scififanatic: (Outer Space)
( Apr. 19th, 2009 11:33 pm)
It's so hot here in SoCal tonight. The forecast shows warmer weather this upcoming week. Eep! I nearly melted while writing inside the house so I washed and dried off the patio furniture, took a pitcher of ice water, my pen, pad, and iPod, and I wrote outside. It was lovely!

Tonight, I spent nearly four hours on two paragraphs. I think it was worth it. For several weeks, I've been trying to get over the hump in this section and I think I did just that. It's not smooth sailing after this but at least I climbed those hills.

In the meantime, I'm feeling a little bitter that I've got a lot of teaching to do this week. Is the semester over yet??? I'm looking at my calendar. SIX MORE WEEKS!!!

Part of me wants to pass up any summer assignments they offer me but I really need a new car. Ugh. Why can't we just start using Monopoly money? This way, everyone can pay the same amount of money for the board game and we'll all be rich.

Clearly, I'm ready for bed because I'm dreaming. :)
scififanatic: (Hiding behind my journal)
( Feb. 22nd, 2009 11:00 am)
I hit the ground running this morning. Sundays are my days to prepare for the work and classes ahead. I'm posting an entry on my journal, hoping one or more of you can help me with a lesson plan problem.

My Composition I class already read the chapter on writing definition essays. I lectured and provided a topic for their papers. (Usually, I give them 1 of 4 choices for an essay topic but for the definition essay, part of the lesson comes from seeing how everyone defines the same topic in different ways.)

The topic that all of my students have to discuss in their papers: What is the meaning of Happiness?

It will be interesting to see how each defines this differently. They must use outside sources, such as the movie I plan to show in class next week.

Here's where I need help: does anyone know about any movies where happiness is a theme? It can be a dramatic movie, a comedy, an animated film. I'm open to suggestions.

I planned to use "The Pursuit of Happyness" with Will Smith (thinking that most of my students hadn't seen it since they're 18-19 years old) but half the class has seen this movie already.

I'd like some other suggestions, if possible. I'll be doing some searches today to see what else I can find online. Thanks for any suggestions!
scififanatic: (Default)
( Aug. 12th, 2008 10:29 pm)
What keeps you waking up each morning?

No, I don't mean your neighbor's barking dog. No, not the garbage trucks that greet you with their noisy yawns at 6:00 a.m.

I mean...what keeps life interesting? It's the surprises, right? Normally, I don't like surprises (secretly, I love them). Most of the time, I like knowing what's going to happen but not knowing can be fun too (as long as the suspense doesn't last too long).

Who knows why people change? One minute, they seem to be saying one thing. The next minute, they're dead silent. It's the silence, that space when you don't know what will be said or what will happen next that can drive us nuts.

I don't know. My mind is all over the place tonight. I drove to Los Angeles Harbor College to visit the summer session ENG 028 class taught by my mentor, Allison Boyce. Allison is so giving of her time. She teaches with such grace and ease. There's only 2 weeks left in the summer session and tonight, Allison asked me to lead the discussion next week on Ernest Hemingway's novel, The Old Man and the Sea.

Of course, I leapt at the opportunity. I love Hemingway's precise prose. My enthusiasm will certainly show and I've got a week to prepare. I could tell from tonight's discussion that most of the students don't actually enjoy reading fiction. Allison tried to talk about Mark Twain's fiction and only 1 student seemed interested in discussion. Quite a few students admitted that they didn't read the text.

My challenge is clear to me. I must get students excited about reading. I've got some time to re-read Hemingway and come up with some fun activity/discussion topics for next Wednesday. In the meantime, I left the classroom smiling because I'm learning to appreciate how unpredictable life can be. Not only did Allison's proposal surprise me today but I got a call from another community college who wants to interview me next Tuesday for a teaching position (that was actually the first surprise of the day since I got that call at 11:30 a.m.)

My point in this long ramble--life is unpredictable. One day, nothing moves. The next day, things slowly start to change. It's what we do with our time in between that really matters. In other words--stay optimistic! Life always has a way of surprising you.
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