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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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

Everyday I’m Shufflin’

Hey there!  Sorry for the slight delay in posts– I mentioned last week that I had a tinge of the flu coming on, so over the weekend I tried to relax and get some extra sleep.  However, that is a little easier said than done!  I teach Thursday evenings and then have to get up an’ at ’em bright and early on Friday morning for my 9:oo a.m class.  Luckily, this past Friday I was off from my other job and my BF and I had a fun date night that evening.  (More about that in a minute.)  I did have to attend an early morning work meeting on Saturday, and then be back at 5 p.m. to work until 1:30 a.m.  And, that wasn’t the end of it– I worked Sunday morning from 9:30a.m.-5 p.m.  So it was a weekend of quick turnarounds I guess you could say.

But, don’t feel bad that I didn’t blog my Thursday and Friday outfits– I neglected other stuff too, like grocery shopping, getting an oil change, cleaning the house, and laundry.  Guess what I get to do today?!
Let’s get right to it!  On Thursday I wanted to wear something that made me a little more accessible to the students, so I toned down the overt professionalism and went with something a little more casual: a short-sleeved brown turtleneck sweater, khaki pants, and a brown plaid blazer.

Brown plaid blazer: (thrifted.) Gold earrings: Wal-Mart. Brown turtleneck sweater: unknown. Khaki trousers: J.C. Penney. Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Brown oxford shoes: unknown.

There is something about a brown plaid blazer that just says Fall and Professorto me.  Do you have the same connotations towards this item of clothing?  And, long time readers will also remember that I am wearing this brown sweater backwards because I like the three-button accent.  It sort of feels like a necklace for my shirt.

Thursday was a fun day in class.  Although we had to finish up the lecture from the previous day, I knew that I was going to give the quiz as a take home assignment.  I had the student on Tuesday tell me that he was going to miss class, then I also had a student e-mail me and say that something came up and he wanted to know if we were taking the quiz first because he was going to try to come for the quiz, and then another student told me that she was going to have to leave early to attend to a family member.  Now, I could just say, la di da, so is life, but one of the goals that I am working on as an educator is being more accepting and helpful towards my students.
And I think that one way that I can do that is with the clothes that I wear, but I also need to complete that cycle with my words and actions.  I mean, this semester alone, I was looking at potentially missing 3 instructional days of class, myself.  (One for regional bartender championship flair contest and two for a family vacation.)  I think in light of all that, I can bend my policies a little sometimes.

Not to mention that I have been trying to get to the Pictionary activity for at least two weeks and we kept running out of time.  Something had to give– and I chose the in-class quiz.  The Pictionary activity is one that I whole heartedly champion.  It is such a simple activity– it requires minimal set-up and about 20 minutes of class time (depending on the number of students).  But, what it yields in return is almost immeasurable!

  1. The students are broken up into two or three groups and asked to learn the names of each group member.  This allows them to being making those strangers into friends– and certainly helps them overcome beginning speech anxiety.
  2. Each person goes up in front of the entire classroom when it is their turn to draw, but because they are focused on playing a game and winning points for their team, they forget all about their nervousness and that everyone is “staring” at them.
  3. It allows them to see that I have a fun side and that I don’t want everything to be serious, serious, serious all the time.

So, after we finished up the lecture over supporting materials and evaluating resources, we played Pictionary, and then I started the lecture over outlining.  We didn’t get very far, but that’s okay because it ties in nicely with the chapter that we will be discussing on Tuesday.  Before, I would get all out of sorts if we didn’t get through the material on the day that I had planned, but now I am getting a little more comfortable and I try to remind myself that it is o.k.– we can just cover it the next class period.  There is no sense in rushing through the material or leaving gaps or holes in the information because the students are not going to understand it that way.  And then I acted surprised that we ran out of time and handed out the quiz and told them to do it for homework.

Here are a few shots of the outfit without the blazer. I always have to make sure that I have a layering or topper piece for my freezing cold office, but the classroom is usually a normal temperature and I don’t need the topper.
Overall, I felt good about the choices that I made: giving the quiz as a homework assignment and making time for Pictionary. Would you have done the same, or would you have chosen a different route? Please leave me a comment below, I love hearing your take on things.
-Carla

Brown

The weather really threw me for a loop yesterday.  It was sunny, but not quite warm.  After the warm spell that we had last week it was really hard to pick something to wear.  Plus, I wanted something that was quick and easy, but that looked put together.  I don’t think that I accomplished my goals.  Let it be said that I really don’t like this outfit.

Also, I had sort of a rough day in class.  I had several students come in late, many that didn’t complete their homework, and it seemed that not very many of them read the material.  I am trying to incorporate more teacher-led discussion, but it is very difficult when students don’t read the material.  Plus, the group activity that I had planned depended upon everyone doing their homework.  So, it was kind of a disaster.  And, since I have been dealing with family issues outside the classroom, I know that it upset me more than normal.

Brown dress: Target. Purple tank top: Old Navy. Printed scarf: gift from mother-in-law. Brown cardigan: Target. Purple cluster earrings: unknown. Brown pointy toed pumps: (thrifted.)

 

So, you live and you learn.  I don’t think that I’ll be wearing these elements together again anytime soon!

 

Cabin in the Woods

After cleaning out and organizing my closest on Monday (post to come), I was excited to wear several items in my closet.  One of those items is on the must-wear or get-rid-of list, but it needed ironed.  This was an item that I elected to wear.  I don’t wear this dress often, mostly because it is a Spring fabric and cut with a Fall color pattern.  But, I was determined to make it work.

First, I addressed the issue of the lower-cut neckline and straps by layering a long-sleeved white scoop neck t-shirt underneath.  This also helped with the lightweight linen fabric issue.  But, I didn’t like the jumper-esque look that I had created, so I layered over the dress and t-shirt with a cream-colored cardigan.

I tried the look with brown tights for another layer of warmth, but I found the look to be too dark, overall.  Plus, the contrast with the cream cardigan was too much for me.  Next, I tried bare legs and a few different shoe options.  That is when I realized that heels did not mesh well with the casual vibe of the dress and cardigan.  I decided that I was going to pair it with my brown boots.  And then, like a flash of lightening, I remembered my cream colored over-the-knee socks.  It was like a match made in heaver.  I quite like this outfit, but I’m not sure if it’s the best teaching outfit.  I see it as more of an outfit to wear in a ski-chalet or cabin in the woods when you want to be girly (dress) and warm (layers and boots). P.S. I didn’t realize that this outfit was almost all Old Navy.  I feel like such a poster child.

Cream cardigan: Old Navy. White scoop neck t-shirt: Old Navy. Feather earrings: Charlotte Russe (?). Plaid dress: Old Navy. Cream over the knee socks: Dots. Brown boots: Old Navy. Gold watch: Target. Peacock ring: Dots.


Sadly, my students and I were not on the same page, yesterday.  They were asking me all sorts of really good questions about their homework assignment, but they were asking me after I had collected them.  They made me really nervous about grading their papers.  Whenever I run into situations like this, I always analyze the situation and ask myself What did I do wrong?  Why are they asking me these questions?  I handed out an assignment sheet, an example, a grading rubric, and reminded them about the particulars several times in class?!?

It is at this point that I come to the realization that I didn’t do anything wrong.  I led the horse to water.  Whether it drinks or not is up to the horse.

Do you ever find yourself questioning your abilities in situations like these?

Keep on Rolling

After learning that my Friday students were feeling frustrated and having difficulty with their homework assignment and the demands of the class I was dreading going in to class.  But, I put on my big girl pants (literally) and pushed through it. These navy colored khaki’s are Tall, and I am not! I’m barely 5’3″. I found these pants on a deep discount rack because Old Navy doesn’t carry tall’s in store, so they mark them down. So, I have to cuff them– not once, but twice. These are one of those items that was lost in the back of my closet and I challenged myself to wear this week. If I wore them more often, I would probably take the ten minutes to hem them. But, for now I’ll just keep on rolling ’em up!

I didn’t realize it at first, but I wore the same outfit all three days this week.  Well, not the same outfit (ewww!) but outfits comprised of the same pieces: pants, button up shirt, and a completer piece.  On Tuesday it was a cardigan, on Thursday it was a blazer, and on Friday it was a cardigan again.  I also happened to wear pants all three days this week.  It’s kind of strange when you start analyzing your outfits and what you wear on a daily basis and start noticing trends– items that you wear a lot, color schemes, go-to outfits or items, and workhorse pieces.  That’s one of the great things about writing a style blog.

Silk button up: (thrifted.) Brown boyrfriend cardigan: Target. Gold earrings: Wal-Mart. Navy khaki's: Old Navy. Teal belt: (thrifted.) Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Brown shoes: unknown.

What do you think of my self-imposed challenge to feature some little worn items on the blog? I am still amazed sometimes by how many clothes that I own. Stop back to see what I wear next time.

Warm Tuesday

We had an unseasonably warm day here in the northeast. Although it was windy, the temperature was quite pleasant. I put on my boots before realizing that I wouldn’t need them today. (I wear my galoshes or winter boots to school and then change into my shoes in the teacher’s lounge.)

A few days ago when I was straightening up my side of the bedroom I was putting clothes away in the closet and I happened to catch a glimpse of several items that I haven’t worn in awhile and some what forgot that I owned. I think it really is true what they say– out of sight; out of mind. It almost made me want to re-arrange my closet so that I had a new set of items front and center. I didn’t.

But, I did pull out a few pieces that sparked some inspiration. One of them was the scarf that I wore today. The scarf was really the starting piece for the entire outfit. From there I pulled out the dark brown in the pants (another forgotten closet item), the pink from the button up, and the cardigan to make it seasonably appropriate. Without the scarf, I don’t think that the outfit would have felt pulled together.  I tried on 4 different pairs of shoes: my pointy-toed brown pumps, a pair of round toe brown pumps, a pair of oxford-ish brown shoes and my nude pumps.  I felt that the brown was too expected, and the nude was a great way to tie in the lighter color of the cardigan.  Overall, I was very pleased with how this outfit turned out.

Pink button up: (thrifted.) Cardigan: Old Navy. Scarf: (unknown.) Black belt: Wal-Mart. Brown pants: (unknown.) Nude pumps: Target. Bronze hoops: Charlotte Russe. Gold Watch: Wal-Mart.

My students were balls of energy today! I was excited by their alertness, but then it came time to get down to business and they had a little trouble settling down. They had a quiz over chapter 2 and a few of them didn’t do as well as I felt they should. I’m all for having fun but not at the expense of learning. They turned in their first big assignment, so tomorrow I will be spending my afternoon grading papers to return to them on Thursday.

I had a smaller class than usual today. I think that I may have found my core group of students. I dropped from 22 down to 17. I will probably lose a few more along the way, but that (unfortunately) is to be expected.

What did you wear on this windy but warm-ish day?