Hi, I'm Lauren! I'm currently in my junior year at Southern Connecticut State University. I am majoring in Elementary Education and Interdisciplinary Studies, with concentrations in Spanish and STEM.
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To be completely honest, nothing scares me the way this question does. I hate when people ask what I will be up to in 5 or 10 years. Honestly, I don't know. The future is so unpredictable for all of us. Yes, we all have dreams and hopes of what we want to be doing or where we think we will be, but in reality none of us have any idea. The hope that these dreams are what will be our future is really just a security blanket to keep us content.
Thus, I don't know where exactly I will be in the next five or ten years. Yes, I hope to be teaching somewhere in a public school, yes I hope to be happy with people that care about me. Yes, I hope to still have my health. Yes, I hope that I will have advanced in every way possible from where I am now. But do I know? No, not at all. These are all just my goals. Just because these are my goals does not mean I know exactly where I am going next, it's just what I would like to see happening for myself.
As for the question about how willing am I to take detours along the way, thiiiiiis is the question I like. I want to believe that I am prepared to take all the necessary detours that I am sure to encounter on my path to the future. My life thus far has taken a few unexpected corners and twists, but I feel I have adjusted well. And, as a very very anxious person, yes these detours scare me, but I am ready for the ride.
The best advice I can give myself for the future is that it is going to be whatever it is it is going to be, and no matter what if I keep a good head on my shoulders and the right people by my side, everything will turn out to be just fine.
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The prompt for this week was to publish the sounds of the "in-betweens" of our day. This short youtube clip that
I was able to create is a montage of sounds that fill my day. They start at 4:30 in the morning with my first alarm of the day going off. Then it moves to a driving sound (which you hear several times throughout the clip). Next is the sound of a door opening and shutting with a picture of the company I work for. This sound is how every morning Monday-Friday starts and the door keeps opening and shutting until all the kids have arrived. Then we go back to driving, and I'm off to school. Once I'm at Southern, chances are my laptop is out. Whether I'm doing homework with it, e-mailing someone, or taking notes, I'll probably typing. Then, we have driving again, this time it's about an hour until I'm back home. Once I'm home you hear the sound of my brother running over to need me for something (yes, this was actually recorded while it was really happening). And lastly, you hear my phone ringtone. Chances are this has gone off several times throughout the day, but it's usually one of the last things I hear too. Then, it's off to bed to repeat it all over again the next day.
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The mundane sound that I hear every is the somewhat glorious sound of my coffee brewing in the morning.
Typically, when I hear this it's accompanied with the sound of my feet shuffling around, cabinet doors slamming, and my backpack being zipped up. Once this sound starts I know it's just about time to head out the door for work. Once it's freshly brewed and paired with the fixings, I'm off to work at (hopefully) just about 6:30 in the morning. Then it's a few hours of before school care spent playing Life, Leggos, or organized gym games, and then off the school for myself!
Every morning starts with this sound, and if I had the time to hear it, then I'm on track and it will be a good day! If I did that thing where I overslept and the coffee doesn't have time to come with me, then it's probably already off to a bad start, so I better get going!
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Last week the learning event was to share the shape of our personal stories. This week we are to share the turning point in our stories.
The turning point of my story was losing my mom at the age of 18. This time of change in my life has helped me to change my personality, motivation, and identity entirely. These changes I made (some even unknowingly) was a huge turning point for me. I learned how to take full responsibility for myself, gained independence as now I am living on my own, and I now know and understand how very important it is to take what you have, use it to your best ability, and take each day as a gift.
The best way I can explain this was the post I made to honor her memory of the one year of her passing (10/28/2015), so I will share it here on my blog:
A year ago today my heart shattered into a thousand tiny pieces that I will never be able to bring whole again. A year ago today you left this world for somewhere better, and although I know you're much better off wherever you are now, I can't help but be overcome by sadness that for 365 days I haven't been able to talk to you, hug you, ask you for advice, or share my accomplishments with you. Jess, Tony, and I are doing some incredible things, and even though they say you're watching, it's not the same as having you right by our sides cheering us on. I've learned so much and have grown into an entirely different person in this past year without you, and I wish more than anything you were still here to experience life with us. Words fail to describe how much I love and miss you, but in time, we will see each other again. Rip Mom, I love you
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For the #WalkMyWorld learning event 3 we were to map out the "shape" of a story. Since I couldn't immediatley think of a plot that meant alot to me, it didn't dawn on me until the release of the new season last night; my love for Grey's Anatomy would be perfect! While there are probably 1 million different ways to map out this (still)on-going plot, I focused with my absolute favorite, the beloved McDreamy and Meredith relationship. Sadly, it ended tragically in the most heart breaking tv episode I've experienced in my whole life, and to this day still gets me when I think about the only fictional characters I was emotionally invested in.
Thanks Shonda Rhimes for both making and ruining my life with your fantastic success.
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This is a link to my youtube video that I used to answer the question "Where I'm From." It is basically a collage of all the aspects of my life, both from my childhood and my current life. It was very fun to make, and caused me to think in a way I never thought of culture before.
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The articles we were assigned to read this week were eye opening. Prior to my reading/watching of these works, never did I think children's literature was such a controversial issue.
Tim Martin's article regarding the issues within the selections of Newbery Medal winners was very interesting to me. All throughout my elementary school experience my library teachers pushed on us over and over again that the Newbery Medal novels as well as the Caldecott Awards and the Connecticut Nutmeg Award winners were the books we were to be reading. We were taught that these were the best of the best and the only "acceptable" works appropriate for school. I remember not ever wanting to read these books, as reading wasn't my favorite thing to do at eight years old. However, it was expected of me, so I sucked it up and did what I had to. Reading this article now I realize why I was feeling this way. Having someone dictate to me what I should/shouldn't or could/couldn't read wasn't fair to me as a young reader. Because I didn't like the activity, and honestly I wasn't very good at it, it just made for a horrible time.
Thus, now hearing how a certain selection of winners maybe shouldn't decide what children should read is refreshing. I like the opportunity children have of being able to read whatever it is that interests them. If we want children to gain an interest in reading and want them to do it as a preferred leisurely activity, then as long as they are not reading far too above or below their age level, who are we to stop them?!
Yes, I understand why there are required reading in schools. I completely agree that there are some novels or works that all people should read in American schools. These novels create a sense of community within our school systems and help incorporate American culture, but I'd also like to see kids and students have the choice of freedom.
This idea of freedom is what brings me to the next article that I found particularly interesting. "Teaching with Graphic Novels" by Brigid Alverson was my favorite read from this week's selection. As I talked about in my #WalkMyWorld Post (if you didn't get a chance to read it, you can find it here) I have a 10 year old brother. He is currently in the 4th grade in our small hometown of Oxford. He has never been a big reader, and getting him to do his daily requirement of 20 minutes of reading has always been a struggle-even since kindergarten. However, he's not a bad reader at all. His lexile score is actually in almost the 6th grade level! But, it's that he can't find anything that will hold his attention (trust me: his attention span is maybe 4 seconds long). But recently, he took a liking to manga novels. From what I understand, manga is a Japenese type of book that is read from the back cover to the front cover. It is set up in almost a comic-strip manner, but is considered a graphic novel. When he starts reading now, I can't get him to stop to do other homework! At first I was worried if his teacher would find this acceptable, but she promised me she is more than happy with it if it is something he is interested in!
Similarly, I have been working with a struggling sixth grade reader. She has to do monthly book reports, and she often has a hard time finishing just the reading part by the end of the month. But, the last few months she has also found an interest in graphic novels. Similar to the way that Eric Kallenborn in Alverson's article found in his AP students, the reading of a graphic novel takes significantly less time for many students than a typical prose reading. As well as aiding in comprehension. From the work I have done with her, I have seen both her ability to comprehend and her confidence skyrocket.
If graphic novels are something that will help children and/or students find joy in reading, then why the heck shouldn't we be allowing them to work with them?!
The last concept I found really interesting to read about this week was the concept of open mic. This type of reading and writing I will admittingly say I have never thought of as literature. However, now I have gained a whole new perspective. Open mic and free write is a great opportunity for aspiring authors to get their name out into the world. And reading (or listening) to these pieces can help students or children with analysis and/or interpretation of literature, which is essential to the later stages of reading and comprehension.
The opportunity that I had this week to open my eyes and see a whole new type of literature is something I am sure will happen again in this class, and I am excited to be expanding my horizons in the world of children's lit!