What’s Hot/ What’s Not Fall 2011

The highly anticipated Fall is finally here and as I begin to dig out my Fall favorites, I am more, and more excited to see what’s ahead! Surely, there’s a lot going on this Fall and check-in right here to what’s hot and what’s not for this season!

WHAT’S HOT

The new show, The New Girl. 

WHAT’S NOT

Tuning-out the slew of superb Fall TV shows (You know they’re your guilty pleasure, too!).

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WHAT’S HOT

Carving pumpkins.

WHAT’S NOT

The scary knives that pumpkin carving requires.

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WHAT’S HOT

The Halloween spirit.

WHAT’S NOT

Using Halloween as an excuse to dress… well, not very modestly (I’ll leave it at that!).

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WHAT’S HOT

Cool air and lovely sweater weather.

WHAT’S NOT

Runny, red noses from the chilly air.

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WHAT’S HOT

Fall football (DolFANs get your fins up! AND Go Knights!).

WHAT’S NOT

Lacking spirit.

HAPPY FALL EVERYONE!

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Why Children’s Books are my New Inspiration

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I am in college pursuing a degree in elementary education. In pursuit of my major, I am required to take many different courses, one of which is a children’s literature course. I’ve been devouring children’s books that bring me back to my childhood and which have reminded me of the many quality lessons these books hold. I made a short list of some of the lessons I’ve deciphered and I hope it encourages you to pick up an old favorite and to cherish its quality and excellence. Enjoy!

1. Sometimes, it’s okay to be curious. (Curious George, H.A. Rey)

2. With time and perseverance, you’ll always end up where you belong. (Corduroy, Don Freeman)

3. Never take advantage of a good thing. (Miss Nelson is Missing, Harry Allard and James Marshall)

4. Love is eternal. (The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein)

5. Beauty lives within. (The Rainbow Fish, Marcus Pfister)

6. Lend a helping hand when you can. (Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey)

20 Reasons I Love My Elementary Education Major

It took me a really long time to figure out what major I wanted to declare in college. I felt, and I still feel, that eighteen is too young to decide what career path to choose. While many students change their major many times, I’ve never been casual about choosing and switching my major. I’ve always felt that choosing a major is a declaration of how your life will be lived. Choosing one major over another impacts the trajectory of your life in every way. Your career dictates where you live, your income, your ability to have a family, and many other elements of a person’s life.

After lots and lots of rumination and investigation, I chose a major: elementary education. I took a few prerequisite classes and realized I LIKE my major. This year, I’ve started taking my “upper division” courses, meaning that all of the classes I’m taking are major specific. Never again do I have to take a college algebra, American history, or statistics class… THANK GOODNESS!!! Because I’m now in major specific classes, I’ve come to realize that I LOVE majoring in elementary education! I’m sure you’re wondering why I love my major and being a pre-professional teacher so much, so I’m going to tell you! If you feel a list coming on, you’re right! Here goes:

20. Getting to look silly with your students while you dance around with them to the “Days of the Week Song.”

19. Being able to come home with funny stories everyday because kids really do do the funniest things.

18. Being able to learn from experienced teachers that have made inconceivable impacts in the lives of so many students.

17. The plethora of children’s books.

16. Being in a career that keeps you on your toes with ever evolving innovations and ingenuity.

15. Having the ability to be creative.

14. Connecting with families.

13. Watching the look on the face of a child when the “light bulb goes on.”

12. Being part of a career where there is a close network of supportive professionals to gain ideas from and give ideas to.

11. Increasing confidence in your ability to speak publicly and off-the-cuff.

10. The satisfaction of feeling like you executed a successful lesson that had the students really enthused.

9. The love and appreciation your students show you with hugs and thanks.

8. Learning to be an excellent problem solver.

7. Setting up an appealing, fun, warm, welcoming, and education-rich classroom.

6. Being able to share cute stories and tidbits with your students.

5. Watching your students become totally captivated by a good book.

4. The opportunity to learn from your students.

3. Watching students develop intellectually and become excited about learning.

2. Inspiring students to be the very best version of themselves and helping them to realize their full potential.

1. Knowing that you have the ability to mold the minds of students who have the potential to go so far. Every future neurosurgeon, president, Supreme Court justice, and every other professional walk through the doors of a teacher.

We’re living in a time when every motivation to become a teacher is being removed. Teachers are having their rights stripped of them, their benefits slashed, and their pay depleted. Nevertheless, the idea of being a teacher excites me in every way and I am not discouraged by the removal of so many of our impetuses to become a teacher. I love being an elementary education major and I love being a pre-professional teacher. The idea of preparing my classroom for the first day of school and the first day of “mind-molding” is so exciting to me! I’m glad I waited to pick my major because I know I’m headed in the right direction.  

College and the Quarter-Life: Starting the School Year Off on the Right Foot 101

With the start of a new school year comes a lot of possibilities and, sometimes, a lot of anxiety! You’ll fall into a comfortable routine before you know it and another wonderful school year will be under way! In the meantime, here are a few tips to start you off on the right foot! Let’s get excited for the commencement of what is sure to be another great school year!

1) Figure out how you will balance your social life with your academic responsibilities.

I think learning to find a balance is the greatest difficulty college students face with the onset of a new semester. Of course, being social and staying on the ball with schoolwork are both very important. However, what’s more important than either of those collegiate necessities, is figuring out how managing to do both will work for you.

2) Be health conscious.

Caring for yourself and your well-being is of the utmost importance. Eating right, exercising, and catching enough zzz’s are necessities that you need to be able to fit into your schedule. If you aren’t staying healthy, than all of the other elements of your life will fall by the wayside, which of course, will certainly not help you to start the school year off on the right foot.

3) Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey!

Hitting the snooze button is so easy and so tempting, but I assure you, getting up and out will be a huge stress reliever. Missing class will not help you adjust to your new school year routine! Also, you’ll find that waking up early will give you so much more time, which will certainly cut down on the rush and stress many people feel at the beginning of a new school year.

4) Organization is key!

Being organized will keep you free of stress and will help you to avoid the new school year frenzy that many students experience. Buy a planner and become an avid note-taker. Write down everything from social engagements to due dates on assignments. Also, buy folders and notebooks and store them in a specific place so that you fall into a routine of keeping your school supplies organized and accessible.

5) Be positive!

The start of a new school year is the start of a year that holds so many opportunities and possibilities! Expect to make new friends, have new experiences, succeed academically, fall into a comfortable routine, get healthy, and reach new heights! There’s so much in store and so much to be excited for!

How do you plan to start the school year off on the right foot?

Heaven on a Plate

Have you ever had one of those meals that was so delicious that you literally thought you were in love at first bite? Well, I hope you’ve had the pleasure because this “falling in love with my food” situation recently happened to me and, holy cow, I thought I was in food heaven.

I recently planned a day trip to Miami with a couple of my girlfriends and one of them, who happened to know the area quite well, said she had to take us to this chic espresso bar for lunch. She said it was called Aroma. I almost stopped dead in my tracks. (I have to put in this small tidbit: Most of my friends would call me enthusiastic and quite excitable.) This tidbit applies here because when I heard that we were going to the Aroma Espresso Bar I thought I might just keel over with excitement. I had been to Aroma a few times when I had spent some time in Israel, but I thought that Aroma was only located in Israel. I had no idea that they had any locations in America (I’ve now learned they have four American locations- three in New York and the one I went to in Miami.).

This was the best meal. Ever. I had a combo meal. Half of my lunch was a goat cheese, tomato, and basil sandwich on a thick piece of whole wheat bread. The other half of my meal was a sweet potato and lentil salad with a lemon vinaigrette. Seriously, this meal was heaven on a plate. Alongside that hefty meal, I ordered an Ice Aroma. An Ice Aroma is kind of like a coffee smoothie, but it has such a rich taste and creamy texture. They serve it with a little chocolate on the lid and truly, this drink was I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E! Best. Meal. Ever.

When I went to Aroma in Israel, I loved the food, but I was so concerned that I wouldn’t be able to have it again for such a long time because my trips to Israel are few and far between. Eating at Aroma was great in more ways than one. I, of course, loved the food, but eating there also brought back a flood of memories from my time in Israel- memories I hold very dear. As soon as I stepped into the beautiful, large, chic, minimalistic and familiar espresso bar, I was greeted with so many memories and the anticipation of biting into the food I loved while I was overseas.

This meal was the start to an awesome day in Miami. My girlfriends and I ate, shopped, and sunbathed! What a perfect day. It really couldn’t have gotten much better than that!

What’s your perfect meal? Does it bring back memories for you?

What’s Old (Should Be) New Again

Many words in the English language have, unfortunately, become obsolete. I truly believe that each word was formed with specific intent and, therefore, deserves respect. Despite, the intricacy and significance of each word in our language, many of our valuable words seem to have fallen into extinction. In protest, I’ve decided to compile a list of words that are no longer used, but should be. My plan is to experiment with these words and to try to work them into my vocabulary. Let’s make these old words new again!

1)   DefCon 1-5: DefCon is an alert status, signifying danger. Defcon status is ranked 1-5; 5 signifying peacetime and 1 signifying attack!

Duck for cover. We’re in defcon 1!

 

2)   Make haste: To act swiftly

Let’s make haste through the airport or we might miss our flight!

 

3)   Jollux: A fat person.

His sweet tooth has made him a Jollux.

 

4)   Ludibrious: A person apt to be the butt of jokes

He’s so ludibrious that I couldn’t resist the opportunity to joke with him!

 

5)   Guffaw: A loud and boisterous laugh

She guffawed at the comedic movie.

 

6)   Cantankerous: Argumentative, uncooperative

Her cantankerous personality makes her very difficult to work with.

 

7)   Nudiustertian: The Day before yesterday.

I was at the doctor nudiustertian and I’m healthy as a horse!

 

8)   Please and Thank you: Words expressing gratitude and appreciation.  (Okay, I’m being facetious here, but, sadly, manners seem to have fallen by the wayside in this generation, so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to mention it here!)

 

Are there any unusual words in your vocabulary?