Friday, June 27, 2014

Somethings Begin, Others End

One of the criteria for graduating from my program is completing an internship. Since I'm coming down to just two more quarters (after summer) I have started to think about what I will do for this. It requires about 120 hrs of work. Another part of graduating is passing the comprehensive exam, which of course takes some studying to prepare for. All of which, informed my decision to finish teaching the volunteer class I teach on Fridays. I'm going to miss showing up Friday mornings and hearing the ladies say how much they love my class and appreciate my teaching.

That is why it was especially hard today when I broke the news to them. Ironically it was the day when all of them showed up, plus a new student wanting to learn with the others. After I told them, and they figured out what I was saying they immediately felt very sad and you could tell wish it weren't true. I did really feel bad but I told them if I ever get free time again that I'll try to teach them again. I'm hoping the organisation will find another teacher for them so they can continue to improve and learn in English. I'll still be teaching 3 more classes, so it's not completely the end. I might be able to come back after I have graduated and found a full time job. In the end, I've learned that volunteering is an incredibly rewarding experience but is very difficult to keep due to one's schedule and life. It was only just 1 hr a week on Friday's, but I made my own lessons and materials...which consumed a lot of time.

I wish I could go on and do everything all together, but knowing myself I need to keep a reasonable schedule so not to feel overwhelmed.

In other news, the summer quarter started this week and here is a look at my classes.

EAP (English for Academic Purposes):
I'm finally taking my electives for this degree, having finished all the core classes. This class is very relevant to my current and future practice. The angle of the class is to distinguish and choose which side of the EAP world you want to belong on. Where for example there is general EAP and specific EAP. Some say we should cover general academic writing (and other skills) because we are not experts in other fields and how would we know what is right. Along with this student's should be equipped with general over-arching academic skills for their future. On the other hand, there is the specific EAP side of the debate that says we also need to prepare students for the variation in jargon and writing styles that occur across disciplines. I feel like I have one foot in each realm, because I do feel student's should start from a general perspective but also that you can take them in a specific direction. I often find myself thinking about where I started as an undergrad and how I went from general academic knowledge to specific knowledge in art history. So a promising class that will give me more to think about in my profession

2nd Language Teaching Methodologies:
This class is going to take a more focused look at actual methods and practices that are used in the ESL profession. We will have to design a syllabus and lesson in this class so there is going to be some work there. But overall I'm excited to learn about new methods and thoughts on modes of practice in my field. Certainly, I feel I bring a lot to the table but I'm really open to diversifying my repertoire of teaching methods. I also like that we have an assignment to write about our professional beliefs and principles, which will come in handy when applying for jobs.

In essence, the summer quarter is shorter and you gotta keep a good pace so not to get behind. But I'm trying to not to do my usual thing of getting too far ahead. I want to keep a good pace and be on the ball but not overworked at the same time. Plus I got some running shoes recently and would like to get that going I really need to get into shape.

Well that's all that is happening in a nutshell. :)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Fremont Fair 2014

When I was getting ready to move back to America I was excited that I picked the Pacific Northwest. For one I knew it was a place where whacky stuff happens along with that fun-liberal kind of life. The Fremont Fair is something that provided that kind of atmosphere in ample amounts. This event is meant to celebrate the freedom to be "peculiar".

I went with a school friend and we had a good time checking things out. I got a nice sunburn on half of my body but it was well worth it.

One of the attractions at the fair is the Solstice Parade which begins with nude be warned the following contains nudity... with body paint.

The painted-bicyclists went on for a good hour and then the musical and showboat sort-of style of the parade took place. You had different groups come down doing their own sorta thing and some of the time you just didn't know what it was all about. But I went along with it and enjoyed this whacky culture.

Other areas of the fair included vendors and musical venues, although we didn't make it to the music.

Magnetic metal parts for sale...would be cool to put these on the front of one's house...if I had a house.

I definitely want to go back next year and see if I can reserve a spot with a lawn chair to watch the parade. Otherwise we had great weather and it was a good end to my week long vacation. Now, it's back to school with the summer quarter!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Spring Quarter 2014 Signing Off

Well I can't believe it, another quarter gone like the dust in the wind. This quarter I really worked hard to be ahead so that when family came to visit I wasn't worried about school work. That left me kinda off in class on where we were at, since my head was already ahead in the book.

The grammar class kicked my butt in some ways, mostly because I found a lot of it to be over my head. But it also pushed me to think about how grammar is structured to be difficult and how much I do and do not know. Yet I am kind of proud of myself for being able to understand some things and even address them in my papers, along with getting good scores on assignments.

The other class, Social Justice, seemed to be an interesting experiment in tackling tough social issues and facing your role in all of it. I definitely feel I have a better sense of what justice really is and what racism is really about. I know I will forever be contending with my status as a white person in society and my privileges that goes along with this. I am grateful, however, for my experience abroad because it gave me a lot of knowledge to go on during our discussions and for the readings. I know it's not entirely comparable but the struggles I faced in Korea, in some parts for being a foreigner, gave me a lot to go on when discussing certain topics in this class. In the end, I found myself having a voice and not feeling threatened or worried about what people would think towards my ideas.

However, this whole quarter I felt distracted. Money was really tight this quarter and a lot of unexpected expenses came up and bit me in the butt. Of course I'm not out on the street but it got the gears in my head thinking about how I'm spending my time in Grad school when I could be working full time somewhere paying off the debt I already have. I have to remind myself grad school will pay off later and that it is a valuable experience in the long run. But other distractions came to me as well like what job will I have when I graduate and just generally feeling down some days and also tired from all the studying.

I have one week before the summer quarter and my instincts are to read ahead, get started on papers and ignore my soul wanting to take a break. I probably should do one of those things that is best for me before my brain freezes up.

I'm taking Tom to the Vet tomorrow for his annual rabies shot, so that should be fun. Anyways, spring quarter was good in some sense and had some struggles but I made it through!

 I'll just do this for the next week...

Art Show at the Pagdiriwang Phillipine Festival 2014

For many years now Ian's family have been hosting and putting together the Pagdiriwang Phillipine Festival. If you recall I went to last year's for just a little bit. But this year I was invited to show my works of art at their art show, and I was very honoured to do so.

The opening ceremony for the gallery included some traditional music and a few welcoming speeches. I definitely felt warmly welcomed into this family and hoped my works were received well. Most of the one's I chose were recent ones done in my Google Street view style along with others that were more floral in nature.

 If you are interested in acquiring any of my works that you see here, they are for sale and I'm willing to part with them so they can be treasured by people out there.

Otherwise I enjoyed showcasing my work and it reminds to find time to make more and to try and get my artistic self out there.

Random sunset picture from these past few weeks...

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Bainbridge Island

Sitting out there in the Puget Sound is Bainbridge Island and when my mom was visiting we took a trip to see what we can see.

The ferry ride was smooth and provided lovely views of the city.

Bainbridge Island was a quant and cute place to visit with little shops and restaurants and some places to eat near the water.

It was fun to just mill around Bainbridge and I hope to return again to take in more of the natural highlights to be found on the island.