Sunday, March 27, 2011

I love reading class!

This semester I'm teaching two reading class (I teach English as a Second Language), and it's my first time teaching reading. So far I love it! I teach advanced students, so I made all my students pick out two novels to read for the semester. Each novel needed to be around 200 pages, so they end up reading around 30 pages a week. Then they have to summarize it and write their opinion about the book in a weekly paper.

I had to approve all of their book choices, and some of the choices made me so happy and nostalgic. Of course, some of my students had no idea what to read, so I gave them suggestions on books I liked as a teenager (since those books are pretty easy for my students to read), and it makes me really happy when they pick one of my favorite books :D.

As I'm reading through their first summaries for their second books, I find myself getting really excited for my students! If they picked a book I love, I know what's coming next, and I know what surprises are in the plot. I feel like I'm reading the book along with my student, and I love talking about the books with my students. It's really interesting because often they have different favorite characters than I do because they treasure different values in people because of cultural differences.

Any way, here are some of the books my students are reading. I think their choices are interesting, and I can't wait to read more of their summaries, even if I hate grading!

I'd also like to know everyone's favorite short novel! If it's around 200-250 pages then I'll add it to my list of suggestions that I give my students to help them pick out books!

Friday, March 25, 2011


On Wednesday I ventured down to Columbus to hang out and go to COSI (a science center) with my friends. My friends wanted to see the geckos (they're obsessed with geckos, and now after seeing the little cuties, I know why!), and I wanted to check out the rest of the science center.

The day started off awesomely because I only had to pay half price to get into COSI. Thank you teacher's discount!!! That degree is slowly paying for itself! :D

Isn't the coloring on this guy awesome? He's so yellow and happy looking, even though he was taking a snooze!

This little guy is my FAVORITE! I love the combination of blue and orange on EVERYTHING, so of course I was automatically drawn to this dude. He's so cute! I wanted to take him home!

This guy is gray with red dots. Also another good color combo!


This was a really cool fountain in the Poseidon area of the ocean exhibit. I thought the colors were gorgeous and I just had to take a picture.

Brain! This thing is awesome! It was hanging above an interactive science cafe. I reeeally wanted to stay and do the experiments at the science cafe, but we figured that the parents of small kids wouldn't like having 3 rowdy 20 somethings who already knew about science. Oh well.


Old-timey typewriter! This was in the "Progress" section of the science center. The Progress section was our favorite part, and we were shocked that there weren't that many people in this section!

This was the second part of the Progress section. It had the same layout as the other "town", but it was in the 1950's instead of the previous early 1900's. Seriously, these little town exhibits were SO cool. There were some stores you could go into, like a television studio, an appliance store, and a diner/restaurant with a working juke box!

This thing is a little hard to see, but it's a HUGE wire skeleton sculpture. We had a really good time naming all of the bones in the human body. Thank you human musculo-skeletal class!

Awesome rotating giant metal sculpture thingie outside of COSI. It sparkled in the sunlight, but it was cloudy when I took this picture when we were leaving :(

Pretty sunflower wall!

Neat house in German Village!

I loved this fence!

Gorgeous/tasty cupcake that I ate while waiting for our table at Thurman's. We had to wait an hour and a half, but it was sooo worth it!

Most. Amazing. Burger. EVER. We went to Thurman's (which you may have seen on Man Vs. Food). It was about an inch and a half thick, and as big as my face. I just had a plain cheeseburger, I couldn't even imagine adding MORE stuff to my burger! But my friends got burgers with all kinds of crazy stuff on them.

I didn't take a picture, but in Thurman's there are dollar bills taped all over the place with notes and signatures from all the patrons. Even Adam from Man Vs. Food signed a dollar bill, and it hangs right over the bar. So of course, we had to add a dollar bill too! We signed it and taped it right near where we had been sitting!

Finally, isn't this bunny the cutest?! My friend had just bought her on Tuesday night, and I was totally jealous. I want a fuzzy little bunny!

I had an awesome time at COSI, and I can't WAIT to go back during the summer when they have an exhibit on dinosaurs (MY FAVE!). Plus that teacher's discount is super awesome!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Black Squirrel...With a Camera?!

So, I haven't updated in aaaaages...but I've been up to my eyeballs in grading/teaching/life in general. I've moved into a new apartment with the bf (previously I was living with a crazy girl from a different continent), so that's taken a lot of getting used to. But I think the bf and I are getting along pretty well :]

In the meantime, I've picked up ANOTHER hobby. Because I totally need more things to take up my already dwindling free time. Plus, I just love buying accessories for new hobbies :]

Anyway, I've started a bit of amateur (and I MEAN amateur) photography. I borrowed a friend's camera (Canon Rebel DS 1000...or something like that). I like it, but the camera is way more complicated than my normal point and shoot camera (although from the reviews I've read, this camera is on the less complicated end of the spectrum).

I got so excited to try out the camera last night that I started photographing everything in sight. Also, this evening I went to the park/woods a little before sunset to try photographing some nature! I had a blast, and got a good workout walking up and down all the hills! Plus I hiked off the beaten path more than once to take pictures of badass flora and fauna.

Sooo I just wanted to share a few of my pictures from today. They're very amateurish, but I'm still pretty proud of them. I know that I still have a lot to learn about how the camera functions, composition, lighting, and editing (especially editing...since I hate it)...but I think this is a pretty decent first effort.

I would love some feedback/comments/critiques on these photos, so feel free to post a comment!

And without further ado...a million pictures!

I was just so excited to capture/photograph a black squirrel that I didn't care what the rest of the picture looked like!