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Before yesterdayA Geek's Eye View

Three Companies of Men

13 June 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
Part I: From Living History to Moldering Papers appeared last week.

Trainees Arrive at Sioux City High School
Locally, the U.S. Army sent one hundred eighty trainees to Sioux City High School, now better known as Central High School and the Castle on the Hill. These trainees studied telegraphy, semaphore and cabinetry making.[1] The men were broken into three companies consisting of sixty men each. The first company trained to send and receive messages over the telegraph. The second company trained to read and send messages by signal flags (semaphore). The final company was trained in building basic and advanced carpentry pieces. They practiced making everything they would need to create or repair at a military base. Bookcases, chairs, and desks are among the pieces they learned to build.[2] They spent three months working on their skills, which would serve many of them just as well in peacetime.[3] Due to the nature of their training, these were 'Class B' draftees, who were unable to find other - more necessary - work. [4] Soldiers’ activities and experiences were not limited to military skills and information on the current war. They also received medical attention to prevent problems that were occurring on the battlefield. One such preventative was a typhoid vaccination, which resulted in a temporary quarantine.[5]Typhoid killed, or at least infected, many of the soldiers overseas. It was especially dangerousin the trenches. However, it could also be common in America as well. Inoculations were something that many of these Class B individuals may not have been able to get before. Finally, the skills, aid, and experiences welded this mass of individuals into a single skilled whole, which was more than the sum of its parts. Comparing the arrival and final informal photos of the trainees revealshow much their attitudes had changed.[6] They went from a crowd of tired civilians to a relaxed and happy group of soldiers, ready to sail off to the big show.

Final picture of woodworking company
Since all of the veterans of the Great War are dead, all one hundred eighty trainees are dead. Also, no paperwork currently archived lists the names of the trainees. However, researchers can create a partial list. Captain A.A. Roe led the training unit with the aid of Lieutenant Harry H. Brown.[7] Β The two of them taught the one hundred eighty draftees military discipline and expectations for the three months. To instruct them in their jobs (of telegraphy, semaphore, and woodworking), L.H. Wood was brought in as the director of school instruction.[8] There are also a couple of dozen names located in a pamphlet also housed at the Sioux City Museum; which lays out the itinerary from a musical performance that the trainees gave to the people of Sioux City at the end of their training.[9] (See the end for a list of all names.)

[1]W.C. Ramsay and Harrold Klise, β€œIowa in the World War,” in Iowa Official Register, 28 (Des Moines, IA: The State of Iowa, 1920), V–VIII, https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/publications/REDBK/860886.pdf; β€œSchool Selects Arriving,” Sioux City Journal, July 16, 1918, sec. 7.
[2]β€œSchool Selects Arriving.”
[3]Barton C. Hacker, β€œEngineering a New Order: Military Institutions, Technical Education, and the Rise of the Industrial State,” Technology and Culture 34, no. 1 (1993): 1–27, https://doi.org/10.2307/3106453.
[4]β€œStudent Army Training Corps: Descriptive Circular.”
[5]β€œSchool Quarantine Raised,” Sioux City Journal, July 28, 1918, sec. 14.
[6]War Department, Arrival of Detachment, September 1918, Film, September 1918, 165-WW-112E-1, National Archives, https://catalog.archives.gov/id/26427984.
[7]β€œSchool Selects Arriving”; β€œS. A. T. C. at Morningside,” Collegian Reporter, November 20, 1918, Vol. XXIII No. 1 edition, sec. 1, Morningside College Digital Collegian Reporter.
[8]β€œSchool Selects Arriving.”
[9]The Sioux City Training Detachment, β€œThe Military Minstrels,” September 5, 1918, SC63.Central High School Memorabilia 1909-1924, Sioux City Public Museum.
Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com

Attempt 1

10 June 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
Henry isn't the only one who has been creating new things. Recently, a few friends inspired me to try my hand at painting. I have been finding it both more and less satisfying than embroidery* and (as is typical with me) I jumped in with both feet.

I'm working on doing a image for one of the 9 noble virtues, Hospitality. It's still in the early stages, but I try to work on it a little bit every day, so hopefully, you'll be able to see some changes in it over the next few months.

I chose the candle in the window, because it seemed the most appropriate symbol of hospitality that I could think of. I just like the color green. Plus, I'm not trying to be extremely fancy and realistic. I just want to see if I can accomplish putting something on paper that looks reasonably what it looks like in my head. If I can then I'll keep working, and try another piece. Perhaps another of the virtues.

*I am still doing embroidery, but some of it is for secret projects, so I don't know when you'll be able to see those photos. Probably after Christmas.
Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com

What Happened?

7 June 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
What happened? Care free days are dead and gone.
Though brightly shines the sun our work is hard
And long we toil each day: beginning dawn
And ending dusk. We crash. From freedom barred.

But still the load will not subside. It grows!
And weight bears down. It suffocates. We die
And others come to take the weight none chose.
In dreams - will we ever see so blue a sky?

Perhaps an answer soon will come to lift
The weight from shoulders sore and bleeding. But -
Solutions take some weight and leave a gift.
They leave us in a new weighted rut.

An easy answer adds more weight, but hard
Ones - they distribute fair. So check each card.

Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com

From Living History to Moldering Papers

4 June 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi

Sioux City High School Training Detachment
When the last known veteran of World War I died, the Great War shifted from living history to piles of moldering papers.[1] That death occurred a year after the last American veteran of the war died.[2]However, their deaths leave a pile of questions unanswered. Only the remaining paperwork may provide answers to our questions. Soldiers kept journals, diaries, and letters which can quickly answer questions about their experiences abroad, and historians have repeatedly explored these writings. The details of, and their reation to, military training, on the other hand, is disappearing into obscurity. America’s entry into World War I created a need to rapidly increase the number of trained soldiers for deployment with the American Expeditionary Force (AEF). The rapidly expanding military could not teach enough men in their own facilities. The onus for providing training grounds fell to many cities, which created temporary training camps in preexisting facilities traditionally used for other purposes. These facilities ranged from fields that were used as community gathering places and filled with tents to high school campuses pressed into service during months when school was not in session. Communities that found themselves with dozens of young men pulled from their homes and facing a trip over the ocean to get a look at the β€˜big show’ could embrace or reject the trainees sent to them.[3] Β Sioux City chose to welcome the trainees assignedto Sioux City High School in the summer of 1918, but that is the beginning of the story with a narrow focus.
To understand the whole story, the process of the draft must first be understood. It began at the top. General John β€œBlack Jack” Pershing requested an increase from a 130,000 member standing army to more than a million. The end result was a draft of able-bodied American men. Those drafted from the registrants fell into two major categories. A β€œDescriptive Circular” put out by the Student Army Training Corps (SATC) in October of 1918 describes the two different types of recruits. Section A draftees were college trainees, destined to become officers. Draftees in section B were vocational trainees. They were destined to become enlisted.[4] The process of getting drafted was long and very public. Draft lotteries were announced monthly, with the number of individuals recruited varying based on the current assessed needs of the war[5]. The next step was to pull draft numbers, which newspapers then published. A few days later, names and addresses of corresponding draftees were published in the paper as well.[6] Draftees then reported for duty on a preset date and were dispersed to various camps around the country. Often going away parties were held for the draftees, just before they left.

Part II of the research paper will be out next week.Β 

[1]β€œLast Surviving Veteran of First World War Dies Aged 110,” Newspaper, The Telegraph, February 7, 2012, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9066371/Last-surviving-veteran-of-First-World-War-dies-aged-110.html.
[2]Paul Courson, β€œLast Living U.S. World War I Veteran Dies,” News from the Television, CNN U.S. Edition, February 28, 2011, http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/02/27/wwi.veteran.death/index.html.
[3]David M. Kennedy, Over Here: The First World War and American Society, 25th anniversary ed (Oxford, [UK]β€―; New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).
[4]β€œStudent Army Training Corps: Descriptive Circular,” October 8, 1918.
[5]β€œDraft Lottery Date Thursday,” Sioux City Journal, June 26, 1918, sec. 2.
[6]β€œDraft Board Draws Quota,” Sioux City Journal, July 11, 1918, sec. 10.
Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com


1 June 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
It's been awhile since I've posted anything. Much longer since I've actually written anything. However, I'm working hard at getting back into a summer routine. Updates on everyone first.

Robert graduated! Yay! He walked with his class, with honors and a JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) Stoll (SP?). His grandparents came up from New Mexico the day before and stayed through the weekend before heading down to Des Moines. So they were at the ceremony. It's wonderful that he graduated and that he got to walk, but I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the actual ceremony has turned from a celebration of the graduates into a pat on the back for the bureaucratic paperwork team above the teachers. The top five percent of the class had four speakers (although there were about a dozen or so on stage), and the principal and superintendent had their speeches, but the students each had about a second in the lime light. This problem I put on class size of the school. It's so large that the ceremony turns into something not fun to sit through.

The day before graduation we took Will's parents out to dinner at Harvey's, a local diner. Henry ordered for himself, and we got pie afterwards. He did so well that the waitress brought him a free scoop of ice cream instead of pie (there weren't a lot of pies there that he would have wanted anyway). The next day following the ceremony we headed to Dairy Queen, because Robert wanted ice cream to celebrate. We also fed them some home cooked meals while they were here, went to a movie, and they took us out to dinner the night before they left for Des Moines. It was a very full weekend, but a fun one.

Will completed his second year of college, and his May term wraps up today. He is doing fine, and ready to relax and enjoy the summer. Otherwise, there isn't a lot of change in him.

I'm fine, I had a bit of a stomach thing that sent me to the ER (Emergency Room), but it turned out to be just an irritated stomach. So they sent me home with some pills to help it improve. Otherwise, I'm beginning to look for a job or some volunteer opportunities this summer. I have two that I am looking at to see if they will work for me. I really hope to get started on something that I can continue through the fall and the next school year that way things improve around here. According to my psychology & sociology last semester having only a single identity is bad for people's mental health, so this would give me another identity.

Henry has been expanding his abilities by leaps and bounds this year. He's running and jumping and getting scrapes all the time, but he doesn't complain about them. His toddler bed is doing good for him, and he's learned to stay in his room when Clock Bunny is asleep. He is constantly learning new words, wanting to try new things, and read books. He loves his kindle, but he loves real books just as much. We got the pictures back from school and he looks great. He's also been to the doctor and to the dentist, so we know that everything is going just fine with him, even if he can't tell us everything yet.

Next week we are taking a trip to ISU (Iowa State University) and Boone, IA to see Robert's school next spring, and his National Guard Unit. Robert's decided to go into national guard to help pay for tuition, and they have a unit very close to ISU. The recruiter says that there are many ROTC students that do both. So this summer (at some unknown date) Robert will leave for basic and then AIT. That will take up the fall semester. Then he will start at ISU with the Spring semester. He is going for mechanical engineering.

The following week (or two) are Henry's first swim lessons of the summer, and I'm sure that he will enjoy them as he always does. The water will probably still be a little on the cold side, but at least he'll get some fun out of it. Then we can go down the slide at the end of the two weeks like before. He is already much more coordinated than he was last summer.

I will try to get some pictures up of the things as they happen, and write a blog post or two about them. Hopefully, I can get the blog set up to run through the next semester before school starts, and perhaps through the next school year. We'll see.
Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com

The First Set of Questions

19 March 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
Image via Peter Griffin
School has created a whole list of essay questions and topics that I would love to write about on the blog, but which I don't have time to write. So I'm just going to drop it in here, and then if I get a chance I'll tackle one or two. Are there any thing that you're particularly interested in seeing me address?

1. How do we ethically close the ethnic and gender based income gap, and what problems does doing so create?

2. Relate Breen's essay on colonial Virginia to modern day technologically created self-segregation.

3. Address the cultural self-study exploration questions in my ESL Methods textbook (at the end of Chapter 8).

4. How do we start reversing or matching urbanization to the rate of change in administration, especially with school districts that combine and then combine again? Students spend hours on the bus to get to and from school, which limits their freedom and their learning.

5. Community buildings as actual communal buildings.

6. Do we celebrate a day of a culture's choosing? Or do we celebrate an assigned day? When and why would we do one or the other?

7. Financial reform in classroom resources.

8. At what point does maintaining professional standards and high expectations of the incoming teachers push prospective teachers out so that we lose the ability to reach all students at a basic level? (See the inability of some places to get teachers in the classrooms)

9. An essay reaction on the "Mainstream Culture" in America from the European-American middle class of individualism and privacy, equality, ambition and industriousness, competitiveness, appreciation of the good life, and the perception that humans are separate from and superior to, nature.

10. What does the LEP terminology connote?

11. β€œWhen one student isn’t feeling the way the other students are feeling.” Many vs. One and how far do you go?

12. Is it more of a continuum rather than an either or?

13. At what point does your culture override theirs? For example, they accept physical harm to children as part of their culture, but we do not.

14. β€œIt’s hard to have our own opinion when something is in writing.”

15. Do you feel that the β€œgrade system” should be shifted away from β€œgrades based on ages” to β€œgrades based on skills,” and you move up as you complete the skill set?

16. Could our culturally diversity be adversely affecting our educational system instead of enriching it as we have been taught?

17. "When the majority of people are still engaged in agriculture, that means that they are very poor as a society or as a sovereign state." So how do we help them convert and improve themselves (and thus everyone else) without losing our prosperity/standard of living?

18. The only difference between slavery and free market is the concept of β€œwho is in control of the sale?”

More questions from the semester will show up over time, I'm sure. I will create more posts of more questions and disccussable statements as I form them.

Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com

My Lessons from Collapse

13 March 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
Diamond examined several different civilizations that failed over the years, giving over views of their lifestyles and what brought those cultures to an end. I've only read through the first three cultures discussed: Easter Island, the Pit Cairn Island group, and the Southwestern Native Americans. From these three chapters I've decided that several things are necessary for cultures to survive through most disasters.

The first thing that a culture needs to do is to maintain its self-sufficiency. If disaster strikes, most individuals in a society should be able to walk to and from sources of food, water, materials for shelter. I say walk because if the worst disaster happens then, the cars won't work due to a lack of gasoline or ability to do maintenance on them. The scenario for this is not unique to a single disaster concept. S.M. Stirling's the Change series takes it to the most extreme form in the idea that the whole scientific theories and principles that combustion engines were based on no longer work, but it is based on fantasy. More "logical" explanations include The Girl Who Owned a City, BBC's Survivors, The Walking Dead, and more. In these, a significant number of the population is wiped out. The population has dropped so low, and the situation is so desperate that the "standard functions" of civilization - running water, electricity, and more - have all stopped working because there is no one able to work them. Over time, the people in the remaining civilizations rebuild, but not before things get disastrous. Stirling's is the only one that refers to cannibalism repeatedly and extrapolates how survivors who resorted to cannibalism feel, but it would not be unlikely in any of the scenarios presented. So having access to food close enough to walk to and from on a daily basis as well as water, and materials for shelter is an essential thing when facing disaster.

The second lesson that I learned from Collapse so far is that we should take good care of our land, and all of our other assets (money, food, people, knowledge) not just in bad times, but in good too. One factor that shows up in the collapses over and over is that during the good years the culture expands its use of the land, and when the bad years come the land they had been using can no longer support their expanded civilization. To me, this applies to more than just land usage. This also applies to money and other resources. Often times, I see people spending their money rather than saving because they got a windfall of one kind or another. Then, months, weeks, or days later they are complaining because they cannot pay their bills. The situations are the same: Resisting exuberant over indulgence during the good times will ensure that you are cushioned against the bad times. I phrased it this way on purpose, because indulgence, even the occasional over indulgence, is good for our mental health. Saving too much of our individual incomes would cause the economy to collapse just as surely as everyone over spending their credit does. Balance is the key here and maintaining the knowledge that even though today is an excellent day, storm clouds may be over the horizon.

The last lesson dovetails with the other two. Trade willingly with good partners to improve the lot of all. However, keeping in mind the self-sufficiency thing, most trade goods should be "luxury" items rather than necessities. People may not like it if they disappear, but they should be able to survive without them. If you produce enough food that your stores are filled, and you still have excess, then throw a party and trade the rest off for other things. However, don't expect that to be able to be done every year. Remember those bad years? That's why you have the store houses in the first place. The second part of trade is that the more heavily you get involved in commerce, the more interdependent you are, the more you must help your business partners if you see them failing. However, past a certain point, they will just drag you down too.

So, how do these things relate to individuals and families? And how do they relate to nation-states today?

For "self-sufficiency" I'm not saying that every family needs to run their own farm. That's just silly, people need more people than that. However, everyone should have some skill that is essential and indispensable. You know, those competencies that when performed correctly we all take for granted? But when performed incorrectly we want to strangle the person who did it, or run far away from the space? Those skills. Unfortunately, these skills are most often the least valued, and the worst paid. Cleaning, sewing, farming, good child care and education are among these skills. It need not be how you make your living or even something that is done on a regular basis, but if you can do it, then you'll have a "marketable skill" if things go bad.

For countries, it means raising the walkability score of every neighborhood. These are exceptionally low in America where the dream of everyone owning their own castle sometimes supersedes the idea of community.
Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com

Mind Mapping Assessments

7 March 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
Toward the end of my Education 300 course on Instructional Design and Assessment, the teacher gave us a bunch of words from the assessment chapter and asked us to mind map them in small groups to show the relationships among them. Unfortunately, most of the groups (including mine) came up with things that looked like outlines of the chapter. One group did something really unique and did a triple Venn Diagram.

However, the words stuck in my head kept spinning in 3D. So, one day I sat down and worked on it. This is what I came up with.

I intend to share the words with you, and perhaps do one of these a year. I know that it can be kind of hard to read. The center in black is the "Goal-Teach-Assess" cycle. From there I ask the question "Now we start again, right? Wrong!"

Move into the red, which includes two separate things. The first is "grading." Grading includes three subpoints. (1) Measure what we value using multiple measures, otherwise it is narrow and unfair. (2) Be fair. Students should know where they stand using a variety of valid and reliable, criterion referenced benchmarks. (3) Depending on the practicality, and purpose of the assessment, students should know their percentile and norm referenced grade too; but never only.

The second thing we need to do is self-reflection, which is part of metacognitive practice. We need to ask ourselves several questions. Among things are (1) What did, and didn't, they get? and Why? (2) What can I do better, different, to reach more students? (3) Is my solution moral, ethical, and socially acceptable? There are several other questions that you could ask yourself, depending on the activities and results that were performed. "Now... use what we learn. And if we need to reteach. Now the process returns to the star:" at the center of the black.

However, we cannot do all of this alone. "Teams work together for student progress." They do this through collaborative reflections, assessments, and planning. "Teams maintain a sharp focus on student learning goals and continuous progress." These teams monitor progress throughout the cycle. They do not shut off while one is working through the black section. There are many arrows pointing toward the self-reflection and the questions. I set it up this way, because often times teachers may have teams and be able to plan and reflect as a group, but they are in the classroom on their own. Even when teams include other individuals like parents, aides, and other professionals, teachers are often in the classroom making "during the action" decisions on their own.

Throughout all the steps we need to include the students. Allowing student choice of products, goals and measurements when possible. One good way to start is student led conferences, during the blue portion. This makes students and their parents part of the team. This section shows the arrows pointed out and around, because students should be included in the whole process. If possible, I would have drawn a green circle around the whole black circle, but the board was not big enough.

Finally, "other outside forces act as well. These often include laws like No Child Left Behind (NCLB), that create standardized tests. We hope they use the red points" outlined above. Below, I list several of the results of these "outside forces."

The whole point of assessments is to add to the bigger picture. We need to add to the bigger picture of students, teachers, schools, cities, districts, states, and our nation.

I am not generally a visual person. However, this particular set of words got into my head and stuck there, waiting for me to spin them around and make sense out of them, because I could see so many more connections than simply an outline of the chapter. I intend to share the words with you, and perhaps create future mind maps of these words with the central focus being a different point.
Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com

Communications Brochure

1 March 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
This is one of the final projects for Human Relations. I did mine on communications, this is what it looks like. If you'd like to view it in Canva (the free online program I used to create it) please follow the link.
Communication by cascatanerina
Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com

My Intelligences

23 February 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
Final Essay #16: Looking at Gardner's Multiple Intelligences, which are your strongest intelligences, and why?
Gardner lists eight accepted intelligences, with a ninth that is under consideration and leaves the door open for further expansion or definitions of intelligence. The core eight are bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, naturalist and spatial. The one that most people leave off the list is existential. In today's technological society, the argument could be made that digital intelligence could be added to the list. Conversely, because of the direction of our culture, and the increase in technology, it could be said that linguistic intelligence might be divided into visual linguistics and oral linguistics. The three that I am the strongest in are linguistics, intrapersonal, and existential. If I had to choose a third from the core list, I would say logical-mathematical. Everyone has his or her strengths and weaknesses in these areas based on skill sets that he or she develop through his or her life.

I work on writing almost every day. Once in a great while I get too busy to spend any time writing that day, but those days are few and far between. When given new information, I like to be able to read it and see it written down, and be able to highlight it or take notes from it. When asked to present an extended answer I can talk about it at length, but my ideas tend to structure themselves toward writing. I do not see an image of what I want in my mind; I see a description in writing of what I want. Words are my bread and butter. Therefore I have strong linguistic intelligence.

Intrapersonal intelligence is my second highest intelligence. I have a strong sense of self, do regular self-reflection, and can describe physical feelings, and mental and emotional gymnastics in ways that confuse doctors. While this shows my lack of interpersonal skills because I struggle to make myself understood, it demonstrates that I know exactly what is going on with me inside, physically and mentally. I tell a doctor that it feels like there are tiny explosions in my throat, and he just asks me if my throat hurts. My answer is "Don't explosions generally hurt?' A therapist tries to walk me through how I am feeling, and the whole time I am sitting there going, "Yes, I know. I have gotten from point A to point E; I am not sure how to get to F." Sometimes it is very frustrating when I ask another how they feel about a topic, and their answer is "I do not know." That is not an answer, "I have never thought about it," is an answer, because everyone has opinions. The question is if you have thought about a topic enough to understand your opinion. It is the difference between someone with average intrapersonal knowledge and someone that spends time developing it.

The third type of intelligence that I highlighted is existential. That is because I enjoy thinking about the bigger questions. I like having conversations with people about these metaphysical issues that explain my viewpoint in simple terms (the spiral topiary). I want people to explain their perspective (Generally the core is either people are good, or people are bad, especially in ethics areas of these philosophical conversations.) I enjoy asking β€œWhy are we here? What came before? What comes after?” Moreover, I like hearing other people’s answers to this question. However, the core list does not include existential.

For my third choice from the core list, I would have to pick logical-mathematical. When I first look at it seems counter-intuitive to me, or anyone who knows me. I hate math, and I hate numbers. However, that dislike is because I am visually and aurally dyslexic. So numbers themselves are frustrating. However, the beautiful symphony of our world that those numbers build is logic. Logic makes sense to me. When someone presents an argument, whether it is a conclusion or an opinion, whether there ultimately is a right answer, or it is a larger societal question that society cannot currently answer, I feel that an individual needs to back up his or her point of view. That evidence might include statistics and research, or it might include anecdotes and personal feelings, but I always try to be able to explain how I arrived at my conclusions, and I want my teachers, my fellow students and future teachers, and my students to do the same thing. I have a logical intelligence; it is just not any good with actual numbers.

A sense of logic, studying the β€œgreat beyond” as well as myself, and expression through words, are all strengths that I have in Gardner’s intelligences. Logical-mathematics seems like an odd choice for me, but not when it is broken down into logical intelligence and mathematical intelligence. Existential intelligence is one that anyone who holds a philosophy conversation with me will encounter, especially one that ranges over all of life rather than a narrower topic. Intrapersonal intelligence and linguistic intelligence both come naturally to me, and I sometimes feel confused when other people do not have them (until I take the time to consider it consciously). What intelligences will present themselves in the future that I will have strengths or weaknesses in is anyone’s guess.
Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com

Personal Experience with Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

17 February 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
Final Essay #15: Write about a time when you experienced or observed self-fulfilling prophecy in process. Please be candid.
Self-fulfilling prophecy can be either deliberately fulfilled or deliberately thwarted. My sister and I deliberately thwarted our father's prophecies for us and fulfilled our prophecies, created in response to his. Other self-fulfilling prophecies have come from inside of me, and those are even harder to break.

Because my sister has a different outlook and temperament than one would expect from a nurse when she told our father that she was going to be a nurse, his answer was "You are never going to complete that!" He thought that her outlook and temperament would make her fail as she went through the program and was forced to practice nursing. Eventually, he thought, she would give up trying to be something she was not and move on to something that he thought more temperamentally suited her. A ruthless business woman, or a lawyer, were two of the occupations that he believed would suit my sister better. In response to my father's "No way!" she said, "Oh yes, I am," and made it come true. A year ago, she finished her bachelor's of science in nursing and had been working as a nurse for several years. My sister would deny that our father had any influence on her becoming a nurse, and would say that she did it herself. She did. She created a self-fulfilling prophecy that allowed her to achieve something that is tough to do (I have heard horror stories about organic chemistry, both at Briar Cliff and at Morningside.)

My father did something very similar with me. The first time I was leaving for Korea, he dropped me off at the airport saying, "Call me when you are ready to be picked up after the airplane leaves without you." I was terrified, but knowing that my father expected me to call. Knowing that he expected me to avoid getting on that plane, put the thought in my head that, "I am doing this. I am getting on that plane." I got on the plane, and I got to Korea. For the first three months of my stay in Korea, through the culture shock, and the loss of my family, I held onto the idea of "I am getting on that plane, and sticking it out," to succeed in Korea. I did succeed, despite a few nights of lonely tears. I even came to love Korea. I tried to help some of my fellow teachers through their culture shock. Some of them succeeded and stuck out the year, but one or two chose to go home. Whenever I saw them go back, I always knew that I had made the right choice in sticking it out. Maybe it was not right for them, or maybe they just did not believe that they could succeed hard enough. However, I told myself that I would get to Korea and stick it out, and I did.Β 

Another example of a self-fulfilling prophecy is that I am a wallflower. I do not like big parties, and I never know what to do with myself. I am uncomfortable and end up feeling drained from having to attend them. This meant that I had excellent academics in high school, but no social life. I have tried to fight it and succeeded partially. Mostly this involves the setting and my knowledge of the people that are present. However, the desire to avoid social settings still fills me. At the retirement party, I showed up, congratulated the retiree that I knew, stuck around just long enough to try to figure out the retiree that I did not know, and when I began to feel uncomfortable, I retreated to the classroom and began working on another project. The results of the project were very helpful to me, but the prophecy had fulfilled itself. I expected to be uncomfortable enough to flee the party, and so I was.

Self-fulfilling prophecy may come from inside us, but it may also come from outside of us. My father spurred both my sister and myself to do things that we had been nervous about before. I have to fight against feeling uncomfortable in large crowds; I rarely succeed because I often do not expect to succeed. Self-fulfilling prophecy is real.Β 
Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com

The Power of Self-Talk

11 February 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
Final Essay #14: What if any power does self-talk have on one's energy or personal power?

Self-talk has a lot of effect on one's personal energy and power. It may be negative, reinforce current views, or positive. In other words, it may pull down an individual's view, drain their energy, and depress their power. It may allow maintenance of views, energy, and power. Alternatively, it may create positive views, elevate one's energy, and increase their power. It all depends on the attitude of the self-talk.

If one's self-talk is mostly negative, then it will set off a spiral of negativity. The individual's view of the world will be very pessimistic, "Nothing ever goes right." They will feel drained of energy trying to face and fight the various negative views that they have, "I do not want to crawl out of bed and face these horrible days anymore." Finally, they will pull down one's personal power, because no one else wants to be around all of that negativity. Also, that negativity also creates a lot of self-fulfilling prophecies in the negative, "I am never going to get that job. I am just not that good." Thus, it brings down an individual's power. When these combine, they may result in a negative spiral that just keeps pulling an individual down.

The best one can hope for subconscious self-talk is to maintain the current circle they are at, positive or negative. If individuals are not listening to their innermost thoughts, those thoughts are not going to move up a whole lot, but without outside forces acting they will not move down either. The downside to not listening to the self-talk going on inside is that a single, sometimes minor appearing, incident can cause a negative spiral to begin and start to work on dragging down the individual who is not listening to themselves.

However, if one listens and works to influence their self-talk for the positive, then a lot of good can come of it. Their outlook on life will be far more optimistic, "That was probably for the best because now I have all these new opportunities before me." They will feel more energized, "What surprises does the world have waiting for me today?" and they will experience a rise in their self-esteem and their power. "You know what, I am going to get that job today. There is no one better than me that they could hire." Thus, when they go into the interview, they are confident and can display all the positive reasons why someone should want to hire them. The result of these can be a positive, upward spiral that brings an individual and those around them to a happier healthier plane.

Self-talk can have a significant influence on a person's outlook, self-esteem, energy, and the power to create self-fulfilling prophecies. If a person does not listen to their self-talk the most that they can hope for is to stay right where they are. However, if they listen to the conversations going on inside, and deliberately strive to have positive conversations, then they will begin to move in an upward spiral and pull those around them up as well.Β 
Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com

What is Self-Talk?

5 February 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
Final Essay #13: Briefly, explain self-talk.Β 

Everyone conducts self-talk, consciously or subconsciously. Self-talk is the discussions that an individual has with themselves to help them make sense of the world around them, and of what is going on inside themselves. Self-talk is continuous, reflective, and can be used to reinforce beliefs and behaviors or make changes to them.

Self-talk happens on a regular basis. It sometimes happens even when we are surrounded and overwhelmed by the outside world. In fact, it may be part of the retreat that we use when the world is overwhelming. It is the consideration of what others see and are thinking, and our inner responses to that. Even if we sometimes think that we are not paying attention to the world around us, our self-talk is focused on something, whether it is the past or the present. Thinking and responding to those thoughts is automatic, and unstoppable. The question is, how aware is the individual of it?

Self-talk is reflective. This reflection happens even if the start of the inner conversation is outward stimuli, "What must he think of me?" for example. Because both "parties" having the "conversation" are a part of a single individual the conversation is by definition reflective. One individual thinks, and then responds to their thoughts. Self-talk may go back and forth, creating a dialogue rather than a simple exchange. Although this is called a dialogue, and the individual may articulate it as such because it all happens inside a single person it is reflective. When the individual is aware of their self-talk, they can use it to create change in themselves.

The possibility of change brings us to the third point. The more conscious an individual is of their self-talk, the more it can be used to create change. The more that the internal conversation is subconscious, the more it will go towards reinforcing attitudes. When someone can look at his or her self-talk critically, and shift it in a positive, inclusive, action-oriented direction, then it will spur positive, inclusive actions outside of the individual. However, if one does not think about it, self-talk often becomes negative. I have no idea why this is; I would have to ask a psychologist. I will say that anecdotally we tend to be our worst critics, and this probably feeds into the same thing. If an individual is unaware of that negative self-talk, then the internal conversation that they do not even realize they are having is only going to reinforce their negative views about themselves and the world around them.

On a personal level, I try very hard to have discussions with myself every day consciously. When I find a negative thought floating around in my head, I chase down the line of internal conversation that it is attached to and see if it is something that I need to work on, or if it is a temporary sense of "blahs" and "grumpies," which everyone has. The only way that I have found to improve self-talk steadily is to consciously practice it on a regular basis, just like one would any other tangible skill - playing the piano, or creating a work of art, for example.

Self-talk influences our self-image and our image of the world around us. It is the continual conversation that we have with ourselves about the world around us. It may be done consciously or subconsciously on the part of the individuals, but personally, I have found that the most good comes of it when I practice it like a skill.Β 
Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com

Deficit vs. Strength Words

30 January 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
"Words Hurt" by Francesca Romana Correale
Final Essay #12: Briefly, explain deficit vs. strength words.

When speaking to and of students, whether it is to the student, the parents, or another teacher, words have a lot of power. Some of those words will showcase the same skill, ability, or personality trait of the student in a positive light, and others will show it in a negative light. These words are called deficit and strength words. Often, the first word to come to our mind is the deficit one, but we must be careful not to let those words linger. As teachers, we must work to find the strong, positive, words to build our student's esteem up.

Teachers rarely find a student that has nothing about them that they do not like. It may be a single trait, it may be a family member, or it may be a whole lot about the student that clashes with their personality. When these things cross their minds, it is rarely in a positive context. Teachers have applied words like loud, argumentative, defiant and impatient to me. Words that I have applied to my students, and my classmates, sometimes include poor planner, disorganized, irresponsible, and short attention span. However, all these words are negative. All of them would hinder the individual trying to improve, all of them would keep the individual at a distance from the thinker, and all of them are deficit thinking. There are more, and more seem to be added to the list on a daily basis.

When we encounter these words, either in our thoughts or from others, we need to turn these "deficits" into strengths. Instead of describing the individual in ways that are negative and may harm self-image, we need to describe these things in a manner that is positive and help to build a person's self-esteem. Loud becomes enthusiastic, a student with a short attention span becomes a student who has many interests, and a rebellious student may be labeled a non-conformist instead.

It is not always easy to shift our thinking, but we have to work to do so constantly. When it comes time for parent-teacher conferences, a teacher should have at least one positive trait prepared to share with the parents, as well as one trait that is positive but could probably use some work. If all a parent hears is how horrible their student is they are not going to want to work with the teacher, but if they hear that trait in a positive light, then they are more willing to work together with the teacher to help their child succeed academically and beyond.

Deficit thinking will pull everyone down - the thinker, the target, and anyone else who connects the deficit word with the individual. On the other hand, Strength thinking will help to pull everyone together and build a community to help the individual overcome obstacles in their path on the way to success. We need to eliminate deficit thinking and promote positive thinking.
Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com

One Differentiation Strategy

24 January 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
One example of a Tic Tac Toe, but it's not mine.
Final Essay #10: Explain one strategy that uses differentiation.
There are many ways to differentiate and many strategies that use differentiation. One method that teachers can use to differentiate products for students is to use a choice board. Choice boards provide teachers with enough control to monitor student progress with reliability while allowing students the freedom to delve into topics that hold their interest and produce products that display their learning in fashions that they desire. One common type of choice board is the tic-tac-toe board.

A tic-tac-toe board involves a three by three grid, where each square is a different product, and often involves a different level of Bloom's taxonomy. The top row might include the three lower levels (knowledge, comprehension, application), the second row may involve the upper levels (evaluation, synthesis, and analysis). The third row should contain a combination of both. The teacher decides on the activities and basic structure for each activity and then distributes it to the students.

Students receive the tic-tac-toe board and must choose activities from each level of the board to complete and show their understanding of the material. Depending on the length of the project, a student may agree to a project, or it may be an ongoing portfolio creation throughout the year. In the latter case, students chose something off of the tic-tac-toe board for each unit and create a product.

The tic-tac-toe board allows for differentiation of product, and teachers may take it further by providing "Bingo" style tic-tac-toe boards to students, ensuring that no two students have the same board. A β€œbingo” style allows the teacher to further differentiate based on ability level and interest. Tic-Tac-Toe boards are one method of differentiation that a teacher may use in their classroom to help students display learning in ways that best suits them.
Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com

Life's Path

21 January 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
Each person's place is carried in their hearts,
But hidden deep. To find the place - a trip!
A journey must one take. At birth it starts.
And cannot be taken on a plane or ship.

Adventure thus begins there inside self.
A trek inside that takes a lifetime, but
Is never done. One can't sit on the shelf.
'Cuz ev'ry action changes paths. Can't cut.

One can just travel. No eyes watching feet
Beneath and stepping blind, but that can lead
To dangerous things - ending life just beat.
So tired now without a solid creed.

So think before you act, and after. Build
A person and create a life that's thrilled.
Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com

Why Differentiate?

18 January 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
Final Essay #9: Why does a teacher need to differentiate instruction?
Differentiation is of growing importance in our multicultural mixed level schools. A teacher needs to differentiate instruction for several different reasons. These reasons include, but are not limited to, the abilities of the student, the interests and motivation of the student, and the materials, programs, and technology available at the time of the teaching. Each one affects the differentiation in different ways.

The abilities of the students are the first thing that a teacher should take into consideration when differentiating material. Using the same core text a teacher might provide an ELL student with translations of several vocabulary and story-based words. The same teacher may provide an expanded, or older version of the story to a gifted student, making sure that the expansions are highlighted or noted so that the student understands the difference between what is expected and what is available. Disseminating different versions ensures that the ELL student has enough scaffolding to understand the story and participate in discussions while the gifted student will not get bored, and can contribute more to their essays and projects.

Once a teacher has differentiated enough to ensure that all students can learn at their maximum potential they need to make sure that all students are learning at their maximum potential by differentiating for interest. Making certain that teachers account for interests would help students stay motivated. During a unit on fairy tales, this might mean making a variety of fairy tales from a variety of cultures available for the students to read, and requiring them to read three that come from different sources, or which have very different archetype stories or characters. Maintaining motivation means that students are learning at their best, not just that the option to do so is available to them.

Finally, a teacher must take into consideration the technology available to them to create differentiated materials. While this is not possible in many locations due to financial constraints of the school district, the ability to make sure that students have the format and level of scaffolding needed is getting easier every year. The start is digital textbooks that allow students to read, hear, or watch the information, provide instant translations into a multitude of languages, and when a topic catches a student's interest provides them with an easy way to get more in depth information. However, teacher's must make sure that if they ask their students to create a video that all the students have access to the equipment and tools necessary. For some products, this might mean offering choices of product. For others, it might mean making sure that the teacher has the materials available - like poster board and markers - so that the students can use them if they are not available at home.

Differing technologies available, student interests, and student abilities are all reasons why a teacher should differentiate their materials. If they have enough time, they should differentiate for each student. However, there is never enough time for that (especially with one hundred and fifty students), so differentiating it out in a variety of ways, working with students to create new ways, and adding them to the collection is the best way to grow the amount of differentiation with each class. Differentiation helps students learn to their full potential, and there are a number of reasons to do so.
Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com

Three Skill Sets

15 January 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
There are three skill sets that any individual should cultivate. These are temporally relevant, eternally relevant, and apocalyptically appropriate. These three skill sets will ensure that an individual is never helpless or unable to contribute given decent health and an adequate social framework.

Temporally relevant are those skills which can help one today in our society, but which change over time. The best example, which the most change in recent years is technology. Before typewriters, students needed to be able to write their words clearly and legibly. Beauty in penmanship was prized and called calligraphy. However, as typewriters became popular a new skill set was needed - speed and accuracy with typing on it. For this era, accuracy was at times more important than speed, because each mistake required time-consuming effort to fix, not to mention the cost in white out or new paper. Then computers with their word processors came along, and now it was about knowing the whole program, not just speed and accuracy. Today, cursive is barely taught in schools, and even typing has turned into learning how to use features in the program. Doctors, researchers, and all sorts of technicians have gone through similar evolutions as new methods were found for their particular jobs. And while some of the old skills are kept alive as artistry, they are no longer the mass producers of their forms. One excellent example of these are the Venetian glass workers - at one time they produced much of the local glass. However, because of mass production in factories, they now provide expensive artistic pieces instead. Often times, teachers lament because they understand that some of the "practical skills" that they are teaching their students will be superseded by new sets of skills that are emerging in various markets. In my opinion, too much focus is put on these temporally relevant skills to the detriment of the other two areas, one of which is far more essential.

Eternally relevant skills are those which are far more essential, but which we no longer explicitly teach in schools (in my experience). Continually relevant skills include those which are good no matter how much the world around them changes. Being able to listen, or read, and parse the necessary information from a body of work is one of those skills. Another is being able to create a body of work in an organized, coherent fashion, relating the old material to new without taking credit for old stuff. Along with communication, there is tolerance, a desire to learn (about something, or to do something), and a willingness to contribute. Instead of learning these things, one of two things happens. Either extreme versions of them are shoved down individuals throats without an explanation of why they are important, or with graphic images of what happens if these strict rules aren't adhered to. Or, they are entirely ignored. Neither position is correct. Personally, I think that a lot of the issue stems from the idea that it is an "all or nothing" proposition. Either the extreme version is taken, or it can't be done (for a variety of reasons), and that is just silly. Teaching it doesn't mean that it has to be accepted by the students. They have the right to make up their own minds about what they take away from a situation. All we can do is repeatedly expose them to it, and live like want them to so that they can see us carrying out what we are saying. It doesn't matter what technology is available, or how bad things get if students have skills from this set they will be able to build theirΒ society to a new standard.

Finally, "apocalyptic skills" sounds like I mean that we should prepare for society to be destroyed - by zombies, or nukes, or asteroids. I don't mean it that way. On the other hand, these skills are ones that would serve just as well there as in a poor household. These are skills that were often taught in "home ec" or "shop classes" but are not anymore. They include things like being able to hand sew well enough to mend a tear, or patch one. Or put some wood and nails together into a usable table. Being able to have a little garden, or at least cook something more than peanut butter and bread. I'm not saying that a whole group of people need to go out and learn how to be blacksmiths or to create elaborate sixteenth-century gowns. But having skills like this ensure that even when things get really bad, you have a way to pick yourself up and dust yourself off, and get back on your feet. One excellent example of this are those people who go out and "dumpster dive" and then restore old pieces of furniture, or turn several pieces of "junk" into new artworks or functioning items again. Even if they lose their job, lose their house, and everything else, but they can manage to scrounge a few bucks for a can of paint, and they go find a piece of unwanted furniture, they can start building themselves back up. It may take awhile, but at least they have an avenue to do so.

Apocalyptic skills may sound extreme and unnecessary in the world that we live in, but they can be helpful. Eternal skills are far more useful no matter what walk of life one exists in. And beware of temporally relevant skills whose importance may fade with time. However, these three skill sets are ones that everyone should cultivate.

What skills do you have in each? And what would you like to learn in each?
Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com

Differentiation of Instruction

12 January 2018 at 19:00
By: Casi
Final Essay #8: What is differentiation of instruction?
Differentiation of instruction comes in three different forms, content, process and product. Each type of differentiation serves a different purpose and teachers should use them at various times with individual students. Using a lot of differentiation allows teachers to connect with that 47% minority, the 12% that are disabled, and the gifted 6% in our classrooms. All three can use all three types of differentiation for different purposes.

Content differentiation means that different students need to learn different things without lowering our standards. It simply means that we shift them. The easiest way to explain this one is math class. Math is a content area that builds upon itself. If a student has not mastered previous tasks, then they cannot master current tasks. If we discover that a student has not mastered previous tasks, then we do not lower our standards, but we go back and help the student achieve what they did not before. If academically possible, we push the student to learn more in a single academic year than expected to help them catch up with their peers and the community's expectations. Doing this is not lowering our standards. If anything, it is raising them because we are expecting more achievement in a shorter period. Another area where content differentiation may be necessary is for ELLs. ELLs may need a higher focus on the vocabulary to ensure that they are learning it because without the vocabulary to explain concepts, we cannot be sure they are learning the concepts. We still expect them to understand the concepts, but we spend a bit more time with direct instruction on the vocabulary to make sure that they understand it.

Process differentiation often relates to the input that a student uses to obtain and work with the content under instruction. The standard input is a combination of lectures, textbook readings, and worksheets. However, in today's high-tech society students might use audio files or video files. They may use an interactive multimedia digital "textbook," for them to make the most sense out of what the teacher is expecting them to learn. Another option may be to talk to an outside expert either face-to-face or through communication media. To help curate these multiple inputs, a teacher must carefully select the digital textbook for students to use and perhaps expand on the whole system with a blog that includes video and audio files from other sources, and expert interviews in a variety of formats. It sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but it also provides the teacher and student with chances to collaborate with each other and the community, or to earn extra credit. (Or both.) For example, if the teacher has an interview with a local expert, they might offer a point or two of extra credit for transcribing it. The transcription can be checked and made available to students who would prefer to read the interview rather than listen to or watch it.

Product differentiation is the final type. This type is how the students display their learning and usually has the most student choice involved. Students may choose to do a multimedia presentation, a video, a tri-fold, paper, speech, or any option upon which a teacher and student agree. If some types are "heavy" and others are "light," then a teacher may create an assignment "menu," that allows students to choose several different options to arrive at the required total of points. For example, a fully automated video multimedia presentation may be worth 100 points while an essay is only worth twenty-five and an in-depth tri-fold or brochure might be worth fifty points. An assignment β€œmenu” allows the student to either do a single large project, four essays, or a medium sized project and two essays. (Note: This example is the barest sketch of an example to convey the idea, and would need more work to ensure that it is a fair and equitable exchange of work.) Another type of product differentiation involves being sensitive to the student's needs. If a student needs a translated test (or parts of a test translated) due to their current English Language proficiency level, then it should be provided for them. If a student's reading ability is such that they are more readily able to convey their ideas in an oral format, then a teacher should be able to hold an oral test to allow the student to display their best learning.

How a student displays his or her learning is a product. How a student digests the content to understand it is called process. What a student learns is the content. All of these things can be differentiated to help students achieve their best learning. The only thing that we need to ensure is that we are holding all students to the same high standard and that we expect the students to conduct the same amount of work. Differentiation means individualizing the content and lesson plans for each student, or dividing it down as much as possible in the time available so that all students can learn at their peak and perform at their peak.
Don't forget to check out the original blog: http://casinerina.blogspot.com