Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Novel Soundtrack

I really enjoyed the group who had the soundtrack task.  I had to do a very similar project in High School.  It was an independent book reading project, where he had a list of books we could choose from and every few weeks a report was due.  There were different assignments we could choose from as well.  Traditional paper, soundtrack (5 songs with a reflection as to why they were choosen), cast list for a movie version (again it was X actors and rationale as to why), and a few others I can't remember.  I choose to do a soundtrack for Tim OBrian's The Things They Carried.  I had a great time with it and burned a cd that actually had 14 songs on it (although I explained only 5).  The teacher loved it so much he asked if I would make him an extra copy for a friend of his that loved the book too.  Just jokingly I said, "give'm yours" and he quickly replied, "no way! I love this. I've been listening to it in the car."  I gave him another copy and he said that moments when a student really gets the book and the assignment are times that make everything else worth it. I won't forget that.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A few other sites that may be useful

I am in High Incident Disabilities this semester.  He had a do two projects this semester.  Some of his options were interesting sites.  I'll list ones that I didn't use first that may still be helpful to us, is a text to movie site. allows you to create a multipage website.  I have played with which allows you to create a round of Jeopardy with point (cash) value.  Great for a review game!  Another one was Go!Animate.  I created a project that discusses Tourette Syndrome.  If you want to check it out as an example, feel free to click here.  I actually had fun with it.  That is all for now.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Swamped People

It seems like its always this time of year when people are dragging themselves around, not wanting to do anything and everything is becoming due. 

I wonder if there is anyway to turn the decent weather and the overworked to the point of apathy outlook into a motivation.  I have a personal stock in this task, but I'll get to it later...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Trout Season

"What was big was not the trout, but the chance.  What was full was not my creel, but my memory."-Aldo Leopold

This Saturday is opening day of Trout Season.  It's the time of year where I can look forward to cuts, scrapes, sunburns, and smiles.  I think having a hobby allows you to understand people a little better.  It allows you to step back and say "just because I don't enjoy it doesn't mean it is wrong."  I look forward to hours of time spent casting and retrieving with a glorious chance that I can entice a fish to strike.  That may sound dumb to others, but that is what a hobby is all about, finding yourself in something that may not make sense to everyone.  And because I can see that, I try to stay with the mentality that if something makes that person happy and I don't get it, who is the fool?

I mention this not only because I'm excited in getting a line wet again, but because all of our students will bring in something that defines them.  I am an outdoorsman, and I cannot divorce that part of me.  I know students will come in with hobbies that literally have helped them define who they are and what they believe.  That may lead to great interpretations and perspectives in the literature we teach.  This may be a way for us to reach a student and leave a lasting impression and reason to read.  We had Hatchet and Where the Red Fern Grows that stuck out to me in 7th grade.  I found many independent reading on my own based on nature writing.  I think that if we can find what interests our students, we can get them to actively participate in reading.

YouTube and video supplemented or (BUFFERING) based?

I'm in a class this semester, and I won't name it, but it seems that every class is based on video clips (mainly from YouTube).  They may be helpful in providing real-life examples, but I think there is a fine line of just too much.  Not only that, but with technology based classes and lessons, there should be some understanding of operation.  Buffering is annoying enough when I'm at home, but dead class time with a slow server and the instructor acting like this never happens when it happens every clip every day doesn't make sense to me.  It is one of those moments I think "I don't want to do that when I teach."  If there is a video clip that is important to the lesson, there are means to embed it into the slide (which may take extra work) or they can be converted and saved to a flashdrive and rid the buffering problem, or simply opening them before class on the site and pausing them until they are needed so there is no lag from buffering.  It just amazes me that not only does this happen often, but there is no lecture or setup or further discussion while we all wait for buffering...  I don't know why I had this rant, but there it is.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Looking at some missed DARs on theChive... Found Something

I'm sure there are not too many Chivers or Chivettes in this class, but a link about Kurt Vonnegut struck me as very interesting.  To sum it up for you, a High School English teacher taught Slaughterhouse 5 until the admin went in uproar.  They proceeded to burn all the books they deemed foul and coarse.
Here's what the author sent to the wow.

Simple Forms of NonPrint

I really enjoyed the Process Drama exercises in class on Wednesday.  I hope to someday try things like that in my classroom.  It's interesting to see not only quick improv skills, but see what everyone's interpretation of the character is.  Like Alyssa said in class, and I agree, portraying (or imagining) the character allows for a deeper connection, empathy, and understanding.  If that can be achieved, there might be a fondness developed with the text.  I know I always enjoy novels or short stories in which a character reminds me of myself, this is a way to make a character like yourself or make yourself like a character.  It goes hand in hand.  I think it is an important skill for students, and it comes natural to us as English majors, but this may be a way to introduce that connection to students who do not necessarily think in that way.