Thursday, May 29, 2014

Doing the tourist thing in Seattle

California was a real whirlwind of a blast. While we were there we enjoyed a jazz show at Yoshi's and lots of wonderful sunshine. My mom headed back to Seattle with us and so we spent several days together, as this was her first time up here. So I did what any Seattleite would do...I took her to Pike Place Market and then the Chihuly Glass Garden at Seattle Center.

The flower bouquets at the Pike Place market have always been so lovely...I should take one home one day and do a painting.

Mom loved those nuts and I did too... I wonder if she at them all by now..haha.

One of the interesting things about Seattle is the monorail. It simply goes from the Westlake shopping center to the Seattle Center, which means it shuttles the tourists around. However, I've always enjoyed seeing this thing coast by through the streets and so finally took a ride on it with Ian and mom.

The Chihuly Glass Gardens are quite lovely and probably a good part of your visit to Seattle. But it holds some political history here in the city, that the planners tore down a playground and built this instead. I think however it was still a lovely sight to see.

You can look forward to another post about my mom's visit to Seattle. For now I'll update you all about school and sorts.

This quarter seems to have been not as powerful as previous ones. Sure I'm in a "Social Justice" course and that has been very enlightening. However, I haven't enjoyed that the student led "discussions" can go on forever and the teacher led instruction occurs briefly. I'm conflicted on what I paid for...was it to be taught by my peers or the instructor who gets the paycheck from my pocketbook...? Otherwise it is still a good class and lots of good life lessons are being learned.

Then comes the Grammar course and the midterm that sent me in a bit of a spiral. It wasn't that I was upset I didn't get an A on it, what got me was that I just stumbled over so many questions. I like knowing the answer or at least figuring out a way to sound like I know. The grammar on this midterm was kind of complex though and I think I wasn't ready for it. On the other hand, this course has been really helpful letting me know better about grammar and developing a grammar "voice" of my own.

With all that said, this quarter ends in about 2.5 weeks. I have a presentation and take home exam to do before it's all said and done. Then one week off and then it's off to summer quarter, which is more intense. I really need to slow myself down more, enjoy life and especially that I have time off. Can I do that? Hope so...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Brother's Graduation

My brother graduated from Mills College with a degree as a Childlife Specialist. He is there when children who are terminally ill or going through serious illness at hospitals need someone to help them understand what is going on. It's a commendable job and a great career that he chose.

The ceremony was lovely and the Mills College campus is also a nice site to see. After the ceremony and visiting his college department we grabbed some to-go lunch and headed to the Mountain View Cemetery. Yes, an odd place to eat lunch and celebrate someone's new direction in life but it came with a fantastic view.

The boys in their colorful pants...

After finishing lunch Jon got his dog and we all enjoyed a stroll down Point Isabel park.

I wish the best for my brother and that he continues to brighten young people's lives everyday.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Out to Cali: De Young Museum

My brother graduated from his Master's program this last weekend and in celebration I went to California to see it happen. My mother flew in from Florida and we first met up at the De Young Art Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate park. We were met with a beautiful Californian day and also lovely art in the galleries.

Ian also joined us on this trip and my brother too came along later.

Some interesting artworks at the museum were a photo and print collection of the old Bay Bridge, which has since been replaced and is now being deconstructed. Other works included a Pop Art section and then a wares section.

One section had Impressionist paintings with placards nearby that had poems written by children who viewed the painting.

Overall we had a good time at the museum and before heading to Oakland we enjoyed ourselves in the Cali sun.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Poster Presentation at the 2014 Seattle University Graduate Research Conference

Today I presented my social linguistics paper at the 2014 Seattle University Graduate Research conference as a poster presentation. You might recall me talking about Imagined Communities of English a while back and showing some of the resources I used for this.

I basically added more information to the handout I created for that class and then printed it out in poster size.

Not a lot of people showed up but a good group of folks came by and I talked about my research and the impact it has on teaching. I liked explaining that there are communities of English out there and that students can sometimes subscribe to a certain membership of English informing their participation in class. One woman talked about how she is Persian and that she has a good grasp of the English language now but when she does math it's in Farsi. So that was a good conversation.

Otherwise it was a very humble conference and I stuck around to watch a few presentations, one from a fellow colleague in my program. All together I was honoured to present and talk about my findings from last quarter.

I leave you with this fresh iris flower: