Monday, May 26, 2008

Things that I should be doing presently...

But am not..

Watching video blogs in ASL to improve my receptive language skills
Meditating daily
Exercising daily
Making phone calls to friends to meet up (it would be so much easier on me if you called)
Writing in my blog weekly (I'm getting there on this one)
Posting the pictures I take
Saving money
Making real plans for a big trip
Making real plans for a small trip (namely a camping trip with the table crew in August. Sorry guys, I'm a little slow on the uptake)

Maybe this week will be different.... or not.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Whats your word?

Lately I've been enjoying reading " Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. I've been reading it for about a week and I'm nearly done. This is one of those books where I keep thinking of people that I want to share it with. The list has gotten very long!
In the first section of the book, in Italy, the author and another character are talking about how every city, and every person, has a word to describe it. The author thinks about what word could possibly describe herself and her life at that time and struggles to do it. I was thinking myself of what my word could be. Its difficult, because I feel like this part of my life is all about transitions. I'm looking forward to a lot of changes in the near future, but I'm still close to the past. I haven't crossed the threshold yet. I'm not really sure what my word would be. Maybe "foundations" because where I am right now is trying to get every thing set so I can build my dreams once school is done. The other word I was thinking was "hungry". Besides being physically hungry for food.. which I always am... I am hungry for learning and experience. I want to travel all over the world, meet people I would never meet here, try new challenges and enjoy all of it. I hope that my future holds all of this.
Another thing that brought out this sentiment is the arrival of the EMS catalog. Some women drool over purses and shoes, but this is my weakness. Looking through the summer gear guide I see on every page something that I wish I was doing this summer. Rock climbing, yoga, slack-lining, cliff-diving, kayaking, camping... okay, maybe not the page with the guy skateboarding... but he does have a cool t-shirt on! I don't have the gear or the money to do most of those things now, but I hope that when I do, I will have the time and ability to do so. I have a great life, I know, and lots of time left to do these things I want to do. ( I am going sky diving in June... one thing to cross off the list!) But every so once and while I feel like emulating the author of "Eat, Pray, Love", leaving everything behind and traveling around the world.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Condesending? Once

I have a big fear of being thought of as condescending. I think someone told me once that I was, and though I don't remember who it was, or when or what it was regarding, it is something that has been bothering me for quite sometime. Its something that I have been trying to consciously change, and there are times when I feel that I have been condescending that I just feel awful about. One of the ways this appears in my daily life, especially at school, is regarding knowledge. I really get excited about things I know and I want to share that knowledge with other people. I'm sure thats why I am going to be a teacher, and probably (hopefully) will make me be a good one. Here's the scenario that I really struggle with. In classes a professor will be lecturing and will either pause, waiting for someone to finish the sentence with information we're supposed to know, or asks a direct question. Sometimes the information is right there in my head and I want to fill in the blank or answer the question right away. And sometimes I do. After this happens several times in a class, I realize, guiltily that I have been answering most of the questions. So I have to make a conscious effort NOT to answer, even if I know it, and even if no one else is saying anything for a minute or so. This is a big effort for me. I know that other people in my class know the answer and its not fair for me to just jump in all the time. Wait time, its called. Its a skill that teachers have to practice when questioning students, so maybe its good that I'm having to practice it now. Other times, I want to offer constructive criticism, like on the structure of powerpoints presentations, my pet peeve thanks to a great professor at SUNY Geneseo. Today told one of the girls in my class that her power point was excellent, and had a lot of great information, but that many of the pages had too much text and it was a little overwhelming to a viewer. I worry now that I hurt her feelings, when I just meant to help. Also, I want to add my 2 cents to topics that I know about, because I want other people to know the cool things I've found out. Today, a professor was giving a presentation on something that I had just done extensive research on for a paper. I had to practically bite my lips in order not to add something. I wasn't always this way actually. I remember teachers in late middle school and early high school telling me that I couldn't get an A unless I raised my hand more in class. I had to make a big effort to do that then. I remember keeping a tally of how many times I raised my hand in French class to make sure I was participating enough. Then, I think, as I became more confident with myself, I was able to raise my hand more. Its funny now that the same thing is having the opposite effect on how I feel about myself. I guess I'll just keep trying though.
So I left school feeling pretty rotten, with all the stuff mentioned above, as well as the stress of the end of the semester work load and exhaustion from a long day. I turned on NPR as I pulled out of the parking lot, as usual. Fresh Air, which is a arts show was on. They were talking about an indie film called "Once" that had won some Grammies, but that I had never heard of. But when they played a song from the movie in the introduction, called "Falling Slowly", my attention was immediately caught! I had heard this song before, as well as several others they played later in the show. It turns out that film is directed by a former member of the Irish band, The Frames, and the main male character is a singer for the band as well. This is a band that I was introduced to during my time in Ireland, and who I really enjoy, but don't hear about much here at home. I'm really excited now about seeing this movie, and watching the clips from the movie make me want to watch it more. That picked my spirits up a bit, and I will listen to The Frames for the rest of the night whilst I try to wade my way through the last remaining projects of the semester.