Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blog Assigment 1

1.Hello fellow future educators! I am so excited to have the opportunity to expand my technological knowledge (which is far from vast at this point), connect with teachers, and students interested in the importance of learning all over the world. I am a 25 year old elementary education major, mother of 1, and wife. I married my husband, Alex Dove on February 20, 2010 in the mountains of TN. It was a beautiful outside wedding with just a few close friends and family. We are quite the unorganized couple so we didn't even know exactly where we were getting married until two hours before it happened. Alex and I spent our honeymoon hiking all over the Smoky Mountains. In all we hiked twenty five miles in four days, all the while I was six months pregnant! It was definitely risky, exhilarating, and one of the most amazing experiences in our life thus far. By far the most monumental occasion in our lives has been the birth of our son, Dylan Russell Dove. He was born May 18, 2010 with a birth defect called gastroschisis. We found out about this birth defect when we found out what his sex was. We had some forewarning which I must say does make things a little easier. Gastroschisis is a birth defect where the child's abdominal wall does not form all the way, thus leaving the intestines to be born outside his body. Now that I have probably made you say "awww," let me ease your minds and tell you that he had surgery just hours after he was born and made the quickest recovery that the USA NICU has ever seen! He is now 15 months old and you would never EVER know that he had tubes in him for the first three weeks of his life. He is such a huge source of joy for us and everyone else he comes in contact with. Alex and I love to take him to the beach and watch him splash in the waves, throw sticks, and play in the sand on our day off together.
Other than being completely involved in my family, I also love to be involved with other children as well. Children have always given me a sense of comfort because I feel that I am still a child at heart. I enjoy taking Dylan, and a few of my friend's children to the beach, the Fairhope pier, park, or swimming. I believe elementary education is the perfect fit for me. I am so excited to use the skills that I obtain here at the University of South Alabama to enhance my creativity, technological knowledge, and to improve the way I connect with students. I am definitely a hands on and visual learner, much like many children. I hope to combine the ways that I know help me learn along with tools that I learn at USA to find new, improved, adventurous, and engaging ways to teach students and make them fired up to learn!
While I am more than thrilled to be sitting at this computer desk here in Mobile, Al, my hometown is about nine hours away in Spartanburg, SC. Spartanburg is a nice blend of a rural town with a little city to it. I spent my first 18 years there and then traveled on to USC (University of South Carolina)for three years. While I was there I switched my major six times just to end up back where I started- elementary education. I have certainly taken my fair share of classes ranging from criminal justice to glass blowing to women's studies and I can say now with a much clearer and more matured mind, that being surrounded by children and growing with them is the path I want to be on.
I must admit that this class sounds a bit overwhelming at first, especially for someone who hasn't had a class in 4 years. However, I can definitely see the benefit in learning the multiple ways to communicate with educators all around the world, and I am beyond excited to see and hear the many different ideas for teaching our minds of the future! I look forward to reading about my classmates' lives outside of the classroom and I hope that this little glimpse into my life has been of some interest to you as well.

2. I have watched "The Last Lecture" given by Randy Pausch in a public speaking class very recently so I was familiar with the fact that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was given a very short time period to live. It was very important for me to keep in mind what was going on in his life as I watched this video because it made me realize just how important using time to the best of your advantage is. One key point that I took away from this video was his ideas on to do lists. I enjoyed the analogy that compared eating the biggest frog first so you wouldn't have to look at it the longest to doing the ugliest thing on your to do list first. No one wants to start off their day with the hairiest thing on their to do list; however, if one can accomplish that task first then there won't be any need to worry about it throughout the rest of the day. I also enjoyed his point of view on planning. I am a prime example of someone who doesn't feel the need to make a plan because of the event that the plan will change. Mr. Pausch believes that planning should be a daily, weekly, monthly, or if necessary, hourly thing to help one get through their day more easily. I am going to put this technique to use and I believe I will see amazing results. This video by Randy Pausch has really been an inspiration to do greater things with my minutes, hours, days, and weeks. I hope to use the information off this video as well as others that I will watch to the best of my advantage.

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