Sunday, October 21, 2012


Passive Voice, Abstract Subjects, Linking Verbs

On Wednesday, January 26th in Beasley Coliseum I got the opportunity to watch Greg Mortenson speak about his life, books, and efforts to create better schooling for people in the Middle East. And on Tuesday, March 22nd I gotthe chance to listen to Sharon Trautwein speak about her trip to Nepal and the journey she went on to help improve women’s empowerment in that part of the world.

Both of these speakers’ messages were related in how they both worked hard to make a difference in the lives of women and their schooling in third world countries. Trautwein visited Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world, to help build safe housing for women who wanted to further their education but did not have a safe place to live. The hotel she went to help build will be like a dorm for these girls who will no longer have to walk miles to school in fear of being kidnapped. Mortenson spoke about a similar topic and how young boys are more likely to receive education then young girls. Females are not always given the opportunity to start education, let alone peruse going to college. Trautwein said she initially became inspired to make a difference after reading Greg Mortenson’s book, “3 Cups of Tea”.

Similar issues are going on in Afghanistanand Nepal. Mortenson said that pregnancy rates are directly related to women receiving education. Over the past years women in Afghanistan have reduced their number of children from 8-9 to only 2-3 births. Trautwein added to this as she pointed out that educated women have fewer children, and it strengthens the economy by 3%. Her hopes are that the new housing for women to go to school will help continuing the decrease in pregnancies as well as improve the poverty in this country. Trautiwein added that 7 out of 10 girls do not go to college.

These issues can relate to me because I’m a female college student in the United States. It makes me see how great of an opportunity I have had to have started school at a young age, and even more so that I have been able to further my education by going to college. The video, “The Girl Effect”, that Trautwein showed during her presentation helped me to see that women living in poverty deserve the opportunity to go to school just as much as anyone else does, and there are ways to help. I also liked the proverb Mortenson used to sum up the problems our world is facing; “Only when it is dark we can see the stars”.
Revisions using the Lanham method


I got the opportunity to watch Greg Mortenson speak about his life, books, and accomplishments in the Middle East. I also got the chance to listen to Sharon Trautwein speak about her trip to Nepal. Trautwein spoke on her journey to help improve women’s empowerment.

Both speakers worked hard to make a difference in the lives of women and their schooling in third world countries. Trautwein visited Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world, to help build safe housing. Women in Nepal wanted to further their education but did not have a safe place to live. Trautwein helped build a dorm for these girls who will no longer have to walk miles to school in fear of being kidnapped. Mortenson spoke similarly about how young boys are more likely to receive education then young girls. Females are not always given the opportunity to start education. Trautwein said she has been inspired by Mortenson.

Similar issues are going on in Afghanistanand Nepal. Mortenson said that pregnancy and educaiton are related. Women in Afghanistan have reduced their number of children from 8-9 to only 2-3 births. Trautwein pointed out that educated women have fewer children, and it strengthens the economy by 3%. Her hopes are that the new housing for women to go to school will help continuing the decrease in pregnancies as well as improve the poverty.

I’m a female college student in the United States so I can relate. I see how great of an opportunity I have had to have started school at a young age and to further my education by going to college. The video, “The Girl Effect”, that Trautwein showed during her presentation helped me to see that women living in poverty deserve the opportunity to go to school and there are ways to help. I also liked the proverb Mortenson used to sum up the problems our world is facing; “Only when it is dark we can see the stars”.


(This method helped me see how many unnecessary sentences I throw into my writing. Much shorter! Wow!)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blast from my Writing Past

*I chose to revisit a very old piece of my writing. This is from the English 101 class I took as a freshman. The assignment was to choose 5 songs that have made an impact on my life.

Key:
Brushstrokes
Participles
Adjectivies out of order
Apposotives
Absolutes


“When you cry be sure to dry your eyes 'cause better days are sure to come, and when you smile be sure to smile wide, don't let them know that they have won. And when you walk, walk with pride, don't show the hurt inside, because the pain will soon be gone” This verse from my all-time favorite song “Dream Big” by Ryan Shupe has been some of the most inspirational and motivational words to me. This song helped me through some hard times in my life. When my hopes are down and I'm feeling lost, this song gives me strength every time I hear it and can lift my spirits on any day. The upbeat melody and amazing lyrics make it my very favorite song, and it always helps me to remember to dream big.

“Hear you Me” by Jimmy Eat World is such a beautiful song. It puts me at ease and is very peaceful. Any time I hear it I think of my grandma, beautiful and kind, who passed away. It’s nice to remember her and what an amazing woman she was. My grandma gave me a small angel that I keep with me always and in the song there are a few lyrics about angels that remind me of my special keepsake from her. A line from the song also says; “What would you think of me now? So lucky, so strong, so proud.” I like to think that my grandma is watching down and is very proud of me for what I am doing with my life. I miss her everyday and this song is a beautiful reminder of her.

Some songs can put me in an exact moment in my life. Any time I hear the song “Don’t stop Believing” by Journey I go back to June, 12, 2010. Graduation day was a very proud and happy day in my life. I can still smell the fresh cut grass on the football field, see the fireworks light up the sky, and hear this song belting from the speakers. Everyone in my entire graduating class was up on our chairs singing along with Journey at the top of our lungs. With my best friends by my side and my family watching from the stands it was a very bitter sweet moment, but we were all ready to take our next step into the world. It was an amazing night, and a great song to send us along on our lives while always remembering to never stop believing.

My 2 best friends Kaela and Hollie are like sisters to me. During the summer of 2009 is when we became very close. “Tik Tok” is another one of those songs that can put me in a time and place. Over that summer, a transition between high school years, we all discovered a lot about ourselves andeach other. There was never a dull or boring day and this song seemed to always be playing. All the laughter, tears, and trouble WAS A TURNING POINT IN MY LIFE {PASSIVE}, as well as the most fun summer of my life.

One of my very favorite artists Miranda Lambert sings “The House that Built Me”. This song reminds me to never forget my family and where I came from. Plus, I love to sing and I’ve gotten pretty good at singing along with Miranda during this song. I sang choir in high school and sometimes I regret giving it up but Miranda is a really great artist and she inspires me to still do what I love; even just for fun. Sometimes being away from home at college, it’s easy to forget your past. But I have the greatest memories of my childhood growing up in Wenatcheeand this song helps me to always remember by roots and where I’ve been. My family is so important to me and they have HELPED {ACTIVE} shape me into the person I am today.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cheers to Crimson in Seattle!


It’s been a long and crazy weekend. Before this weekend I hadn’t been to Seattle in several years. I don’t usually go anywhere besides Pullman and my hometown, Wenatchee. So it was nice to get out and about somewhere new- to say the least.

 We took off after class on Friday and ALTHOUGH we didn’t leave until 3 there were still plenty of other people doing the same thing. Wenatchee is only 3 hours from Pullman so the 5+ hour road trip to Seattle was quite a long trek. When we got to Othello we saw a horrible car accident involving a semi and small truck. WHOEVER was in that small truck was taken in the ambulance- I hope he was ok. I got in a car accident last Thanksgiving break on the way home, so when I see them I always get so upset.

Seeing the windmills before Ellensburg was really neat! I had no idea they are that big and so many! (Like I said, I don’t get out much.) The girls in the car had a little chuckle because I was so amazed. For them the trip is common but it was an entertaining ride for me.

Seattle really is so pretty. It’s really amazing how different it is from my town. And ALTHOUGH I was extremely intimidated by the big city at first, I was able to take everything in. We rode a boat, or “water taxi”, on the Puget Sound that dropped us off near the stadium. I was ready for some Cougar football!

The whole place was a sea of crimson and grey. Of course there were a bunch of duck fans…but who cares about that? There were tailgaters everywhere! Every group of fans seemed to have the SAME THINGS: beer, food and lots of spirit. That’s one thing I love about being a Coug; the pride we have in our school is loud and proud.

Even though we didn’t come out with a W, the weekend was a win in my books. I’m glad I decided to go and take on the big city. It was a weekend of good fun, friends and as always, my Cougs.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Got a way to go, but I'm getting closer.

In my teaching and learning class we are discussing the way in which children learn and how their brain develops. Sometimes I need to take a moment to realize that I myself still have a lot to learn before I would feel completely confident teaching a classroom. I’ve had some teachers in my years of school that could still use a little learning themselves!

The activity using the magnetic poetry words was such a blast. It was fun and I was able to learn more about the way sentences should be put together. BECAUSE grammar has never been the entire focus of a class I’ve taken, these new things are quite enlightening. A teacher has never taken the time to break apart sentences or even explain the parts of it.

I’m going to be honest here and say that this was the first time hearing about the S-v-o sentence (And all the other styles!) BUT I didn’t panic when they were introduced and instead I worked hard on grasping the new knowledge. It’s easy FOR me to get discouraged AND I’m learning that just because it’s a new concept doesn’t mean I won’t be able to understand it. ALTHOUGH I may not always understand, I can keep working at it and use my peers and Barbara for help.

In the magnetic words activity my partner and I created sentences using our Country Words selection. We produced a sentence, ‘I believe in Mama’. Short and simple, YET it addresses the subject, verb and object. We also came up with ‘I keep forgetting why I love you.’ Too funny!

I’m learning that I still have learning to do. SINCE this class is helping me become SO much I feel closer to my goal of becoming totally confident in a classroom of my own. With patience I think I’ll be able to achieve that. As mama always says, never give up! AND I do believe in mama.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

....Still learning...

Another week of grammar class and I’m constantly learning new things. It’s pretty amazing how an entire course can be offered on this because you would think there isn’t much to grammar. Think again!

 I really enjoyed working on the personal pronoun chart. BETWEEN MY GROUPMATES AND I we discussed when we have seen these used incorrectly and how they are especially important for students who have English as a second language. As an English speaker MYSELF I sometimes even get caught up so I can see how that might be especially difficult.

 It’s so important for writers to express THEMSELVES and I think doing that in a grammatically correct way always makes writing seem more effective. Proper sentence structure ensures easily understood writing. A sentence needs several different aspects and parts in order for it to make sense!

 Looking though the newspaper and picking apart sentences really helped me notice the small details in sentence structure that far too often do go unnoticed. I’m a little worried when I read the newspaper every morning I’m going to start picking out the subject verb and object!

 Another week down and more grammar to be learned!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hannah is learning Grammar

When my friends ask what class I'm heading to every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, their response to "grammar" is usually the same. I guess most people assume it's an english major thing or that I just really love grammar. The truth is that anyone in any major could learn a lot from this course. Grammar is a skill that takes practice to fully grasp and this class has helped me to see that there is always something to learn or improve on when it comes to grammar.

Even after all these years, I still get hung up on apostrophes. Sometimes I get confused when using them for possestion. I really enjoyed the 'scavenger' activity when we looked through magazines searching for unique writing styles. It's interesting how each publication has a certain way of presenting grammar. Thanks to that activity I think I was able to practice and gather more knowledge of possession and apostrophes.

I don't remember a specific teacher who taught me exceptional grammar . I do remember teachers who taught me to love writing though. The funny thing is, writing and grammar go hand in hand. If you want to be a good writer, you need to have good grammar skills, too. I can't tell you how many well written papers I've read that were ruined by grammar- or lack of it.

I've learned that students are very different learners from their peers. It's so important as a teacher to embrace every student for their skills and to acknowledge areas they need help in. I've also been learning to have more patience. SOMETIMES, I GET IN SUCH A HURRY I OVERLOOK SMALL DETAILS; BUT WHEN IT COMES TO GRAMMAR, THEY ARE CRUCIAL TO NOTICE. I'm learning to be patient with students, no matter how different, and help them learn grammar the best way they can.

I am beginning to understand commas more and how they can really change the meaning of a sentence. I found the 'Dear John' exercise very fun and interesting. Commas have to ability to change so much in writing. Using commas correctly is essential and as one of my goals in my first blog, I think I'm already making progress.

Our Dora seminars were enjoyable, as it's always nice to hear the opinions of others. We all agreed on a lot and even by sharing our personal experience I can see that we exemplify the fact that students are diverse. We all had different experiences in our education that ultimately brought us to this class and influenced our choice to become teachers.

Only three weeks in and I'm gathering a lot from this class. I see myself growing as writer and aspiring teacher. With patience and attention to every grammatical detail I think I can accommodate every student. Grammar is a skill many people can benefit from if they have the opportunity to take this class.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hold the Commas, Please!

There isn’t much about writing that I don’t enjoy; it’s been that way for as a long as I can remember being in school. You would think those of us who have been in school for nearly 14 years and continue to write, specifically for an English major, would know everything there is to know about grammar. Wrong.

I’ve lost count of the amount of papers I’ve written for college classes. Responses on my papers from Professors of varying subjects are always, “hold the commas!” As you could guess from that feedback, I tend to overuse the little guys! I like to think they belong everywhere that there may be the slightest pause. As I write I speak out the sentences in my head and if I read it with a pause, I put in a comma. Obviously, this is not always grammatically correct, which leads to overuse and comma splices.

For example, as I reread the previous paragraph this sentence stuck out to me: “As you could guess from that feedback, I tend to overuse the little guys!” I’m not positive whether or not there should be a comma after feedback but when I read it aloud to myself I pause slightly for emphasis. Not everyone reads the same way so my personally inserted commas could definitely be unneeded for others.

Commas are not the only things I go overboard on. I use too many to be verbs and sometimes have a tough time with conjunctions. For me, journaling like this really helps me to lay out the things I need to work on and focus on them for the remainder of the semester. Most of my goals in grammar involve reversing mistakes that I have been making for a long time. Once I do something a certain way for so long it’s hard to undo it. But by noticing the things I have been doing wrong I can go over my work and specifically look for overused commas, conjunctions and to be verbs.

In order to reach my goals for this class I’ll need to be diligent, proactive, efficient. I hope to one day be an amazing middle school English teacher and help my students learn to love English as much as Mr. Johnson helped me adore the subject. Grammar can sometimes seem nitpicky and time consuming but it is undeniably a big part of writing, teaching, and learning English.

After 14 long years in school I’m still being told and telling myself to “watch the commas!” With help from this class I think this will be the semester that I can master all things grammar and become one step closer to becoming like Mr. J!