My final unit of university consisted of integrating various ICT (Information Communication Technology) into my teaching. We learned how to use many, MANY different tools (I must have signed up for at least 15 different things in the space of a week) but each and every one of them were fascinating to me. I found that I could use almost all of them in my own teaching, and that I wish I had done this unit before I went on my internship (when I was supposed to!!) because there is so much to be mined out of these tools in the classroom.
One of the more fun ones that I have been playing around with is Wordle. This is pretty much similar to the Tag Cloud here on WordPress in that you input a list of words and the online program generates an awesome looking word cloud graphic showing you which words and terms come up the most. In this instance, I put in the URL of my blog (you can do this as long as the site has an Atom or RSS feed) to see what I talk about most.
Apparently I truncate my posts quite a lot, and really talked about the newest Hobbit movie! http://www.wordle.net/create
Fantastic tool to play around with, and not just for school. This ICT unit has been one of the most fascinating over my many years of studying, and I’m hoping to use them to create resources and programs while waiting for that all important Employment call. Hope you guys have a great week!
So I have been all too sporadic with my posts for January. I really wish I could say I was doing fun stuff, but unfortunately not. Although I suppose finally finishing up with uni counts as something pretty fun! Next step now is to find employment for myself, which so far has eluded me for far too long.
So I thought I would pictorially update you all on my January activities, which have been quite varied.
A lot of pictures, plus a lot more amazing moments undocumented, so I guess I had a pretty good January.
Here’s to an awesome February which hopefully bears the fruits of employment!
…Am two exams closer to the end of my teaching degree, yay! Now I just need to find a job for next year to get rid of all my unemployment anxiety and you know, to be getting paid. One and a half years of no regular employment tends to get under one’s skin.
…Also got closer to buying my first car, a 2005 Mitsubishi Colt, at a discounted price from a friend, so I am currently on the most stringent and tight budget in the world. Basically if I want it, I tell myself “No.” Next week my uni friends want to go to Bread in Common, the new fancy pants place in Fremantle to celebrate the end of exams. Not exactly within my budget, and not really my style either. However my idea of beach + esky full of beer + barbeque was not well heard, unfortunately. So I am predicting a very minuscule meal for me that night. Thursday of course is Catching Fire day, which I am hoping will be my only other major expense for the fortnight, because of course I am going to go see the new Hunger Games movie the day it comes out.
…Have acquired two more Audreys, Robin and Marian and Wait Until Dark which I am so beyond excited to watch! Despite the fact that I should be studying, I feel that she is a worthy exception (Watching Wait Until Dark as I write this, and so far no Audrey 20 minutes in, but it is soooo noir already that I am in instant love)
…Am going to Dan Sultan at the Ellington on Sunday night! Listening to his new song “Under Your Skin” over and over again, and watching the film clip, I am just so much more in love with him. It’s a swooning that I really cannot compare to anything except the “Jason Coleman” feeling of my high school years (If you happen to known me, you know allll about -this. Also who am I kidding, I giggle now just typing Jason Coleman heehee!). This will be the third time I have seen Dan live, and the second time at the Ellington (The first was at the Fly By Night in Fremantle, with Gin Wigmore there too), which is just about one of the coolest places I have ever been! It’s so swanky and jazz, I would so rather spend all my money there than at some hipster-looking restaurant in Fremantle. http://youtu.be/bpjhjKw-LMg
…Am interrupting my study (Audrey at 22 minutes in! Good Lord she is stunning) with a rewatching of Gilmore Girls. Ill-fated? Possibly, although my two exams thus far have gone quite well I think. Currently up to “Hammers and Veils” in season two and I had forgotten how much firstly I loved Max Medina, secondly how baby Jared Padalecki was in season one and thirdly how overt the Lorelai/Luke tension was so early on! This is the first time that I think I have really noticed it but it really puts Luke/Rachel and Lorelai/Max (and Lorelai/Chris) in a new light.
Just spent the last day or so writing up my final assignment for uni (yay!!) so I thought I’d share it. The unit is called “The Universe Story: A New Perspective!” (yes, exclamation mark included) and is described as:
“This unit challenges students to explore current research findings and scholarly writing in areas related to the “new” cosmology. The aim is to help students develop a framework in which to explore emerging ideas that are currently questioning certain fundamental assumptions of the modern world, in particular the “consumer approach” to life. The unit’s content is organised into modules dealing with the initial development of life, the primeval fireball, the universe, chaos and order, interdependence and fragility, ecological issues, the sacred story of life and care for the earth”
However in actual fact, the unit consisted solely of the lecturer showing us videos on environmental issues (including nuclear energy, renewable energy, waste disposal, water levels) and then endless class discussion on why it is important, for four hours a week. So despite the fact that it was an education unit, and had a comprehensive unit reader, both were barely mentioned except as topic for assignments, such as this one. Overall I found the unit quite irritating, more so in the way it was taught than in the content itself (and because of a horrific group assignment, but that’s another story!), which may have shown in my final assignment on “Teachers have a clear responsibility to develop an ecological awareness in their students”. Have a read and respond, I welcome the feedback! Continue reading Do teachers have a responsibility to make their students ecologically aware?→
Today is the official start of my one week off this year, between the end of my internship and the start of my last semester (hopefully!) of university. A lot of the other grad dips in my class have already got jobs lined up for next year, including my friend who was on her internship with me at out prac school. I’m trying hard not to but I can feel myself getting jealous an anxious. I’ve applied for two jobs so far and was unsuccessful with the first, and it just brought back waves and waves of anxiety from my last big job application phase.
The reason I decided to change life course and head into teaching was partly due to not having any luck finding a job with my first degree. Apparently people are looking for experienced journalists but are unable to let you get that experience by hiring you in the first place! After I finished my journalism degree in late 2011 I started looking for “grown up” work and then again after I parted ways with my part time job in February of last year, I went on a major hunt for anything media/journalism/public relations that I could find while still doing my once a week writing for the WAFL. If I were to put together a portfolio of all my work (six years worth) with the WAFL/Community Football I’d have at least 144 pieces of writing, which to me sounds like ample experience! But despite my footy work, I went through application after application, selection criteria after selection criteria, searching and searching and getting “unfortunately you were not successful” letters and emails by the bucketload. It was a very long year and a half.
I got close on a few things, and allowed my imagination to run away and invent crazy successful life adventures for myself, which all came crashing down on a weekly basis. My self-esteem took regular major hits and I coped with it in the unhealthiest of ways, the old fashioned comfort eat, retreating further and further into myself until I barely recognised who I was. There are still people in my life who knew me both then and now who don’t think I have the capacity to change who I am, that I’m always going to make the same choices and that I “am who I am.” I want to knee those people so hard in the groin. However a part of me knows that they’re feeding into that anxiety I have that maybe they’re right, maybe as hard as I try I am always going to just be who I am, someone who is all talk and no action, hiding away from everybody and everything to keep from being hurt.
As I start job hunting in a different field now, all those old fears and anxieties have come rushing back and it’s a real struggle trying not to give in to them and persevere instead. My current home situation is a challenge in itself, and while I feel I’ve done well in dealing with that, I’m scared that having to face these applications and rejections on top of all of it is just going to break me. And I really don’t want to have to face that by myself.
1) I wrote a theology essay on an article detailing a new (1980s) reading of the Ten Commandments in less than 4 hours the day that it was due. While yes, this is a practice that I usually frown upon, procrastination is my worst habit and it’s a struggle to defeat. But I woke up early on Wednesday, took the bus in the freezing cold to uni and sat in the library writing until it got to about 11.30am and all of a sudden my word count was at 1500! and without an over-reliance on quotes either (if you don’t count the actual Commandments). I usually don’t rate my last minute writing skills very highly, but the High Distinction that I got on my last major essay would speak otherwise.
2) Bestie and I (potentially) found a new basketball team to play on. Admittedly it is in whoop whoop, on Sunday afternoons/evenings AND a mixed team, but still, its actual basketball!
A bonus part of this I’ll add is Monday night hang outs watching another friend play basketball and getting to catch up with him on the long rides to and from the stadium. Hearing all the squeaking of shoes and bouncing of balls on the courts made me homesick, leading to my newly determined pursuit of a basketball team.
3) Finding new books on Google Play and Amazon Kindle. Almost sacrilege for a stark “natural” bibliophile such as myself, but I think I made up for it finding one of the best books about books that I have read in a long, long time: Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. A detective, Da Vinci Code type story set deeply within the world of books and Google, giving it (in my opinion) a cross market appeal to traditional book lovers and those immersed in the technological realms. My only gripe with it would be the almost “wrapped up in a bow” type ending. Everything seemed to fall into place quite easily, although perhaps that is me just wanting more and more of the book to read!
4) Just when I was getting used to the fact that, thanks to my new living arrangement, I would not likely ever feel an actual book in my hands I find myself falling deeper and deeper in lust (can’t call it love yet) with eBooks, having come into possession of 130 new, FREE, eBooks. How, I have no idea, you’d have to ask my step-dad’s friend Alex, who like me is a book/tv/movie nut. It was actually a little cute when he brought out his hard drive after giving me the books and said he had 200GBs of movies he could lend me, only for me to pull out my two 1TB drives and say the same to him. But back to the books. While it is an eclectic collection to say the least, with authors like Thackeray and Hemingway and Plath among David Sedaris, Chelsea Handler, OJ Simpson and Barack Obama, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face just scrolling through all the authors. I even now have 67 electronic Agatha Christies!
5) And finally, because it simultaneously made me tear up, gave me chills and made me wanna yell “No three peat for you LeBron, only one city where that phrase belongs,” this:
I know this feeling might not last long so I thought I’d write about it sooner rather than later so I can always remember how I felt right at this second.
I can’t remember being this happy so consistently before. I know that it’s dumb and probably not very feminist of me to admit that it has to predominantly do with a boy (or really a man, I’m 23 now they’re not boys anymore), but so what? I’m feeling blissfully happy and the origin of it shouldn’t matter so much as the intensity of the feeling.
Uni is going good – I say good and not great because of the assignment I got back that was a distinction and not a high distinction- though I do think I will probably have a bit of a reality check once I head into a classroom for the first time. Today I finally found out which school I was going to, an all-girls school about half an hour away from where I live which I hear good things about. As a prospective English/media/religion teacher, and considering the area in which I live, I was expecting one of the three catholic schools closer to me, but I think in a way I’ll benefit from an all-girls school. It’s no secret that I’m probably on the immature side when it comes to certain thing, so I’ve never really worried about my abilities to relate to students. On the contrary, I’ve mostly worried that I wouldn’t be able to assert a sense of authority and control over a class because of how young I am both actually and emotionally/maturity-wise. I head out in just over two weeks which I am both excited and terrified by!
Then there’s me actually feeling attractive for a change (and yes, this also has to do with a man and his opinion on me which I’m not ashamed of saying made me feel better about myself). When I started getting properly, properly serious about myself and my fitness I started taking measurements (been told it’s a better indicator of weight/fat loss). The first month (December) I was pretty vigilant with measuring every week, but as the new year rolled in my self-reporting became more sporadic. My weight has fluctuated up and down to the point where I stopped weighing myself every day and just concentrated on how I was feeling, fitting into clothes better, running longer, feeling and looking bright and healthy almost. The last time I measured myself was mid-February. Until yesterday. Yesterday (and I don’t even know if this is as big a deal as I’m making it, but screw it I think it is!) I noticed that one of my “hot” dresses was a little loose on me. Partially ecstatic I pulled out the measuring tape and lo and behold, was in for a surprise. In total (from five different areas) I have now lost 45cms! I am hugely pleased and proud of that! A lot of the time it has been hard for me to quantify what I was doing but (and though I know how I feel is more important health wise) it is relieving now to be able to see results! Again I don’t know if it’s a lot or if I’m just making a bigger deal out of it than it is but so what? I’m feeling pretty friggin’ awesome!
I’m realising as long as I keep putting myself first when I need to, stop worrying about the things I can’t change and take action with the things that I can, that I can be happy. I used to be able to get myself into little misery ruts really easily, just letting every insignificant little thing get to me, when really I shouldn’t have been worrying myself with any of it, wallowing and eating my feelings, keeping them bottled up until I vented all over people who didn’t deserve to be hearing all my whining and whinging. The fact is I’m young, smart, relatively okay looking, and have the world at my feet; there’s no reason why I shouldn’t always feel like this. There are other reasons for my happiness, ones that I prefer to keep to myself, but I’m just ecstatic at how ecstatic and enthusiastic I am feeling right now. I haven’t been able to wipe the smile off my face in days and I’m quite happy for it, and the reasons it is there, to stay put indefinitely!
This is everything else I am feeling right now:
And I quite literally can’t sleep right now either, despite the fact I probably need to be up in seven or so hours. Happy day before the day before my birthday to you!
This is where I ate my lunch today during my second break between classes.
Besides the naked child wandering away from his tourist parents and the yelling between two groups of beach goers over whether one of them was a “Kiwi C-word” I managed to sit and relax listening to the sounds of The OC Mix 5 (one of my all time favourite albums) and realize how incredibly lucky I was to be essentially starting fresh in such a wonderful place at a university where I can leave my class on a 45 degree day and step into the best smelling sea breeze in the world.
One of the reflective questions given by my Planning, Pedagogy and Assessment (yep that’s a mouthful) tutor today was “What are the reasons that you have chosen to become a teacher?”
As the rest of the class fell into silence writing their responses, it occurred to me that I hadn’t actually actively said “I want to teach.” And in a way I suppose I never really wanted to, even though I have been very lucky with the teachers that have taught me and have almost a million (actual fact) relatives and friends who went into the profession. I won’t lie, when I was first leaving school I considered it only for the benefit of all those holidays; I can’t bear the thought of having just four weeks off a year and am awe of people who survive like that, yet more evidence that I am lucky/spoiled. But as my uni studies progressed and I buried myself deeper in the worlds of Westeros, of Phillip Marlowe and Bilbo Baggins, and Hercule Poirot I realized just how much I love and thrive in the world of words and stories, and that my dream was not to be a world famous journalist but simply to be able to spend all day talking about books. All my friends know how excited I get when they’ve finally finished a book I’ve read and I get the opportunity to pepper them with questions about it. What did they like about it, who did they most hate, what part made you have a physical reaction (one of my all time favourite things about reading is when a book makes me cry or actually Laugh Out Loud, or throw it down in disgust or shock accompanied by a loud “no way,” which happened the most emphatically at the end of A Dance With Dragons). Even when I come across people on the bus, and it has happened before when I was reading On The Road, I have been able to share the reading experience with them and be constantly amazed that no matter how different people are they are linked through space and time by the books that they read. It excites me to think that a book I first read when I was 13 and that was first published in the 1950s can be enjoyed by kids now, and in the future.
So to answer my tutor’s question, I don’t think I have necessarily chosen to be a teacher. I have chosen to spend my life (hopefully) showing teenagers the world of literature not just through books but music and movies, and sharing with them my passion and excitement for it which I hope manages to rub off just a tiny bit.
And now I am off to my final class of the day, and most anticipated, English!
I have been very lax on the whole blog thing in the past, but I figure now new year new start! Especially as today is the day I am heading off to start a new post-graduate degree (in secondary English teaching) at the gorgeous University of Notre Dame in Fremantle.
So I start today with the intent to write something, even if it’s only small, every day of my new degree and beyond. After all, I have this year and a half old Journalism degree that is gathering dust in its frame. I am resolved to continue being as confident and awesome as recent events have led me to become, to continue to work hard because it’s always worth it, and to not let anybody or anything get me down. Because newsflash, I’m young, almost hot again, wild and free!
So for today I will leave you with the song that I heard about a million times during my final year of high school and that I cannot get out of my head today, because it reminds me that no matter what happens or how old I get it’s never too early to start again and I will always be young, and I love it!
But for now, I am off to my first lecture of the year! Love, Andrea
It's useful being top banana in the shock department.