Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Graduation 2014: I did it!

Graduation Ceremony 2014

Commencement (Photo credit: William Colburn)

Looking back at these last two years, I’ve overcome some obstacles, but I do have a lot to be proud of. Though it was the sum of hard work rather than a story in itself, I did apply for and earn the technical communication scholarship all 2 out of 2 years that I’ve been here. I had a great internship experience. I’ve maintained multiple part-time jobs while earning high honors as a full-time student. What’s more, catching up after losing 3 weeks of school due to an injury that required surgery while planning a wedding pushed me to grow in time management. Despite the challenges, I set a goal to earn a second BS in 2 years and I did it!

Outside of classes, there were some experiences that I’m glad I added this time around. When I was studying chemical engineering, I was very busy and focused. I wanted to graduate in 4 years and move on to the next thing. This time, studying technical communication, I was still focused, but I wanted to get the most out of my classes and work on people and leadership skills. I might have been able to get a second BS in less than 2 years because nearly all my core requirements counted, but then I would have lived a much less balanced life and I probably would have been set back when the unexpected happened. (I was not expecting to be getting surgery the same day as job fair during my last semester.) I’m really glad I decided to challenge myself to learn more people and leadership skills as a Resident Assistant. I’m an introvert, but I was able to use extrovert skills when required.

I’ve come a long way in 2 years. I thought I had a good start in visual and verbal communication, but my work has gotten much more professional. I got interested in web design and was able to explore that interest in Visual Communication (TC 151), Web Design (TC 351), and my Senior Thesis (TC 422) project. Studying technical communication challenged me in different ways than chemical engineering did. I got a strong foundation in math and science studying chemical engineering and I learned more ways to express these ideas in technical communication. I’m happy to have degrees in both of my passions.

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Spring 2014 Course Schedule

For my last semester working on my BS in technical communication, I’m taking:

  • Food & Culture (Anth 302)
  • CPR & First Aid
  • Painting in Acrylics
  • Intro to Digital Photography
  • Beginning Belly Dance
  • Senior Thesis (TC 422)
  • Special Topics in Science Writing (TC 491)

Fall 2013 Course Schedule

This semester, I’m taking

  • Pilates Matwork
  • Massage I
  • Intermediate Yoga
  • Elementary Spanish II (Span 114)
  • Internship (TC 321)
  • Senior Seminar (TC 420)

Spring 2013 Textbooks

Media Studies (TC 211)
Media Essentials

Professional Writing Workshop (TC 421)
Grant Seeking In Electronic Age

Spanish (SPAN 113)
Dimelo Tu!
Dimelo Tu! Workbook

Why are textbooks so expensive?!?

1/15/2013:
Web Design (TC 351)
Digital Design for Print and Web

Online Teaching Portfolio Design

teaching portfolio thumbnail

After reading Road to Teaching, I got the idea to get my teaching portfolio together. In the book, Hougan suggests aspiring teachers include:¬†cover letter, belief and philosophy statement, observation reflections, resume, professional reflections, and an annotated reading list. I already had most of the content from a year of teaching and two years of taking teaching classes online. Over the past week, I’ve been compiling, rewriting, and working on formatting.

Design restraints include limiting myself to free WordPress themes, but even though there’s not much you can customize, there’s a lot you can do with widgets and knowledge of HTML. I looked for examples of what to include in online teaching portfolios and clean designs. The theme I chose was Skeptical by WooThemes. I liked the simple design and default color scheme, the space in the sidebar and four footers for widgets was a bonus. My only criticism of the theme is that the difference between regular text (gray) and links (black) was too subtle, but I made the difference more apparent with underlining.

One widget that I discovered but didn’t use was the one that lets you include an image, I ended up only including a personal photo in my about page, as you can see above.¬† I also included a search and pages widget in the sidebar. I played around with how to include an image gallery to showcase my classroom photos. Since they’re not all square and the same size, columns of thumbnails didn’t work for me, so I chose the slide show. I also figured out how to embed PDFs using Scribd. Some of the formatting from Word didn’t transfer to these pages well; consequently, I wanted to embed PDFs so the formatting would be intact.

Spring 2013 Course Schedule

For next semester, I look forward to taking:

  • Directed Teaching (EDUC 411)
  • Elementary Spanish (SPAN 113)
  • Community Service (TC 100)
  • Media Studies (TC 211)
  • Professional Writing Workshop (TC 421)
  • Web Design (TC 351)
  • Intro to Photoshop
  • Pilates Matwork

1-11-2013: I’m developing my Photoshop skills with practice, reading, and tutorials so I decided to take Comic Drawing instead.

Top 5 Test Prep Tips for Finals

It’s final exam week at my university, so I thought now would be an appropriate time to share some useful study tips to help students prepare for finals.

  1. S P A C E your study sessions. Ninety percent of students who space out their study sessions perform better on tests than those who don’t.
  2. Exercise. Getting blood flowing to your brain helps you focus on mental activities and absorb information.
  3. Sleep. When you get some sleep after studying, you’ll remember more.
  4. Eat a healthy breakfast. Your brain needs food to function properly and help you perform your best.
  5. Drink water. Your brain also needs an adequate amount water to function optimally. So sip some water before you feel thirsty.

Example:
Studying for 30 minutes per day for 6 days will be much more helpful to me than trying to study for three hours in one night. I’ve been getting some physical recreation throughout the semester, but I could also do a minute of jumping jacks or take a brisk walk right before my final exam. Naps help me recharge after studying dense material and all that exercise will help ensure I get a good night’s rest. My favorite breakfast is two eggs, hash browns with ketchup, and wheat toast with jam. If I’m in a rush, the least I can do is eat a serving of raisins on my way to my test. I’ll be sure to drink a glass of water too.

Resources:
How the Brain Learns
The Exam Cram: Why Stress Can Hurt Your Test Scores

Fall 2012 Course Schedule

This semester, I’m taking:

  • Orientation to Technical Communication (TC 101)
  • Visual Communication (TC 151)
  • Editing (TC 202)
  • Management and Organizational Behavior (MGT 330)
  • General Psychology
  • Fun with Poetry
  • Bicycle Mechanic
  • Early Morning Spinning