Showing posts with label education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label education. Show all posts

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Different Book for Liz


He graduated with a
BA in graphic arts the
October before we moved to
Oregon.

He had planned on walking in
the graduation ceremony the
very day that he and Jenna came
to Oregon to start unloading
furniture. I went
to my uncle's
funeral.

For over a year he's been
online, creating plans for a
business.  He took his
assignments seriously and
did the research as though
he were really going to start
a business here. 

Except for just one week, his
business plan focus was always on
starting an adult day care which
this area is in great need of.  It
hasn't been done before.  It sounds
like a good idea, but he doesn't have
the funding.  He has
done the research and had even sent
out surveys.  We call it
"sunk" investment.

He graduated with his masters last
month.  He would like to
walk across the stage in June.
It would be so nice to
see the family again, but
I fear it will be a repeat of
our visit to Utah this year.

I will be wiped out and not the
person I am in Oregon.  I will
need to pray that my
body doesn't give out, and that
I will be alert to my
surroundings and drink in my
family and allow my love to
overpower my health issues.

I was certain that Roland would
get bored and try to spend more
time with me.  But he found another
project.


He doesn't want to start a business -
not the adult daycare.  He misses
the graphic arts.  Recently he
created cards for Halloween, Thanksgiving and
Christmas. He also would like to recreate
the ABC books we have given to
Jenna, Anna, Devin and Ally (here).


He would like to be in charge of
creating a new one for Liz.  I think he
should.  I hope he can utilize his
skills for the purpose that he
desires.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Overwhelmed


          As I have already mentioned, I had started two classes on Labor Day this month.  One in managerial accounting and the other in financing.  My accounting class seems like a refresher course as there is some familiarity within the topics. It also feels like a prequel to my financing class and I wish I had it BEFORE my financing class and not side-by-side as I tend to get the two mixed up and have actually turned in one assignment for one class into the other.

          Fortunately I have really good instructors in both classes who have been able to give me feedback right away instead of waiting until the end of the week as was the case with my last instructor who did announce ahead of time that his grading day is Sunday and that is it.

          I am having the hardest time with the subject at hand.  Valuation principals and investments and blah, blah, blah . . . One class asks me how a manager makes a decision (no, it isn't my managerial accounting, it's the other one . . . see what I mean) and so I look up all of these references for one class and end up using them for the other class.

          Most of my accounting assignments have been in excel and so I don't have to have all those references in my back up file.  When I am asked to write about a personal finance decision (wrong again - the 300 word project about personal financing is for the accounting class; it is the second part to be handed in along with the excel assignment) I am looking at all these words and definitions trying hard to apply it to my personal life, but they're all business words and I am not a business and I have absolutely no desire to be!
          We make estimated guesses.  We cannot predict the future.  We can't control what downfall the economy may have to endure due to natural disasters.  I have so many thoughts in my head and they are spilling over.  I don't like the riled up emotion I feel when I am trying to answer the questions.  Roland has always been able to separate business from personal life.  Not me.  I cannot keep my emotions out of it!

          And then there is the scrapbook I had gone through that has triggered all sorts of thoughts.  I knew I couldn't sit down and write just one post and do my assignments.  So I broke my thoughts into several posts that still managed to beg for me to write them - and hey, why not?  I couldn't focus on my assignments anyway. I'm not worried about failing the class.  I've been getting As the entire time except for one class - with an instructor who would pass out virtual caramels - I was late turning in an assignment and so did not get full credit.  I think I was taking two classes at that time also. 

          I feel fortunate that I had only one class in July and one class last mod.  I don't know how I managed with the two classes that started on the day of Jeanie's funeral.  I felt like I had been in a coma for three weeks.  Perhaps that is the secret - have my subconscious take over.  I just felt so tired I don't think it was possible to experience emotion.  Since school started for Jenna, I've been neglecting the library also.  I find it necessary  to take a breather.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Accounting - a Cure for Insomnia




            I started two new classes on Labor Day - well, new to me.  The classes themselves aren't new.  One is in financing and the other is accounting.  Oh, joy.  It hasn't been a full week, and already I've gotten them mixed up.

            The instructor who teaches finance is one I've already had before.  My accounting instructor is the most enthusiastic one yet.  She talks quicker than I can take notes.  She doesn't spend much time on the assignment but does seem to cover a lot of ground.  It is still overwhelming.

            Now, I'm a visual person, which I think I have mentioned.  I love finding videos on YouTube that will help me understand whatever subject.  CrashCourse was great for economics and history, but it doesn't appear that there are have been any CrashCourse made with the subject of accounting.  Too bad.  Meanwhile, I have been searching for something that doesn't sound or read like Ben Stein.





            You see the reaction of the students?  I actually have a more attentive face learning the depression and economics and so forth than studying accounting. I have not come across yet that makes me go, "OH . . . I get it now!"  Ben Stein also done commercials for "Clear Eyes" and while the commercials themselves seem to have some eye amusement, his voice does not



            Accounting reads like double talk.  The language is seriously over my head.  And of course, everything is written in third person.  I guess that's one reason I prefer reading material in first person as opposed to third person.  Third person is too textbooky and impersonal.  There is nothing personal about accounting.  The higher up the class is, the more foreign it sounds.  Although I do seem to be getting some of what I  hear or read.

            Though the majority of my instructors have pput more enthusiasm into their voices and have brought in their passion toward the subject, I haven't run across that on YouTube.  Most of it has been monotone and robotic.

            When addressing the question, "What woudl you recommend for falling asleep?" I have always suggested wathing "the English Patient" - how can you seriously sta awake for the entire movie?  If that doesn't work, pull up YouTube and type in accounting.  That should do it.  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Coffenberry Rocks!



          Jenna had once told me that she thought it would be fun to be in junior high.  I personally never believed that - especially while attending.  I think my brother, Corey, hated junior high even more than I did.  He has been a substitute teacher in both high school and elementary but has chosen not to deal with the misfits of junior high.  Too many bad memories.

          I did not choose to share my feelings about junior high - or middle school as some districts call it.  She'd find out soon enough - or hopefully not at all.  I would just smile and say, "That's great honey." while thinking, "I really hope it works out for you."
           


          Before school started, Jenna was apprehensive about going.  Of course I understand.  I was always apprehensive about the start of school - especially one I had not attended the year prior.
         
          If we were living in Salt Lake, Jenna would still be attending her last year elementary school. But here, in Oregon, she is attending her first year of middle school.  I actually hadn't heard too many positive things about the school she currently attends.  One neighbor drives her children to Canyonville, and I heard of another who makes the drive to Riddle.  But Coffenberry has a music program not offered in Canyonville.



          Jenna has made many friends and loves middle school.  She enjoys most of her classes - especially band.  I love her enthusiasm.  I have not seen her this excited since she was in kindergarten. 



          Of course the youth center helps - though she really doesn't care for the bus ride out there.  She does enjoy being active after school.  And I am happy that she gets her homework done and gets to enjoy arts and crafts and learning skills.  It's so great to have her happy again.

          Last night I took her to the middle school for a family fun night.  The theme was "Finding Nemo" and there was a scavenger hunt, a passport map, jeopardy, crafts, decorating a cookie, the book fair, playing games.  I met a few of her friends as we went from room to room and building to building and she would point to certain areas where she had this class or that.  I met a few of her teachers.  I can't wait for parent/teacher's conference. 

keep on reading


          My impression of Coffenberry has been a good one.  I am also grateful for the opportunities that Jenna has had since we have moved to Oregon.  As a whole, I am so much happier here than I was in Utah.  But then I look at pictures of family members - two that I haven't even met in person, and I get a bit homesick for my family members.  But overall I really am happy here.  I'm especially happy that Jenna is happy.  I'm so happy that she likes school. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Opportunities, Pros & Cons




            We all make decisions.  Each choice we make has consequences whether good or bad as mentioned in this post


            When we were living in Utah, Jenna had the opportunity of learning Spanish through the dual immersion program.  While some parts of Oregon offer this same program, the particular county we live in doesn’t offer any foreign language until high school.  I really did not wish to pull her out of the program.  She’s no longer learning Spanish at school, but she does have other opportunities here that she did not have in Utah.

            She would not have been enrolled in band while in the sixth grade.  We may not have been able to afford the instrument.  We have the opportunity to do so here. 



            There is only one elective at her school.  We had to do away with crafts in order to keep her in band.  She loves crafts.  She has an opportunity to do crafts at the youth center she attends after school.  In Utah we couldn’t afford the after school activities.  The state of Oregon pays for her after school activity here in Douglas County.  For that, I am very grateful.



            When I post this to my blog, Jenna and her classmates (entire school really) will be at the Memorial Pool for their first-week-of-school celebration.  Can you imagine?  We never did that in Utah.  There was an activity at the end of the year. Certainly not a kick off for Labor Day weekend – which for her starts in less than 20 minutes.  She will then have the next four days off.  So what was the point of starting just four days before?



            There are certainly things that I’ll miss about the opportunities she had in education while we were living in the Granite School District.  I am grateful for the new opportunities that she will have here. 

            It rained yesterday, and though we really do need the rain and it is greatly appreciated, I’m happy that there is enough sunshine for the children to enjoy the pool right now.
            Opportunities.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

We All Have Obstacles to Overcome



The Monument:

God,
Before He sent his children to earth
Gave each of them
A very carefully selected package
Of problems,
These,
He promised, smiling,
Are yours alone, No one
Else may have the blessings
These problems will bring you.
And only you
Have the special talents and abilities
That will be needed
To make these problems
Your servants.
Now go down to your birth
And to your forgetfulness, Know that
I love you beyond measure.
These problems that I give you
Are a symbol of that love.
These monuments you make of your life
With the help of your problems
Will be a symbol of your
Love for me.
Your Father

                               intro thought to Charlie's Monument by Blaine Yorgensen


How many of us know 11-year-olds who willingly place themselves in front of the learning channel?  and enjoy it?  Jenna has always enjoyed learning.  Always.  From the time she was three and could pick out her own books from the library, we did check out picture books and easy reading like the “Frog and Toad” series.  



But we would also check out a lot of non-fiction to answer her questions about bees and honey, or why certain dances are performed in different countries and why the sun doesn’t fall from the sky.  She has always loved non-fiction books.  She would play games of “Let’s pretend” to understand how it would be to be without sight or limbs.  She never questioned why there were differences in humans.  She just accepted them and has always tried to learn from them. Today she loves the learning channel.  





Each morning after she gets up (which is actually quite early for a youth – I have never known Jenna to sleep past 7:30) she will turn to the learning channel to watch “Cake Boss” 




 it is because of advertisements of other programs that has held her interest in watching other shows – like “Born Without Limbs” featuring NickVujicic.



It’s fascinating to learn of others who have overcome what many of us consider physical challenges or obstacles and have often embraced their uniqueness and use it to help others. We all have choices after all.  We can be bitter, or we can be thankful.






I, myself, have always enjoyed watching even a portion to the lives of “The Little Couple” – saddened that their lives may not be as private as perhaps each of us would hope, but happy that they have been willing to share so much of their lives with an audience – that we might learn.



Everyone has their challenges.  I just think having a physical challenge seems to be more obvious in appearance than say an alcoholic or a mentally disturbed individual.  On average, I don’t think we, as a whole, consider a floor plan and living quarters that works for us may not work or even be practical to someone who is an obvious different height or is blind or walks with a limp.

I have known overly tall people.  My brother, Patrick (who really isn’t overly tall – just tall) could unscrew and screw in ceiling light bulbs without having to stand on something in order to reach – whereas my daughter-in-law seems to need a foot stool just to reach into the back of the freezer that may be placed above the fridge.  I'm not overly short, but there was one side of the kitchen in which the cabinets were not within my reach unless I used a footstool to stand on or long handled spoon to push cans out.

I’ve known small people who have struggled at reaching to the “average height” world around them – perhaps not knowing better.  It’s how they were born. It’s how they did things all of their lives.  Nick Vujicici didn’t have limbs to begin with.  I think it’s easier for a person to learn without than to adjust with what’s missing.  I don’t know – I’m just thinking that.

I have known a wide variety of people from all walks of life.  Some have physical challenges. Some are misguided and struggle to fit in.  Some have struggled with balance. I don't think I've met anyone who hasn't had at least one challenge to either overcome or embrace.

We programmed our cable to record “I am Jazz” and “My Giant Life” as Jenna is genuinely interested in those – but they don’t start until after she’s gone to bed.  I am grateful that she is learning and understanding and seeing differences and doesn’t judge but accepts and tries to embrace as well.  I wish we would all have her understanding and eagerness to learn. 




(I’m not saying she enjoys learning all things.  She struggles with the clarinet.  But Roland has purchased another (second hand, of course) and is planning to learn along side of her.  That makes it easier for her.  And I admire him for doing that.  Learning the clarinet: their special bonding time together) 


Monday, February 16, 2015

Dear Mr. President



Winslow Press started the creation of a series called “Dear Mr. President” – I think a wonderful introduction.  I love the five books that were made.  I wish there was more.  I don’t know why it was discontinued – or so it seems.  Winslow Press doesn’t seem to offer publication later than 2002 (that I could see) and it doesn’t appear the site has been updated since May 2009.    Perhaps Winslow Press is one of many businesses that has had to file bankruptcy in the last decade and a half.

 
The three books I will focus on most are:





Though the Letters are fictionalized, information provided in the correspondence is based upon meticulous research.  I like how Winslow press refers reader to “learn more” though I personally did not find the winslowpress.com useful, I like the concept of getting readers interest and encouraging research.

Presidents may have opened their mail at one time, but somewhere along the way the mail was handled by the secretary and now an entire team, I would imagine.  I don’t imagine the correspondence would have existed any other way but through our minds.

The poor coal miner wouldn’t have been able to send as many letters to Roosevelt as he did, as he would not have had the means for postage.  Nor would a slave have been able to correspond as they had even less means than did the coal miner.

All letters are start out with the twelve-year-old’s point of view.  Lettie has been taught by her mistress how to read and write.  Her mistress is the only child of a widower who most likely teaches Lettie out of boredom.  She encourages Lettie to write to Abraham Lincoln who responds. 

Knowing that the correspondence will put her in harms way should others learn that a slave has been taught to read and write. The letters are addressed to her mistress.  Correspondence allows the reader to understand the purpose of the Civil War and President Lincoln’s position and a thin view of what some slaves had to go through.

I think I found the miner story the most interesting.  To be certain that he received all of the young miner’s letters and weren’t open by his secretary, Pres. “Teddy” Roosevelt had the young miner address the letters to his son.  I do think I read a small error when Teddy expressed that Kermit was 13 in one letter and then 12 in the next. 

Besides reading about the conditions that the miners had to face, I enjoyed discovering trivial things that took place during Theodore Roosevelt’s reign.  He spoke with affection about all of the animals that belonged to his children – and baby-sitting the guinea pigs – which he really did do. 

And then there was Franklin D. Roosevelt who had some good ideas.  Some did not work out to his expectations.  His correspondence is with a girl of Italian decent.  She talks about different family members having to go on strike and about the hobos jumping freight lines.  That was interesting.

I also like how each of them use big words (which are capped and bolded) to describe things and use of contractions (which are underlined) to peak reader's interest not only in history, but grammar and vocabulary as well.

Winslow Press made it a point to caption each page with the words: “To learn more about specific mines, go to winslowpress.com”, “to learn more about unions, go to winslowpress.com”,  “to learn more abut Christmas during the civil war, go to winslowpress.com”, “to learn more about the Dredge Scott Act, go to winslowpress.com”

As previously mentioned, I actually didn’t find the winslowpress site at all useful, but I do like the idea of suggesting to readers to research mentioned subjects.  Wikipedia is always helpful for me, personally. 

Once the correspondence ends, there is a time line and brief history about said president.  A snapshot of a letter in his actual handwriting and then a letter the way it may have appeared by said 12 year- old.

Another interesting thing after the letters and time line is a synopsis of how the mail was delivered at that time and how much postage costs.  For more information on the post office it gives the Winslow site.  But there are so many sources that one can go to for more information.

The “Dear Mr. President” series is beautiful.  I think it needs to be continued. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

One Time Was Plenty

         A couple of weeks ago, Jenna came home with a form for parents interested in volunteering for an upcoming field trip.  She begged me to please fill it out and I did. The next morning, after returning home from leaving her at school, I thought better of it.  The volunteers needed to be downtown at 8:15.  Even if we caught an earlier bus, I wouldn’t be able to get downtown at the allotted time.

         At first I tried to make arrangements to car pool with another student in her class.  But that didn’t pan out, and we actually ended up having Roland drop us off at her school at 6:30 in the morning, but I had to leave for the bus stop while it was still dark.  I felt bad about leaving her.  I felt worse when I arrived and discovered that there appeared to be more children than adults.  I should have taken Jenna downtown with me – but she wanted to go to school first.

         As it turned out, I think I could have taken Jenna on our regular route and arrived minutes before the class did and still felt as prepared as I had having arrived an hour before the class so that I could receive “training”.  I don’t think I was adequately trained until an hour after the students arrived.  I think the minimum amount of volunteers needed is 20.  I don't even think we had 16.


         JA City and Biztown are programs designed to help students experience real life.  In this case it was fifth graders given the opportunity to run businesses and balance checkbooks and make purchases.  It was our job as volunteers to see that they were doing it correctly.

         Fortunately, Linda, who was assigned to be CEO of Alphagraphics (where I was assigned to assist) took charge and really tackled her assignment.  The two who were assigned to be salesman failed in listening skills and tried to tackle raising money themselves rather than working as a team.

         Jenna had been assigned as a Chief Financial Officer, which gave her the experience of cutting checks for paying bills and printing employee paychecks.  The CFO on my team was absent and another girl was pulled out of one store and placed in ours.  She wasn’t given a choice in the matter and the change had been quite stressful for her.  I credit our CEO for taking our newly positioned didn’t-want-to-be CFO under her wing and actually changing Kelli’s tears into smiles and enjoyment.  

  
         In addition to the banks and business of product, the JA city also had a mayor (one of Jenna’s classmates) and a city council.  There were screens on every wall to watch broadcast news and advertisement (also represented by the students.  Even the camera crew were 5th grade students)

         I know I’m not getting out all the words I need to explain this program accurately and here are a couple of videos that may give my reader more insight.  This one also a cartoon map of the city – a rough estimate anyway.

         Jenna and I had not gone downtown together, but we got permission for me to take her directly home instead of having to return to the school.  Good thing.  I would have not made it to the school when the bell rang to dismiss.
        
         I think it’s an awesome thing that this program exists and that children are given the opportunity to experience a small piece of adulthood – or responsibility.  Some actually not pleasant, unfortunately.



         My poor Jenna could shop at the cash only store (there was only one) but had to hurry as she had spent most of her break in line at the bank.  The deposit was always less than eight dollars and the most cash they could keep was 2.00 – the only amount she could spend as her account was somehow screwed up showing a zero balance – which was actually not the case, as she hadn’t spent anything.  Unfortunately there are many adults who have to deal with that in real life.

         I think overall it was a good experience for all involved, but it’s not something I wish to do again.  I am happy for it’s existence however.  I think it’s a neat program.  I just personally don’t wish to do it again.

         Neither one of us was able to get an ID card that was on promotion at Alphagraphic (the business where I had been assigned) and so I came home and made my own.  I actually like mine better.