Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last post of 2008

It's hard to believe that today is the last day of 2008. We're probably not going to do anything different for this New Year from all the others...shooting fireworks at the beach. I enjoy it, but would like to do something different, maybe dinner somewhere nice? As of right now, I have only 2 resolutions...exercise & eat wiser. I plan on leaving my very sexy pencil skirt hanging on my door to encourage me to keep working out. I don't mind my weight nor think I'll ever be a size 0 again (don't hit me!!!), but I wouldn't mind smoothing out my pudgy areas :) As for the food, I probably won't give up my peanut m&ms, but I do need to be more contientious about what eat.

I hope that whoever reads this has a wonderful and safe New Year's!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The closing of another year

I think this year has passed a little more slowly for me than last year, but it's still amazing that we are a couple weeks away from a new year. It seems like days ago my friends and I were playing or riding bikes dreaming of the future and here it is passing by like dream. I used to imagine how I'd be living my life when I made it this age...and this is definitely not what I imagined LoL I think this has been a good year; a little rough at times but good.

Christmas is almost upon us and I'm ready! Although my apt. is very small, we are having Christmas at my place. It's just going to be me, my sis, my bf, and my mom so I think we'll make do. Heck, nothing can be worse than 5 people and a cat in a one bedroom apt., so I think we'll survive 4 people and a Christmas tree ;)

Today was our last working day for the Christmas holiday and I can't believe how stressful it was. I felt like (with the help of my student workers) I was the only one doing stuff to get the library ready for when we come back in Jan. (I have two co-workers in the library). BUT, I got to go home at 2pm and had plenty of time to take care of plants...they've been neglected for a few days. All I can say is "Let the relaxing begin!!!"

Monday, December 8, 2008

Callaway Gardens Butterfly Conservatory

While visiting Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA this past weekend, we stopped at the Butterfly Conservatory. Simply put, it was incredible! Below are the pictures I took...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Shopping, shopping, and more shopping

Well, this was the 2nd year we did "Black Friday". This year wasn't too bad; we went to the mall instead of the outlet mall. Last year, we had to walk a few blocks because parking was so bad, then cross a hugely busy highway, then all the way up the (long) road to the outlet mall. This year, I didn't let my sister lead and had a plan for getting where I wanted to go. We got to the mall at 5am and made it home around noon. We got the mall, stripmall, and Best Buy covered in no time. I think I'm about 1/2 way done with my Christmas shopping. We've all decided this year will be smaller than past, but everything will be nice because we'll be together :) I hate shopping and it's made worse by my knees. I'm proud to say that I'm a woman and can get through the mall in 30min. :D LoL If I don't see it, I don't look for it. If it looks ugly on the hanger, it looks ugly on me. If it's not on sale, keep going. If only I can get my mom to follow the same principles :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving holiday is finally here!

I'm going to get caught up on a few things next week. First, I want to try to get my early Christmas shopping done. No one really needs/wants anything this year, so that's a big financial relief but I still want to make things special for everyone. I also want to polish up my Shelfari site. Now that I've figured out how to add content, I'm eager to contribute content. I still need to finish add some energy efficiency what-nots to my apt to see that that will help lower my electric bill. There's nothing like living in an outdated apt...drafty with outdated appliances. I have a ton of reading to catch up with and I'm hoping that'll constitute some quiet time. Once this holiday is over there's just 3 weeks until Christmas break! I know it sounds bad, but ALL teachers live holiday to holiday. lol

Monday, November 17, 2008

Christmas slowly approaches

I started buying Christmas presents this past weekend. I tried coming up with a Christmas wishlist, but I'm having a hard time. I don't really need anything which is a very good thing because I doubt there's room in my apt. for anything more! Now that I think about it, my mom & sis don't really want anything either so I'm guessing this will be a small Christmas...I'm not complaining because my paycheck is small too ;)

Friday, November 14, 2008

No kitty for me :(

I finally found out this week that the apartment owners will not allow a pet deposit so that means no kitten for me :( I knew the answer would be no, but I'm still a little heart broken. I think it's a little hard for the apartment manager because she wanted an already housebroken puppy. I guess this can be a good thing since I will be doing some traveling soon...but still...

Friday, October 24, 2008

The perfect kitten

Tuesday a co-worker of mine picked up a stray kitten on her way to work. It's the cutest thing and the poor thing is skin and bones! For a stray, it has a very good temperament. I'm hoping my apartment manager can talk the apartment owner into allowing a pet deposit. Both of us really want a pet, but the rules say no. Supposedly a while before I moved in a few years ago, one tenant kept her cats locked in the closet and another allowed her dog to develop mange so badly that her apt had to be stripped. From then on, no pets which I think it totally unfair. I think the owners should evaluate each tenant to the best of their ability and allow those they feel competent to have a pet. I had a fish for a while but once he passed, I can't bring myself to get another, plus a fish can only comfort loneliness so much. Unbeknownst to my co-worker, the cat's name is Buttons. I think it's a boy; he's black and white with a long tail and the softest fur...sigh...I feel in love with him as soon as I saw him. I hope things will work out; it'd be awesome to come home to something that missed me! :D

Sunday, October 12, 2008

On to another romance novel

The other day I went to buy a new book and my bf asked if I should try reading something other than romance. I thought on it for all of two seconds and said no. I enjoy philosophy, poetry, ya novels, sci-fi/fantasy...pretty much everything. Right now, and probably for the past year I've been stuck on romance novels which never really was my thing. I've been thinking on this for the past few hours and decided that I'm now addicted because they're fulfilling a small longing. Now, get your head out of the gutter and follow along ;) In any "decent" romance novel, there are a great many elements to the story that draw you in and make you think "that'd be so awesome". Granted, reading these books isn't going to make me feel better for for the short time it takes to get through the book, I get to experience the development of usually great characters and "watch" how they fall in love. It's the love part that has me hooked.

My bf is a good guy, but not too keen on the romantic side of life. For example, today he hasn't called...at all; I've only gotten flowers from him 6 times in our 8 year relationship; and we won't mention jewelry. These things are not important to me, but you can understand how they would make any woman feel a little special. I'm not an expensive girlfriend either. I like the $2 carnation bouquets at Wal-mart and refuse to buy jewelry that's not extremely on sale. Really, I think picking wildflowers on the side of a road is way better than any store bought flowers. The point is, these are great little books to make you feel special when the world isn't paying attention to you. I could care less with the intimate details of anything on paper, but kind gesture and a happy ending make for a great read any day!

A blank page

First I would like to publicly thank my neighbor for helping me create the initial situation for the main character in my story. I couldn't make up my mind what would happen to my character to turn her into the woman she would become in the story. It's a very delicate and intricate thing really. This one event will not only create the character but will cause everything else to happen in the story. The last thing I want is to be half-way through the story and decide that I didn't want it to go this way.

Anyways, I don't really have anything on paper, but if only you could see what was in my head! LoL I think my story would make a great graphic novel. The pictures I found online are awesome! The way I see my characters is how I want everyone to see them...but I suck at art. This was a busy weekend with no peace so I didn't expect to get anything accomplished. I'm hoping to get a bit more done this week. I just need to clear my head and find a relaxing place to hang out for a while.

I still have decided what type of wings would be best for a "creature" that lives along a cliffside.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The third intro.

Today, while listening to some music, I came up with the third into to a story I'm trying to write. I think if I had some visual to go with my ideas, this would be a whole lot easier. I won't say what my story is about, but it is a fantasy. I'm hoping I can make it longer than a short story, but if not, maybe I can finish up a couple other ideas I've been thinking on and just compile them. I have the general idea of what I want, but I can't seem to get the pieces to fit. I don't know, maybe typing it is the problem. If anyone knows a good artist, send them my way!

I found a few wonderful pictures online that I'm going to use as my character models. I just can't decide between which type of wing to use. Bird or bat/gargoyle? Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tax evasion

Okay. This is something I've never been able to understand..."rich" people don't pay their taxes. I'm a very poor school librarian. Right now I think my bills almost match my pay. I've always paid my taxes. How is it that a movie star, a CEO, a Nascar racer, etc. can't pay theirs? Is it bad money management? Do they think they're untouchable? I just don't get it. But, do you find it odd how all us "little people" do right and get screwed but the rich keep on getting richer? Old cliche, but it's true.

School violence

We had a pretty nasty fight at school today. Two of our students were hurt and a lot of teachers were upset with the situation. The situation is that our students don't know how to be kids anymore. They are all so caught up in all the negative, that they don't seem to know how to enjoy themselves. I can't imagine what their lives must be like; I only know what mine was like and wish they could have the same thing. I'm confident our students will be okay but am dreading how much security will have to be stepped up. I don't have any kids of my own, but fear what type of environment my future children will have to deal with. At least they will be safe at home.

Update: Both students are doing okay although one is still in the hospital.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A task in futility

I'm not a quitter, so I'm not going to quit trying to blog. But has anyone else noticed how a lot of blogs are either never read or just passed over. What's the point if no one seems to read them? I'm going to keep trying to blog...we'll see what comes of it. Any thoughts on this? Anyone?

Friday, September 19, 2008

A leap of faith...or good luck

As I'm sure many of you know, there is a new show on called The Locator. Which naturally got me thinking of trying to find my dad again. I know finding someone is expensive that's why I've never tried it myself. Not only am I a poor teacher, but I've been afraid of tracking the wrong person. I've never met my dad and have always wondered what he was like. Obviously he's a man of questionable character because he left us. He left my mom a few months after my sis and I were born (we're twins). Anyways, back to the show. I entered a contest and the prize is Troy tries to track down their loved one. Do I think I'll win? No. But I'm I'll still hold out hope. The winner will be contacted late Nov. This is my dad feeding us when we were 3 months old. From what I've been told, he left a short time after that. I wonder if he ever thinks of us or regrets leaving us? What if he's forgotten all about us?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I'm bored...so I picked out my wedding dress...

Well, not exactly "the dress" but the style. Granted I'm no closer to being married than I was 8 years ago, but still...I can plan! :D Anyways, I was set on a medieval style dress, but have now decided that I want Grecian. It's perfect for me! Granted I'm a bit more pudgy than I used to be, but a little exercise and I'll be my lovely non-pregnant looking self in no time. Of course, I have plenty of time to work on that seeing as how I'm not getting married any time soon! LoL I'm not one of those gals that freak out cause they're not married yet...but I will admit it kind of sucks. Based on the way I mapped out my life when I was 15, I'm at least 3 years behind! ;) And I'm sure my biological clock went off at least twice. I am, however, a firm believer in the philosophy of what will be will be in it's due time. But that doesn't mean I can't wish things would speed up a bit ;) Anways, Grecian dress...beautiful.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What was once stolen...

I just HAD to share this with everyone...it's just incredible! Okay. Three years ago, my mom bought this concrete bench from K-mart and probably paid more for it than she should have. She loved it! Well, soon after, H. Katrina came through. Well, that bench did not move during the storm...the house did, but not the bench lol Once the roads were cleared we were allowed to come back to our homes...or what was left of them. And there, for the whole world to see, was OUR bench. We had to leave it on our property because there was no way to bring it to where I was living at the time. We go back a week later and some @$$ had stolen it. Fast forward 3 years. My bf started clearing my moms lot this week because the city started complaining about all the abandoned lots and overgrowth. We're guessing someone noticed him cleaning up and when he went to the lot today to do some more work, THERE IT WAS! I couldn't believe it! After 3 years what could have possibly possessed some to return what they had stolen from us?! ...Well, besides spending all of eternity in hell for thievery or being reincarnated into the worst, grossest, nastiest thing possible! No matter the reason my mom is thrilled to have it back...and me too cause now she can stop complaining about not being able to find one she likes ;)

Monday, September 8, 2008

My fortune

I now know it's official...the world is web 2.0. We ate at a Chinese buffett Saturday and this is my "fortune":


On a side note, I wonder why the slips in fortune cookies have nothing to do with fortunes anymore.

A "stuffy" nose

Ahh...the joys of being sick.

How is it, when you get a head cold and your nose is so stuffed up, you can't breath to save your life (literally). BUT at that same time, you can have a runny nose, but still be too stuffed up to sniffle.

Incredible!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What is Anxiety Panic Disorder?

At 28 years old, I never thought I would have to deal with mental illness, but my boyfriend has been suffering from Aniexty Panic Disorder for a year now. Many of his friends either turned away from him or just thinks he needs to get over it, like it's a habit you can break. I've decided to post some facts I've found online here for those of you who randomly come across my website.

Here's what I found...

"In any given year, about 1/3 of American adults have at least one panic attack; most of these adults never develop repeated panic attacks. This startling data means that anxiety attacks and panic attacks are the most common emotional disorders and are more common than bipolar disorder, OCD schizophrenia, PTSD, ADHD, phobias, alcohol abuse or depression. Anxiety and panic attacks also has the lowest rates - about 21% - for seeking help and finding it. Sadly these numbers are on the rise every day." http://www.anxietypanic.com/

"About 7.2% of all adults, or 1 in 15, have a panic disorder which is a primary part of their disorder, (NIH, 1993). After a few months of panic, about 10% of people become housebound and unable to leave home alone. After a few years, about 30% of panic sufferers have a loss of job, pay or job responsibilities. Some 17% are at risk for alcoholism and about 40% risk a chronic depression as life opportunities are cut off. A majority have marital problems and much reduced travel and social life. The economic cost has been estimated at about $2600/year in misdirected treatment, and about $12,000 a year in lowered job earnings. For most, panic closes life off like a prison."
http://www.anxietypanic.com/understanding.html

Symptoms: (http://www.anxietypanic.com/answers.html)
raging heartbeat
difficulty breathing, feeling as though you 'can't get enough air'
terror that is almost paralyzing
dizziness, lightheadedness or nausea
trembling, sweating, shaking
choking, chest pains
hot flashes, or sudden chills
tingling in fingers or toes ('pins and needles')
fear that you're going to go crazy or are about to die

"According to the American Psychological Association the symptoms of a panic attack commonly last approximately thirty minutes. However, panic attacks can be as short as 15 minutes, while sometimes panic attacks may form a cyclic series of episodes, lasting for an extended period, sometimes hours." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_attack

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gustav has arrived

It's currently 11:07am and I'm so bored! But, I can't complain...it's better than being freaked out ;) Mom and I are doing fine. The electricity hasn't gone out, we still have cable and Internet (duh), and we're pretty comfortable. It's very windy out so it's hard to tell exactly how hard it's raining, but from my guesstamate, it's not raining too hard. There's a few people driving around...I'm content to sit in my apt. My wonderful neighbor came over late last night to put a board on my bedroom window so with that and my cinderblock walls, we can hardly tell there's a hurricane outside my door :) Our area is very blessed; our building hasn't sustained any damage yet, no flooding in our parking lot, and our utilities are fine. When Katrina came through, we didn't have electricity in Pike County so we didn't know what was happening on the coast for 3 days. The fact we can watch the news is keeping our nerves in check ;)

It's now 9:24pm and we are still doing fine. Mom was a little panicy for a bit, but is not relaxed and watching movies. We ended up hunkered down in the tub during a few tornado warnings. Apparently there were a few close to where I live, but none came our way. Still no flooding here or wind damage to our apt. We never lost electricty, which is good...except for the fact I have nothing good to eat for supper...sigh. I heard another hurricane may be taking the same route to the Coast but I think I'm going to leave this time. It wasn't bad here, but I think we'd be more comfortable at mom's house.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

One day away

Mom and I are at my apt. in MS. She lives in AL but decided to come here Fri. because we weren't sure where Gustav was going to make landfall. Late last night, she decided we were going to stay here. I told her it's up to her. We'll see if we made a smart decision. The Weather Channel said Gustav should make landfall as a Category 3 or strong 4 and we should have a storm surge or 9 feet. My bf should be heading this way late this evening. No matter what happens, we'll be together. Even though I was in Pike County during Katrina, I think it passed over us as a 2 or 3 and I handled the rain and wind ok...I'm praying very hard for strength and courage. A few of my neighbors are also staying so that is helping to put me at ease. We're going to go back to the store in a while to stock up on more provisions. With a third person coming we're going to need some more food. Right now I'm feeling bad for my bf who suffers from Anxiety and Panic disorder. His brother is doing NOTHING to help him get ready. They live in Hancock County and their house flooded to the roof in Katrina. Granted Gustav is not a Katrina, there will be flooding (Gustav is coming in when the tide is coming in...figures). My poor bf is having SO many panic attacks I don't know how he's making it. I wish I could be there to help him, but I have to stay here with my mom. She also lived in Hancock County and lost her home and all her possessions. She still has post tramatic stress from it all. I'm really proud she hasn't broken down in tears yet :) I've gotten my apt. video taped and photographed, I need to bring in my plants, tape my windows, and rearrange a few little things and we should be ready. Wish us luck, but more than luck, say a big prayer for all of us!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fuming over Katrina repairs

My hometown is still under major renovations after Katrina. Right now, the city is in phase one, which means all sewers are being replaced south of the tracks. Now granted this needed to be done even before the storm and since pretty much everything still hasn't been built back, this is the perfect time. BUT. In order to do the maintence, several properties has to be dug up. I understand this necessessity...HOWEVER...I'm wondering how the city expects it's residents to pay for the added damages. For example, where my mom's home used to be all that's left is an empty lot and a foundation. In the past 2 years, not only has our neighbors decided to use our lot a "shortcut" to the next street over, but so has the city. Now we have even more work to do to restore our former yard. And on top of that, they city decided it that in order to replace the sewer pipes (we did not have a ditch in our yard prior to this) they needed to dig up our front yard to where our portch used to be...which includes the driveway. I'm just wondering who's going to pay for this and why couldn't the city redo the sewer line in our yard the way it was BECAUSE there was never a problem with drainage before...and after the storm. Granted we're not building on the lot right now, but still it's the principal of the thing. To top it off, my mom gets a certifed letter in the mail today stating she needs to clean up the property because it's basically an eyesore. Isn't that ironic? Just so you know, we're in the process of getting everything sorted out so I doubt a big deal will come of this, but I'm still pissed off all the same. What do you think of all of this?

Friday, August 8, 2008

The joys of a potted garden...during a storm.

Well, last night was one of those nights where you know the following day is gonna suck. A fast moving storm came in with supposed 30mph winds. As you may or may not know, I have a bunch of plants in front of my apt. LoL That's how the pizza delivery guy knows which apt is mine ;) Yeah well anyways, the wind knocked over 5 of my plants and guess who had to go into the very bad weather to 1.) pick up said plants, 2,) bring them inside while wearing her fuzzy pink robe cause she didn't have anything else to help stay dry, and 3.) scoop up all the soil from said plants. Yep, you got it...me...yay. I love my plants; they're like my babies and they give me something to do after work. It just sucks that I had to get up at 5:30 this morning and clean up...in my work clothes. Work had better be great today because I need a break. When I get home I have to finish up. At least they will have fresh soil. My motto, look for something good in something bad or you'll end up even more pissed off ;)


Monday, August 4, 2008

Back to work...sigh

Today was our second day back to work. I'm hopeful. Our theme for this year is "It's a brand new day". Well, it's defiently safe to say there are many "new" things at our school. Lots of new teachers, new paint on the walls, and new ideas on how to get things done this year. The only "old" thing seems to be our (my friend and I) tenure. lol We're 3rd years now!

The new group of teachers seems like a nice lot. It's at least a good mix of ages. In a way, I feel like this group is a little more lost than the new group last year, but I'm sure they'll get comfortable soon enough. I just hope they are ready for what's coming. I love our students, don't get my wrong, but they can sure test your determination to be a public school teacher. I've often toyed with the idea of going into the classromm, but then I think on it some more and one important fact remains...I can't kick students out of the library for wrong doings. So yeah, I love being a librarian. Our principal isn't new to the district, being an assistant prin. at our school before. I think she will make a great principal because of her straight-forward attitude and desire to keep things running smooth and our building looking nice. The only that bother me today was her saying to put off professional dev and sick days until after Christmas. I'm hoping she jests. I'm also hoping that because I'm in the library she will not deny any leave for me. My prof dev is my salvation during the long drags inbetween holidays :D

I guess this is enough. If you're the praying type, slip one in for me and my co-workers. Let us have a good, safe, fun year!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Petal School District Tech Summit - Day 2

We are now in our last session of the day. Today has been a little more tedious than the previous day in that today was more of a review than anything. We went into greater depth on podcasting, screencasting, skype (which I can't wait to try out with my family in Malta, Europe), and blogging. My friend set up her epals account and once I see how her classes are doing with it, I may attempt to try it with my Tech Team. I think it will be good for them to network with people from all over and to see how their experiences compare to others. I'm very grateful for our Technology Department for sending me here (and for the 1.2 ceu's :D).

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Petal School District Tech Summit - Day 1

It is currently 2pm and we're half way through the first day of training. Aside from having to get up at 5:30am and driving almost 2hrs to Hattiesburg, the training has been very informative. So far we've learned how to do a more in depth search using Altavista and Google. We learned how to use specialty commands such as host: timeline: uk:(country location). Right now we're in the hands-on lab training learning how to make pod casts using Audacity, Gcast, and Jing. I'm not sure how often I'll be doing pod casts (I don't particularly care for the sound of my voice), but I'm glad I'm here learning about it. Jing is a wonderful program! This tool allows the user to record what they are doing and saying. I can imagine tons of useful ways this WILL be used not only with my Tech Team students, but will all the students. From what I've seen and learned thus far, I'm very excited about all the new things we will be able to try this school year!

At the end of the day, everything was great! We were bombarded with a lot of information throughout the day, but I think I have a pretty good handle on everything. I can't wait to see how I can implement some of these resources in both the library and in the projects I make for my orientations.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Active Studio training - day 5

Well, today was the last day of training. I was the second person to give their presentation...and just so you know, I voulteered to go second! Yes, I honestly did :) It actually went great. Not only did I get to present, but I actually got to show/teach the class something that I had figured out on my own...I was really thrilled about that! We had a guest trainer today; an aquaintence of mine. It was so wonderful to catch up with her; she's such a great person! I think she picked on me a little more than my classmates because she knew me, but I didn't mind. It felt good to be able to help :) She went into greater detail on everything we covered and showed so some really cool tricks to do with our flipcharts. I did miss one of them because I had to leave when she was through, but I'm hoping to be able to e-mail with her and get the how-to notes. The lady I sat next to will be teaching at our school so I can get them from her later as well. All in all, this was a great class. I can't wait to try out the flipcharts I created and see what the kids think. I feel a lot more comfortable with the using the board and software and can't wait to show off my stuff!

Reflection on Day 4

As I said in my last post, yesterday was a good day. We finished everything Mrs. Mercer wanted to go over. I had to demonstrate a couple things on the board...which is a big deal because I hate public speaking! But it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I even had time at the end of the day to begin working on my new flipchart. I am planning to use this one as well. I haven't decided how elaborate it's going to be, but as of right now, I'm really impressed with how my first page came out :D I got out of presenting my flipchart yesterday due to scheduling conflict so today's the day! Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Active Studio training - day 4

Today we finished going over the missed stuff from yesterday. It all went fairly quickly. Unfortunately, Promethean Planet is down until Monday so we were not able to play around with it. I've looked at it before and it seems fairly cut and dry as to how to find and download everything. I'm very proud to say that I completed my Promethean tutorial. The end of it wasn't as bad as the beginning and with Mrs. Mercer's training class, the tutorials went more quickly & was able to better retain what I learned. I'm very excited about getting .5 CEUs for it...it's never too early to start working on your licence renewal. We were also able to begin presenting our flipcharts. I think it was pretty much half and half for completed and uncompleted charts, but everyone did a great job on theirs. Tomorrow I have to present and am already dreading it. Hopefully no one will mind me not using the pen. I'm comfortable using it, but feel using the mouse would be better. Oh! Mrs. Mercer had me demonstate the camera tool and how to link a file to it LoL I hate public speaking! But...I guess I can forgive her ;) Tomorrow, not only do we finish our presentations but we will be working with another trainer on more indepth information. Here's hoping it'll be fun!

Reflection on Day 3

Yesterday wasn't an as productive day, but we did learn about and try out Active Vote and were able to add a quiz in our flipchart. I was able to finish the third assessment on Promethean training. Three down, one to go! At first I had a hard time remembering everything the tutorials because it was so new to me, but with the help of the training class I'm in, the tutorials are going much more smoothly. We did not get much accomplished yesterday due to minor technical difficulties, so today is our catch up day. I'm hoping the little bit we have to cover will not take too long and we can focus on our flipcharts. With only 3 1/2 hours of sleep I hope today will be a much more active day than yesterday!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Active Studio training - day 3

This training was slow one for me. We did a lot of reviewing, which was good...but slow. It doesn't help that I've been half alseep today :D Rainy days does not equal me being wide awake LoL Back to the point....we learned how to create an active vote quiz in our flipcharts which is awesome! In my flipchart, I encluded example questions for the practice SATP test which is the students first review. The active vote quiz will be a better review for them because the students will see not only how much they know, but it will cause each student to participate. I'm hoping that with each feature I've added to my flipchart, it will help the students be more engaged and excited about the lesson (yes, I know I sound like a broken record ;) Now I'm off to work on more online tutorials...yay! LoL

Reflection on Day 2

Yesterday was great! I finished my flipchart up to where we are supposed to be. Everything we learned yesterday was new to me and the uses for it are tremendous! I really hope that all we've learned will engage the students in their learning. Most of what I end up having to review/teach them can be boring so I'm hoping this will help with that...because let's face it, the Dewey Decimal System is only so interesting! LoL Now I just need to work more on Promethean training...fun, fun!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Active Studio training - day 2

As I had hoped, today has been an equally good day...so far ;) I've learned some new tricks to making my flipcharts pop. We learned how to hide objects, create containers, add embedded files, and add web links. All of which is really going to help improve my flipchart for this class and I can't wait to see how it turns out. Mrs. Mercer provided us with step-by-step packets for each action...thank god! LoL I know I'd forget otherwise. BUT, aside from forgetting stuff, I found each action easy to create.

After checking the MS Dept. of Ed. website, I found out that reference resources are no longer on the [practice] test. But, I'm confident that this flipchart will be able to help out 9th grade English teachers and possible be used for SATP practice. Either way, creating it will be a great experience. When I gave my powerpoint on this topic last school year, the students (for the most part) were attentive and participated a good deal. I'm hoping that with the new techniques they'll be more excited to participate and retain the info. longer.

Reflection on Day 1

Yesterday's class was very good. I learned the basics on Active Studio. I had started learning how to use A.S. from Promethean's online training, but this is so much better! The online training is helpful but learning hands on is, obviously, much better. I also decided to change my flipchart from library orientation to SATP reference resources. I decided to change beause 1st there wasn't much I could do with the first one and 2nd it was too boring :)

It's times like these that I wish I was a classroom teacher because I think A.S. is going to be (and already is) a wonderful resource for teachers and students. The flipcharts can be created so colorfully and interactive that the students will (hopefully) stay engaged throughout the lesson. But, then I see our students behave in the classroom and am glad I'm a Media Specialist ;) A.S. is a very versatile utility; you can create flipcharts, interactive activities, add multimedia to the slides, and create quizzes. With all this, I can't imagine the student not being interested in their lessons (when used correctly) and hopefully their interest in certain areas will increase.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Vista & Active Studio

Ok, I guess this is turning out to be more a journaling thing than I thought it was going to be. Allow me a moment to vent my frustration....sigh.... Did you know that there's not much (software) out there that's compatible with Windows Vista 64bit O.S.? No? Well, there's not. Including Promenthean (I did check). I was so excited to get home and install the software...but alas, it's not meant to be. Just like my webcam and Palm pda....(again) sign. But on a positive note, I have two assesments completed and two to go. LoL I took one look at what they were about and decided to wait until tomorrow to tackle those. I hope tomorrow will be as productive.

Active Studio training - day 1

Today was the first day of the active studio class. So far, so good :) We discussed the basics of A.S.: the toolbars, basic interface, and the importance of this technology. We were able to start creating a basic flipchart...which is proving easy, but slightly problematic. Being a Media Specialist, I feel very limited on what I can create with A.S. But, I've decided to create mine on the library orientation we give at the beginning of each school year. If I can get the software installed on my home computer I'll eventually transfer my powerpoints to the flipcharts to make them more interesting and interactive. We also worked on Promethean Learning...which is a good thing because I've been wanting to finish up that tutorial for quite some time...but couldn't seem to stay awake ;) Just 3 more assessments to go!

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What dog breed are you? I'm a Golden Retriever! Find out at Dogster.com

Original Mary Poppins trailer

Scary Mary Poppins trailer