Thursday, October 14, 2010

Randy Pausch-- The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch was a very popular teacher at Carnegie Mellon University who had been battling pancreatic cancer.  His last lecture, on the importance of achieving your childhood dreams, has become a worldwide phenomenon and is one of the best examples of a "good speech" in recent history.

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture at Carnegie Mellon

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Second Quarter: A Moment of Self Reflection

I am really looking forward to this quarter because it gives us all a chance to improve on the huge amount of work we did first quarter.  Last quarter we got off to a slow (but steady) start.  Now we can hit the ground running.  I'm personally looking forward to the subjects we'll be focusing on because we can do the big, ambitious projects that our academy deserves.

Which leads me to something which I consider a good symbol of myself:

A Feather.

Now before you all judge me and say "Miss, birds are dirty and gross.  They are rats with wings." let me explain:

Feathers are cool things.  They can be sturdy or delicate, light or heavy.  They are complex objects. Yes, they can be dirty, but they can also be exquisitely beautiful  (Birds of Paradise, anyone?).  Tolstoy's War and Peace was patiently copied out by hand using a quill pen.  Love letters and death sentences alike have been scratched out with the tips of feathers.  There is an ethereal quality to them because depending on the kind of pressure they can be damaged beyond repair, or made to fly.  Native Americans believe they have healing poroperties.  Native Hawaiians used them as symbols of power and family history.

It is not the feather itself, but the story of all these things, that appeals to me.  We take such mundane items for granted, but in truth even the most common thing can have a glorious existence.  I hope it is the same for me.

NOW, young Golden Hawks, may second quarter be SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ups and Downs of First Quarter!!!

Awesome classroom:  It's big and shiny and new.
Great, intelligent students full of potential (I'm not kidding, you guys) who are just the best people to meet.
Really dedicated colleagues.
HUGE improvements in academics and school culture that are the result of hard work and discipline from everyone.

Long hours and moments of complete disappointment.
Fights on campus.

As you can see, way more ups than downs.  `Nuff said.  (Don't use slang, children!)

Let's keep making positive changes!

Hawks Habit #5 Love Yourself for Who You Are

Two things that I totally love about myself is that I am intelligent and ambitious.  I like that I can generally make good decisions and that I feel really confident about achieving my goals.  Seriously, if I said "I feel traveling the world starting in one week," I'm sure that I would find a way to make that happen.  (That's really something I want to do in my life, by the way.  Just not next week.)

But something that I don't love about myself is that I can be really argumentative.  I can get frustrated with the way things are going and then I feel like arguing with others.  I think I can probably improve on this by just remembering to have an open mind.  Other people have problems too.  Just because I don't like their opinions doesn't mean I need to convert them to my own way  of thinking.

But I like who I am now.  Seriously.  And I am appreciative of the fact that I say that believing it 100% of the time.

I drew this picture of myself in one of my notebooks in college.  I must be a little narcissistic, huh?

Hawks Habit #4: Take Responsibility For Your Actions!

I believe that although it is important to remember that no one is perfect, everyone can be a better person tomorrow than they are today.  Life is difficult, and most of what happens to us as people boils down to the choices we make:  even in situations when nothing seems possible, how we choose to feel about what happens to us has the greatest impact on our personal lives.

It is easy to blame others for our mistakes.  Out of fear, shame, anger, or instinct our first response when something horrible happens is to say, "It wasn't me!"  We are only human, after all.

But I strive to be that person who can say, "It was me.  That was my choice."  And I want to be brave enough to be okay with it, because after all, it was my choice.

Make Good Choices!  LOL!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hawks Habit #3 Accept only quality work from yourself and others!

Sometimes it is so easy to be complacent and just sit back and let life wash over you.  As a teacher, I never want to be that way, but I would be lying if I said that I never get so frustrated or exhausted that I don't just write off the rest of the day.  But that is a failure of this disciplined life principle on my part.

I can't be perfect.  But I can try harder to accept only quality work.  So I will.  I expect you all to do the same!  Woot!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hawks Habit #2 Take Initiative

In English, the letter "I" goes before "E" except after "C."  Well, in the word "Initiative" the "I" ALWAYS comes first, and it's because in order to get anything done, I will have to step it up.  I want to take a calculated risk as a teacher, and give my students the best opportunity possible by doing a lot less lecturing and more guiding.

Look at this dude.  I mean, he's almost about to walk off a cliff, but he seems unconcerned.  If I were walking off a cliff I would be totally concerned, but I do admire that initiative.  Maybe he'll turn into superman and fly.