Sunday, March 25, 2007

Computer Crash, Busy Schedule, Anxiety in the Lab, My Future

It’s been a while, hasn’t? I guess my schedule is really starting to catch up to me. Well, currently, I’m in the Mac Lab in the library waiting (with extreme anxiety) for iMovie to compress my file so I can burn it and leave.

The bad news: I’ve been here for God-knows-how-long and it still says I have 70 more minutes to go.

The good news: This will give me some time to blog; God also knows I haven’t done that in a while.

Some recent facts that would pose to make interesting conversation are as follows. I have written before about my innovative new experience with graphic novels. I’ve once looked upon them in a snobbish way and thought only of their childishness. Now, though, I must admit that my feelings have changed.

The complexity of such a format is overwhelming. The potential is doubled when words are betwixt with the illustrations. I can’t say that I will ever choose to read BONE over ULYSSES, but I can say that I jumped-the-gun. Graphic novels need love too; it just so happens that they also deserve it.

Additionally, I’ve been thinking about my future. I guess I can honestly say that I’m excited to become a teacher. Maybe I’m more excited to be able to say that I have a plan. The most frustrating thing of college, for me, has not been the workload. Nah, I actually love learning. I love class. It’s the part of the semester when they tell you that you still need six credits to graduate that really grinds my gears.

It’s not just the standards, either. It’s me. I mean, how am I supposed to know what I want to do in ten years from now. When I was in high-school I really wanted to become an English teacher. When I came to college, I was convinced that I would not stop school until I had defended my dissertation. I couldn’t envision myself NOT teaching the texts that I loved.

Now, though, I look back to my original passion. I can’t help but want to teach. I really think it is “me”. Sure I love Faulkner and probably won’t be teaching it. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it myself, right? (WARNING: corny sentence to follow) Plus, there really is the satisfaction that comes from the act of teaching.

I guess those pedagogical classes really do have an effect on me. Who would have known?

That just makes me think even more. What if whatever I study, no matter the genre, I will think I am perfect for it. I mean, that’s how it’s been thus far. Ha. Yeah, right…

I’ll never love Math.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Stand Up For Yourself, Teachers

It’s hard for me to retaliate to something when I don’t actually feel compelled to do so. In one of my pedagogically grounded EDU classes, we were asked to, before actually doing any profound research, state our opinion on this question:

Is teaching a profession?

Personally, this was something very hard for me to deal with. In all my years of college, I never truly saw myself as a teacher. I was typically passionate about the literature that had encompassed my life. But, as a high-school student, it was always my dream to become a teacher. When I got into college, though, it seemed that my “dream” had changed, or so I thought.

I couldn’t see myself teaching and omitting the great works of Faulkner, Wright, Shakespeare, Milton, and etcetera that I had grown to love. This is why I loved English. I loved the Canons and I loved to write. It was perfect. But, when I found that teaching would have various stipulations on this subject matter—I was skeptical to continue.

Then, as I have mentioned before, I took a core-education class for credit. It turns out, my love for teaching had not disappeared—it had only hibernated for a couple of years. Now, as I am back on the path of teaching, I was faced to confront this very tough question.

Sure it would be easy for me to use my biased opinion and strictly answer that question with a strong “yes”. But, unfortunately, I can’t do things like that. I don’t enforce my opinion unless it is truly validated, in my mind at least.

So, I took the time to draw some conclusions. The general consensus believes that a profession has the following attributes:

-Extended and extensive education.
-A considerably high salary.
-A certain prestige.
-Certain privileged information.
-Deals with serious “life or death” matters.
-It should be a “calling”.

Overall, teaching does touch upon most of these areas. Although it is obvious that if these are the set standards as to define a profession, then teaching may not be a circle-to-circle fit. Slight exploration seems necessary.

As for extended education, many of my fellow students will argue this one. It becomes frustrating for people to tell us that we don’t have extended and extensive education when it seems like we’ve been in school for a decade. In reality, though… we don’t have as much as education as other professions (for example, doctor, lawyer, and etcetera). It’s just a fact. I do, at this point, figure myself to be an intellectual; however, I don't claim to be an expert, yet.

I’m not even going to mention the issue of having a high salary. We all know that teachers make a meager living. Although, this does seem to be changing (as many of these issues are, actually).

As for prestige… well, just like the salary, teaching is becoming more and more prestigious, believe it or not.

Teachers are definitely not given privileged information. Any signs of child-abuse (etcetera) and teachers turn from mentor to tattle-tale.

It’s not hard to argue that teachers deal with serious matters, though. Come on, we have your childrens’ lives in our hands.

Again, it’s not hard to understand that teachers, most of the time, have a true “calling”. There are only certain types of people that can be teachers.

Overall, my final conclusion is that teaching is a semi-profession or a soon-to-be profession. Ask me this question again in ten years, my view will most likely have had changed.

In reality, though, it becomes hard for me to defend my passion when the other students (who in this case is a current full-time teacher) are writing trash such as this:

Teaching is certainly a professeon. Aside from our biased opinionsteaching compares in many ways in terms of required education andcontinued professional development to the other top professions in theworld. Pay is another matter, but that is a result of being within a publicly funded system. It is critical for the continued progression ofour profession that we carry out levels of professionalism in our daily activities. From the way we dress to the way we interact with students and fellow staff members we must remain professional at almost all times. There are certain aspects of thee profession that allow for some relaxed interaction with colleagues, but they are removed from the daily activities of the school. We are professionals no matter how easy the outside thinks are jobs are.

I understand that this person may have written this quickly. But, I think it is very important to use correct grammar and spelling in a “profession” such as the one we are getting involved in. If we want people to start taking us seriously (teaching is a profession), then we have to start taking ourselves seriously. I mean come on, this person should be able to write better than this ("[...] no matter how easy the outside thinks [ARE] jobs [ARE]") I bet you that lawyers and doctors compose themselves in a coherent manor.

One last thing... to be honest, this was not the worst of all of the entries… Cheers, folks.

What do you think? Am I being too harsh? I'm sure this person is a great teacher...

Monday, March 05, 2007

It Just Happened...

It’s been a while, I know. I have some good news, though: I’ve been writing again.

It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote for pleasure (besides the content on this blog). I was really mortified when the fire stole my first work. I called it The Interview. I really do think that I was on to something significant with that piece. It ended up being (as a working copy) approximately 300 hand-written pages. It was my baby.

Since the devastation that was the fire, though, I haven’t been able to convince myself to start something of that magnitude again. I want to make sure, this time, that I really go above-and-beyond. From here on out, I’m doing all work via computer. I wish I had a Mac.

So, the story (of how I got to start writing again) goes like this… I couldn’t sleep one night, about a week ago. Maybe those three Redbulls had something to do with that. I got up and, I don’t know why, I just started writing, planning. I couldn’t stop either; it was incredibly bizarre. I created a storyboard of how my story was going to plan out, the narration, focalization, and voice I was going to use, the significance of characters, everything… Now, almost a week later, I’m blessed with having all this work. It’s incredible.

I’m so overwhelmed this semester, as I have stated before, but I can’t let this go. I don’t really have an explanation for it, either.

So, I’ve decided that I’m going to start working on that more intently, with all of the free-time (ha! I don’t even know what free-time is!) that I have. I would hate to dismiss this blog, though. So, although I haven’t decided 100% yet, I may post some parts or pressing issues that pertain to my writing this piece. I think that you folks would be able to help me work through this. (Just like some of the input I got from this post.) Plus, it would be quite an interesting grouping of posts to look at after I’m done.

So that’s what’s going on, folks. I’ll keep you updated, I think…