September 30, 2005

Weekly Blog-Sept. 26-Sept. 30

The part of class I found most interesting this week was on Thursday; when we started to look at some of the facts of Lincoln Elementary School. The information that we looked at really fascinated me as I compared some of the statistics from Lincoln's school to my own school. It really showed me how they could be compared to night and day. They were the exact oppositive in almost every way. In marshall, 90% of students are caucasion, while in Lincoln there is an overwhelming majority of african americans. Also, while reviewing the standards they both met, the percent that has reduced or free lunches, and there test scores, I was stunned to see how big of a gap between the two schools there was. I also found it interesting that Lincoln Elementary actually has more qualified teachers than Marshall. It was very enlightening seeing all of these statistics, and that is why I found this to be a very important part of our weekly classes.

Posted by at 3:58 PM

September 29, 2005

Lincoln Elementary

I found it important how they are trying to show the public in their community level that they are going to work harder to succeed. It is obvious in the state report card that they are struggling on reading and math tests. Therefore, the school board is going to have students put in increased amount of hours and work daily to raise these scores and better their students educations. I found this to be a very important fact about the school and the school board. Also, the fact that 93% of students receive free or reduced lunch is important. It shows how the school is battling widespread economic issues throughout their school. This could be another incicator to why students are stuggling at Lincoln Elementary. Those are just a couple of the facts that I found to be interesting about Lincoln Elementary School.

Posted by at 4:39 PM

September 23, 2005

End of the Week Blog

This most interesting and useful thing that I found we did in class this week was the revision groups. I enjoyed this part of class because it gave me an oppurtunity to see how everyone else viewed my paper and receive positive criticism about it. It allowed me to hear the views of everyone else and led me to make some changes that I did not see as a problem while writing the paper. Also, the fact that it is in a small group is a positive because I would not have wanted to share about my paper as openly if it were a large group or whole class thing. I'm looking forward to next weeks revision group to be as usefull as the last in helping me construct the final phases of my paper, and think the revision group idea is a good one.

Posted by at 1:14 PM

September 22, 2005

Comparison of Essays

After reading the essays "The Things We Carry" and "Mean Girls" by Danielle Williams and Jen Albright. I have determined that "The Things We Carry" piece is the better choice. I found that it excelled over "Mean Girls" in the 3 main categories: content, organization, and style. After I finished reading both of them, I noticed that "The Things We Carry" seemed to have much greater detail and much better descriptions of events and how they impacted the writer. It also appeared to be organized much better. It always seemed like the sentences in "The Things We Carry" were connecting the path to another sentence that would explain the significance of it or draw a conclusion. However, while reading "Mean Girls" it did not always seem to be going in a visible direction and appeared to be just random thoughts at times. Finally, I also found the style of "The Things We Carry" to be better. Although, I did mind "Mean Girls" to be very interesting. But from a perspective of how things were placed throughout the essay and how things were presented to you, it appeared that "The Things We Carry" had the slight edge. Therefore, I felt that "The Things We Carry" was the much better essay because of its amount of content of need, great organization, and style.

Posted by at 4:26 PM

September 15, 2005

Frederick Douglass Blog

1. Personal Traits

The most important personal trait in Frederick Douglass's education was his self motivation. After he was given a small sampling of teaching at a young age he never gave up on attempting to learn how to read and write. Even though his original instructor turned against him and scolded him anytime she saw him with anything sort of reading material in his had, he never gave up. His motivation to one day learn to read and write, despite already knowing he was a slave for life, was the key personal trait that allowed to accomplish this with very little outside guidance. Another major personal trait was his curiosity. He always wanted to learn more about what was going on in the world and wanted to be like everyone else. Therefore, he tried harder than ever to read whatever he could and attempt to memorize how it was done so that he could one day master it.

2. Exterior Forces

There was not a lot of encouragement from the outside world for Frederick to one day learn to read and write. Frankly, it was seen as a horrible accomplishment. The thought of slaves learning to read and write was considered a travesty in the world at that time. He defied the odds to be able to accomplish these feats. The only exterior forces that helped him was his mistress for a short time, the kids that lived on Philpot Street, and random magazines or books that he could get his hand on. The only one of these that truly stood out was the kids he met on Philpot Street. He gives them a great deal of gratitude for originally helping get him started in his story. They were the key outside source that can be given any credit.

3.

I liked how he overcame the odds and managed to learn these forbidden skills and become the guy he is today. I thought that the sly methods that he used to learn; like tricking white kids into helping him and memorizing the letters off of a ship were creative and impressive. I did not like how his original teacher just turned on him and refused to help him learn. However, he was too driven to learn after that and that is how he became the guy he is today.

Posted by at 5:12 PM

September 13, 2005

"Shitty First Drafts"

"It's not like you don't have a choice, because you do--you can either type or kill yourself"
I found this sentence to be interesting in a number of ways. I find it refreshing to know that even good writers have problems getting their paper going in the beginning. It also does a great job of describing the grueling process that everyone goes threw when they try to get going on a paper. It comically points out the thought process going threw your head as you attempt time after time to get a paper going. Those are the reasons that i found this comment to be very interesting and important.

Posted by at 4:46 PM

September 8, 2005

Introducing Myself

1. My Neighborhood:

I grew up in a fairly small neighborhood in Marshall, Minnesota. We were on a block of average sized houses that was surrounded by several very wealthy blocks. It was a very safe neighborhood that never really accumulated more crimes than petty thefts or vandalism. The highlights of the neighborhood were a park, middle school, and subpar mall. Therefore, all we really did was hang out with friends and play sports in my neighborhood.

2. Best and worst parts of high school:

The thing that i enjoyed the most about high school was having a chance to hang out with your friends and meet new people. It was a great place to make new friends and strengthen your ongoing friendships. When it comes to things i disliked about high school there is a very wide range of them. Besides waking up early and the long classes, I would have to say that i disliked the administration the most. They robbed us of open campus, made ridiculous rules, threw out unjust threats, and basically just ran a horribly arbitrary system.


3. Best and worst teachers:

I would have to say that my favorite teacher was our Senior American Government teacher, Mr. Hegerle. This was a tough choice because there was a lot of exceptional teachers, but his methods stood out the most. I think im choosing him because he allowed us to spend countless hours formulating our open campus proposol and stood by us when we were being cheated. It helped that he was a hilarious guy and ran a fun class. Also, I think the fact that the people in that class were really fun helped his cause.

My worst teacher was my Geometry teacher, Mrs. Gutman. She was horrible at a variety of things to earn this honor. I do not honestly know if she taught 80% of the class anything. She would teach a lesson in like 5 minutes without answering questions or explaining how she did anything. She would then realize that 2 students understood it and move on. Also, you could barely understand what she was saying and she had an unusually short fuse.


4. Evaluating my education:

I would rate the education I received as good. There was some teachers who really stood out and did a tremedous job and others who brought down the rest of the group. When i was placed in classes with teachers who truly enjoyed what they did it was a much better learning experience. However, sometimes I got stuck with teachers who did not seem to teach with passion or care if you learned anything. Those kind of teachers along with a poor administration helped bring down the quality of the education being taught. Therefore, it would probably rank slightly above good in the end of it all.

5. Deciding on college:

I cannot think of a point in my life where i actually considered not going to college. I always planned on getting done with high school and going right on to college. It was always a goal of mine and I can not even think of a reason why i would not have followed it. I think that my parents were responsible for implementing this line of thinking in me at a very young age. They always talked about going to a good college and getting a good education, and I always listened.

Posted by at 1:40 PM