Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Coupon is a funny word...

Head over to askLOLA for some last minute Valentine's Day gifts or just to treat yo' self!  Don't forget to use the coupon code for the following items!

Monday, January 28, 2013

On Giving Tests *

I gave my first exam today, and I was pretty pleased with the variety of questions I had drafted.  However, when all my students finished the exam fairly quickly (within 30-45 min...our class is normally 75 min long), I had my own "Futurama Fry" moment.

I haven't graded them yet (still have to figure out the scantron machine so I don't Britta** it), but upon glancing at the first few questions, it looks like about half the class got them all right and half the class got some wrong...

Too easy or too hard?  Perhaps this girl has the answer:

*Alternatively titled: A lesson in memes
**Reference to a Community episode where the character Britta runs the tests backwards through the scantron machine

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ancora Imparo

Last week I started my new job as an adjunct biology instructor at one of the local community colleges.  I have a full load this semester (2 lecture sections and 5 lab sections) and I am teaching Principles of Biology, an intro course for non-majors.  It's been a great experience so far, and I really enjoy teaching.  Sure, there are a handful of students who clearly don't care (I had 1 sleeper on the first day), but there are also a lot of them who are genuinely interested in learning AND who generally seem to like me.  One student showed up to class and he wasn't registered for my lecture section, but after one day he said he liked my teaching style so he wanted to switch from the other instructor's class.  *cue ego boost*

The thing that is great about this job is that while I am instructing people on how to learn about biology, it's teaching me that I still have a lot to learn about myself and how I approach new situations, working with new people, and new subject material.  I know I'll gain a lot from my teaching experience, and I hope it will greatly enhance my future opportunities as I continue to try to pursue a career as a scientist/academic.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

I am not a robot

Hello! Just a quick post to let you all know that unfortunately I had to turn word verification back on.  I was getting WAYYYY too many spam comments lately (like 3 a day!)  Please don't let this scare you from commenting!  Hopefully the nasty cylons troll bots will go away soon and I'll be able to turn it off.  Expect some new posts very soon!!  Toodles!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Florida in January

My family came down to Mississippi on New Year's Eve, and a couple days later we all piled into a rental van and drove to Florida for a week.  We have family friends that live in Kissimmee, so we stay at their house whenever we visit.  Usually, a visit to Florida means at least one day at Disneyworld, but this year we ended up not working out a day to visit the parks.  Instead we spent days checking out the beaches in St. Petersburg, stayed in and played lots of board games when it rained, and ventured out to the Blue Spring State Park to check out the manatee reserve.  It was a lovely relaxing week but I'm glad to be back home now!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Challenge: 13 in 13

I've always loved reading.  I started reading the classics as early as 3rd grade, I was obsessed with Agatha Christie novels in 6th grade, and fell in love with Middle Earth somewhere around 7th or 8th grade.  But from that point on, my time spent in books dwindled down to nothing.  I guess the busy activities of high school got in the way, and I've developed a bad habit of starting a book and never finishing it.

I have so many good friends who are bookworms, and over the past couple of years they have been influencing me to become a better reader (whether they know it or not ;)).  Last year I probably read about 3 books completely, and maybe started 1-2 more that I never finished.  WEAKSAUCE.  Not this year!  I've decided it's really important to get back into a literary lifestyle - as I think both fiction and non-fiction works can influence our lives for the better.  Since one of my resolutions is to focus on the positive and not the negative, I believe putting an emphasis on reading instead of other things will definitely be a positive influence.

Over the weekend, we visited a beach in St. Petersburg, FL, and I cracked open one of the new books I got for my birthday.  While I listened to the soothing sound of the waves upon the shore, I began to turn page by page by page.  I thought to myself, "I can do this. I can read more this year. I can make this a reality.  But I'll definitely need help."  So I broke down, gave in, and started up a Goodreads account last night.  My reading interests vary from the philosophical theology to beautiful fantasy to popular science to dystopian sci-fi.  Feel free to follow along with me and help encourage me to read 13 books in 2013!

Friday, January 4, 2013

In which I wish I had an accent

Matt and I are currently in Florida with my family for a week of vacation!  It's been great just hanging out, playing games, and watching movies.  The van that my dad rented is one of those with a DVD player, so during the long drive yesterday, we watched Pixar's "Brave."  Oh, how I wish I had an accent!!  After watching the movie, my sister and I practiced speaking with a Scottish accent for nearly the rest of the evening, which included reading random Wikipedia articles about the Mauritius blue pigeon and chess with an accent, hah! We are NERDS.  This obsession has carried through today, as I kept finding myself slipping into the accent for periods of time ;)

We headed to the movie theater today after some shopping and saw Lincoln.  Both movies were rated and given brief reviews on my Letterboxd account, and are copied below.

This was a great addition to the typical "princess" movies in the Disney vault. While it may not be one of Pixar's finest, the animation was top notch (that hair!), the cinematography was beautiful, and though most of the plot was predictable, the major "twist" was definitely a surprise to me.

And seriously...Scottish accents!!!

5-star rating: ★1/2

As a person who doesn't really like history/politics, I was completely drawn in to the historical intrigue of the 13th amendment as presented in this film. While there were moments that dragged on and scenes that seemed like "filler," the story was well written and really got me emotionally invested in the tense moments of the vote, even though I historically knew the outcome. The acting was superb; Daniel Day-Lewis definitely deserves the Oscar for his performance.

5-star rating: