Hindsight

Friday morning I had planned to lecture on 3 chapters: delivery, evaluating, and language.  I don’t really know what I was thinking when I planned that, though.  After seeing the difficulty that my T/TR class  had with the evaluation forms I thought that I should make some adjustments so that my FRI class doesn’t have the same issues.

I used our college communication website to let my students know that we weren’t going to cover the chapter on language.  Instead, after we covered the delivery chapter and evaluation chapter I showed my students some more video examples of informative speeches and then I had them fill out the evaluation forms just like they will be doing next week.  I hope that I will see a world of difference with their evaluation forms over my T/TR class.

Magenta button up: J.C. Penney. Silver earrings: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Black belt: Wal Mart. Denim colored trousers: Target. Black oxford style shoes: unknown.

I also handed out their assignment sheet for their demonstrative speech and the outline grading rubric.  I cleared up some of the confusion that my T/TR class had with their demonstrative speech topics by going over the 3 types of general purposes, and reminding them that most demonstrative speeches use the chronological pattern of organization, and that a central idea should include your main points.

My outfit isn’t going to win any awards for creativity, but I went to school with clothes on.  This is a simple outfit of a button up shirt and trouser pants.  Even the accessories are minimal– just a watch and some earrings.  I think some days need simplicity.  I don’t think that I’ve ever worn this exact outfit before, either.  I know that I have paired this shirt with black dress pants and black pointy toed heels, but that’s as close as I’ve come.  (Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.)

I passed back their outlines and we talked about the next step in the process. My FRI class only has to deliver 3 speeches while my T/TR class does 4. I made this decision based on my experience with my Spring 2012 once a week class. But, I’ve got a great group of students and I think that they could have handled doing another speech.

Part of me feels like I am short-changing them by only having them do 3. I think the way to combat this is to find a lot of different speaking activities to help them gain more confidence in public speaking throughout the course.

Does anyone have any really good speaking assignments or idea’s that I might be able to adapt for my course? I’d love to hear your comments.
-Carla

Advertisements

(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

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

 

FRIDAY! FRIDAY!

Ugh.  I know that yesterday was Friday and that makes most people excited, but by the time I got to the last day of the typical workweek I was feeling exhausted!  And I had forgotten about that from Spring semester.  One thing that I struggled with during the Spring semester was picking an outfit for Friday that was polished and professional looking.

By the time Friday rolled around, I just wanted to wear a pair of pajama pants, t-shirt, and tennis shoes.  But, I couldn’t cop out on my students like that– especially since it was my first time meeting all of them.  It’s important to me that I put my best foot forward and get the semester started off on a positive note!

So, I resisted the urge to wear pants and a blouse and went with a more creative outfit.  Plus, we had a 90 degree day, so I knew that I wouldn’t be all that comfortable in pants.

Salmon cardigan: Target. Flowered dress: Target. Coral earrings: (thrifted.) Silver watch: Fossil. Black pumps: Payless.

I bought this dress back in March/April and I’ve worn it a handful of times.  I can’t tell you how excited I am to wear it with some black opaque tights, my new shooties (which you haven’t seen yet), and a mustard colored cardigan, and/or a thin black turtleneck.  Or, maybe tights, tan riding boots, and a jean jacket.  I mean, the possibilities are endless!

My students seem like they are going to be a good bunch.  I must say that I am enjoying the larger class sizes.  I was expecting 20 students, but I had 18 show up.  Sadly, I did have one student submit a drop notice after Friday’s class, but that is to be expected.  I am hoping that the students in the class stay in and pull through. (You will all have to remind me that I said I enjoyed a larger class when I am whining about all the grading that I have to do.)

On a side note, I did switch back to my old school bag on Thursday night. I had sooo much stuff to take with me, and it wouldn’t all fit in my fancy bag. Perhaps one day I will become more streamlined and be able to switch back.

I must say, I am glad that the first week of class is done. Although I was prepared, I wasn’t completely prepared. There are lots of things to get used to with teaching on the main campus. The biggest challenge being that I have to submit copy requests 3 business day in advance of when I need them. And, I can’t count the day that I submit it, so it’s really like 4 days. That is something that my brain is going to have to get used to!

How about you? What types of challenges do you face with the beginning of the semester? Or, a new job/assignment?
-Carla

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?
-Carla

Date Night: Wasabi Water

With the start of the Fall semester right around the corner– Aug. 27th for my college– my Thursday nights with my BF will come to an end.  Our date nights won’t end, hopefully, but our standing Thursday night will.  I will be teaching class on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and another class on Friday mornings.  Therefore, my availability for my second job has now shifted.  Right now I work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights and Sunday morning– with a night off thrown in there somewhere.  But, because I am automatically not available on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, that most likely means that I will work the other 5 days of the week.

I do have morning availability, but it is not in my best interest to work mornings since the money is not as great.  But, that may be what I have to do in order to get to see my BF.  What we have decided, at least to start, is that we will have a rolling date night depending on which evening that I am off from work.  (Truth be told, I am a little nervous about this system because it doesn’t allow for much pre-planning.)

Anyway.  Back to the matter at hand: clothes!  I know that it has been quite a while since I’ve given you an actual outfit post, and today is your lucky day!  I wasn’t sure what my BF and I were going to do for date night, but I knew that I wanted to wear this new plaid shirt that I just recently purchased at Target.  I purchased it mostly with our October vacation in mind– it will be perfect for the temperatures that they will be having that time of year.  But, that doesn’t mean that I can’t wear it now!

I actually wore this shirt to the zoo with my dad earlier in the week, but it was a rainy gray day and I didn’t manage to get any outfit photo’s.  But, I did get this AMAZE-balls picture of the Sumatran Tiger:

I was able to get a lot of awesome photo’s of the animals that day.  We even got to see the 3-month snow leopard cubs out on display.  It was only their second day venturing out and they only allow them out in the public view for about 30 minutes a day.  Our zoo is holding a contest to name them.

Sorry about the webbing.  They are upgrading the glass at the zoo and I didn’t think to put my camera lens through the glass until after we saw the snow leopard cubs.  We tried to get back in line, but by that time it was too long and the cubs were only allowed out for another 10 minutes, or so.

Does that make up for my lack of outfit posts?  No?!  Well, I don’t know if this outfit can compete with the cuteness of the cubs, but here it is:

Plaid button-up: Target. V-neck t-shirt: Target. Belt: Wal-Mart. Jeans: Target. Earrings: Target. Watch: Fossil. Brown studded pumps: (thrifted.)

I didn’t realize that I am a walking Target ad, but that is what you get sometimes!  I didn’t even purchase any of these items at the same time.  When I wore this outfit to the zoo, I paired it with a purple tank-top, dark jeans, and  purple and white tennis shoes.  But, for date night I wanted to change it up a bit.  Plus, I already had on the pink t-shirt.  I am accustomed to wearing dark jeans, but I thought that the light colors in the plaid would pair well with a light wash denim.  I dressed it up a little more by adding the brown studded heels, but not too much since it’s a casual outfit to begin with.  I just got my hair trimmed for the new school-year so I just washed it and blow-dryed it with a round brush.

My BF and I went to dinner oat our local hibachi restaurant–you know, the ones where you sit in a large group around the cooktop and the Chef puts on a show while he cooks your food.  At ours they have this squeeze bottle full of some type of alcohol that they squeeze into the guests open mouths while they yell Wasabi Water!  Most of the people at our table took part, but my BF was by far the winner.  Usually, the guest will put their hand up to indicate to the Chef to stop, but the Chef actually stopped before my BF put his hand up!  We had a lot of fun and were even too full to get dessert– we had to get a box for our leftovers.

Don’t worry– I will be back to regular outfit posting within the next few weeks.  Until then, you’ll have to put up with my random animal pictures or organization projects.  Oh, Oh, Oh–my blog will be celebrating its 1 year birthday (anniversary?) in a few days and I have some exciting changes planned for Year 2!  (I hope the two’s aren’t terrible.)

-Carla

 

Salmon: It’s Not Just for Dinner

After a few rough days last week I really wanted to start fresh on Monday morning.  Alas, that didn’t exactly happen.  Instead, all of the tension that had been steadily mounting erupted into an overflow.  This resulted in a student speaking with the department chair about her frustrations and later that same day, myself going and speaking to my department chair about the situation.  And that is really all that I want to say about that!

We’ve had a break in the weather since last weeks unbearable temps of 95+ and have returned to our normal summer temperatures of mid-80’s.  And I am thankful.  Although those 90 degree days can be nice if you have nothing better to do than go hang out at the pool, they make trying to accomplish anything else–even sleep!– all but impossible.  And, I can’t deny that the decrease in heat and humidity is much better for my hair– I was having a great hair day on Monday which made me super-duper excited.

I decided to wear this aztec-y jersey printed tank top that I purchased a while back from Target.  I knew when I bought it that it was going to have lots of remix possibilities.  I’ve worn it several times and each time I’ve managed to wear it just a little bit differently.  (See here.) I love the color palette, the cut and style, and the fabric– it’s like wearing a super soft t-shirt.  Plus, I can dress it up for school, or just throw it on with denim shorts for a perfect summer look.  If I had to pick one piece that I think defines my Summer style it would be between this shirt and my printed khaki shorts from Old Navy.

This time around, instead of bringing out the yellow-gold hues, I played up the pinks and peaches.  I paired it with my blush colored trousers and salmon-y cardigan.  (For other ways that I’ve worn these trousers see here and here.)  I went with brown shoes and silver-toned jewelry instead of gold.  I also added my wooden bead-bauble-y necklace.  I was a little unsure about the necklace with the ruffle detail of the shirt, so I photographed it both with and without the necklace and (just like last time) I liked it better with the necklace.  It just feels like a more finished product.

Savvy readers will also notice that I have layered my necklaces, again.  This time I am wearing a silver rope chain in addition to the orangish wooden necklace.  This is a styling detail that I am really in love with right now.

Monday July 9, 2012
Salmon cardigan: Target. Ruffled tank top: Target. Wooden bead necklace: (thrifted.) Silver necklace: gift from grandma. Earrings: gift from bf. Blush colored trousers: (thrifted.) Brown pointy toed heels: (thrifted.) Silver watch: Fossil.


After class I spent some time talking to a faculty member about my class and then headed towards the main campus to speak with my department chair.  After a mentally exhausting day I needed to decompress.  For me, this meant stopping at J.C. Penney on my way home to do a bit of shopping.  I did pick up two new items, a sleeveless gold cowl-neck top and a silver cuff bracelet.  While shopping, I remembered that it was a co-worker’s last day at my other job.  I quickly texted another co-worker to see if she wanted to meet up and say a quick good-bye.

She was just leaving work for the day and agreed to meet me in about 30 minutes.  I made a quick stop to Wal-Mart to pick up a card and then met my friend at work.  Sadly, our co-worker had already left for the day.  But, it worked out fine in the end because my friend and I got to spend some QT together have a cocktail and an appetizer on the patio.

Since we have to wear uniforms to work, this was (possibly) the first time that my co-workers had seen me in dress up clothes.  It was fun to see their reaction.  I got a lot of compliments on my outfit, necklace, and shoes.  I would be lying if I didn’t say that it made me feel great–especially since I wasn’t really trying to go there dressed to the nines.  It just so happened that I was having a good hair day and looked polished and put together.

It’s times like these that make me happy that I put in the time and effort to pick out outfits and that I share them with you through this blog.  The idea that the way we dress does, indeed, make a difference is constantly reinforced.

How many times do you run in to an ex, old boss, or former acquaintance and say “Darn, I wish I didn’t look so put together and polished right now?” NEVER, right? It’s usually more like, “Darn, I wish I wouldn’t have ran out of the house looking like this!”