Education

I feel that one of the most valuable things that school could give a student at the time of the education (that is, while in school) is relevance and immediate applicability.

As we have been reading various books on utopias and dystopias in one of my classes this semester, so much of it all has become relevant in my life within a very short time of its initial introduction.  

The struggle one character has with God in this book, and how she finds change to be inevitable (and, therefore, God), applies to my life the week following my reading of it… I can relate to her struggle immediately, and then the change comes up in conversation and contemplation regarding my relationships with people in my life.

I think teachers, schools, curriculum planners aim to have books students read in school to be relevant to the students’ lives, but they often fall short of the mark… they miss the applicability of the ideas and actions somehow, and only assume that this specific struggle must be applicable to all students of this age… and it often isn’t.

From English class, we need concepts, ideas, brainstormed theories that we can learn to apply to any part of life…

For history class, a historical context would be only an enhancement of our understanding of what’s going on right now, what people are discussing from the news, and why it seems to matter so much… we hardly do more than regurgitate facts, and rarely know much about what they really were like or why it mattered to people who lived it (and therefore why it might matter to us).

I today was learning of a book about a man struggling in Russia, and, as I heard the details, I knew it was around the 1920s…, because of the Russian refugees in season four of “Downton Abbey”… there was a story in which I could invest myself, and ideas to which I could relate and from which I could draw my own ideas and conclusions, and the history just kind of stuck with the affinity for the people in the story…

I interested myself with the French Revolution recently, because I discovered the wonder of the film “The Scarlett Pimpernel”… and I remember details about the revolution because of how they connect with the story of the film and its characters.

The actual history became relevant and immediately applicable for me, because of my investment in the film.

The same is so with my investment in “Downton Abbey”.

How could I possibly relate to the Russian refugees or to the French upper class, when I merely read some statements of facts, names, locations, dates, and a summed-up given political meaning to it all?

I guess that’s why I remember just about nothing from my history classes in school…

Perhaps it everybody needs this kind of education, but everyone certainly could benefit greatly from it, I dare say.

You know what I mean?

Post-a-day 2019

Advertisements

Tax dollars…?

Just a quick thought here tonight:

I was thinking just yesterday, after I purchased my feminine hygiene products at the store, how I paid the standard 8.25% sales tax for Texas on the items.

I wondered briefly at how certain items (e.g. raw food items) are tax-free, and began to ask why feminine hygiene products weren’t tax-free.

And then it occurred to me that they needn’t be tax-free, because they are, in fact something people purchase, which is the whole point of sales tax, after all.

Therefore, since women can’t exactly avoid being women, which includes menstruation, and it is not acceptable by any means to walk around dropping blood all over the place in public, and women therefore need some sort of feminine hygiene items, would it not make sense that women have an ever so slightly higher vote as to what to do with those tax dollars they are paying?

There doesn’t seem to be anything that comes to mind for me that men have as necessity, at least that doesn’t balance out with a similar version for women (e.g. shaving)…, so the whole menstruation thing seems to stand alone with these extra tax dollars paid by women.

(For that matter, I guess pregnancy falls into it, too, but it can be avoided naturally and easily, whereas menstruation can’t, so it is kind of different… however, when the government wants the population to grow, it makes sense to have financial incentives [which, I think, are kind of in place here, but nowhere near the degree of other countries with their children-having people’s financial situations].)

Therefore, women ought to have a little extra sway in voting on how that money gets used by the government.

I know that isn’t really at all how things go, and I fully admit many flaws with the idea, but, in terms of sales tax alone, isn’t it a bit funny how this actually makes a tiny bit of sense, after all, despite how silly it is? 😛

Just a fun thought I had yesterday and today – hope you enjoy it!

Post-a-day 2019

Forward thinking

The problem with everything being automated, electronic, is that, as I have said many times before, when the power goes out, not only can you not see the toilet, but you can’t really use/flush the toilet, and you can’t even wash your hands afterward… which gets really terrible in a building filled with a thousand-ish high school girls…. even if the power is out for a short time.

But we live in Houston, Texas, where hurricanes take out power for days just about every year in the late summer and early fall.

Forward thinking, to me, doesn’t just mean going digital and automatic/electronic/whatever… it’s about actually thinking through things…

Post-a-day 2018

What’s your nerd field?

Today, my cousin compared my lesson planning talk with that of her brother’s talk about trees.  You see, he, her brother (and my cousin), got really into trees, and studied forestry at Stephen F. Austin State University, in Nacogdoches, Texas.  He used to talk about toy cars and action figures, and even eventually video games, too, like a little nerdy kid who is somewhat obsessed and awed by the specific toys and all that they can do/represent, as well as all of their background information.  You couldn’t really get him to shut up about the toys when he was little, or the video games when he was around high school aged.  In college, this talk turned to being about trees.  He even named his dog after “his favorite tree species”.

So, now, fast forward to today.  My cousin, the forestry cousin’s older sister, said to me that my teacher talk about lesson ideas and planning lessons – and this is about any topic, be it actual foreign language teacher, which I actually did for high schools, or dance lessons, or my art & yoga classes, or whatever teaching opportunity I might have – reminds her exactly of her brother and his tree talk.

Does that not say something distinct and pointed about me and teaching?  😛  Clearly I like it.  (I also happen to be very good at it, it turns out.  Total blessing, and I am incredibly grateful for it.)

‘Okay, but I’m not going to get a dog and name it Lesson Plan,’ I laughingly retort.
After a slight pause for inhale, she replies, ‘Hannah…, I could see you coming up with a more creative and better way to name the dog Lesson Plan.’
‘You say that…’
‘Oh, did you think I was joking?  Because…’
‘No.  You say that, and I know that you aren’t joking.’

I was just worried that I really might be that nerdy about it, because I could totally see myself doing something that silly somewhere down the road.  😛

Post-a-day 2018

Free/Me Time…?

My cousin wants me to start work on this work-out plan, with a very unique tie into a specialty of mine.  The idea itself sounds like something totally awesome not only to create, but also to use once it is created.  The task, though, feels almost daunting right now, in the midst of my minimal free/me time.  I hardly get enough sleep to function decently right now, I have so little time to accomplish anything that has me feel accomplished, satisfied with my day, I have to do it all late at night before I pass out.  I hardly have the time to exercise the way I want (Actually, I don’t have the time and energy to do it the way I actually want to do it, but I am finally getting in some exercise (at last!), though it has me getting to bed even later, which doesn’t help on the muscle restore front after the exercise).

I love the work I am doing right now, and I am dearly grateful for it – it is a blessing in and of itself.  I am very much looking forward to what comes next, when this current job is finished.  I will miss this, and I will be grateful to have moved to the next thing.  It will be time.  (I think that is really the main thought behind all of this right now.)

Anyway, goodnight…

 

Post-a-day 2017

Bring your parents to work?

Do you remember showing your parent(s) around your classroom when you were little?  Perhaps this is a little too American white bread, but I certainly remember it.

I was all too excited to show them my sleeping mat and cubby hole when I was in kindergarten, and then my desk and the hook for my backpack as I got older in elementary school.  In middle school, it became my locker, where I sat for lunch, and my favorite classrooms and teachers, but with just a little less enthusiasm each year.  By high school, I was not so animated as I had been as a little girl, but I still loved getting to show my parents or family members around my school.  Grandparents Day was one of the coolest things, because I got to do just that with my grandparents.  College was a little different, because it’s college.  However, I still totally loved showing my parents around my campus and dorms, and introducing them to all of my friends and acquaintances and teachers that I could find.  Even when I studied abroad, I reveled in showing them my stomping grounds.

And it was normal at each stage to be showing my parents around the areas.  But it is not normal now.  Why does that suddenly stop when we become “adults” and being “real jobs”?  I don’t know of anyone who shows his or her parents or family members around his/her office.

But now that I am an adult and I have a job (I’ve had many already, actually), my desire to show around my parents and family members hasn’t changed.  When my brother was visiting from Japan, I desperately wanted him to come see my classroom, see my apartment.  I giddily showed my mom around my first school (for my first full-time teaching job), when I convinced her to come to a dance performance there one evening.  My desire to have my parents be able to relate to my everyday has not lessened, not at all.  I still want them to see my everyday stomping grounds.  And, for the most part, I’ve been able to get them to see a decent amount of it these past few years.  Even in Japan, where guests aren’t typically allowed on campus, I got to bring my mom to both of my schools, and she helped teach a cooking class for the English Club at one school, and helped out with English classes at the other.

So, I guess my concern isn’t all too valid after all… I somehow manage to make it happen for me, anyway.  However, I do still wish that it were more of a cultural standard to bring one’s parents and/or family members to work, at least for a coffee or tea hour, or something like that, just so they can have a real glimpse of what it all is.  I just think it would be way awesome.  Kind of like how Open House used to be, where I’d go meet my teachers with my parent/s, and show my parent/s around my school.  Man… this would be neat.  It also would be very helpful in cross-(whatever the word is for work areas – I’m tired, okay?) interaction and understanding.  My dad works in computers and oil & gas.  He would be amazed to see my work, and I to see his.  They are just such different worlds that we have much to be learned from interacting with one another’s worlds.

I imagine loads of people would be utterly uninterested in this idea, but I hope that loads also would be in full support of it.

Post-a-day 2017