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Mid 2015 Goal Update

28 May

It is ironic that one of my goals for 2015 was to blog more, and here I am — not blogging regularly.

However, the reason for my lack of blogging is that I was working on goal #1 for 2015, which was to become employed in my field in some capacity. Soon after I published my resolutions post I had a call about a short term subbing position at an elementary junior high. I was there for two months and then I was placed onto the substitute roster and I’ve been pretty busy with steady work almost every day since then. With June right around the corner, I am looking at having a lot of time on my hands if I do not return to my federal public service job for the summer. As I will have a lot of time on my hands I am looking forward to working on some of my other goals for 2015 while still remaining hopefully optimistic that I will be able to snag a job for September. In the meantime, I have been taking one of coursera.org’s MOOC classes. I am currently enrolled in Art and Inquiry: Museum Teaching Strategies For Your Classroom.

I’ve also been doing quite a bit of sketchnoting. So here’s some of those pictures for those who came here via twitter.


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The Art of Getting Started

13 Jan

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I’m attempting to do The Art of Getting Started challenges by Lee Crutchley. Here is my submission for Assignment 19: Share the first page of the book you are reading. I am currently reading The Man Booker Prize Winner of 2013, Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries.

NaNoWriMo: It’s Alive!

1 Nov

NaNoWriMo officially started at midnight last night and I was all geared to go, had my writing utensils and tablet to hand and was getting in the Halloween spirit by catching up on this season of The Walking Dead.

I was alseep before we hit midnight in my time zone, down for the count because of the excess of Halloween treats I had consumed.

Therefore today NaNo has been all I’ve been thinking about until I’ve got some free time to really sit down and write.

For those of you unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, the goal is simple. Write. That is the one commandment. If you reach 50,000 words by the end of November you are officially a “novelist.” For many, this is a chance to try something new, a new way to approach writer’s block, or a simple way to pound out 50,000 words worth of post-secondary essays.

For me, it really set a deadline on something I’ve wanted to accomplish my whole life — to create the skeleton of a novel that I could later come back and revise. After all, the 50,000 words don’t need to be good words.

However, I didn’t want this exercise to be fruitless. So I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to flesh out the plot and characters that my NaNo will be based on and I’m happy to say that I got a lot more done than I thought I would. I am still nowhere near where I would like to be, but hopefully by the end of the month I will have hammered out that 50,000 words and will be able to continue forward with the monster I have created.

So look forward to some somewhat irregular updates on my progress and setbacks, or at least a place to commiserate with fellow NaNos.

Word Count as of 2013-11-01: 1536

Prezume

21 Sep

Here’s a link to my prezume (a Prezi resume).

 

Sleepy Hollow Review: Ichabod is Back!

17 Sep

Sleepy Hollow

Fox has been promoting the heck out of it’s new fall show Sleepy Hollow. I’m sure at one time or another you’ve seen a preview this summer. After being inundated with SLEEPY HOLLOW SLEEPY HOLLOW SLEEPY HOLLOW, I felt compelled to tune in last night and give it a spin.

Quite a large segment of the media consuming population is probably familiar with the Legend of Sleepy Hollow in some shape or form. The pilot episode opens with a quick rehash of the legend with Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman.  And when I mean quick, I mean a whole two minutes. We quickly establish our “modern day” protagonist in Police Lieutenant/recently promoted Sheriff Abbie Mills.

Where things get interesting however is in the new elements that Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci weave into the show. Both of them have been responsible for some of my favorite viewing in the last few years — Fringe, Alias, Now You See Me. The Headless Horseman isn’t just some guy who got his head beheaded — he is the first of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Ichabod is the First Witness, with Abbie being the Second, and the two must work together to keep the Horseman from getting his head and then summoning the other three Horseman.

The acting felt stilted at times, but both leads had chemistry. Pilot episodes are sometimes filmed months ahead of the rest of the season so hopefully things will smooth out in the first few episodes. The one thing that really irked me was the police procedures. I definitely wouldn’t describe this show as a procedural. Abbie is almost laughable as a lieutenant. A person of interest who is being transferred for a psychiatric evaluation would never be allowed to ride shotgun. Even on the way to the car she does not have custody of Ichadbod’s person. Maybe they discussed that this was a way to show that she didn’t see Ichabod as a threat, but I found myself rolling my eyes. That being said, the Pilot kept me entertained enough that I will be sticking around for next week’s episode,  “Blood Moon.” TEN MILLION and counting have watched the pilot episode, so I think a few people would definitely have to agree with me.

 

Productivity versus Procrastination

11 Sep

I know a lot about procrastination. When I say a lot, I mean a lot. But I feel like I need to equivocate that statement by saying that I also know a lot about productivity.

Last week I spent a full day in a training seminar about change in the workplace, stress, and productivity. I learned a lot but I felt like I already knew a lot too. Productivity has always been a field that interested me, not just at an academic level but also at a personal level. I wholeheartedly embrace my Type-A personality and will admit I can go a bit overboard on the organization front. But at the same time I sometimes choose to ignore things when it would better suit my needs to be completing that task right away.

I find that meandering my way though different disciplines in university taught me some very diverse skills in the areas of procrastination and productivity. Once September hit I was a full-fledged productivity responsibility champion, but found that by the end of the semester my procrastination tendencies would start to seep back in. Here’s how I have learned how to deal with this double-sided coin:

1. Write It Down

Ever since junior high I have been meticulous about keeping a planner/agenda/to-do-list/what have you. I have since made the move from paper and pen to a hybrid between my iPhone and a Moleskine Weekly Planner. A lot of people might say that having both is a bit redundant but I am a visual learner. I find I remember a lot more of something when I am writing it down rather than typing it into a screen. By integrating both into my system I also end up not worrying about always having my planner physically with me. The Moleskine is more about long range planning, especially with its handy lined right side pages, whereas my iPhone is more about what I am specifically doing that day.

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2. Prioritize

This is one of my key things. I always rank my tasks in categories of what needs to get done when. Email my boss my weekly status report? DO ASAP. Make up the Halloween Potluck sign up sheet? That can wait until later in the month, if not October. I also always write down due dates, appointments, etc. as soon as I am made aware of them that way they can’t slip past me. The number one thing I get asked about regarding my prioritizing system is “What’s with all the markers?” I will confess. I am obsessed with color coding things. One day I came back to my desk to find that someone had rearranged my markers out of rainbow sequence. My reaction:

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3. You Can’t Get It All Done Today

In the last little while I have really learned to embrace this philosophy. If you tried to get every single thing done every single day, you’d have no time for relaxation or fun. So I choose two or three things that are top priority but can definitely be accomplished within the day’s timeframe. It allows me to get things done, but without the stress of “IT MUST BE DONE NOWWWWWWWWW.”

4. Know Yourself

And by that I mean, know what your bad habits are. My number one bad habit is that I just want to do nothing when I get home. If I sit down on the couch, it’s game over. So I try to do as much as I can as soon as I get home from work. Then by the time dinner is on a roll I’ve gotten most of what I wanted to get done and I can then re-assert my love of the PVR and catch up on some TV, read a book, or simply spend hours on Wikipedia looking up arcane subjects like panda reproduction (even with all our scientific advances we still don’t know how it works!), the nuances of Final Fantasy characters, and what exactly sarin gas can do to a human being.

 

There’s a lot more out there than what I’ve outline above. I’m a frequent visitor to lifehacker.com and hackcollege.com and hanging out on productivity boards on pinterest. Let me know if you’ve got some other methods that work for you!

Triple Bladed Sword

20 Jun

I’ve started contributing to a Science Fiction Fantasy blog entitled Triple Bladed Sword.

Triple Bladed Sword is run by the esteemed steampunk scholar Mike Perschon who is currently a professor of literature at my alma mater, Grant MacEwan University.

I encourage you to check out the diverse postings over there. My most recent contribution was on the first appearance of Tauriel in the upcoming film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

I’ll still be posting here but I’ll be using my nerd powers for good by contributing to such a dynamic blog as Triple Bladed Sword!

And then she taught!

A journey through the nooks and crannies of Secondary Education with a lady who sometimes misplaces her maps.

arklechamp

Created for EDCMOOC

KATERINA ANDREA

photography

Young Adult Literary Magazine

Fiction. Real Life. You.

The Bookish Brunette

Book loving, zombie obsessed, stiletto wearing, coffee addict with a purse fetish. #ZombieQueen Book reviewer at The Bookish Brunette

The (YA) Bookcase

bookstore & book blog

awkward smiles and drunk confessions...

"there are no beautiful endings, without first making beautiful mistakes"

Head Over Feels

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Lisa Burstein

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