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Two-way immersion programs in America?

Questions:

  • How awesome would it be for globalization if every American school was a two-way immersion program?
  • The ratio should be about 50% Spanish, 25% European languages, and 25% Asian languages. That might need to be tweaked, depending on the needs dictated by the economy and future predictions of trade.
  • What would it take to implement such a thing?
  • How many new teachers with L2 proficiency would need to be found, trained, and placed?
  • How would hard-headed, stubborn American parents take to such an idea?
  • What would the future benefits be? Are they even measurable?
  • How many years would it take to completely implement this plan?
  • How much money would it take from the government?
  • Would private corporations be willing to financially support this plan as well? After all, the goal is to facilitate international business and trade.
  • Would teaching every American student two languages from Kindergarten on increase scores across the board in education?
  • How would this affect special-needs students?

Stress, BBBY thoughts; posting?

Man, I have to find a way to deal with all of this stress. Either I am getting worse at dealing with my stress, or I have more than I am used to dealing with.

Have you thought about what blogs have done to interpersonal, face-to-face communication? I can’t tell you how many times since my friends and I started blogging that I have said, “Yeah! I know! I read about it on your Xanga!” Why can’t I just shut up and hear how she tells the story in person? I don’t know either, but I think I’ll try that for a while.

~*~

Here is how I see the future:

three moves

two moves

What will happen with Rob’s jobs (hee hee–that rhymes!) in those moves

~*~

Is anyone else noticing that I am posting more during the time when I have the most to do? Can we say, “Procrastination and Distraction”?! Great. Just what I needed to lose my grasp on! I was doing well on avoiding these dangerous vipers, but unfortunately, I just can’t seem to shake ‘em. Grrrr.

Some things should not be shrouded in words that are too small to fit them

In the quiet, dark moments, when it’s just me and him, we are one soul. We are together in eternity in just one moment. Warmth, love, friendship, understanding, peace, excitement, and passion flow back and forth between us, through our skin and our soul.

Nothing like it is tangible on this earth.

That feeling… complete, deep, utter comfort, security, safety, and companionship, with silvery petals and sky blue songs meant for only us, envelopment in something bigger than yourself that feels rose petal soft against my skin and warmly moist in my lungs, jumping soaring slowly through the air like you are in a dream or else on the moon and feeling giddy like a child who is bursting with nervous excitement for the first day of school, with her new backpack full of newly sharpened #2s and fresh, aqua-lined spirals, and a sweet Lisa Frank trapper keeper, windows waving slowly in the wind of a warm June late afternoon breeze, moonlit walks around the neighborhood hand in hand, and emotional violin music that brings tears to the corner of eyes that look with blind curiosity upon the world around them….

Have you been there? Isn’t that what the meaning of life is? Two souls that communicate on a level that doesn’t require words–only glances and slight muscle movement to convey an entire conversation. It doesn’t have to be the passionate relationship between a man and his wife, but the loving, safe friendship of two people who connect in a place that they cannot themselves fully define, a place that isn’t palpable to Reason, but the soul knows it well.

How thankful I am for the friends I have that I connect with on such a deep level that words are not needed all the time. Spending time together isn’t vital for us to remain closer than ever. I live because I have special people who care for me and love me and remember me. Even if every single one of them rejected me, I think I would survive on the memories.

Hmm… getting philosophical as the clock ticks nearer to the sunrise.

Why must we try to fit words onto thing that exist in a different dimension than words do?

Serious Case of Writer’s Block

Wow. I officially have the worst case of writer’s block that I have ever, *EVER* had. I have about 26 pages to write, and I have, at this precise moment, 5 pages written. And those 5 pages are very rough. I have been telling my students all semester that the best way to overcome writer’s block is just to start typing, to get any part of the ideas floating around in your head down on paper, so I thought it best if I take my own advice. That advice was based wholly on Peter Elbow’s article that opened my eyes to the ephemeral quality of writing that must be exploited for writers. The idea is that the paper can be a vessel (it is in my mind, much like Dumbledore’s pensieve, if you are familiar with the Harry Potter series–if you aren’t don’t tell me that. I’m an HP freak.) to hold ideas. As the paper holds those ideas, your mind is free to see connections in them and the other thoughts floating around in your head that you could not grasp onto when the ideas that you previously had in your head and are now on paper were using up your brain’s processing power.

I don’t know if that makes sense to even myself. I got a little lost in the analogies there towards the end. You know, I actually got defensive while having lunch with MEH the other day! She said that she has another friend who is more of a HP fanatic than I am. I haven’t read the books (at least 1-4) six times through, front cover to back, to be ousted as the largest fan that anyone knows. (I have read #5 three times now, and poor #6 only once (in my defense, a friend borrowed it about three weeks after it was released and hasn’t returned it, so even IF I didn’t have 26 gazillion pages to write, I couldn’t read it if I wanted to.) *sigh* It is very possible that Mario (or was it Luigi?) actually is a bigger HP fan than I am, but I just cannot admit it without a show down at high noon! This is serious stuff, folks!

Some of my fellow TAs have 2 1/2 times the number of pages to write that I do, and they are working ever so diligently. I, however, am blocked. I think partially because I am insecure about my topic and unsure as to whether or not it will be sufficient for the assignment, but also partially because I am easily distracted whenever I sit down at the computer. Ack. I must pull myself together! Any suggestions are welcome.



With that in mind, I will put some quotes from the article that I am basing my 620 paper on, Peter Elbow’s “The Shifting Relationships Between Speech and Writing.” I’m trying to apply Elbow’s ideas (which were meant for a native English speaking composition classroom) to an ESL classroom. (N.b. All emphasis is Elbow’s.)

“It feels very different to put down words not as commitment but as trial, or as Barthes and some of the deconstructionists say, jouissance, or the free play of language and consciousness. Thinking is enriched. Writing in this mode can produce an immersion in discourse itself that doesn’t occur when we sit and think–an immersion in language that can entice us into ideas and perceptions we could not get by planning. (287)

“Exploring the ephemeral quality of writing is often a matter of exploiting chaos and incoherence.
(287)

“Most people stop writing and don’t resume writing till they have figured out what they want to say. This feels like a reasonable and normal way to behave, but notice the assumption it reveals: that the function of writing is to record what we have already decided–not to figure out whether we believe it. If we were speaking, we would be much more likely to speak the train of thought as it comes to mind even thought we’re not sure of our final opinion–as a way of making up our minds. It is almost as thought we fear, as we write, that someone might at any moment swoop down and read what we have just written and see that it is
rubbish. (287)



Elbow, Peter. “The Shifting Relationships between Speech and Writing.” College Composition and Communication. 36 (1985): 283-303. MLA International Bibliography. EBSCOhost. 20 Oct 2005. .



Marriage Thoughts: Cleaning as a Skill that Must be Learned during Your Childhood

I never learned one important aspect of being a wife: effectively cleaning. Thankfully my husband knows how, and even more thankfully, he is patient with me as I learn this skill.

He thinks (and probably you do too) that cleaning is simple. Here’s his method: you pick something up, you put it where it belongs. Most of the time, it belongs in the trash, all of it. Continue doing this until the pile is gone.

Here’s my method. Pick something up. Thumb through it before trashing it to make sure that there isn’t anything in it valuable (either as a memento or like a recipe, free offer, or coupon). Find scissors to cut out the memento, recipe, free offer, or coupon. Scissors are by the computer. Check email real quick. Check friend’s blog. Check online banking. Remember that I was cleaning up that pile on the kitchen table. Go back to pile, pick up same item. Remember what it was I wanted to save. Cut it out, file it, and throw the rest away. Pick up second item. Repeat. Result: a pile of coupons, a pile of mementos, a pile of free offers, and a trash pile. Must organize resulting piles, which multiplied from the first pile. I tell you, these piles are asexual reproducers; you only need one pile to spawn two, three, or more piles!

*sigh* I’ll get there some day!!

Tired and a bit depressed…

I’m tired (ran 3 mi. today and lifted weights), a little depressed (not sure why), and the school work just keeps piling up higher and higher.

My strategy? I structured my classes (the ones that I’m teaching) so that I don’t really have a lot of class prep to do. For instance, tomorrow my students are workshopping their theses. That means all that I really had to do for tomorrow is make up the peer workshop sheet and not forget to bring some annotated bibliographies to class to grade while they work on their peer workshopping.

I am really glad that I don’t have anything left to do for tomorrow (except make copies of aforementioned peer workshop sheets), because I have a “microteaching” lesson to plan for tomorrow. I have yet to write the paper stating the theoretical background to my microteaching and the detailed lecture plan. Looks like it’s going to be another late night…

And that’s fine, because I have decided that I am not setting an alarm clock Wednesday morning. It is Thanksgiving break, and I have decided that I am actually going to take a break. Usually, if I “don’t have anything to do” (translation: no where to be specifically–like class–but plenty to do–like grading or my own homework), I set my alarm clock for some time relatively early (8 or 9). That way, I get up at a decent hour. But I decided that I deserve to sleep as long as I can Wednesday: I am starting to get sick, and the only way to fight it off is by sleeping! Wahoo! Something to look forward to!

SilverJewelryClub.com… CHECK IT OUT!

You have totally got to check this website out. http://www.silverjewelryclub.com! I have bought, oh, I don’t know exactly… let’s just say more than I have should have! I am really impressed with the quality, and that was the biggest thing I was worried about. If you are unsure, just ask me–I will probably be wearing something I bought there, and you can see for yourself.

It’s a great deal, and they have unique designs… you really should check them out!!!

New furniture!

We bought living room furniture Sunday! We bought a reclining couch and love seat, and a coffee table and end table! I am so excited, because we have this crappy old sofa (it’s really comfortable, but it’s pretty yucky looking) and a futon. In six to eight weeks, we will have brand spankin’ new comfy black leather reclinable seating in our living room!!!

I have most definitely gotten better at waiting for things like this. I remember just NOT being able to wait to move. Last Christmas, Rob bought me a beautiful diamond ring (which I promptly lost/broke whatever you want to call it–I don’t talk about it anymore), and I COULD NOT WAIT to get it; I wanted to see it–just look at it–all the time, but Robbie wouldn’t let me. He made me wait until we opened Christmas presents–and it nearly drove me crazy waiting! As soon as we had decided on moving into this apartment complex, I could barely contain myself waiting. But now I am calm about the furniture. Perhaps because it isn’t as exciting as a diamond ring or getting out of a white trash neighborhood….

Another reason why I don’t have as much energy to spend on being excited about spending almost $X,000 in one day is that I have so much else that demands my attention! I have three papers and a presentation to prepare for, plus class prep for two classes a week and the grading that goes along with those classes, and “time is tickin, it keeps on tickin, yeah, time is tickin away!” (Sorry, old DC Talk reference…). Somewhere in all of that, I am supposed to be a wife and a friend. And a daughter and a sister, and other familial relations. It’s enough to drive a girl crazy. But I must be an organized productive girl. Which is why I must stop wasting time talking to this blog at a quarter until 1 in the AM and get to work!

Rain, rain, DON’T go away!

I am sitting here, working on my seminar paper proposal, and it just started raining outside! I heard the distant rumblings of thunder first, and opened the window to hear them better. Now it is pouring outside, and I can smell the fresh clean smell of the rain and hear the thunder and pitter-patter of the big fat raindrops on the grass and sidewalk. Beautiful!

GRADING GRADING GRADING

I stayed up *really* late Wednesday night to get all caught up with my grading, but I wasn’t really getting caught up because my students just turned in another assignment Tuesday. So I still have stacks of papers to grade! It’s endless!