I spent today marching along the brick paths of Towson University, a backpack slung over my shoulder and a college freshmen look of confusion on my face. How I loved it. College campuses have this energy to them that I miss in my everyday life; it's so cool to be part of whole little community all focused on education. I once thought about going into Student Affairs as a career field. I'm (really) happy I chose the route I did, but being on a campus again reminds me of why I worked for the Department of Residence Life at Michigan State for five years (as an RA, Academic and Social Activities Coordinator, Camp Assistant, Assistant Camp Director, and Assistant Hall Director) and why I once thought about doing that sort of thing for a career.
Towson is beautiful, with a lot of brick and greenery, reminding me a lot of my alma mater. The winding red pathways confused me a bit, but in a good way, and I enjoyed the weather and the walking. I wandered for a bit on the way to class, but eventually found it by asking a cute blonde where Hawkins Hall was. I discovered the library by pretending not to follow some classmates going that way. All in all, the experience of being on a campus really rekindled fond memories of being in college. It makes me excited for Bobby, since he's about to start at the University of Maryland.
I'm taking a two-and-a-half week graduate course that is three hours a day and intense, culminating in a 25-30 page paper at the end about an issue of my choice at my school. Today was my first day of class, and I just know I'm going to love it. My professor is a 30-year veteran of Baltimore County Public Schools, and has this warm mom aura about her that belies the serious work I'm sure she'll be assigning. I'm very excited.
Two others in my class are also in my Educational Research class I've been taking for a few weeks already. That one is boring, but I'm trying to make the best of it. Luckily, we're in front of computer screens, so today I got some really great deals on used books on Amazon while the professor talked. This sounds bad, but I was totally listening to everything she was saying - and she was talking about citing something, which is something I understand fully. She's a nice woman, also a motherly type, but she herself admitted that the class is as dry as whistling with crackers in your mouth on a hot summer's day. It's about what I expected. I'm trying to choose a research paper topic that will be relevant to my teaching. I can't decide between vocabulary development, grammar instruction in high school, or something to do with reading comprehension. Hmmm. ERIC is becoming a friend of mine.
And, honestly, I certainly am learning a lot about how to research topics in education. Today, I completed a research evaluation on a study that shown absolutely no correlation between school uniforms and academic achievement, attendance, substance use, or behavior. I wished I would have known about that study this past year, when our school was considering the implementation of school uniforms (something I'm certain will be coming soon, regardless, since it's something that provides a facade...).
Otherwise, not much is new. I'm enjoying the summer immensely. My head is swimming with ideas about the upcoming school year, about how I want to structure my classroom and my schedule, about what I want to emphasize. It's so cool to be able to recharge my batteries every year like this. I've ordered a shitload of academic books from Amazon in the last couple of weeks - Jim Burke and Carol Jago are becoming my friends, along with ERIC - and hope to read a bunch of them this summer, so I can get more ideas of how I want to make my classroom a better place where more learning occurs. If you've got anything you think I should read, tell me about it and I'll put it on my classroom wishlist, which, by the way, feel free to peruse and purchase things for me from if you're feeling like continuing to recharge my batteries. I promise I'll read it and use whatever it is! :)
(Thanks, Carl, for the book of Orwell essays. That was really nice of you!)
Draft Notes: Astros, Renfroe, Appel - The Astros will hold one of four regional draft workouts on Sunday, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports. Sunday's workout will be near Los Angeles. Others will...
1 hour ago