Drop By Drop, A River is Made.

Here is my final project! A photo essay on Education in Afghanistan. The website reformatted a lot of the texts and so it doesn’t look as polished as my original, but what can you do.

Heres the link: file://localhost/Users/lexasaurusrex/Desktop/Presentation1.ppt.htm


Here are some pictures not in the essay, if you are too lazy to look. I wish I could put up the photo of me wearing the traditional chaddar (headscarf) and tunic and holding an AK-47 in our host families living room, but I don’t think that one is allowed on the internet….


A Letter to the Next Semesters

Here you are, sitting in this strange rectangle of a room. Prepare yourself, because you are in an intieresting semester. This is Comp 301D, and I am thrilled to be the one to inform you that if you don’t want to, you don’t have to write a single essay this semsester.

“WHAT?” you say, “WHAT? This is a COMP CLASS, lady!”

That it is, but it is unlike most comp classes in this: you get to choose what sort of genre (foreshadowing!) you want your work to be. Prof Garcia also assumes that at this point in the semester you know how to craft a coherent, articulate essay and so now you are allowed to make blog posts titled “I can has Harry Potter now?” so long as they are well written and give reference to education.

Also, I’m sure a handful of you are under the mindset that when you are going to be teacher, you want to be that cool teacher that isn’t “All about the grade.” So don’t freak out when you are suddenly in a class that isn’t all about the grade. Worry less about rubrics and more about passion. If your project is about education and you put enough time and passion into it, you WILL get a good grade. Trust me. So don’t waste precious class time whining about how you just want to know how many words your first genre paper should be, or what he means when he says that it doesn’t have to be a paper if you don’t want it to be. We all know when we have half assed something; just don’t do that on whatever you may choose your project to be and you will be fine.

Here are my top 3 tips:

You will get very, very burned out from thinking of blogs and so ask Garcia for that list of ideas that we came up with of things to blog about. Or have your class make one of your own!

Get creative with your genre paper… this class may be the only chance you get to do something this open ended in college.

If you have a question (a housekeeping question…) about your projects, blog, etc., please go to his office hours and discuss it with him. One thing I disliked about our generation of 301d was that we would spend a good 10-15 minutes every class period talking about things that should have been taken care of by that individual on their own time.

Lastly (yeah I know I said I had three tips, DEAL WITH IT), have fun. Its like the syllabus says… “This is your class.”

Make it a good one.

Cheers! Alexis

A Little Perspective

My thirteen-year old sister wrote this and asked me to put it on my blog. She loves to write and wanted all of us future teachers to know what middle school was like from a student’s perspective. I’m so proud of her for wanting to get her writing out there and make it public like I have been doing all semester. Hope you guys enjoy and have a wonderful break!

Middle school sucks. It’s not all that bad but majority is horrible. Walking down the halls is a great feet that only the bravest and strongest succeed at. Every direction you are shoved and prodded into some other poor soul just trying to get to their next class, and with only four minutes it feels like the times running but you are standing still (which you are). Although walking through the halls is a great challenge it is nothing compared to the challenge of not becoming the laughing stalk of the school year. The way you dress, act, even breath can change the outlook of you. Dress the wrong way and the nerds are holding your author’s addition of Great Expectations and the sweaty, sit right in the middle. Act the wrong way and you are stuck with the girls who believe in witchcraft and magic. Breathing to loud, and you have no friends at all, alone all the time.

One the first day of school, the “authorities” shove you into a new room, new school, with new people, and tell you to learn a lot and have fun. Great advise if only everyone in the class didn’t look like they wanted to kill you. As you pray to whatever god you believe, you hope for the teacher to save your day, if only. The teacher is not only grouchy, short, and ugly but has targeted you as her lease favorite. Great! Not only is the work she gives almost impossible but now she will grade twice as hard because your just her “favorite”. Your next class, the teacher picks favorites which means, that if you don’t bake 24-7 then she will stick you in the back where all the “Challenged” students go. Paying attention is too difficult because the guy next to you won’t stop loudly snoring in your ear. Finally lunch, or so you think. Lunch is confusing like I said, the way you portray yourself represents how and whom you will be stilling. Everyone says that being popular is the correct table but I have learned that being the regular girls that are really sweet, pretty, and smart is better than have groups of people talk consonantly about your little flaws. The rest of the day goes on boringly as your teacher changes everything the last one said.

Yay, the day’s over but really its not even close, the bus is the next step on the long list of disputes. Better not sit in the wrong seat or else you are shoved and beat up everyday for the rest of the school year. Think you want to sit by yourself? Think again. Find a friend that you made and sit with them. If you even try to sit by yourself, you are again stuck with the “challenged” kid who picks his nose. Once its your stop try to get off first or else you never get off. Home you think you can finally relax but then you remember that you have at lease four hours of homework, plus any sport that sounded fun at the time. 1094 days left until freedom, but then there’s high school which a whole nether set of challenges.

Drum roll please…

I guess this is my last post. I know we are supposed to say advice for upcoming classes and I’m not sure if I have much advice that seems scholarly or that could bring one to tears. I do feel however that this class showed me what it means to be a teacher. My advice would be to listen. To listen to Garcia and to REALLY listen to others. I’ve never learned so much in a class through other people. Blogs might seem silly, but you see a different side to people. The side of a person that is really just their thoughts and words are much different, much more impacting, then a paper they write that you grade. Words from the heart always seem to strike a different cord on a different instrument. I love words and everything they hold. Write as many as you can. Unload your thoughts in these blogs… I regret not doing that more often. Maybe some think I did TOO much, but I know I held back. Speak up, you’d be surprised at how much people want to hear what you have to say, even if they know they will disagree. Listen to the thoughts and views other people have about teaching. Listen to their stories and ask questions about their life… Our past shapes how we treat others… especially our students. Comment on blogs, on papers, and on videos from genre papers. I didn’t do that very much but I know the feeling of a response. It can be scary putting your heart on a paper, and even more so when no one acknowledges it’s there. Get to know people in this class. This was the first time I put fourth an effort to reach out to people and make friends within a class and I’m so grateful I did. Even if we don’t keep in touch, I learned about people, learned about their struggles and thoughts, learned about the possible students i could have one day through my classmates. 

This class was the best class I’ve ever had. I’ve enjoyed it more then any other. It challenged me in a different way. It challenged my stance on things, my views on education, it instilled hope for me to become a teacher and to keep going. There’s so much more I wish I could say, but it will start to sound silly. Being a housekeeper was a joy, most favorite job by far 😉

Take a deep breathe, this class helped me to see that we should never let a bad grade determine our fate… it’s about our hearts and determination that will help us to build our dreams one day. “A”‘s won’t do that. (as much as i’d like to think they would).

We should keep posting on this far past this class. Keep in touch and tell each other the new things we are learning and experiencing. Advice we have or stories we just have to tell people other then our facebook status box.

Thank you all for such a great semester, and thank you Garcia for opening doors!