Language learning trek (1)

It’s spring break, and I’m valiently trying to pick up one of my hobbies again – one of them being language learning. Right now, I have about 15 or so tabs open on the topic, and my biggest, hm, obstacle is creating a curriculum. How should I go about learning? What the most important thing to learn first? How do I incorporate all the aspects of language so that it makes sense?

I have an idea of how I want to go about it, and I did try this way when I was studying Portuguese last year, but then as I kept stuyding, things got a bit complicated, and –
Thinking on it now, I guess the real problem is not adjusting my plans.



Repost: The Mind, Body & Soul Challenge with @Ghana_Goddess!

Source: The Mind, Body & Soul Challenge with @Ghana_Goddess!

I’m gonna do it! Like, for real this time.
Honestly I’ve been feeling pretty down, pretty apathetic, pretty useless. And I’ve been eating it all, which in turn screws with my budget a bit. In any case, I want to start feeling better about myself. These feelings aren’t anything new, and though they fluctuate, I’d rather try to keep them at bay permanently. There’s a lot of, “If this changed then…”, “Once I’m… then…” type of thinking. And sure, yeah, that may be the case. But none of that is happening now, and it seems ridiculous to wait until it does to try and do something. Some things I can control, and some things I cannot. I think this falls into the former category, even though at times it doesn’t feel that way…
Anyway, I’m hoping to come out of this simply feeling better about myself overall, with habits to stay that way, or at least to bounce back faster from all the disparaging.



Career Fair

     I am now in the post-graduation, pre-career phase. And it’s weirdly overwhelming. There is no immediate pressure from anyone around me to find a job right now, why haven’t you found one, what do you do all day. Which is relieving, but I wouldn’t mind a little pressure. I’ve been quite passive about my job search – looking for and bookmarking positions on job board websites, only to see that when I check back a week or two later, it’s gone! A grand and disappointing surprise, I tell you.
      So when I saw that one of the job board sites I frequently check (i.e. everyday) was hosting a career fair, I signed up immediately. A chance to directly meet with people from schools – some of which I really, really liked – without having to write a cover letter? (Side: I hate writing cover letters because I get stuck on how to write them without sounding like a pompous faux-erudite that thinks inserting a superfluous abundance of vocabulary will beget a positive response.) I’m in!
     I’ve never been to a career fair before. In undergrad, I was never confident enough, considering my lack of experience, to attend any. And in grad, the career fairs were always at inconvenient times – like, 10 am on a weekday. Of course, Google was my mentor with this one. “How to kill it at a career fair!”, “The Do’s & Don’ts of career fairs”, The Elevator Pitch, What Recruiters Look For, etcetera and so on. It was a lot, actually. The basics were pretty much obvious to me though. Research the company, eye contact, firm handshake, clear voice. Makes sense. I worked enough years in customer service to do this with no issue. But the elevator pitch? It’s like an abridged cover letter. Dude.
My biggest qualm being, how do I even do that though? Do I just go up to the table, introduce myself, and delve right in? Isn’t that kind of… rude? Like, bragging?
But Mandy, that’s the whole point, yeah.
     And, really, it isn’t as procedural as all that. A lot of the articles I read and videos I watched advised that I have something ready, to pre-write the pitch and be familiar with it. However, the most helpful video I watched was this one:
     It’s actually kind of cute, because they do a small skit to go along with their advise. The takeaway I got was to make it more like a conversation. Instead of laying down a pu-pu platter of all your skills, it’s more like à la carte. (If that makes any sense….) In any case, I felt more comfortable with that approach, and it felt more natural to me. I will say that writing what you would like to say writing down a pitch could be beneficial, so you’re not floundering around for how to phrase what you want to say. At least you’ll have something in mind.
     So my newbie advice is to really research the company and see what they position aligns with what you’re looking for. Ask for more information about it, and match it up with your experience.
E.g. Recruiter: Everyday, there are collaboration meetings to make sure the pace of the curriculum and our planning are addressing the needs of the students.
Self: Wow, that’s great. During my practicum, me and co-teachers reviewed our plans daily so we could assess how we did that day, and what we could improve daily. Collaboration is so essential to having an effective curriculum.
     I know that sounds a bit generic. (Also, I’m paraphrasing. Also, I’m under the impression that my program’s practicum course is different than others? I could be wrong with that assumption, obviously.)
But do you see what I’m saying? It’s like a matching graphic organizer (ho ho ho look at the totally original teacher-ly joke), or something.
Overall, be confident in your skills! Be proud of your accomplishments and experience. Even if you don’t think you’re all that, pretend you are just for those few hours! It’s all about making a connection, don’t miss the opportunity! 😀
#Also, smile!
#I was so tired that day though because sleeping schedule is ???
#Pre-classroom Novice Teacher Advice 101
#Rejected title: Career Fair Affair 

Repost: Being active in these tumultuous times

Hi, I have a coworker from Iran. The President is about to announce awful policies around admitting people from countries including Iran. I’m pretty sure he and his siblings are all here on non-permament statuses, though I don’t know for sure. He’s a friendly acquaintance, not someone I’d say I have a close relationship with, […]

via #938: Supporting Immigrant Coworkers in the USA. — Captain Awkward

Often times, I will read or see videos about how bad an issues is, how wrong it is, and how mad it makes the poster. And I will more or less agree, but then I ask – what can be done though??

Obligatory New Year’s post

Has it really only been four days into the new year? It feels like a lot longer because I have been doing nothing for awhile. Nothing but working on my edTPA, looking for jobs, and sleeping.
I am offically (kind of, I get my degree at the end of the month) DONE with my program! I was so busy with student teaching, but now I have so much time I almost don’t know what to do with it (Almost: see above). Just figuring out all the logistics of it all for going forward.

2016 was certainly a year, yes? But there have been notable years in the past, and there certainly will continue to be. 2017 will be so new to me since it’ll be my first year where I will not be a student – which is just weird. But I’m excited! I have my goals all written down, and I’m interested to see when and how they’re accomplished. The only real downside about ending in December is that it’s the middle of the school year, and a bit harder to find jobs. Not impossible (living in NY, I feel like there’ll always be jobs around), but it’s not quite ideal.  I’m just so ancy! I’m ready to get back into a classroom.
I’m hoping by the end of this month I’ll have secured something, because doing nothing is only fun when you’re actually busy.

I also have a goal of posting more, so we’ll see how that goes!


Happy first!

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 9.39.11 PM

Happy Semptember first!

The semester doesn’t start for me until next week, but there are still things that I need to do to prepare for. This is not only my last semester, but also student teaching! Which means I will be busy busy busy! Though, I know it’ll be December before I can even blink an eye.

I still have two certification tests I need to take. I really wanted to get to them this summer, but after taking two classes, I was just too lazy to study. Prepping for class and edTPA will take up a lot of my time, but I want to get them done by October the latest. I was wondering if I should try volunteering at an after-school program for the semester, but I think I’m just being a bit over-zealous. I don’t think I’d be able to handle that with school and work. Possible, though not feasible.

As for my Jumpstart Challenge. Well….

I totally failed! Haha! I did really well on the first week in terms of exercising twice about 6 out of 7 days. Trying to drink a gallon of water a day is a bit hard, actually. Not the act of it, but actually remembering to. I think I have to work up to a gallon, perhaps starting with a half gallon everyday. Or a quarter. Just something more doable.

As for changing what I ate, and cutting down on sweets and coffee, hm…I certainly made an effort? I guess? According to the log I started on the 3rd day, I drank coffee 3 of the 8 days that I actually did the challenge…

I went on vacation the week after the challenge was supposed to end, eating out almost everyday, exercise but vague thought in the back of my mind (there was quite a bit of walking though!). So the challenge was bust. I guess I’m just not meant for challenges, whether I create them or join someone else’s .

There was something I read on Quora about dedicating 700+ hours towards being productive, or something akin to that, which I found interesting! But I think that I’ll save that for another post!

#please excuse my attempt at making a header
#I tried

Hairwise: Luv Naturals’ Love Me & Leave-In Conditoner



LuvNaturals is the hair care brand by Kim Love of Kimmaytube on Youtube. This leave-in conditioner is step 4 in a series of products.

Kimmaytube’s channel was one of the first that I watched when I started taking more care of my hair. She offered clear, concise videos full of well researched information and thought out content.
I was excited when she launched her website a few years back. I even remember watching a video about her talking about creating and choosing a logo for the business! I never actually got around to buying any of her products until recently, and I’m really happy to say that I love it!

I usually use kpangnan butter mixtures as any previous creamy mixtures or products wouldn’t do much and would become flaky after they dried, which I hated. This summer, however, I wanted to try something lighter. At first, I bought one of Cantu’s leave-in creams, but I didn’t like it and again, it was flaky.

799e4523-d735-440f-b93a-d09a4e164e60_zpss2fzzkyjIn June, I purchased luv natural’s leave-in. It’s light and creamy. The scent, which is not too heavy, is sweet and citrusy. And most important of all, it leaves my hair feeling soft and it doesn’t flake! I love using this leave in, and I have to stop myself from being too heavy handed, because a little goes a long way. I find when I take my hair to re-moisturize days later, my hair still feel good.

This leave in is $14 plus shipping. Relative to a majority of the products in the natural hair care market, it isn’t expensive at all. I’m not one to spend more than $10 on hair care – my stash is very simple – but I definitely would purchase this again because it’s so awesome!

Here’s a video from her channel giving a tutorial on how to best use it!

Tagging this as a #BGBB!


Jumpstart Challenge!

Now that I finally have more time (and motivation) to start working out again, I really want to put my all into it, and go a little bit intense; in the beginning, at least. Intense being 2 workouts a day, with an (optional!) higher level workout. It sounds like a lot, right? haha
I’ve tried following other people’s challenges, and I always fall off one way or the other, but I want to try my own! It’ll only be 2 weeks. After that, I’ll probably tone it down to working out once a day.

The conditions for this challenge are:

  • Drink a gallon a water a day (I drink a lot of water already, but I don’t think I drink enough)
  • Workout 4 – 6 days out of the week
  • Include more leafy greens in my meals
  • Cut down on coffee
  • Cut down on sugar/sweets

I’m thinking I’ll lose about 2 – 3 pounds at the end of it (~1 to 1 ½ per week), though my focus isn’t too much on the weight aspect as much as it is just feeling better and not so drowsy and sluggish most of the time, and to get into the habit of exercising again.

Let’s see how this goes!

Practicum done

I haven’t much wrote about it, in my personal journal or here, but it was certainly an experience. Much different than any other position that required me to teach. Honestly, I was pretty mediocre. I didn’t do the best that I could do, which is, of course, regrettable.
I did learn a lot about myself; about who I want to be in and outside the role of being a teacher.
I had amazing and supportive co-teachers and mentor teacher, and I wish I could have been more on their level. I really could go on, wallowing in self-deprecation and what not, but it really doesn’t change anything, other than just making me feel bad.
What I’ve learned about myself and my profession is something I just have to reflect on, and use for actual change. I find that sometimes, when I have an experience that changes my perspective, there will be a discrepancy between my thoughts and my behavior. It’s odd, but I’m looking to close that gap.
Student teaching starts in the Fall, and that will be my last course before graduating in December. I want to do better, especially since after that I’m “on my own”. I’ll no longer be a student, which will be weird because I’ve been one for so long, I’m so used to being in that role. There hasn’t been a time when I didn’t feel that role hovering over me. I’m not sure if I’m explaining myself clearly, but in any case: I will do better during student teaching, and I will continue to improve as I progress. This is the mindset I have to consistently keep…