good activity.  I also finished lecturing on the presentation aid chapter before giving them the quiz over the material.  We had about ten minutes of class left afterward, so rather than starting a new chapter I allowed them to ask questions about their midterm.

One savvy student asked what type of answer that I expected for the essay questions.  We were able to go over two of the five potential essay questions.  I think that it was very smart that she asked that because I don’t have anything against reviewing the answer with them, or pointing out the exact spot in the book where they can find the information.  I just wish that we had more time to cover more material.

Some of the students were discussing coming to class on Thursday and having a study session with each other.  It makes me extremely proud to know that my students care enough to want to do that.  I know that several of them have class beforehand and are on campus, anyway.  I know that some of them will just take the night off, but I think that is o.k., too.  We all need a sanity break sometimes.

Sorry for the delay in posting.  Also, if you are experiencing any difficulties with the website, it is because I am in the process of migrating to another host and there are some bugs in the system.

-Carla

 

 

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2nd Day Informative Speeches: Fall

Thursday we continued with speeches since we didn’t get through very many of them on Tuesday.  I am trying not to freak out about it too much, but that puts us behind.  I thought that we would only have 3 speeches or so on Thursday, but we had 6 speeches to go.  That meant that the time I had planned to be lecturing over presentation aids was just not there.  We were able to start the chapter and go over the first key idea–what are the different types of presentation aids, but that is all.

Now I am in a difficult spot because I have my evaluator coming on Tuesday.  There is nothing that says that we can’t finish up chapter 10, have the quiz, and then begin chapter 8 on language.  But, Chapter 8 is kind of long and I found this really good 5 minute video clip that I think will really segue us into a discussion about language.  I guess I am just afraid that my students will complain about having a quiz over material that we didn’t discuss in class.  On one hand I kind of agree, but then on the other hand I think, it’s in the book, it’s fair game.

I’m also nervous about my evaluator coming on Tuesday because I am going to be absent on Thursday because of the bartender flair competition.  You are not supposed to cancel class– you get paid to be there and to teach.  But, it was short notice so I didn’t really have the opportunity to get a substitute.  And it’s review, so I’m not sure how much a substitute would help.  I guess I thought that the students would be happy, but I have a couple of them murmuring their complaints.  Ahhh, who knows.  I hope that it will work itself out.

Flowered cardigan: Old Navy. Purple silk tie neck blouse: J.C. Penney. Purple earrings: unknown. Purple bracelet: gift from dad. Silver watch: Fossil. Blue corduroys: Old Navy. Brown Oxford style shoes: unknown.

Long time readers of this blog know that on speech days I tend to dress a little more casual.  I’ve worn elements of this outfit together before, but to my knowledge I’ve never worn these exact three pieces together before.  It’s nothing all that fancy– just a shirt, cardigan, and some pants.  But, I went to school with clothes on and I followed all (one) of our dress code rules: no jeans.  So, it’s a win.

What do you think?  Do you think that this outfit is too casual?  Or, is it appropriate because I am sitting down evaluating speeches and not lecturing in the front of the room?
Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts about whether I should finish the chapter before giving the quiz, or just give them the quiz first thing? I am nervous about my evaluation because I want to do well and I’ve never met this person so I don’t know anything about him.
-Carla

Oxblood and Speeches: Fall

Well, Hello there, October.  Can I just say that I am glad that it is October?  For most of the month of September, I thought that it was October.  I kept seeing dates that were 10/whatever and I was thinking that I either had something coming up or had missed an important meeting or event.  And, not to mention that September is a hard word for me to type fast.  I misspell it, a lot.

Tuesday my students delivered their first set of speeches.  I was so excited and anxious to hear them– I really had some high hopes.  But, as soon as the first student started I was reminded that these are beginning speakers and this is their first time.  The mistakes were plentiful.  I wouldn’t be so upset by it if it wasn’t things that we had covered and discussed.  They have a time frame of 5-6 minutes and the first student talked for over 11 minutes.  I have never had that happen.  I had decided that at 15 minutes I was going to stop him.  Luckily, he stopped himself.  This, and their uncertainty about what to do as the speaker and how to fill out the evaluation forms quickly negated my excitement.

I have to remind myself of all the things that they did well and remember that it is their first time.  So, let’s take a positive approach.  First, all 5 of the speaker’s that went on Tuesday made it through their entire speech without fainting or having a heart attack.  Secondly, many of them voluntarily dressed up and used presentation aids– which wasn’t required, so technically they were going above and beyond.  Third, all of them had their note cards and revised outlines.

I know that the speeches that the remaining students deliver today will be much stronger because they got to see their peers go and they can learn from their mistakes.  Sometimes, I just have to remind myself that no one is perfect and the reason why they are taking this class is to become better public speakers.

Black cardigan: Target. Printed ruffled tank (black): Target. Sunglasses: unknown. Red earrings: unknown. Black and red bracelet: gift from sister. Pandora bracelet: gift(s). Red leather bracelet: souvenir from Niagara Falls. Oxblood cropped pants: J.C. Penney. Black pointy-toed shoes: Shoe Carnival. Silver watch: Fossil.

Plus, I am just feeling stressed out because I got behind on my schoolwork– grading, preparing handouts to go to the printer’s, and prepping for lectures.  And, one week from today I have the regional bartender flair competition that I will be competing in.  And, (of course) one of the full-time teachers in my department is coming to do my annual teaching evaluation next Tuesday.  So, I have a lot on my plate.

On Sunday, which was date night with the BF, we went on a short shopping trip.  Last week we washed laundry and some mysterious red substance ended up ruining several of our clothing items.  Some of them were saved after a $75 dry-cleaning bill, but others were not salvageable.  I felt bad that my BF lost two dress shirts, so I wanted to go to J.C. Penney to see what they had on sale.  I scored big time and we found two dress shirts for him–one with a tie, on clearance for a total of $15!  I also bought myself something while we were there.  I was telling my BF that I wanted a pair of cropped pants and I was blabbering about oxblood being the “it” color for Fall.   And then we came across these pants.  He was a little unsure of them, but I knew that they were winners.

I liked these pants and was excited to wear my new ruffled printed tank top that I purchased from Target a while back.  At the time I didn’t have burgundy pants so I had planned on wearing them with black pants and a royal blue cardigan or a magenta button-up shirt.  But, once I added these pants to my wardrobe I saw an entirely different option for this tank top.

What do you think? Do you find yourself following certain trends? Did you go crazy for orange this Spring/Summer because of Pantone?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

-Carla

Friday Duplicates

Sometimes I come up with multiple styling options for one piece of clothing.  It’s a fun rainy day activity to take a piece of clothing and see how you can manipulate it to work in different outfits.  Can you tuck it in to make it look and feel different?  Can you wear it in a different type of outfit than it is intended–work wear, casual, day vs night, etc.  But sometimes this works against me!

I have so many ways to wear one piece of clothing that it is all that I want to do– wear my new creations.  But, I can’t do that.  People frown upon the idea of wearing the same piece of clothing everyday.  I can get away with wearing the same outfit or piece of clothing twice in close proximity if I know that I am not going to see the same people, but other than that it’s a no go.  People will think that you don’t wash your clothes.  And then they will think that you are gross and make up mean nicknames behind your back.

And let’s face it, I have an entire closet full of clothes so I don’t need to be wearing the same item over and over again.  That’s the story behind this dress.  The last time that I wore it I brainstormed two or three additional ways to wear it for the upcoming Fall/Winter season.  And I’ve practically been counting the days until I could wear it again.  I thought that I wore this dress on a tuesday/thursday but I just figured out that I wore it on a friday!  It’s a good thing that I waited three weeks before wearing it again.  (I told you that I was having a rough week.)

Jean jacket: Wal-Mart. Feather earrings: Charlotte Russe.(?) Black flowered dress: Target. Black v-neck shirt: Target. Bubble necklace: E-bay. Brown belt: (thrifted.) Green socks: Target. Brown boots: Old Navy.

I really liked this outfit, but the dress felt short.  I don’t know if it was because I had bare legs (except for the socks), or what. I thought about wearing my bubble necklace– I even took half of my pictures with it on, but it didn’t read the way that I wanted it to.  I thought that the necklace would match the green in the dress and the green socks a little better, but they were two far off in my opinion to look right.  So, I went without the necklace this time around.  I’ll have to come up with a different outfit to wear my bubble necklace.

My Friday class is behind my T/TR class in some things, and ahead of them in others.  It mostly has to do with the number of speeches and requirements that dictate what chapters we cover and when.  In my Friday class we talked about introductions and conclusions and presentation aids.  It’s a requirement for my Friday class that they have a presentation for their first speech but not for my T/TR class.  I also duplicated the funny question game in this class, as well.  They were a little bit more receptive to it, thankfully.

Now that the week is done, I have a stack of outlines to grade, a handful of quizzes, lecture to prepare, and items to prepare for the printer’s.  Oh yeah, and working at my other job most of the weekend.  Ahh, I must remind myself that I am grateful and blessed to have two jobs– especially when some people don’t even have one.

-Carla

(Fall)

Although I have been tagging pictures and posts “Fall” for quite some time now, it’s not actually Fall!  According to the calendar Fall doesn’t begin for another two days.  But, nonetheless in my mind Fall is synonymous with back-to-school.  Plus, everyone is always pushing ahead and talking about what’s coming next and not focusing on the here and now.  Look at Fashion week– they are debuting clothing lines for the Spring!  We haven’t even had Fall and Winter yet.  And not to mention my Pinterest was flooded with pins of outfits comprised of leggings, boots, and comfy cozy sweaters captioned I LOVE Fall two months ago.  So, please don’t fault me for the erroneous tagging!

Printed cowl neck shirt: Target. Red earrings: unknown. Magenta skinny belt: Target. Khaki pencil skirt: Target. Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Brown heeled boots: unknown.

And, since we’re only two days away, I’ll go ahead and say this.  It’s beginning to feel a lot like Fall.  This week we have had some near record lows.  The cool crisp air is very Fall-esque and therefore, I have started wearing some Fall-like layers.  First up, this shirt which with the mustard yellow and burgundy tones just screams “fall pile of leaves” to me.  And the khaki pencil skirt.  And the brown knee-high heeled boots.  I’m no mathmetician, but Boots=Fall.  I told you in my last post that my outfit consisted of different elements from my creative closet play session, and here it is.  First, the printed cowl neck shirt from all of the outfits.  Second, the skinny magenta belt which gives this top the illusion of being a peplum top– which are SO on-trend right now (but not in my closet.)  Third, the brown boots from another outfit.  Switch out the denim colored pencil skirt for a khaki one, add in thick nude colored tights, and a brown jacket and we’re good to go!

I really like the way that I created the peplum top illusion by tucking under some of the excess length on this top and adding the belt.  But, the one thing that I didn’t like is that my skirt was all wrinkly by the end of the night.  I think that a good coating of spray starch will take care of that.

In class we finished up the lecture over outlining and then talked about organizational strategies for main points.  I have tried to stress to my students the importance of their outlines.  I have walked them through the process step by step.  In week 3 I required them to turn in their topic for approval, their general purpose and specific purpose.  A few of them were off course and had selected a topic that would work better for a process or persuasive speech.  Some of them had a good topic, but had written a specific purpose that treated the topic as a how-to or persuasive speech.  And some of them didn’t write the specific purpose according to the guidelines.

After they turned in their topics, I told them that they should be out there researching their topics and gathering support material for their outlines.  This coincided with the two chapters on finding resources and evaluating and using supporting material.  I constantly reminded them that they should be starting the process of piecing together their outlines.  Last week we began discussing outlining.  We finished that up on Tuesday and their outlines are due today.

I’m always a little worried for some of my students– especially the ones who don’t heed my warnings and get behind.  I had a student approach me at the end of class on Tuesday and ask me if she could change her topic.  I tried to conceal the look of horror on my face as I explained to her that she should be on the outlining stage and not at the selecting a topic stage.  Selecting a topic stage was so 3 weeks ago!  I asked her if she realized how behind she was, but I don’t think that she grasped the severity of the situation.  But, there is a silver lining to this situation.  She expressed concern to me about how to study for the quizzes.

I took a few minutes to sit down with her and show her a few tips and tricks for figuring out which information is most important in a textbook chapter and which information is least important.  I also explained to her about the cues that a teacher gives to the students.  For instance, if something is not covered in class that means that it is less important than other information.  Idea’s that a teacher repeats is something that they want you to write down in your notes and remember.  The same thing with PowerPoint slides.  The information written on a PowerPoint slide is usually written in short key word phrases with the intent that a student will copy that information down in their notes and then elaborate with the other information that an instructor provides orally.

I’m choosing to focus on the positive aspect of the student reaching out to me for help on study habits rather than focusing on the fact that she is so far behind where she needs to be on the first big assignment.

What do you think?  Are there any other basic study tips that you give to students to help them figure out what to study?  Do you reach out to students whose quiz scores are lower than the rest of the class or do you wait until they come to you?  Please let me know your tips and tricks– I love learning from others.

-Carla

Friday Fun Day

Friday morning I lectured over Listening and Outlining with my students.  These two chapters were a little easier to present because I have already covered them in my Tuesday/Thursday class.  We started out with Listening since they are usually a little more awake and ready to pay attention.  As the class starts to wear on, they start to get a little stir crazy.  We meet once a week for 2 hours and 40 minutes.  I usually try to give them (and myself) a ten minute break somewhere in the middle just to give everyone a chance to stand up, move around, and get the blood flowing again.  They are always able to step out if they need to use the restroom or take an emergency phone call, but some of them do smoke or won’t leave during lecture.

I did announce to them at the beginning that we had a lot to do that day and there would not be a formal break.  This is how I bought myself some “extra” time to make sure that I could fit in the Pictionary activity with this class.  I started out by giving them a quiz on the material that we covered the last week.  My Friday students are doing slightly better on the quizzes than my T/TR students.  This is surprising to me.  Last Spring, my Friday students struggled a lot with the material and I attributed it to the meeting schedule.  I felt that the students didn’t have enough time to let some of the information sit and gel before we had to move on to the next topic.  Speech is kind of like math– it all builds on itself and if a student has trouble understanding addition that lack of understanding is only going to get worse when you try to teach them multiplication or division.

But, I think that since I had the predisposition that my Friday students would have a more difficult time, I stressed to them at the beginning how important it was for them to do their reading, study for their quizzes, and take an active role in class.  The other thing that I find interesting is that I gave my T/TR students a practice quiz to show them the types of questions that I would ask.  I did not collect it or even see their scores– so whether they did bad or good I will never know.  But, I did it as kind of a warning to show them that they would need to study.  I did not do that for my Friday class, and yet they are scoring higher (as a group) than my T/TR students.  There is the possibility that my practice quiz exercise actually backfired on me.  Anyway.  These are the types of things that I find interesting and turn over in my mind late at night when I am trying to sleep.

Mustard cardigan: Target. Gold earrings: J.C. Penney. Brown Tank top: Old Navy. Layered necklaces: Target. Plaid dress: Old Navy. Brown belt: (thrifted.) Brown boots: Old Navy.

I liked this outfit well enough.  It does seem very fitting for the Fall season with its color palette.  But, the dress is a linen material and has a strappy top.  This can make it difficult to wear it to school.  I always have to put something under it and/or over top of it to make it appropriate.  Plus, this sort of feels like I just put on random layers in a sense.  And, this is extremely similar to the last time that I wore this dress, just with a different colored cardigan, basically.  (I think I may have liked it better the first time around.)  And while there is nothing wrong with wearing the same outfit twice, I feel that it should be a good outfit and this one is just so-so.  And then there’s my hair.  I have noticed that when I don’t like the way my hair is in a picture I tend to dislike the outfit.  Weird, right?

There are so many girls who can make a casual ponytail look cute and really good.  I just don’t think that I am one of them.  Truth be told, I didn’t wash my hair this morning.  I washed it the night before for class and had planned on wearing it pulled back or up.  I don’t wash my hair everyday–I usually wash it everyday other day.  I think that  I would have felt better if I had washed my hair and styled it differently, but there wasn’t time for that on Friday morning.

But, I still feel like I am doing o.k. in the challenge to make my Friday outfits as good, if not better, than my T/TR outfits.  Just because it’s Friday I don’t want to feel like I am giving up or dressing too casual.  What are your thoughts?  Do you like this dress better the first time or second time that I styled it?  Does something like your hairstyle make you like an outfit more or less?  Please leave me a comment below!

-Carla

Week 2: Day 1

 

Although Monday was a holiday and many people have off, I did not have the day off from my second job.  So, Sunday was really my holiday.  To me, Monday was just a regular ol’ day, except with more traffic from all those people who didn’t have to work!  Tuesday morning I did get to sleep in and recover from a somewhat busy weekend.  I also did some straightening up around my apartment.

That meant putting away all the clothes that I drug out over the past week.  While doing that, I also worked on a few outfit idea’s for the upcoming work week.  I do still have two outfits that I submitted as possible first day outfits, but I also have an entire closet full of clothes to mix and match.

I spent some time on Pinterest looking over my inspiration boards and seeing which outfits I could duplicate.  In the end, I staged two outfits for this week.  One that I wore to class on Tuesday, and one that I am most likely planning to wear on Friday.

First things, first.  I haven’t gotten to wear this new striped racerback tank, yet.  I had originally paired it with black dress pants and a 3/4 sleeved black cardigan, but the outfit felt a little safe.  Since the tank had white, dark khaki, and black stripes I knew that I didn’t need to just limit myself to pairing it with black.  So, I tried it with a few different pants options, and in the end I chose a pair of pants that don’t necessarily match, but they go.

Black blazer: (Ann Taylor, thrifted.) silver rope chain: gift from grandma. Striped tank: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Blush pants: (thrifted.) Black pointy-toed pumps: Shoe Carnival.

I knew that I wanted to wear pants yesterday; I wore skirts and dresses all last week.  I had a few other outfit idea’s for these pants, but I also wanted to wear this shirt!  I kept the jewelry to a minimum by just adding a necklace and wearing a watch. This also happens to be the blog debut of this Ann Taylor blazer that I thrifted a while back.

I started out class by giving the students a quiz over the material that we covered on Thursday.  I didn’t take the time to go over it and grade it during class because we had two chapters to cover, but just by glancing through some of the students responses, I can see that they didn’t do as well as I would have liked them to.  I also lectured over the chapter on listening.  It took a little longer than I had planned for, and that meant that we didn’t get all the way through the second chapter for the evening on selecting a topic.  That’s o.k., though.  We just have one more concept to go over and we can cover it on Thursday.  Plus, they don’t have to turn their topics in until Tuesday, so it’s not going to effect them too terribly much.  I just have to get my timing down better.

I am having all sorts of difficulty with this online tool that I use for my students.  Several of them are showing up on the roster, but not in the grade book.  This means that they didn’t complete the registration process.  However, I don’t know exactly which step they missed and the online help services are not helping!  It’s been sort of a frustrating morning.  I am fielding e-mails left and right from my students saying that they can’t see the content and are having trouble completing their homework.  Aggggh. Technology is great when it works, but sometimes getting it all set up to do what you want it to do is more of a pain in the butt than it’s worth.

I hope that it all gets sorted out so that my students can complete their homework.  The beginning of the semester is always so stressful.

By the way, I know that I sometimes mention my second job, but I am usually a little vague about what it is.  Well, I wanted to share the good news with all of you, that I won my store’s annual 2012 Bartender Championships!  I had to take a test on our menu, a test over our 25 most popular drinks, a pour test (where they measure the accuracy of my free pours), a speed round (where I have to make 5 drinks as fast and accurately as possible), and the flair show.  This youtube video is the final step in the process: the flair show.  We invite guests, friends, and family to come out and watch our performances.  After we are done with our 6 minute routine, we auction off the 3 drinks for charity.  This year, the proceeds went to Feed America.  Last year was the first year that I participated and I took 3rd place.  I will be moving on the next level where I compete against the winner’s at the other stores in our district.  This will be sometime in early October.  However, if it interferes with my class or my vacation I will not be able to attend.

-Carla