I always kept telling myself that I should do another blog post, but I kept putting it off. One of my goals for the new year is to contribute more content and...I'm already 14 days late on that promise. But, hey, you have to start somewhere.
Some of the things I've done since I've last written have already been covered by my sister (Thanksgiving, Christmas, some random tidbits in our lives (Thanks, Jess, now I have nothing to say! =/)). So, let's just start with what I'm personally doing.
JTerm here on campus (also known as January Term) is established so that during the month of January, you don't have the pressures of the beginning of the semester with five classes, clubs, sports, extra curricular activities, etc on your plate. You, essentially, have all of JTerm off. But, you either spend that time doing an internship, studying abroad, taking a class (which is pass/fail) or doing independent study. (If there are any other options, I don't know about them.)
JTerm was specifically designed for students to try their hand at internships and a lot of students do go ahead and do those, as well as study abroad. It takes a little bit to get used to how much quieter the campus is, but it's great that you aren't constantly vying for "prime parking" on campus since there aren't a lot of cars there, and for those that are leaving their cars on campus, they have to park in Siberia (the only parking lot that's waaaaaaay farther from campus than any others. Trust me, you don't want to park there, especially if your class is on the other side of campus).
I'm doing independent study this month for my senior project/recital. My topic is culminating all the percussion instruments I've learned to play over the years (as well as the different styles of music such as samba, latin, jazz, rock, etc) and chronicling the women's roles with the instruments from their countries of origins as they traveled to the United States, as well as touching women's roles with percussion now.
This weekend we're going snow tubing and ice skating. I've gone ice skating a handful of times, and once even had a pretty fun ice skating date too, but I've never gone snow tubing. At the place we're going, you can also snowboard and ski. I don't know if we'll be allowed to try it while we're there but if we can, I want to try snowboarding. I always thought it looked like fun.
Other than that, school is school.
On another note, I had recently found a new band that Jess and I absolutely love. They're a christian-rock band by the name of Skillet. Don't let the genre fool you, they're pretty great. I had found the band by looking through videos on youtube and stumbled across a video taking clips from various TV shows (I think they were mostly soap operas) to highlight the emphasis of the lyrics to this song called Hero.
What caught my attention with this song first was that they had a woman featured on the track to work with the male lead singer. Their voices mixed perfectly, but it was a bit startling to hear on this kind of song. After that, i went to find more songs by the band with the woman singing and to find out who she is. Upon further investigation I found out that her name is Jen Ledger and not only does she sing for the band, but she's also the drummer. I showed the video to Jess mainly for the song and kept sending her more and more videos of Skillet and we both instantly liked the band. (Personally, they've pretty much been the only band I've been listening to lately).
I hope everyone had happy holidays and the new year started out well for you.
PS: Some Skillet videos below.
This was originally an essay for my Education class I'm taking this semester and it's also a question I've received a lot since deciding that I wanted to teach. After graduating, at the end of this year's spring term, I hope to attend George Mason University to study Music Education.
As Albert Einstein said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” Teachers are not people who are stuck in school for eight hours, trying to weigh students down with homework projects. They are there to teach new things, to try and broaden students’ horizons, to help achieve his or her dreams by mentoring through their own experiences and advice, and to be a support system away from home.
One could argue that being a teacher is a tough profession; having to accept and adapt to different walks of life and different ways students interact with each other in the classroom is a challenge of itself. It is a teacher’s job to bring out a passion in their students to learn new things that they would not know they like. With that new passion a student grows and turns into a new person.
A teacher is not around just to sit in a classroom and to give students information, homework, and tests. They are also there to give advice and to offer a student help in obtaining the dream he or she wants to reach through their own personal experiences and advice. In high school, my mentor was my band teacher, Mr. Titus. I had explained to him that after sitting in his band class for three years as a percussionist, and in turn, becoming more passionate about music, teaching was what I wanted to do with my life. He helped guide me through creating lesson plans, learning how to play new instruments, as well as assistant-teaching the after school 5th grade band program. I became his right hand man; helping him around his office and in the band room. This allowed me to learn with hands on experience as to what being a teacher entailed and the hard work that’s put into it. Through this, he offered me advice on audition pieces for college and university, what bands and composers to research, and more; something I never would have done by myself.
Teachers have the ability to support their students, to help them feel like they have someone looking out for them and to lend a listening ear when no one else will. With keeping the lines of communication open, they are able to connect with students on a more personal level to share frustrations and obstacles that they are keeping inside. Teachers have more life experience that they can relate to their students to help them solve any problem or to just give friendly advice. Sometimes just sitting and listening goes a long way.
Though my original intent of being a teacher was the satisfaction of knowing that I can teach someone something new, through my own experiences I have found that teaching is not just what a teacher does. A teacher mentors you into creating those goals you set out for yourself and is there to support you when it feels like no one else will. Regardless of how one personally feels about teachers whether they be good or bad, teachers make a huge impact on the young, impressionable minds that sit before them in the classroom and I hope to do the same one day.
-August 17th 2013 - is the 20th anniversary of Nickelodeon's 2 hour block SNICK (Saturday Night Nick)
-March 2013- is the 14th anniversary of Digimon
-April 1st 2014 - is the 17th anniversary of Pokemon (18th anniversary of the Pokemon game in February)
-August 28, 2013 - is the 20th anniversary of Power Rangers
-August 26th 2013- is the 10th anniversray of Hilary Duff's album, Metamorphosis.
My sense of nostalgia really all started back in July while I was working at a music camp. The kids I was watching during their snack time had Pokemon cards. Two of them were playing a hand clapping game called "Concentration" and one of the kids, Ethan, was having a hard time pronouncing "Flareon." I was partly paying attention and turned towards him and asked, "Are you trying to say, 'Flareon'?" This prompted another kid, Zane, to come up ad ask me, "You know Pokemon?" I never felt old until I answered, "Yes, I do. Pokemon came out when I was 5," and he had the most shocked look on his face.
I don't know any of the new Pokemon seasons, I probably know the first 300 and a handful of others, so I decided to try and get into a conversation with them, tell them what I know, and ask to learn about others I didn't. This lead to them for the rest of the week to constantly seek me out just to start up a conversation about Pokemon and for them to continually beg and plead for me to bring my Pokemon cards to work with me to battle them, trade, and look at them during their break. Let's face it, they have the newer and shiny cards, and mine were "old" and "rare." (I never got a holographic Charizard or anything like that, but I do love my holo Raichu."
More and more whenever an anniversary comes up, I stop and think, 'There was no way this came out when I was x-years old!' But, it's been bringing me back a lot of good memories. With both of my brothers heading out to California, and moving even farther away, making it harder to see them during the year, I think about our time as kids a lot and wonder, 'How would our relationship be if I talked to them more?', or 'Why don't they ever really want to stick around and hang out with me?' I love them to death, but sometimes, I think I could've done something more to be closer to them, but looking back at old pictures this past weekend at my grandparents house when we were all younger, looking like we were having such great times hanging out together, I want to hear more about how they were with us when we were kids since all I really remember is fighting with Phillip (because he's three years old than me), and barely seeing Justin (because he's six years older than me).
But, Phillip was the one that got me into video games and Pokemon and would tell us what games to check out and which to stay away from, and the one that would make up games over the summer to keep us entertained. I don't know when we stopped fighting, but I have to thank him for tolerating the four of us even we probably annoyed him so much he wanted to pull out his hair. And Justin was the one that got me into sports. Yes, I have complained over the years about always going to his games and stuff, but that was mainly because I could always go to his, but he could never come to mine since he was so busy. But, I was always proud and excited to see him in soccer, basketball, and lacrosse games. To be able to say, "That's my brother" to someone after he got his 1,000th point game in basketball was pretty cool. And in those little occasions where he could see me play soccer or run in a cross country race, made me want to work that much harder and to impress him like he impressed me. Both of my brothers were popular in school (I like to think so anyway, I don't know what they would say) so it always made me feel good whenever they would acknowledge me at school whenever I shouted a "Hi" at them. (I apologize if I embarrassed you.)
Turning 21 in less than a month, is weird for me to actually accept...not because I don't want to be 21, but because I don't feel like I look it. I have SO MANY PEOPLE who ask me how old I am and when I tell them, they get incredibly shocked and say, "You don't look any older than 13 (15 and 16 are interchangeable). I still get carded at the mall around here because of how young I look. Sometimes it's annoying, but like most things in life, I can laugh at it.
I can fondly look back on my memories and thank my mom and dad, and my brothers, and the rest of my family and friends for giving me a great life and great memories. I can't wait to see what the future has in store for, not only me, but for my sisters as well. (Nostalgia with them is a whole other post).