Blog 10: Why 8:00 am classes should be banned at Fleming

There are many reasons why 8:00 am classes are illogical and impractical. These reasons can be applied to all colleges. There’s also a reason why Fleming especially should reconsider this early start. There are a large amount entering college straight from high school. They are teenagers and studies show that teenagers function at a higher rate of productivity when they start later in the day. The second group of students to examine are mature students and parents. With a later start time these parents would have a higher chance of coming to school refreshed and ready to learn. The third group of students are commuters. It would be a small token of appreciation to allow them to sleep just a little while longer.

WORD COUNT: 123

 

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Blog 9: Job Security is a bigger motivator than money

Many people would say that money is the biggest motivator in choosing a job. If you’re going to work hard you might as well get paid for it, right?

Well let me tell you why job security is far more important.

The first reason does tie into finances. For argument’s sake, let’s examine two different job options. One company pays a higher salary but offers no sense of security or permanency. The second pays slightly less in wages yet guaranteed longevity in employment with the company. It is more financially stable to accept a job from the second company. Given that the employee knows what money they will receive and when allows a chance to build up a proper savings plan. Furthermore, knowing the amount of money to be received allows for a proper budget. An employee in the second company is more likely to qualify for items like a mortgage or car loan. Knowing what is happening in your wallet is key in financial success.

In addition to better financial planning, overall health and well being is another advantage of company number two. Stability and routine are essential parts of maintaining healthy mental and physical states. People with stability sleep better, eat better, and generally live a well-rounded life. They can schedule times for all aspects of self-care such as a lunch date with a friend or movie night with a sister. Physical health is increased simply by the ability to have a proper meal schedule. The time and energy to go to the gym or head out for a walk is easier to manage. It is much easier to care for yourself and those you love if you know where you are going to be and when.

Finances and well being are two key motivators in choosing a job. These opinions are not necessarily just my own. There are several others who agree with me. On October 16, 2017, OPSEU and college faculty across Ontario withdrew services as a demand for better work conditions. One of these conditions was in fact job security. There are more instructors in Ontario’s colleges who are unsure of their employment security than those who are. These insecurely employed faculty must re-apply for their jobs on a regular basis. The period of uncertain employment could be for 7 years or it could be for 15 before they finally obtain their secure status. The instructors responsible for helping a student’s dream come to fruition are unable to qualify for mortgages or car loans. Many of them work at more than 1 campus. This is not a fair quality of life.

There are several reasons why security has a higher value than monetary gain. Financial planning and health are just two factors. I am frankly not the only one who sees these points as valid. 12,000 instructors and their supporters would validate these points as well.

WORD COUNT: 491

Blog 8: The Art of Losing an Argument

I have won several arguments in my lifetime. Against my peers, family and sometimes even complete strangers. Arguing with strangers is always interesting as they usually pick a verbal disagreement with me over the most frivolous things such as who will get the last bag of potatoes in the grocery store.

It is not often I lose an argument. I don’t argue often but when I choose to it is because I am passionate and strongly believe I am correct.

I must admit there was in fact a time I did lose. I lost to someone younger and less experienced than I was. This person definitely had more charm than I do. She had nothing to lose but everything to gain. I lost an argument with my daughter.

One day she came sauntering into the living room with her tablet in hand and so casually asked, “Mama, could I please download Skype onto my tablet?” What does my 10-year-old need that for…my mind began racing. My heart beat so hard I thought it would break my ribs. I was happy she followed the rule regarding asking my permission to download an app before actually doing it.

“No, I’m sorry but that is something you do not need.” I told her abruptly. She smiled and sat beside me. “No Mama I don’t need it but I want it. I want to still talk to Marissa when art classes are over.” I could feel blood rushing to my face. I explained to her she could use the telephone to speak with her and Skype was something we do not understand enough of so how will I keep her safe on the mystery land of the internet?

She did not take my answer. “Mama,” so sweetly she persisted, “I was thinking, what if I only use Skype when you are in the room with me? And you can see my contacts too? I won’t see Marissa for one month and I know I can talk to her on the phone but it’s not the same and she is my best friend.” These were all good points. I swallowed hard. She thought of everything, my safety concerns, possible punishments, probable reasons to agree.

“Ok sweetheart. We will try it.” I managed to choke out. “If I break my own rules,” she says to me confidently, “I promise to delete it from my tablet right away.” Darn her. She got me.

WORD COUNT: 408

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Blog 7: Is writing re-writing, or is it simply “writing”

 

In reading the article True “Writing is Rewriting” by Beth Shoppe, my initial response is to defend my self proclaimed work of art. I have always had a particular knack to clearly and articulately inscribe my thoughts, feelings and evidence if needed in a matter of minutes. In general my reader usually agrees with my viewpoint or follows the literate path I have engaged them to follow.

I take pride in my writing, I view it as my baby. So for me to choose to eliminate or adjust certain qualities of my love child brings immediate pain to my heart. Call it foolish pride. Call me a ferocious mama bear. It is a truth and a flaw I willingly admit.

However I must say that when I do review my work I often see muddled in a sea of emotion and perspective the point in which I want to express is buried. The best key advice in this article for me is simply “Rewriting Takes Time” (Beth Shoppe, “Writing is Rewriting”). I love writing. I love reading. It makes sense that If I have a love of these things I should be more receptive to letting my guard down and really want to put my best foot forward when creating a piece for my blog, or an assignment for my fellow teachers. Now if the best pieces are rewritten and I love to read and I love to write she may have convinced me that it is ok if your “love child” isn’t perfect. Raising a child is about producing the best product you can. I can commit some extra time to having the best representation of myself put forward.

Beth Shoppe then says, as if specifically to me, “I work slow and fiddle constantly, so the revision is pretty much done as part of the original writing.” This is brilliance! It is time effective and removes the guilt of altering that piece I hold so dear to my heart. The work becomes an ongoing evolution rather than the pruning of a jungle she mentions. This is my solution. My pride is still intact and I am still partaking in what I enjoy.

I am certain that this will take some practice but I am willing to try it repeatedly until I have mastered this. I will start…now.

Word Count: 400

Reading Blog 6 (word count: 405)

Using words to create a vivid picture in the reader’s mind is important, especially when blogging and having a limited word count! One has to capture the reader or risk losing their interest and not having your precious viewpoint heard.

I recently read an article “The Last Stop” (Brian Cable, 2002) which definitely accomplished this difficult task. It was an article based around such a touchy and sensitive topic which was the industry of funerals.

The writer, Brian Cable, did an amazing job at keeping me in tune with following his adventurous curiosity. He says early in his article, “The death of a loved one can be very painful, partly because of the sense of loss, but also because someone else’s mortality reminds us all too vividly of our own.” (Cable, 2002)

Once I read this I knew that he realized his reader might not want to dive too deeply in such a subject. Knowing that he was aware of my sensitivity I felt I could trust him enough to continue reading. This statement was generally applicable to majority of readers as almost everyone has encountered a loss, either a family member, friend, or family pet.

His description of the funeral director, ” Indeed, he looked like death on two legs.” (Cable, 2002) came at a perfect time in his tour of the funeral home. It really is a twisted form of humour, after all he was hanging out in a building dedicated to dead people and there was one walking, talking and conducting business! Truth be told I was beginning to feel uncomfortable up to that point. It was unexpected and made me chuckle. That little burst of dark humour was what I needed to keep reading. It eased the tension I could feel mounting in myself and I really could picture death on two legs!

It is a statement most of us have used to describe ourselves, such as “I look like death warmed over.” His reference to the living dead came at a perfect moment and solidified my commitment to finish reading his story.

To be able to capture one’s attention willingly in such a topic takes great guidance and assurance the reader will enjoy your piece. Brian Cable definitely accomplished this twice for myself at least. It just seemed like he knew when I was about to chicken out, and he just went and brought me back in.

Reference:

Cable, B. (2002). The Last Stop. In R. B. Axelrod, & C. R. Cooper, The Concise Guide to Writing (3rd ed., pp. 57-60). New York, NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Reading Blog 5 – Interviews

In reading “What the Best Interviewers Get Right” (Brian Casel), there is a lot of great advice that makes sense to me, as I prepare to interview for my “profile assignment”. I agree wholeheartedly with focusing on a topic, mostly because information can become fragmented with no concise rhyme or reason. The ability to change course is also a must have quality. Being able to adapt and guide a conversation towards a meaningful direction is what gets results.

However there are some suggestions that would be challenging to me.

Don’t be afraid to interrupt. This would be a challenge on the sole basis that I believe interrupting is an utmost sign of disrespect. I see the value in interrupting someone so you don’t loose your train of thought. Perhaps they just said something that gave you an idea. It does coincide with changing course but I would feel awfully rude.

Being selfish is another tricky interviewing habit I would have a hard time with. I feel like if I were being selfish my interviewee would get that sense and perhaps shut down on me and put up a wall. If someone agreed to be interviewed I would assume they would be prepared to be asked to divulge some deep items of them self. I would guess one would have to be selfish in a sneaky way so that the interviewee doesn’t feel invaded.

I think the piece of advice that sounds most daunting to me is to get something no one has ever heard before. I suppose all the pieces of the advice puzzle add up to this overall goal, but how do you actually know what no one has gotten before? You can research previous interviews but their life is a mystery beyond what they have previously said. One would have to be a very good detective to uncovering something not only new but interesting!

I guess the art of interviewing is overwhelming to me. I am not a pushy person and would rather let people be themselves. I find that when I make people feel valued they do tell me things. I don’t usually even have to ask them. Its a sense of comfort that people feel like they can talk to me and trust me.

Having said that however, I do not make as much money as Howard Stern so perhaps I have much to learn!

word count: 399

As A Parent I Am the Student, Not the Teacher (Draft 2)

Wash your hands regularly. Pack a balanced lunch. Take the time to match your socks before you put them away. Do your home work before watching t.v. We have all heard this. So many times sometimes we may have even stopped listening and tuned these words out.

For parents we hear ourselves repeat this vicious cycle of crushing under the pressure of raising “productive and meaningful adults”. This is why I believe that my children teach me more than I could ever teach them.

I am very fortunate my parents trained myself and my 2 sisters to have basic life skills. I am also fortunate to have parents who always listened to my problems feelings and issues wholeheartedly. They never once criticized our feelings.

Now that I have 2 children I do repeat their style. I have already endured grade 2 and 5. But this is their very first time. I ask my parents why they raised us as they did and their answer made complete sense. They said “We had so much more to learn from you than you had to learn from us.”

I understand. My children have completely different personalities. My daughter is so sweet and sensitive. My son is direct and goal driven. I have learned so many things just from that fact alone.

When my son tells me “I hate fajitas, I think they’re disgusting” as I serve them for dinner. I do not take offence. That is just the way he speaks. He did not say he hated my cooking. Just hates the fajitas. My daughter came home from school last week upset that she sneezed really loudly and some other kids chuckled at her. Her intense tears of hurt feelings are very real. I know this is not the end of the world but she hasn’t figured it out yet.

The more I listen to them I learn more about myself and engaging with other people. It is refreshing to take the time out of worrying about bills and the cost of fuel and solve the sneezing or fajita problem.

I try my best to see the world through their eyes. I love them unconditionally and therefore want them to grow to become the happiest and healthiest young adults possible. This means I will do anything for them to accomplish that. Even if it means to let them take the lead. As I hear the story of their day I spend much time reflecting. About my reactions in my child hood and adulthood. My children do have more wisdom than meets the eye, you just have to stop and hear it. They teach me about the world around them, they teach me about themselves and myself. They teach me that my way isn’t the only way through their own experiences and problem solving.

Washing your hands and doing your homework is important and basic. But not as much as what those two have to say.

Word count: 503