(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

Advertisements

Versatility

I’m just going to throw this out there and say that I shop too much.  I know that I will regret saying that at some point, but it is true.  Now, I am not as bad as some people out there in the world, but I can admit that I own more things than I really need.  But, it’s hard to resist that siren song of new clothes and trends.

So, I try very, very hard to be mindful of the items that I purchase.  And, I certainly make sure that I am not breaking the bank with my spending habits.  But, truth be told, I often buy new things and I am so excited to wear them as soon as I bring them home.  And then I look in my closet and I see all these other wonderful items of clothing that I haven’t even worn yet!  I’m not one of those people who looks in my closet and thinks, I have nothing to wear!  I look into my closet and I think, Ahhh, I have so many things to wear and so little time to wear them all!  Which, could explain why I often change so many times throughout the day.

I also really like the challenge of coming up with different ways to style a piece of clothing.  Sure, some items are easier than others, but that just makes it fun.  And not all of my styling idea’s come from my own mind– many of them are idea’s that I get from fashion magazines, television, Pinterest, other bloggers, etc.  Here are the recent additions from my closet on my last shopping trip.  (I can justify each and every one of these purchases, y’all!)

(Clockwise from Top) Printed Cowl Neck Top: Target on-sale $9, Denim Colored Pencil Skirt: Target clearance $12, Printed Ruffled Tank (magenta/black): Target on-sale $12, Purple and Black Dress: (thrifted) $4

As you can see, I went on a min-shopping trip to Target and the thrift store. The printed cowl neck top has been in stores for a few weeks now, but they just went on-sale for $9.  There were two color options and I chose the magenta, mustard yellow, and cream because I knew it would fit into my closet well.  I could think of a few different ways to wear this top for Fall and for Spring.  I could pair this with my mustard cardigan or a cream-colored cardigan and jeans or khaki pants for Fall.  For a more Spring time outfit, I could play off of the white/cream and wear it with white pants or a khaki skirt.  I could even see layering it under a sweater or a button-down for a Winter-y version.

The second item, a denim colored pencil skirt, has been on my wish list for some time now.  I love the pencil skirts from Target.  I have one in black and khaki and they fit very well and are staples of my closet.  I have a denim colored pair of trouser pants from Target that I get a lot of use out of, and I knew that a skirt in the same color/fabrication would work well in my closet.  Basically, any outfit that I’ve worn with those pants can be worn with this skirt.  Plus, this girl fueled my desire for a denim-colored pencil skirt.  And, it was on clearance. And my size.  That’s like a fashion rule that you have to buy it.

This third item won its way into my cart because it is the same cut and style as this tank top, albeit a different print.  Again, my brain immediately started counting the outfits that I could create with this top.  I could wear it with black dress pants/black skinny pants/black pencil skirt, jeans/denim shorts/denim skirt, or blue pants/gray pants/white pants.  And those are just the bottom choices.  There are a number of toppers that I could wear over the tank top: black cardigan, royal blue cardigan, mustard cardigan, white cardigan, black blazer, blue blazer, magenta button up, white button up, or a black button up.  And, not to mention that I could layer a black tissue turtleneck under it for a Fall option, and a cardigan or blazer over it with the turtleneck for a Winter option.  I mean, that’s worth $12, right?  I knew you’d agree.  This is why we’re friends.

The last new item may have the least amount of remix possibilities, but I have been on the search for dresses.  I mean, with a dress there is barely any thinking involved.  You just pull it over your head and you’re good to go.  I mean, you may want to put on some shoes, too.  I could see this dress as is, with a black cardigan or black blazer, and maybe a black or purple sweater over it, so just the print shows on the skirt.  I could also layer under it with a black v-neck t-shirt or turtleneck.  I can see this with black tights and booties for Fall, or black tights, over the knee socks, and knee-high boots for Winter, or with an open-toed sandal or black wedges for Spring.  I could even wear my purple peep toed pumps with this dress!  The only downfall of this dress is that I don’t currently have a cardigan or sweater that is the same shade of purple, but I don’t think that would necessarily stop me from wearing this purple cardigan with the dress.

In case you weren’t convinced, here are some outfits that I created with the printed cowl neck top.  These first two are casual outfits.  And, the one on the left I have actually already worn.

(L to R) Mustard cardigan: Target. Printed cowl neck top: Target. Skinny Khaki’s: J.C. Penney. Brown boots: Old Navy.
Printed cowl neck top: Target. White jeans: (thrifted.) Brown penny-loafers: Old Navy.

I originally purchased this top with my everyday wardrobe in mind, but after getting it home I felt that the cowl neck top took this t-shirt up a notch and I was curious to see if I could make this piece work for my professional wardrobe as well.  Here are the results: 3 professional outfits with this printed cowl neck top.

(L to R) Printed cowl neck top: Target. Light khaki skirt: (thrifted.) Magenta belt: Target. Brown pointy toed shoes: (thrifted.) Burgundy open toed pumps: (thrifted.)
Printed cowl neck top: Target. Cream colored cardigan: Old Navy. Brown dress pants: Bitten (Steve n’ Barry’s). Brown round toe pumps: (thrifted.) Burgundy open toed pumps: (thrifted.)
Magenta button up: J.C. Penney. Printed cowl neck top: target. Denim colored skirt: Target. Brown heeled boots: unknown. Brown round toe pumps: (thrifted.)

So there you have it!  Self-imposed challenge, complete.  Oh, and elements from these three dressy items made up my outfit that I wore to class on Tuesday night.  So, stay tuned for that– it’s coming up shortly.

What do you think?  Do you ever play this game when you are buying clothes?  Or do you just go all willy-nilly and buy whatever happens to strike your fancy at that particular moment whether it fits in your closet or not?  Do you make purchases based on how you actually dress, or how you wish you dressed?  Sound off below– I love reading your comments.  And, I wouldn’t mind if you pinned my outfits, either!

-Carla

 

Mid-Week Exhaustion

Thursday was exhausting! I assigned my students a quiz on this online lab and every one of them was having one problem or another. (Multiplied by two, since both of my classes had to complete an assignment on there!) It started out with students showing up on my roster for the course, but not showing up in the grade book on this website. I was desperately trying to figure out why some students were and others were not. The students said that they didn’t do anything differently or additional to the directions that I provided.

The online help system of this website was nowhere near helpful. I could not locate the information that I needed. Eventually, I opened a help ticket but the person who was helping me seemed to have no idea what I was talking about. And I couldn’t find a phone number for the life of me to call and talk with an actual person.

So, all day long I was fielding e-mails from students saying that they did everything right and they had no idea why they weren’t there. Some of them found and completed the quiz without any issues, but most of them did not. I got so tired of typing the same directions to the students. Then, I come to find out that a handful of them were looking on their school website for the activity and not on this outside website. Ugghhh. It was so mentally draining. They expect me to be able to diagnose their problem and explain to them why its’ not working, but that is very difficulty to do remotely. I have no idea if they are in the right place, or not, or why they are getting one error or another.

Technology is supposed to make things easier. And it does, when it works. When it doesn’t it just makes things ten times more difficult.  So, I kind of copped out with my outfit.  Not entirely, it’s just that I can’t take credit for coming up with this concept– I browsed my Pinterest boards (again) for inspiration.  And I came across this photo:

Image via Pinterest

And I thought to myself, I could replicate this outfit pretty easily.  I may not have the exact denim jacket that this woman has, or that specific white shirt, or a leopard print pencil skirt.  But!  I do have a denim jacket in my closet (two, actually), a white t-shirt, and a similar colored pencil skirt.  So, I rounded all these items up and here is my take on this simple outfit:

Jean jacket: Wal-Mart. Gold Link necklace: Wal-Mart. Gold Hoop earrings: J.C. Penney. White boatneck t-shirt: Old Navy. Black and Gold pencil skirt: J.C. Penney. Gold Watch: Wal-Mart. Black Pumps: Payless.

That’s the thing about fashion and style.  It’s not always about having a specific item, but it’s about seeing the potential in the items that you do have.  I bet half of you have a white shirt, denim jacket, and fancy skirt hanging up in your closet right now.  Did it ever occur to you to put those items together for a simple but polished look?  I have to say that this outfit reminds me very much of another outfit that I wore with a similar theme: a basic everyday top and a fancy skirt.

Plus, it’s nice to see pieces in a different light.  Just because this skirt look fancy that doesn’t mean that it should only be worn for fancy or evening events.  By being more open and not resigning your clothes to only certain uses it really helps you open up possibilities.

Here are some other ways that I have also worn this skirt: with a black turtleneck and a white button-up.  What do you think?  Are there other possibilities that you see for this skirt?  I love finding new ways to wear clothes in my closet.
-Carla

 

“Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda:” Time Wasters

The delay in this post comes from the fact that Wednesday wasn’t a great day.  And it kind of breaks my heart because it was speech day.  If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you will know that speech days are my favorite.  I get to see my little birdies fly on their own and really strut their stuff.

But, these little birdies did not.  To make a long story short, my students indicated to me that they were feeling unprepared for their first speech.  In my opinion, they wanted to push all of the blame on to me and say that I didn’t prepare them.  This caused an explosion of feelings within me.  First, I was angry that they could even think such a thing.  Then, I was feeling very attacked and defensive.  (I honestly don’t know how I managed to keep my composure.)

I suggested that we could continue watching video examples and push the speeches back to the next class period.  After about 30-40 minutes of debate my students opted to deliver their speeches that day.  Of course this outraged me even more.  One of my main counterpoints to them not feeling prepared was that it takes us soooo long to get through the lecture material that I cannot spend time doing other activities–worksheets, showing video’s, group work, hands on learning activities, etc.  It’s my thought that they don’t read the chapters and come to class prepared, so when I begin lecturing over the information they have a very difficult grasping it because it is unfamiliar to them.

And Wednesday was a perfect illustration of my point.  They spent all that time discussing their speaking apprehension and telling me all the things that they think I should have done differently and then they gave their speeches, anyway.  So, guess what?  After the speeches I had this whole lecture on MLK’s I Have a Dream speech planned that tied in their homework from the previous day.  But, we didn’t get to it.

My BF picked out my outfit.  When I asked him what I should wear he said “a pencil skirt.”  I took it from there, selecting which pencil skirt (my newly thrifted one), a top (a lovely burgundy silk top with tie neck), and accessories (bronze/gold to match the hardware detail on the skirt.)  My BF did, however, pick out which shoes I wore with this outfit.  Sadly, I really like this outfit and I hate that it was such a horrible day.  (Also, my long-time readers might notice that, for once, I didn’t opt to go casual on speech day.)  What a bummer!

Tie neck top: J.C. Penney. Bronze feather earrings: Charlotte Russe. Khaki skirt: (thrifted.) Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Gold shell bracelet: The Jewelry Superstore. Brown pumps: (thrifted.)

What do you think? Do you ever start out the morning feeling great and then just watch the day start to unravel right before your eyes?