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Friday Faves: The Number 13

Walking under ladders, crossing paths with a black cat, and the number 13. These are all things that are said to bring bad luck. Today is Friday the 13th! This is a day where many people, especially in the U.S., have anxiety about going about their daily routines. It is also a day to watch scary movies and get cheap tattoos. I have always been a contrarian, however. I have found that 13 has been my lucky number.

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Mimi the cat. I don’t think she’s unlucky!

I often had the number 13 for my soccer jersey as a child, one of my favorite jobs was off of 13th street, and my boyfriend and I first moved in together in an apartment #13. A few years back when I was flying RyanAir, I looked for a seat on the 13th row and found that right after 12, they had 14! This is apparently very common as some buildings also skip the 13th floor and go directly to the 14th.

Lucky 13

I found when I lived in Italy, 13 was lucky:

In some countries, such as Italy, 13 is considered a lucky number.[18] The expression fare tredici (“to do 13”) means hit the jackpot. 17 is considered an unlucky number instead.[19] (Wikipedia)

It seems that I am not alone in my love of the number 13. What is your lucky number?

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Job Hunting Advice for New Teachers

I have mentored many people who are just about to graduate college or are lost about getting into the job market. Many people ask to pick my brain about what to do in an interview or have me look over their cover letters or resumes. Here’s another new blog series especially for aspiring teachers or teachers looking for new jobs.

Before you start searching:

If you are still in school:

  • Start networking with your professors and volunteering to help with club duties/activities/research projects etc. Professors with clout will remember you if other companies ask about new graduates looking for work.
  • Interning is good experience, but often does not lead to employment (in my experience). Don’t put all your eggs into this basket.

Create a Generic Resume: (This could be its own section, tbh)

  • Resumes should be 1 page, easy to read, with your most relevant and recent experience at the top of the page. There are hundreds of ways to create resumes.
  • CVs (or Curriculum Vitae) are your “life’s work.” A CV is allowed to be long. This might be helpful for those that may just be fresh out of school.
  • Use action verbs to describe what you did in each job/experience/project and keep it short
  • Use this to populate your LinkedIn Profile

Online Presence:

  • Have an online presence and make sure you look employable. Jump on Facebook or Linkedin or Instagram (especially if you are in the visual arts)
  • Google search yourself. Employers can and will google search you so be ready and scrub your social media accounts so they are squeaky clean. Immediately untag or take down any pictures of you that make you look unreliable(a drunk/druggie/etc), mean(racist/sexist/etc), or lazy.

Finding a Job:

Use your “weak ties” or social network

  • This is 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon for employment. If you are a hard worker, nice, and competent, someone will recommend you to their friend of a friend. Put out the word on facebook or whatever social media account you use.
  • Start talking and mentioning your job search to everyone you know and ask them to tell you about any job they might come across. Many heads are better than one. Put your search out into your network and some job leads may come back to you.

Job search Engines

  • Use generic job search engines: indeed.com, monster.com, craigslist.com
  • Find job-specific search engines in your field. For example, if you want to work in higher education in the USA, the best job search engine is higheredjobs.com, but if you want to work in community colleges in California you would want the cccregistry.org. Same with the tech field I believe the site is dice.com for tech jobs.
  • Usually there is a way to subscribe to job searches so they will send an email if anything comes up.

Googling Companies you want to work for

  • Go to the company website you want to work for. Look for “Careers” or “Employment” or “Work for Us” something like that and try to find open positions. Apply for any open positions you like.
  • Failing that, find the company directory, try to find the person who may be likely to hire you. Call or send them an email inquiring about employment or the application process and if there are any open positions available.

Hit the road!

  • Start looking for “Hiring Now” signs in the windows of places. Keep an eye out, and hopefully you have a bunch of your friends looking out too.
  • Large companies will usually hire you through websites, so even if you meet the hiring manager in person, they will send you to a computer.
  • Smaller companies/business may have you submit an application in person, or have you email a resume.
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Favorite Artists Through History- Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

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Frida Kahlo is one of my favorite artists not only for her amazing use of color in her paintings, but also for her life story and determination.

Born to a German father and a mestiza mother, Kahlo spent most of her childhood and adult life at her family home in CoyoacánLa Casa Azul, now known and publicly accessible as the Frida Kahlo Museum. She was disabled by polio as a child. Until a traffic accident at age eighteen caused lifelong pain and medical problems, she had been a promising student headed for medical school. During her recovery, she returned to her childhood hobby of art with the idea of becoming an artist. (From Wikipedia)

Kahlo is known for her self-portraits (much like Rembrandt). However, unlike other artists, she expresses her inner turmoil through more poetic painting through iconography rather than dramatic lighting.

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The Two Fridas (1939)

My Favorite Paintings:

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My Teaching Philosophy

I started my teaching career 3 years ago as a Teaching Associate for Cal State Fullerton. At the end of my studies for graduate school, I completed a practicum which required me to compile a teaching portfolio, including a teaching philosophy.

By plucking her petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower.”

-Rabindranath Tagore

Through my teaching of English and critical thinking, I want students to engage in society in every aspect of life through claiming their voices and not abdicating their personal power. Through a Socratic, communicative method of questioning students’ beliefs about authority and the right to speak (Peirce), professors and students can co-create knowledge and process in the classroom (Freire).

Through the MS TESOL program, I have gained much experience from my practicum teaching experience as an English 101 instructor, as well as my tutoring experiences at Coastline Community College’s Success Center and the CSUF Writing Center. In each of these positions, I have learned and applied the theories from Bonny Norton Peirce to Paolo Freire that I learned in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching Adults in an ESL/EFL Context. I also have modeled much of my syllabus after Ferris and Hedgecock’s recommendations.

Students are regularly subjected to the whims of teachers and other authority figures; their student knowledge and experience valid only if validated by authority. Paolo Freire’s banking concept of education applies quite well to today’s education system. In this philosophy, teachers give the gift of knowledge to eager students. Students lack knowledge, therefore they sit in class in order to absorb the knowledge that the all-knowing teacher bestows upon them. But this philosophy ignores the basic humanity of students: no one enters the classroom tabula rasa.

A new metaphor, rather than the negative, capitalistic definition of banking, is more apt to describe the classroom I strive for: a garden. The professor should act as a gardener, working with the natural inclinations of students for them to flourish. It is vital to consider students’ interests as “any gardener who should attempt to raise healthy, beautiful, and fruitful plants by outraging all those plants’ instinctive wants and searchings, would meet as his reward—sickly plants, ugly plants, sterile plants, dead plants” (de Cleyre). Ignoring that students bring their experiences and personal knowledge into the classroom is misguided. It is also important to give students the chance to grow in autonomy or “beauty” rather than “plucking away” at them so that they can fit into our educational molds. It is easy as teachers to engage with students on a purely transactional level rather than a human one. Each class brings different ethnicities, age groups, and social classes teaching the professor much about the world outside the classroom. Nothing happens in a vacuum.

Professors should act to encourage students to share their knowledge in the classroom and critically evaluate it. Critical thinking skills are integral parts of any English class. In doing so, the professor helps the student to become a critical thinker as well as a co-creator of knowledge. We learn how to interact with the discourse in society through our classrooms and our professors. Giving students the tools to go out and engage with society facilitates not only great English skills, but also social change. As a professor, I want to encourage my students to dissent and look for solutions if they see ills in society.

I wrote this two years ago for my practicum. Since then, I feel like I have lived many life times. However, the foundations of my teaching philosophy are still present in my mindset today. The garden metaphor is apt to describe the classroom, in more ways than one: a gardener can only control so much, plants thrive best in different environments and conditions, some plants need more or special attention from the gardener.

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Marissa’s Top Art Museums – The Uffizi

I recently recommended places to visit in Florence and Rome to my future sister-in-law and I figured it would make a great blog post as well about people interested in visiting those locations.

Art Museums

Gli Uffizi


Before we even get to the collection itself: the whole building is itself a masterpiece of architecture.

History | The Uffizi

Commissioned by Cosimo I de’ Medici, first Grand Duke of Tuscany, the building, was conceived to house the “Uffizi”, the administrative and legal offices of Florence. The work was entrusted to artist Giorgio Vasari, who designed an edifice with a Doric column portico, in a style that was both elegant and severe, established “upon the river and almost in the air”. – Le Gallerie degli Uffizi website

Gli Uffizi is home to many famous historical art pieces and is the number one priority destination for any art lover or artist.

Most famous pieces: The Birth of Venus(Botticelli), Adoration of the Magi (Da Vinci)


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Unknown, Public Domain, Link

My favorites:
Caravaggio’s Medusa, Bronzino’s portraits, the ancient Greek and Roman sculpture


By Caravaggio – Transferred from en.wikipedia. Original uploader was Hugh Manatee at en.wikipedia. Original uploader was Hugh Manatee at en.wikipedia. Later version(s) were uploaded by Ghirlandajo at en.wikipedia. 2005-07-26 (first version); 2006-11-21 (last version), Public Domain, Link

 

 

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My Favorite Artists Through History – Rembrandt

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I love that Rembrandt was unafraid to use heavy shadow in his paintings. The darkness is used strategically to bring the viewer’s eye to the focus. This is the chiaroscuro effect that I am a huge fan of.

His self-portraits are absolutely stunning and it’s really cool to see his evolution through his self-portraits. I am always inspired to start painting self-portraits again whenever I look at this Dutch master.

He wasn’t just a painter. He was also a printmaker! They had a collection of his etchings in Boston a few years back which I was very happy to see! I love his swagger in this one:

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Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2014)

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a lot of Rembrandt work in person in Amsterdam at the Rijksmuseum. I also made sure to go to his house which is maintained as a museum.

My Favorite Pieces: The Night Watch, etchings

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Oxnard, CA – Wildlife Cruise to Anacapa Islands (June 25, 2018)

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dolphins

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sailboat

pelican

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Taken with: Canon EOS Rebel T6 18MP Wi-Fi SLR Digital Camera
2018 Photography:

Oxnard, CA – Wildlife Cruise to Anacapa Islands (June 25, 2018)

JPL – June 10th, 2018

CSUF Graduation 2018

KS Fitness Fight Night – March 3, 2018

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JPL – June 10th, 2018

Had a blast at JPL for their open house. There are few times that I feel that I am out of my intellectual depth, but this was one of them. I will admit that I’ve never been much of a space nerd, maybe because I never saw anything quite like this before. Who knew about all the new planets that are possibly habitable? Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in all the terrestrial nonsense and take your eyes off the stars.

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TFW You and BAE lookin hot

 

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This is a vintage robot
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This is a new robot 
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Static Electricity!
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Hair standing on end!

Taken with: Canon EOS Rebel T6 18MP Wi-Fi SLR Digital Camera

2018 Photography:

Oxnard, CA – Wildlife Cruise to Anacapa Islands (June 25, 2018)

JPL – June 10th, 2018

CSUF Graduation 2018

KS Fitness Fight Night – March 3, 2018

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Psychic Vampires and Updates

Just and update for you all: it seems very likely that I will not be going to Japan with the JET program. I’m currently on the waitlist, but it seems unlikely that I will be upgraded at this point. It took me a while to be okay with taking the L on this particular dream of mine. While I can apply through other programs to teach in Japan, I’m taking the summer to focus on my writing and other creative pursuits.

I am developing ideas for a short form comic book. I have three stories currently brewing in my mind right now.

In order to actually get this accomplished, I’ve put myself on a social media diet. I’ve deactivated my Facebook account and deleted apps off of my phone. It’s funny how easy it is to get addicted to something so stupid. I’ve been off of it for about a week, and I’ve found that during the time I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook was when I needed to daydream and be creative.

I will be using this blog more for thoughts and general observations as well as updates regarding my work.

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CSUF Graduation 2018

My little brother graduated from Cal State Fullerton! These are my favorite pictures.

Taken with: Canon EOS Rebel T6 18MP Wi-Fi SLR Digital Camera

2018 Photography:
Oxnard, CA – Wildlife Cruise to Anacapa Islands (June 25, 2018)

JPL – June 10th, 2018

CSUF Graduation 2018

KS Fitness Fight Night – March 3, 2018