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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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

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

Professional or Waiter?

Friday morning I wore the “super-duper” professional outfit that I had planned to wear on Thursday, but didn’t.  I wanted to wear something that looked nice, but that was also comfortable.  And, to be honest, I didn’t shave my legs so pants was a good option.

Class was good; we covered the chapter on organizational strategies and informative speaking.  My Friday class is just now getting to this chapter.  I covered it earlier in the semester in my T/TR class, which I think made a little more sense, but hindsight is always 20/20.  For my Friday class, it ended up being a nice review.  Some of the things in the chapter they knew and were spot on, but then there were a few things that had slipped their mind.  So, all in all, it was good.

Blue button-up: J.C. Penney. Pearl drop earrings: J.C. Penney. Black vest: unknown. Black dress pants: J.C. Penney.  3 Strand pearl bracelet: Elder Beerman.  Silver Watch: Fossil. Pandora bracelet and charms: Gifts. Black reversible belt: Wal-Mart. Gray and black shoes: Payless.

After my students took their quiz over last weeks chapters and I lectured over the two chapters for this week, we had a little bit of time left.  I was able to show them some video examples of informative speeches.  I was glad that I was able to do this because next week we have 3 chapters on the syllabus to go over and I am pretty certain that there won’t be any time left to spare.  For my T/TR class, however, we will be watching video examples on Tuesday since we only have one chapter to cover.

It’s a little difficult having a different schedule for each class, but when I was planning the syllabus there were reasons why I chose to have different schedules.  I am pleasantly surprised that my Friday class is doing so well.  During the Spring semester my Friday class struggled a lot with the material.  That is the driving force behind the reasons why there are a different number of speeches in my Friday class and my T/TR class.  But, this group of students is on the ball and seem to be taking the time to read the chapters and do their homework.  Only time will tell.

What do you think? Do you like this outfit? Does it say professional or waiter to you? I also debated with the shoes. Originally, I had planned this outfit in my head with my black booties, but then I thought about my black oxford-esque shoes. Ultimately, I chose these gray and black shoes because the heel height was right and I thought they looked nice.
Let me know your thoughts by leaving 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

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