This tag is associated with 7 posts

Changing Education Paradigms

Yes! Yes! Yes! I love RSA films. I may be happy to be in college right now, but part of that is because I see it for what it is and can better navigate my way around. We need quality education so desperately but it’s in the shitter and taking its sweet ass time reforming.


The Fall ’10 Semester is Officially Over!

I did it! I am a straight A student. I don’t think I’ve been a straight A student since elementary or middle school. It wasn’t something I cared to achieve or saw much value in since I’ve always had good grades anyways. Now that I am trying to make myself attractive to a four year university and also trying to extrapolate what’s actually worth learning in the curriculum, I do care.

After a three year break from college, followed by a mis-directed return for one semester, and another four year break, I am quite proud of myself for finally getting it all together. Although, I shouldn’t say finally as I feel this is just the right time for me. The experiences I’ve had while not in school have allowed me to find my way to a true education, not just a degree. What I’ve learned outside of the classroom has enriched and directed my current choices of study in a way that couldn’t have existed had I followed the traditional path. I’m happy that this is the way it’s going for me. I don’t envy the usual timeline of others.

I actually took my last final exam Tuesday at 8:00am, but I felt I had to wait until all my final grades were in and I could confirm those four determined A’s were on my record. After fretting all day yesterday for my History teacher to post my final exam grade, I got my validation. Even though my A in Intermediate Algebra didn’t count towards my GPA, it did enable me to skip College Algebra and go straight into Trig. Still, my GPA is now up enough to apply to UT Austin (I’d done some damage to it 10 years ago) and that is one of my top priorities over this winter break.

On Tuesday after I finished my Algebra final, I rushed over to another campus for a meeting with the Chancellor. The invite was a benefit for joining clubs such as the Honor Society and Student Ambassadors, despite the fact that I wasn’t really active in either. I was very excited for the opportunity as I have been planning to send the Chancellor an audit or appraisal of my college over the break. I hadn’t anticipated an opportunity to personally deliver the message.

For almost two hours myself and five other students sat with the Chancellor and aired our grievances. It was a positive environment where we were well received and our thoughts and concerns were taken seriously and responded to with honesty and thoughtfulness. We were asked not just our names, but our history with the school, our majors and plans for the future. While I have some serious public speaking nerves, once I warmed up and felt comfortable I chimed in quite a lot. But then I did come with a 7 page document I rushed to hammer out the night before- including a chart of particular importance. Once I get going, I can really go. :)

The Chancellor expressed how impressed she was with us and hopes to secure seats for us to bring our concerns and ideas to the district at a meeting next month. I would love to do that! I also was invited to take over presidency for the Student Environmental Club, an offer I happily accept.

I will be making a series of videos on what I brought up at the meeting. I want to really drive home my concerns and elaborate on the ideas as I wasn’t able to do in sharing the floor with other students in a limited amount of time. Once done, I really think others could benefit from seeing it. Maybe it will encourage other students to seriously address their school administrators.

If there’s one thing from that meeting that was of particular value to me, it was affirmation that it is a students obligation to themselves and the academic community at large to play an active role in your schools operations. You do not and should not just sit back and let things happen to and around you – get involved! You a have more power than you may realize, and there are surely those in administration who want to hear from you. In other words, be a leader, not just a follower. Sometimes you’re the student, and sometimes you are the teacher as well.

While the semester may be over, I am no less busy. I have a show this Sunday to get ready for, a bright, shining UT Austin application to assemble, a house to prepare for market, some top secret activities to plan, and oh yes, algebra review and trigonometry preparation. And there’s still more where all that came from – busy, busy.

I must say that despite it being very clear to me that college is not the institution of brilliance that it would like to be seen for, it feels great to be succeeding in that environment. I have the motivation, direction and clarity that I lacked in the past and it has made all the difference. I’ve registered my classes for next semester and I’m so excited for 2011 – I hope school continues to be a success for me and you as well!

It’s Time to Change: Education

I’ve been trying to get my video logs (or vlogs) going & have recorded three so far, but dammit if it isn’t hard as hell! I’m not totally happy with any of them and am starting to feel that this isn’t going to be the easy-breezy-sit-down-and-do-a-vlog-real-quick thing I was hoping for. So, here’s a video that is completed and well assembled. :)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

It’s Time to Change: Education, posted with vodpod


Quote: Education

❝ Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one. ❞

– Malcolm S. Forbes

Memorizing Vocabulary And Languages

I’m having difficulty in French right now (despite testing out with two 97’s and a 105 on my oral- I accept my overachiever status). I do not understand my teacher, nor do I “vibe” with her. She is a native English speaker, but the way in which she communicates is somewhat of an enigma to me. I feel I must keep a safe distance. I have learned to ask as few questions as possible and now sit at the back of the class (along with skipping, something I don’t really do in my other classes). I do not like this, as I have been very excited to learn French and have been pretending to speak it since I was a kid.

I have realized I could undoubtedly teach myself French using a book and the internet, her involvement is quite unnecessary. I find this offensive; I get the book and just have to work through it and memorize vocabulary with little to no guidance or support (at a pace that does is not conducive to long term retention or comprehension without sufficient training in such methods)- that is NOT teaching. Class is reserved for games I learn very little from (despite my teachers enthusiasm towards them for language building), and quizzes.

Well teach, just because you said didn’t mean I learned it, and the same goes for things I read (I have a great post in the works on that topic). I’m learning to take the initiative and fill in the gaps (sooo many gaps) in my education and googled the best way to memorize vocabulary. I found this video helpful. And, I am getting some tutoring today at a different campus with a different teacher.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Memorizing Vocabulary And Languages, posted with vodpod

Education: Scrutiny is Necessary

Tweeted by SocietyAnew on twitter:

“Today most education is designed as propaganda rather than information about the physical laws that govern all living & non-living systems.”

That statement captures a meaningful part of the issues I’ve had with our educational systems since I was a teenager. You cannot just accept what they put in front of you. You must scrutinize pretty much everything, but who wants to do that?

I used to think it was my job to go in there, take my brain out, lay in on the desktop and say “Fill ‘er up!”. I got the message that I was the one in need of surrender to become a fulfilled human being- although I never really accepted that idea. Still, I didn’t exactly understand the extent to which it was necessary for me to be an active intermediary between the information being presented and my accepting, or rejecting, of it.

Screening is necessary. It’s a huge task and one that can easily overwhelm me, but I fight the laziness and remember that I claim my right to choose and direct my conditioning to the greatest extent possible. I don’t have to know everything to make intelligent choices for myself. Being in college is a good choice for me right now, but I am not sitting back allowing them to fill me with whatever. I am watching and evaluating the quality of content they provide, and I acknowledge my ability to self-teach and be a teacher while still learning.

We should all constantly remain in a state of learning and re-learning as information is always growing and changing. When faced with questioning the authenticity of information I’m supposed to learn or believe, I find it useful to consider the agenda and the source. Where did this information come from? Who is responsible for it? What is the agenda in getting me to accept this?

I wouldn’t stress out trying to run every micro-bit of info through 160 questions, but stay alert and scrutinize intelligently. Happy learning!

Back to School: Part II

University of Texas at Austin wordmark.

Image via Wikipedia

Whoah. Shit got real, real fast. I finally sat down and picked up my college research again and with lightening speed things are taking shape. It’s surreal to me how my understanding of college has just ‘clicked’ this year; I just get it now. And what I don’t get at first, I quickly figure out. The past two weeks I figured out that I will be going back to school- this Fall! I was maybe a bit short-sighted on this one due to being consumed by burlesque, but I definitely wasn’t expecting to get back on the horse so soon. I mean, while I researched my ass off in February I only did it for about a month. I would say that one month and the two weeks I’ve been back at it is crazy fast to have this much figured out.

My initial research had me thinking that I would be attending a 5 year B.Arch degree program. Scratch that. I settled on the “4+2” (definition below) that I was so sure wasn’t for me. Why? Well, despite the 5 year being concentrated study it does not result in a Masters degree in most schools; apparently this is changing but it’s not there yet. Of course the four-two does and I like that. Also, I wanted to have a minor and take classes in a variety of subjects and the natural breaking point after gaining my bachelors appealed to me. However, all this is secondary since I’m a transfer student and as I understand it means I’m ineligible for that path, which does make since to me.

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