Get To Know Your Students

Tags

, , , , ,

Teachers play a very important role in shaping the young minds of our society. Many of my friends are teachers and soon-to-be teachers and they are constantly telling me stories about their students. Some that want to go home with them because their parents are never home. Some that are bullied. Some are quiet and some are social.

Each student is different and I think it’s important for teachers to get to know their students on all different levels. To a certain extent, I think teachers should know a little about the students’ home life as well.

Kyle Shwartz, a teacher in Denver passes out note cards to her third-grade students every year and asks them to finish the sentence “I wish my teacher knew…” This was first intended to reveal any mutual interests with her and her students, but some of these could bring anyone to tears.

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 2.12.01 PMShe said that it sprang from everyday conversations between teachers: “What do our students need and how can we help them?” This shows what teachers can learn about their students when they take the time to simply ask. You never know how a child will reply. Maybe they are waiting for someone to reach out to, but don’t know ho to do it.

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 2.11.36 PMShe also allows the students to decide whether they want to put their name on the card or not and if they want the whole class to hear what they wrote or just her.

“They feel respected, they feel safe enough to share some of these more sensitive ones,” said Schwartz. “Kids can share what they feel comfortable with.”

It’s important that she gives them the power to make their own decision. Like she stated in the quote, I understand why they feel respected. They are sharing something extremely personal, and might be afraid to let others know.

She has been using the hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew on Twitter and teachers everywhere are trying it in classrooms.

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 2.21.13 PM

Advertisements

Dahmer: A Psychopath

Tags

, , ,

This is going to be a little bit of a weird post, but I find it interesting.

I recently read an article about the man who killed Jeffrey Dahmer in jail. I have a fascination with Dahmer, not because of what he is known for but I almost have a connection with him (I’ll explain, I swear I’m not a serial killer).

tumblr_nm2at4RakX1u7m9opo1_500Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to 15 consecutive life sentences for killing 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. He didn’t simply kill these men, but he would have sex with their corpses and would keep parts of the bodies in various parts of his apartment and eat other parts.

My family owns a cake and candy supply store and after high school, Dahmer worked at a chocolate factory where we actually bought some of our chocolate from. After he was arrested, people would call the factory and call us and ask questions to make sure he never came in contact with the chocolate they were buying from us and from the factory. He worked in shipping I think so he didn’t touch the chocolate.

My father’s friend Eric also lives in the house Dahmer grew up in and where took his first victim, just days after his high school graduation. He also had a fascination with killing animals as a boy, and Eric told me when he was doing some landscaping he found animal bones all over the property.

0

Christopher Scarver

If that wasn’t weird enough, a women who works for my father was related to Dahmer’s first victim! It’s a bit creepy how “connected” we are I guess (if you want to call it that). But the man who murdered him in prison just came out last week with the reason why he killed him. Christopher Scarver, sometimes seen as a hero for taking Dahmer’s life, said Dahmer would mold his food into shapes of limbs and use ketchup to resemble blood and leave it around the prison to creep out other prisoners or just eat it. He frightened guards as well. He would say things to guards when they were close enough just to see the fear in their eyes. I’m not condoning killing, but I think Scarver gave Dahmer what he deserved. He was tormenting everyone around him, even while incarcerated. He had to be stopped.

coverThis was one messed up man! I recently bought my father the book My Friend Dahmer, mostly as a joke because his friend is still in the house, but also because it’s intriguing to see how a deranged child grew into this famous cannibal psychopath. The book was written and drawn by famous cartoonist Derf. Darf knew Dahmer in high school and had a friendship with him, and it’s in this book where he tells the world of Dahmer’s life from 12-years-old to the killing of his first victim.

I have a weird fascination with anything remotely creepy. Eric said I’m welcome to come to the house anytime to check it out, I might have to take him up on that offer.

 

Nothing But Memories

Well….this is my last week as at student at Westminster College. About this time last spring, I was dreading graduation because that meant I had to say goodbye to many of my closest friends. We all came in at the same time, but because of my late major change, we weren’t all leaving together.

As I sat with my best friend’s mom, I couldn’t help but wish I was walking across that stage with them. I would have given anything to experience that with them, but there was nothing I could do. I didn’t want to come back for an extra year without them. I thought I was going to be miserable without my best friends; but I was wrong.

This fifth year brought me so many joys that I wasn’t expecting. Because of this extra year, I gained:

  • Another year with my sorority sisters
  • The opportunity to coach volleyball alongside my former coaches
  • New and existing relationships
  • Another year living right down the street from my boyfriend
  • The ability to run track for another year

10487183_10202387529889878_8109662110743339513_n

Along with building relationships and simply having the luxury of staying in college another year, I grew as a person this year. I feel ready to move on. This year prepped me mentally to have the ability to take care of myself and move forward.

Some of my favorite memories from my fifth year include:

  • Getting closer with my sisters and having late night wine nights
  • Being a part of the volleyball and track teams again
  • Watching the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight at the Epsilon house
  • Laying by the lake and getting tan (more like red)
  • Visiting Root Sports in Pittsburgh with my Capstone class
  • Having my own apartment in town
  • Playing flag football and volleyball during Greek Week

10914743_10206000238111342_4860686618528917665_o

This year was amazing and I’m so happy that I was able to stay another year. I wouldn’t trade these memories for anything and I will look back on this year and do nothing but smile. As much as I missed my friends, I made new ones and had the time of my life. I want to thank everyone for making my fifth year an incredible one. I love you all!

10405400_10202548575595920_8531937694668039424_n

How Old Do I Look?

Tags

howOld_taylorI’ve been seeing this site recently where you upload a picture and it tells you how old you are based on your picture. I don’t understand how they can guess your age just with your picture.

Created by Microsoft, as said above, the purpose of the site is to guess age. Microsoft stated that this face-detecting software can be used in their new software to sort through large amounts of pictures on someone’s computer. I had a lot of fun with this sScreen Shot 2015-05-02 at 7.15.37 PMite because I think it’s interesting to see how old I look. Every photo I uploaded I received anywhere between 27 and 35 (and I’m 23). So 27 isn’t bad I guess, but I don’t want to be 35 yet!

It’s interesting to compare my friends faces too. In this picture, my friend who got 28 is actually 23 as well.

Below are a few others that I found either to be funny or fairly accurate.

how-old-netprocessed-how-old-paul-rudd-today-150501_39bf19034e627e7da63b512af522f41e.today-inline-largemicrsoft_how_old_net635660621090582181-how-old-01a

Moving on to Better Things

Tags

, , ,

As I start looking for jobs and apartments to move into, I can’t help but get excited. I feel that my classes at Westminster have prepared me for mt first job and becoming an adult.

When I first came in, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I went back and fourth between majoring in Math, Business, Economics, Art or Psychology. So I first chose to double-major in Business Administration and Economics. Towards the end of my sophomore year I decided that neither were meant for me. I was lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I made an appointment with the career center and spent two hours there working through exercises and discussions trying to figure out what I was best at. At the end of the two hours, we settled on Public Relations, and I couldn’t be happier.

At first, I wasn’t sure what PR really was. I signed up for PR 101 and all my questions were answered and it was everything that I wanted to do. Every single one of my PR classes has prepared me for the professional world. I never used to like speaking in front of a lot of people and I didn’t consider myself the best writer. After these classes I can say that I’m a confident speaker and writer, and there is always more room for improvement.

I think the most beneficial course out of them all is Capstone. We talk about the real world and how to be an adult. The PR classes are great with my professional work, but what do I do for my taxes? What should I say in an interview? How do I balance my work and my social life? All of these questions were finally answered. I feel prepared and eager to enter the next chapter in my life.

Nobody Wants Him

Tags

, , , , , ,

hqdefaultSince the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight is tonight, I thought this story would fit in perfectly. So I recently read that Mayweather, who might be the most successful athlete right now, and maybe of all time, can’t get any sponsors. He is undefeated in 47 professional boxing matches. That’s pretty incredible if you ask me! So, why does no one want him promoting their product?

For a start, he’s plead guilty to domestic violence charges on three separate accounts and spent two months in jail for attacking the mother of his 9- and 10-year-old sons. That was in 2012, and in 2001,2002 and 2003 he plead guilty for more domestic violence charges. His former fiance is also suing him because she stated that he beat and threatened her for two years. She could be telling the truth or just trying to get money, but since he’s been known for beating women I believe her.

floyd-mayweather-espnmag-03jpg-d0c734c266fea121He never apologized and still defends his record by saying there were “no pictures” so he could have been innocent. He is the best-paid athlete in the world and made over $100 million last year and everyone knows his name, but not for a good reason.

Companies such as Nike and Coca-Cola have signed with Michael Vick and Kobe Bryant in the past who were in legal trouble, but no one wants Mayweather. I can’t blame them. I wouldn’t want to have someone be the face of my product if he is known for domestic violence.

It makes sense why he’s in boxing then if he like to hit people. You would think that someone who is always in the spotlight would learn from his/her mistakes, but you can’t knock some sense into some people apparently. He has the money, he has the fame, he probably doesn’t see a reason why he should behave.

This Isn’t The End

Tags

, , , , ,

Last year at about this time, I was watching those I had gotten so close to for four years wrap up their last years at Westminster. Now it’s finally my turn. Five years later and about to be a Westminster graduate. It almost seems surreal when I think about it.

When I start to think about moving back home and finding a job, I find myself feeling more excited than scared. I’m nervous of course because who wouldn’t be, but I’m excited to get out there and see what my future holds. In capstone, we have been discussing what to do when transitioning from college to adult life. I almost feel as if I’m Will Ferrel or John C. Reilly in “Step Brothers” when they are forced to see therapists. They ask questions about being an adult and growing up that the normal human being would already know the answer to, but I almost feel like that. I have all of these “what ifs” that are still unanswered. Mostly about finances and such, because I have no clue what to do when it comes to that stuff.

I feel that capstone and my various classes at Westminster have definitely prepared me for the job world. But the adult world is completely different, and in my opinion, more frightening. We’ve been under our parents wings or in the support of our school by living in dorms and on meal plans. When that all goes away…then what?

Everything these last few weeks has slowly been coming to a close. A few days ago I presented my capstone research at URAC, today I competed in my last collegiate track meet and in my last Volleyrock. Some say when one door closes, another opens; and I believe that to be so true. I am 23-years-old and I have my life ahead of me. More chances to take vacations, meet new people, fall in love, have a family, create a career for myself and much, much more. College is a great time in a persons life, but when it’s over, it doesn’t mean your life is over. That chapter is finished, but you have the rest of your book to write.

Bruce Jenner is A…. Woman?

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

More and more our society has been hearing the terms “transgender,” “homosexual,” “intersex,” and many more. Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 10.04.47 PM

To clear things up a bit, above is the definition for transgender. So basically, its anyone who is born with typical male or female anatomies, but could feel as if they were born in the “wrong bodies.” Intersex is anyone who many have the anatomy that isn’t considered male or female. Homosexual is someone who is attracted to another person of their own sex.

There are many opinions and beliefs when it comes to sexuality and gender identity. Our world isn’t perfect and neither are we. I’m a Christian and I know that in the bible it states that marriage and love is to be between a man and a woman. That’s what God intended. But things change. People change, and there is nothing we can do about it. I believe that if someone is truly happy, let them do what they want. If a woman wants to marry another woman…let her. If a man has lived his life trapped inside a woman’s body, he should embrace how he truly feels inside and do what he can to become that person.

Celebrities, athletes and everyday people are constantly in the news about sexuality and gender identity. I’m a huge fan of “Orange is the New Black,” so take Laverne Cox for example. She plays a transgender woman on the Netflix series and she’s a transgender in her everyday life as well. She became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the acting category. She is also a very strong advocate in the transgender world.

Most recently in the news, Bruce Jenner claims that he has been living his whole life as a woman. Many considered his recent act to be incredibly brave to come out and say this about himself.

set_bruce_jenner_sports_illustrated

Bruce Jenner on the cover of Sports Illustrated after winning gold at the 1976 Olympics

 

 

bruce-jenner-star

Bruce Jenner on the cover of Star Magazine announcing plans on becoming a woman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’ve never been with a guy,” Jenner said. “There’s two different things here. Sexuality is who you are personally attracted to. …. But gender identity is who you are in your soul.”(CNN)

Maybe, Jenner coming out about his gender identity will give other people the courage and strength to be who they really are and to be confident with it.

Is it Finally Time for Everyone to Accept Marijuana?

Tags

, , , , ,

 

One of the most talked about topics lately is marijuana. Is it good or bad? What does it do to me? Should it be legalized? Everyone has different perspectives and thoughts on weed, but our society has to realize that whether they like it or not, the push to legalize marijuana is becoming a revolution.

CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and also the top researcher behind the “Weed” documentaries, believes that it’s time for a “medical marijuana revolution.” More and more people are in favor of the legalization of marijuana. According to an article on CNN: “53% favor its legalization and 77% support it for medical purposes.”

An Initiative To Legalize Marijuana In California To Appear On Nov. BallotDr. Gupta also noted that it’s not just young people who want the legalization. It’s parents, grandparents, police officers, just everyday people. The cannabis plants contain hundreds of chemicals that can be used for so many purposes. It can be used to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and help children who experience severe and frequent seizures due to various diseases. There are so many uses to marijuana other than just getting high and eating a lot of Taco Bell. Before we know it, the entire United States will legalize the drug. It has also never killed anyone. We can’t say that about any other drug (that I know of). In my opinion, marijuana is safer than alcohol and I am pretty confident that many people would agree with me.

nj-medical-marijuana-jpgI agree with Dr. Gupta. Look at how far we have come with medical research and I feel that the illegal nature of marijuana might hold back some research. I mean, why would you try to find a cure with something that is illegal? I’m not a chemist or a doctor obviously, so I’m not sure how it works when creating medications and treatments as far as legal and illegal substances go. But if this single plant has so many chemical components, why wouldn’t you try to use it for good things instead of frowning upon it?

Marijuana-States-of-America11-1024x640I am 100% for the legalization of marijuana. Not because I want to smoke it and get high everyday, but because I think it has more good qualities than bad. We can use it to our advantage in so many ways; economically and medically.

 

Greek Week at Westminster

Tags

, , , ,

IMG_3503Here at the beautiful Mother Fair, I am honored to be a part of Greek community as a sister of Alpha Gamma Delta. This week, all the fraternities and sororities have been competing in athletic, academic and philanthropic events. This year, the athletic events includes:

  • Volleyball
  • Obstacle Course
  • Swimming
  • Track and Field
  • Backyard Games
  • Flag Football
  • Tug of War

The academic event is called Greek Feud. Members of each organization compete head-to-head on various trivia questions ranging anywhere from movies and music to history and geography. One of my personal favorite events is Greek Idol. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but I love listening to people sing (because I wish I could).

It’s important to note that the week isn’t all about the athletic events and winning points. It’s about fundraising and being selfless and giving to those who in need. One of the things that the Greek community does at Westminster is called Penny Wars. It used to be for points, but now we simply continue the tradition because we want to give. Each year during Greek Week, everyone gets together to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in a special little girl’s honor. Claire Hartner, daughter of Mrs. Kelly Hartner who works at the college, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at a very early age. There is no cure for the disease, and we as a Greek community love to come together to support a great foundation that is close to all of our hearts.

There’s also a service drive for the Student Government Association in which each organization buys all sorts of products to donate to the Lawrence County Crisis Shelter, not far from campus. These items can include:

  • socks
  • deodorant
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • washcloths
  • toothbrushes
  • gloves
  • snacks

The week is finally wrapped up with Sing ‘n Swing. All of the organizations get on stage and strut their stuff for compilations of music and sing at the top of their lungs. It’s a grueling week of learning the dance, but it’s all worth it. It’s a long and stressful week, but it’s something we look forward too all year.