Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Academic Career

The other day, I introduced the hippie side of me. Today, I wanted to introduce the student side of me.

I've always loved school. On the outside, I complained about homework and studying, but inside, I really loved it. And my hidden enthusiasm really showed in my grades. The creativity was there from the very start. Art and English were my favorite subjects. I had loved reading since I first learned, so I was always the kid who got caught reading a book hidden inside my textbook.

The love of reading was basically what helped me through the junior high years (1996-9). I went to a Catholic elementary school for 1st through 8th grades, and I wasn't the most social person around (I'm still not). Books were the only friends I needed. In high school, I made some great friends, some of whom I'm still very close with now. English and Art were still my favorite subjects - Honors English with Mrs. Soltis broadened my reading interests, and Advanced Art 3 with Mr. Sears showed me that any creativity is acceptable. Those teachers taught me so much, and awakened my own propensity for teaching. High school graduation (2003) was bittersweet; I had finally found my niche and developed an identity, only for it to be all over.

It was only natural for me to major in English in college and do the Dual Elementary/Special Education program. I had to do student-teaching in my senior year (2006); that was probably the best academic experience of my entire schooling. My first placement was with a self-contained K-3 classroom with 6 kids. I spent most of the time working with the 3 kindergarteners and one 1st grader. I cried, and they cried, on my last day. My other placement with in a 5th grade classroom. It was vastly different than my little kindergarten loves, but just as amazing. They threw me a brilliant party of my last day, and I cried. (The girls did, but the boys didn't want cry in front of their buddies.)

When student teaching was over, I still had another semester of classes before graduation, and it was such a letdown. I wanted to be teaching! I didn't want to be sitting in class, listening to teachers lecture, writing papers, etc. However, by the time graduation rolled around (2007), I had changed my mind. The economy was already starting to sink, and graduate tuition was going up. I saw an ad on campus for a graduate assistant - I could go to class for free, work on campus, and get free housing as well. I was sold.

I began work a month after graduation, and then started the Literacy program in Spring 2008. I could only go part-time because of work, but it's been a great experience. I learn so much every day, and I wish I could stay in school forever. My professors consider me on the same level as them - they say we are colleagues, and we have theory discussions that would have blown my mind just a few short years ago. But all good things must come to an end, as my entire education will in only 4.5 months. As of May 15th, 2010, I will have my Master's in Education. I can't believe it will all be over.

Until then, I'm taking 1 course, and I'm doing my practicum. I'm tutoring for both of those, trying to get as much experience as I can to build up my resume. I'd love to chat with some blogging teachers in the meantime. :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Winter Wonderland

If humans can be gender-confused, Mother Nature can be weather-confused. Today, I woke up to snow, which was totally unexpected. The snow went on and off most of the morning, eventually turning into sleet and then rain. Then, there was some random thunder, after which the sun came out and started to melt the snow. But alas, it was not over yet. A snow squall with little no visibility and strong winds suddenly sprang up. It lasted for about a half hour, and left the winds behind when it left. So what we have now is snow blowing everywhere, ice quickly forming, and very slippery roads. Awesome.

Since winter decided to hit us hard in 1 short day, I decided to share some of my favorite photos from this winter. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Black and White Wednesday - Toes in the Sand

Black & White Wednesday is run by Lisa over @ The Long Road to China. I love this idea and I am definitely going to be doing it every week.

To emphasize my earlier point about my enjoyment for bare feet, that's what I decided to focus on for this week's photo. I really love how how this came out. Editing in pse is a breeze, I discovered; it was much easier than I expected, and tons of fun, too.

This was taken in LI, on the beach of course, at a family picnic. A deep love for the beach was given to me by my father. He grew up in East Rockaway, and spent most of his childhood at the beach. I would give anything to live within walking distance of the ocean. I can spend hours just sitting in the sand, staring at the waves and the endless horizon.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Purple Hippie

I wanted to take a moment to explain my url: My description under this title (currently blocked by the gorgeous LOVE header) reads as follows:

I have hair to my waist. I eat raw fish. I like to walk barefoot. I live by the motto, "Peace, Love, and Happiness." I have more hobbies than I can count.

It is entirely true. I'll post a picture of my hair soon enough, I could eat sushi for breakfast/lunch/dinner, I have way more pictures of my bare feet than is necessary, I go with the flow, and I love to create things. That is how I've been since I was a kid, proof of which is the videotapes of me dancing around the living wearing a random tutu (and nothing else), and without any music. I hope to raise my future children in the same fun-loving, carefree way.
*Image credit goes to my friend Chrissie. I wish I could link to her page, but she doesn't have one.

i heart faces Challenge - Textures

A blogger friend who knows I love photography (because she shares that love) sent me in the direction of iheartfaces, which is a blog for bettering your techniques for shooting faces. The face I photograph the most would either be Jon, my boyfriend, or Matt, my younger brother. But the challenge this week is for textures, and when I think of a textured face, I think of my dad. The combination of his skin and his beard and his glasses always makes for a great shot.

This isn't the best one I could find, and it was my first time experimenting in pse with textures. It was fun, though; it gave me lots of ideas for editing other photos.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Back in action!

Blogging... I used to do it, sort of. I had a LiveJournal back in the day, during high school and a little bit of early college. However, those posts were embarassing: "i had class alllll daaaay today! n then i had to babysit, blah. but then i got 2 see my luv n we got to chilllllll, yay!!!! n we have exciting plans 4 this weekend - we r prolly gonna go see a movie n stay at his house."

And I was an English major. Tell me how THAT happened.

So, I have a few friends who blog actively now. I've thought of starting up again several times in the past few years. Blogging always gave me aweird feeling, though. I'd rather write a paper, a lesson plan, a short story, a NOVEL. Yet here I sit, still in my bathrobe, while I should be in bed, typing up my introductory post. I keep getting sucked into these hobbies, as if I have plenty of time to read tuts and learn new techniques and practice my skills.

Who am I kidding?! I've got a fulltime job, a family that loves to see me on weekends, an affectionate boyfriend, and one semester left before I graduate with my M.S.Ed. And more hobbies than I can count. I am....

Artistically Amy.