In the beginning there was grad school. That ended in 2010. Now what do I blog about?

NEW BLOG - ACADEMIC AMPLITUDE

September 30, 2008

The class still haunts me

Here's a video I found on www.i-am-bored.com for you all to enjoy. The feeling you get in your stomach is the same feeling I got this summer during my diversity class.


What Do Kids Prefer, White or Black Doll? Children don`t lie, they show the truth about racial views.


September 29, 2008

One last post before the end of September

So we're nearing the end of September. Leaves are starting to change color. We had the last watery ears of corn from the farm stand up-town. The neighbors are placing pumpkins on their front stoops.
It is an election year. The economy is pitiful. We're paying over $3/gallon of gas and over $3/gallon of milk. National morale is low, and sinking. Not even the possibility of electing the country's first black president can raise peoples' spirits. Unemployment is higher than it has ever been and we are looking at a long, cold, harsh winter in this high-cost of living area we call New England.
My husband and I are counting our blessings while we carefully monitor our combined physical and financial standing. He suffers chronic health problems and although we hope for an early retirement for him, unexpected job loss due would be devastating. I check the job listings regularly, seriously weighing the options of moving away from a job I love in order to make a few extra bucks each month, just in case.
We've done as much as we can to keep the house weather proof, having had work done on the foundation this summer and having had an energy audit done by the state. We are waiting for bids on insulation for the attic and basement and we hope to get that done before the snow flies. We have locked in to a price on heating fuel and will keep our fingers crossed that the small locally owned oil company we chose will not be forced to sell out to the regional oil overlords like our last company did.
I can't imagine how we would make ends meet if I could only mow lawns or drive a school bus. I feel sorry for the families who highest earner is making $8 or $10 or $12 an hour. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to be facing winter with energy prices as they are with that level of income. Scary. Scary as all hell.

September 16, 2008

temporary online obsessions

1) Lipstick Jungle. Thanks to internet television and the networks being ever-so generous with their offerings, I can watch back-to-back-to-back episodes of whatever crap grabs my attention. This week it's Brooke Shields' fem-drama Lipstick Jungle. The sudden whirlwind romance for 'Victory' is so so so silly. Brooke's marital troubles are predictable, but the addition of Lorraine Bracco as her arch enemy is fun; if Bracco can make Tony Soprano cry, think what mentalness she can inflict on Miss Shields! The Nico's (stupid name) hot & sexy fling with a guy named 'Kirby' (another stupid name, but he has great abs) makes this trash-TV, much like Desperate Housewives, so don't look for intellectual fare here. Its pure entertainment; no brain power required.

2) MySpace and Facebook. Although I have had a LinkedIn account for quite awhile, I am the last of our circles of friends to succumb to the lure of social networking on the two most popular sites in the universe. Facebook is more 'real'. Its clean, simple and unobtrusive. MySpace is so Yo!Yo!Yo! and flashy and unreal. For the first week I was totally hooked on both FB and MS, logging into both while watching TV with hubby, anxiously waiting for a 'friend' to come on line, looking forward to seeing what someone might post on my 'wall. I admit the excitement waned quickly and I'm not on all the time now, but I am still curious to see what happens now that I am out there. What ghosts will show up? What skeletons will emerge?

3) The Stock Market. I am making myself miserable by watching my IRAs and 403(b)s plummet. I don't know enough to make hardcore stock market gambles. I know some people get rich during recessions. That won't be me. I just want my accounts to stop giving me updates in (-negative) numbers. It's killing me. I need to stop watching. It's going to continue to slide and then, after we elect a democrat into office, things will turn around. If I work my math skills - which are horrible - I can make it seem like the amount I am losing isn't more than what I would be paying in taxes if I took it off the market.

September 03, 2008

making up is hard to do

Not happy with my summer class, as you can see by reading this summer posts. Was given a B+. I am fighting it. I want an A, and she said she'll give me an A- if I can submit another paper on diversity prior to the due date for final grades. I have a draft done - 8 pages - which I will edit today and get in to her before Friday morning.

Yes, I can be a high-maintenance student. I am a high achiever. I realize this. But honestly, the final paper assignment included a section which specifically asked for an 'action plan' i.e. a way I would incorporate diversity and cultural awareness in the classroom. Before writing the paper I emailed the prof and repeated for the umpteenth time 'I AM NOT A K-12 TEACHER!' and asked for guidance on how to meet the assignment requirements. She didn't give me any clear answer. So I did the best I could and sent it on in. Then she grades my paper with comments along the lines of 'there is no action plan here' and 'the first half starts out strong but then loses focus'. Really? Hmm.

I then began to suspect she has a TA managing the class assignments because the prof doesn't seem to have a clue as to what I do for work, even though I had to mention it in pretty much every discussion so that my classmates would understand where I was coming from with my discussions. Either that or she was unable to veer away from the course outline & assignment rubrics to make slight modifications for my situation. I believe these things could have been tweaked for my situation. (and I find it hard to believe she hasn't had someone else from higher ed in her class before.)

So I have written a lengthy paper on diversity training in medical school. If I edit the text down to the 3-5 pages she wants, the may be two pages worth of footnotes explaining what PPS and LPP is. So be it. I am trying to make it work the best I can.

Lesson learned: contact the prof BEFORE the class starts and make sure he/she understands where I am coming from and why I am taking his/her class. I'll do this for the fall term and see if it works out better. I know someone who works here at my U who is in an MEd program at another big-U (I go to a state college for my MEd) and she has the same problems with profs not seeming to understand why she is in an MEd program if she isn't a K-12 teacher. So its not just me and that makes me feel better.