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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Summer Time GLADNESS!

Alrighty, I feel like any of y'all out there following me know by now that I am absolutely TERRIBLE at updating this blog. #SorryNotSorry I will try my best to update at least monthly, but no promises. I do have a life, surprisingly enough! 

Let's see, my last update was around April/May-time. I'll give you the abbreviated version of my life since then:
  • I've become the Recording Secretary and Song Mistress for my sorority
  • I've moved houses; I now live in the ghetto! (Okay, not really, but the city is known for it's unsavory suburbs)
    • Please click on the link. If only for the chorus!
  • I'm working! ALL THE TIME! This is actually my first week off all summer
    • I've done work-work, like with the background checks and the DHS and everything
    • But I've also been doing Band Camp!!!!!!! WOOO!!!!!!! 
(Only band kids seem to understand how much Spongebob= Life)
  • I've discovered I'm even more socially inept than I thought I was. It's quite terrible. I can socialize on the level of a 4 year old, maybe an 8 year old. (Which means I should totally be able to socialize with college guys right!? WRONG! Oh, so wrong...)
Yep... I think that about sums up my life so far... So let's focus on the fun stuff! 

Junior High Kids + Band Camp = 401Ks and Dating?

Band kids are already crazy, in case you are unaware of that. It's just an understood thing. Expect the unexpected, because it will happen at ANY GIVEN MOMENT! When you are least expecting it, a trombone slide will fly right by your ear into your stand, the director's baton will fling out of their hand and into the ceiling, a gauntlet will drop from the air and into your lap,... literally ANYTHING can happen if you're a band kid! 

So with that in mind, let me try and sum up band camp. More specifically, Junior High Band Camp. It's everything I just stated above that could possibly happen-- but an infinite amount more of possibilities-- all occurring in .000000005 seconds. Constantly. For 2 weeks. It's crazy...

But also really fun! I've had some of the most entertaining conversations happen these past two weeks. Examples include:
  • I've been informed by a guy that I am a dolphin, and my nose is actually located on my back (aka, the blowhole). 
  • I've contracted malaria while doing top-secret training over in Africa. 
  • Apparently, I need to date guys with beards because they get good 401Ks and can afford to buy me nicer things then beardless men. 
  • Either I'm 1) #foreveralone, 2) no man is good enough for me at this school, or 3) the "perfect one" is just around the corner. (Literally, around the corner and down the hall.)

Let me start off with Junior 1 (the first week). The main events of this week include the MatchMaker. (We'll call him Jack, for security's sake.) Jack the MatchMaker matched everyone up for the dance that occurs on Fridays, even the counselors. Only... he made interesting choices for couples. Gays and straights, two straight girls, etc... However, I apparently presented the biggest challenge. He spent all of camp trying to find me a date. As stated in my last bullet point, it went from "You are hashtag-forever alone" to "There just isn't anyone good enough for you." Then, while in the gym the night before the dance, he comes flying up to me and starts yanking on my arm. Apparently he had found the perfect guy to be my date! So after almost ripping my arm out of socket, he pulls me up to this dude. Now, the backstory is that the mutual friends of Dude and I have been hinting at us getting together for a year now, so obviously I assumed it was a joke. One look at Dude's face though and I knew it wasn't a joke. He was as unaware of this as I was. So of course, being the smooth person I am, I just turned around and walked awayJack was relentless though, and ran off to convince Dude to still go to the dance with me. I don't really know how that went, other then I did not have a date to the dance. 

Alrighty, so Junior 2 I made a joke that I had to go to Africa for extensive training, and my friend Sunny built off my joke by telling the kids that I caught malaria while there. I then got a present saying I was "2 Cool 4 Malaria." Then another child tried to set Dude and me up.
However, the best part of Junior 2 was the dancing. All the dancing. There were dance competitions going on everywhere, but especially on the big Dance Day. It started off as a bet about being able to belly dance between a camper and a counselor, which then transformed into a whole dance competition between the camper and counselor's teams. It was pretty great. 

All in all, life is going well right now. Hopefully this post left you with laughs and makes up for the absense. 

Until next time! 

PS: Here's a little more laughter for you! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Recycling Projects and Pinterest

Ok, so Pinterest might be the greatest thing ever to grace this earth! I love it so much it's ridiculous. I have everything on my Pinterest boards from Disney to my travel plans, to tattoos, to plans for my future children. 
Pinterest is addictive...

... but it is also very beneficial. I have 3 or 4 boards created just for my classrooms (existing and future ones). I have everything from curriculum to bulletin boards; art projects to simple math games (but mainly art projects). Pinterest is so useful in the classroom, and I feel like many teachers underestimate it (especially the guys!). 

Some ways Pinterest can be used in the Classroom
There are so many unique ways to use Pinterest in the classroom. However, we don't have all day so I will cut right to the chase. Here are two MAJOR reasons why you should look into using Pinterest in your classroom...

Decorating Ideas-- No student (or teacher for that matter!) likes a boring room. The classroom should stimulate the students interest in learning and be an open/welcoming learning environment. Some of the worst classrooms I have been in were boring and dull; no pictures or posters on the walls, no bulletin boards with information for the students on it, basic seating chart,etc. With Pinterest, teachers can find new ways to decorate their rooms; many projects are DIY (do-it-yourself) and cheap, meaning that you can decorate your classroom without breaking the bank. 

Curriculum Ideas-- This is a biggie for me! I love getting onto Pinterest because every time I get on there is something new and creative to try out. You can find a picture of something like a picture frame, but repin it and keep it stored as an idea for an art project. You are allowed so much creative freedom on Pinterest, and it rocks. I've built entire curriculum based off of a Pin Board I had one summer. 

Now we come to the good stuff... 

For a class I am in, I had to create a Pinterest board focusing on my subject area and pin ideas for different projects. Afterwards, I was supposed to create my own project and create a rubric and outline for it. 
I chose to create a project that focuses on past artists and the influences they have for creating art! This project is perfect for the art or history teacher who wants to add some fun and creativity to their curriculum. Students are told to pick an artist, learn about them, write a paper, then give a presentation with a visual aid they created to go along with their report. The visual aid is supposed to be representative of the artist in some way. Depending on whether you are an art or history teacher, the project can put more emphasis on either the research or visual aid portion. I tried to keep my example and rubric pretty basic in order to make it easier for other teachers to tweak it to their personal needs or desires. 

My  assignment outline and rubric are located here

I figured since every teacher has their own versions of papers and what they want to be in them, I would not give my example paper. Instead, I created my own visual aid. While PowerPoint would be easier, I prefer more tangible visual aids (and also, everyone does PowerPoint differently!). Here is what I created as my visual aid:

(Please excuse the Minion tape holding down my internet cord)

I created a bag with a quote from Vincent van Gogh on it. He is by far my favorite artist, and is absolutely amazing. 
If a student were to do something like this, questions I would ask are "Why a bag?" and "Why this quote?"
I chose a bag not only because I will use it whenever possible, but also because he was an artist. As an amateur artist myself, I've grown to realize artists always have at least one sketchbook and multiple writing utensils with them at all times. What better way to carry them around than a bag? Also, van Gogh had a lot of "bag"gage! (sorry, I had to get the pun in!)

I chose this quote because van Gogh's painting "Starry Night" is one of my favorite paintings. The quote also resonates with me. 

So even though my example is not super indepth, it is a good example of what the students will probably do.

"Okay, How did you do that?" 
Here's some instructions on how I painted the bag!

Cheap bag-- I got mine from Hobby Lobby in the crafting area next to the aprons and foam hats. 
Paint (I used a lot of blues and white)
Paintbrushes and a toothbrush
Plate or Pallet to put your paint on
Trashbag or plastic to lay down (I did not think ahead and got paint all over where I was painting-- oops!)
Gloves (If getting paint on you bothers you)

The paint colors I used were:
Apple Barrel's China Blue, Pool Blue, Bright Blue, Cobalt Blue, and Admiral Blue
Liquitex Basic's Cerulean Blue Hue, Cobalt Blue Hue, and Ultramarine Blue
(I used Apple Barrel's White for the lettering)

I free-handed the majority of what I did. But basically I first painted the entire bag with the different dark blues. I put the darkest colors on the middle and outside, then layered the lighter dark blues in between them (almost like a donut ring). Don't be afraid to mix the colors to get your own versions-- that's what I did!

After the entire bag was covered, I dipped the bristled end of the toothbrush in the light blues and "sprayed" it on top of the darker blues. 
(You hold the toothbrush like so, then run your thumb across the bristles to get a sprayed effect)

After I finished spraying, my bag looked like this. (Pretty awesome isn't it? It looks harder than it actually was.) Tip: The closer the brush is to the bag, the more concentrated the color will be. For example, in the top right corner I held the toothbrush a lot closer there than I did in the bottom left corner. 

After I let the bag dry, I wrote out the words and got the placement I wanted in pencil (that way I could erase it if needed). I then painted over it with white so that the words would pop. 

Tahdah!!! Beautiful, galexy space bag with meaningful artist quote!

So what did I learn from all of this? Pinterest, rubric-writing, assignment-creating, bag-painting... all of it. 
Well first off, I realized I cannot spell the word rubric to save my life (I kept typing "ruberic") and that acrylic paint comes off of wood faster if you catch it while it's still wet. But I also learned that so much preperation needs to be done and thought out before you can put a plan (in this case, lesson plan) into action. Teachers do so much prep work, but in the end if they put enough time and dedication into it then both the teacher and student will benefit. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Social Networking and It's Effects on Today's Society

In this entry, I am going to be talking about networking-- specifically social media and networking: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc... all of it! Our lives have become so focused on the social media that we forget to sometimes "unplug" and go outside. 

Now, please don't misunderstand me. I do my fair share of Facebook posting, Instagram-ing, and tweeting too.** I believe they are great ways to keep in contact with friends and family you don't get to see often, and I love Instagram because it gives me the opportunity to meet and follow new people. However, there is truth behind the saying "you can have too much of a good thing." Social media and networking are wonderful things-- in moderation. 

Two articles I've read recently that discuss the effects of social networking are "5 Effects Social Networks Have On You" by Singyin Lee and "The Effects of Social Networking Upon Society". 

"5 Effects Social Networks Have On You" Thoughts
This article focused on "what science is saying about you and your social networks." It is centered towards how social media effects the individual and mainly the effects it can have on one's self-image. The author uses studies to link specific social networks with health topics like eating disorders, depression, and self-esteem as well as bringing attention to how these networking activities can effect your physical interactions. The article also brings attention to how using social networks like Twitter can be influencing narcissism (loving yourself and making your opinions known to as many people as possible). 
I found the article interesting, but very short. I wish the author would have discussed each segment more in-depth than what he did.  

"The Effects of Social Networking Upon Society" Thoughts
This article was very critical of social networking and its effect on society. Throughout the article, it brings attention to bullying, the aspects of "friends" on social sites, and the impact of how too much social networking can negatively effect the world. In the concluding paragraph the author states: 

“Social networking aides long distance communication greatly but there must be a stopping point. It cannot become our main form of communication and interaction. There are positives to this new technology but nowhere do these positives outweigh the negatives… There is nothing that can substitute for personal interaction.

Personal Opinion and Thoughts... Conclusion
I strongly agree with the above sentence. There is nothing that can substitute for personal interaction. I believe that we, as humans, need a community. We need physical connections with the people and the world around us. However, that does not happen if we are focused on making our next Facebook update or editing a picture to put on Instagram. Sure, communicating with others through these networks is possible and happens, but if we are not careful eventually that will be lost. Facebook messaging and tweeting friends is fine, but I would rather be there with them. With these social networks, we lose the intimacy that face-to-face interaction gives us, and I believe that is a disadvantage to society. 
Facebooking, tweeting, Instagram-ing, etc. will never compare to getting together with friends and going to the park or watching a movie. Even taking naps with your friends is more sociable, because you are doing it together. While it is fun, social networking just is not the same as actual physical socializing. It's like eating the offbrand version of your favorite cookies; it tastes alright, but it is not the real thing. 

So I encourage you, get out and hang with your friends. Social networking can wait. Go throw a ball or watch a movie with your friends; maybe take a nap! Just do it together. 

**After writing so long about social networking, I figured I could at least post my Instagram where I am most active! My handle is @maddymae9413 and you should follow me! I love new friends.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hello World!

First post on the new blog! If you are reading this then welcome, if you're not... well then it doesn't matter :)

Introductions are in order I suppose. My name is Maddy and I am currently a sophomore at Henderson State University (Go Reddies!). As you have probably surmised, I am in the band here on campus-- the Showband of Arkansas. This is my mellophone family (the Mellohomies!). 

I am currently an art education major, but am thinking about changing it to Early Education (K-6th grade). 

The first part of my life I lived in Jacksonville, AR with my parents and two younger sisters; when I was in the seventh grade we moved to Vilonia, AR where I attended from eighth grade all the way until graduation. Now my family lives in the Redfield/White Hall, AR area with our chickens and two amazing dogs! I was active in my youth group at church and the art and music programs at my school. I was on the praise team and in the choir, as well as multiple clubs and organizations. I was in band starting 6th grade year and played French horn and mellophone all the way through high school. I took my freshman year of college off-- MAJOR MISTAKE!-- and joined band again the fall of my sophomore year. 

I love to eat Mexican and Mediterranean foods, read books, and hang out with my friends. I am an avid movie-goer and Netflix-watcher, and when I am not too busy I enjoy sitting down to watch seasons of my favorite TV shows. 

Well, this is the end of this post. See you next time!