Student Teaching Sites

We have 12 Ag Ed student teachers going out this year. They are scattered all over Oregon. We are required to visit each of them 6 times... yup 6! I have placed a blue star approximately where they are located (OSU is in Benton County - the pink one in the middle, one county in from the coast).   As you can see, I am getting ready to do some traveling in order to supervise this group.

Special "Dorkiness Indulgence Section" for any teacher education folks:

Our student teachers go out in the fall from State Fair until Fall quarter begins at OSU (August 27-September 27) and then come back to OSU for fall quarter (Sept 27-Christmas break). Our program is a master's program (they have already completed an undergraduate degree in another area) so fall quarter is when they learn about curriculum design, lesson planning, teaching methods, etc. Then they go back out to their student teaching sites for all of winter quarter (Jan-March wrapping up at State FFA Convention) to teach now that they have had some coursework. They come back to OSU for spring quarter (April-June) and complete their coursework and finish their master's degree.



The last few days have marked my first Oregon State Fair and i.am.exhausted.  SERIOUSLY EXHAUSTED. I learned a long time ago that I am a pretty intense introvert (meaning I draw my energy internally, not from interacting with others) and with days and days of introductions/ names/ places/ handshakes/ meetings, my reserves are tapped. It was all good stuff so I wouldn't trade any of it, but I definitely need a night to "recharge".

Thursday marked the first meeting with our student teachers and we have spent the days since supervising them while at the fair. I have also watched some livestock shows, visited the OSU booth, attended an FFA Alumni meeting, a FFA Board of Directors' Meeting, and a Team Ag Ed Meeting, watched the OR Livestock Judging CDE, and made it through my first awards ceremony. I have also met a ton of ag teachers and started learning the in's and out's of Oregon Ag Ed/ FFA. I am feeling more connected and hope I am on the track to becoming a useful, contributing member of the team.

In the interest of controlling the waistline, I didn't partake in a lot of the fried food that makes the fair so fabulous, but tomorrow I will begin detoxing from my daily dose of dairy goodness from the Dairy Women's Ice Cream Barn. "Regular Chocolate Cone" - I will miss you!

The Oregon State Fair SkyLift Ride
(Image from http://www.oregonlink.com/postcards/skyliftferriswheel.html)


The Oregon Garden

I have admitted before that I am a geek. I love plants! Who doesn't? They can make ugly places prettier and cheer the spirit when you are feeling sad.  So...I spent Saturday (August 21) bumming around The Oregon Garden. On the way in, you pass The Gordon House (1959) - the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Oregon and the only one in the Pacific Northwest that is open to visitors. I didn't spring for the $10 tour, but I did snap a photo of the outside.

Once I arrived, I paid my fee to get in to the gardens. The views start the minute you leave the visitor's center.

I snapped tons of photos. Here are a few of my favorites.

Everything grows here.... including Fuschia!

This is the Hobbit house in the Children's Garden. I don't think a buried corrugated drain pipe has ever been so cute (and fun- this little fella was havin' a blast)!

I couldn't resist... I like any flower that appears Daisy-like.

There were numerous water features, but this was my favorite.

Sculptural, natural garden art

Numerous pollinators made it into my photos between the time I lined up my shot and when I snapped...

Of course, I needed a shot of the beaver (among some purple cone flowers and rudbeckia!)

There were some fabulous moss covered rocks scattered around the gardens.

Some pot people in the Children's Garden.

Sculptural plants among sculpture

Now I feel like I need to see the garden during multiple times of the year. I mean, August is definitely not peak season. It will definitely not be my last visit to The Oregon Garden.


Office Update

The office has been coming together in pieces...but I have been excited about every piece. The cabinets and bookcases all came together within days of my arrival, which gave me a place to unpack, but the other pieces have been coming in a week at a time. Last week my brand new laptop/docking station/dual monitors arrived. Gorgeous! But I was working on the rolling modular cart at the time which didn't leave much for anything but the computer.

The desk arrived a week later (8.17.10). I haven't had a chance to hang my diplomas or "fluff my nest".. .this was 20 minutes after the desk was delivered and the computer moved. It feels a little "undone", but people have been asking to see the place (and I am working on letting some things not be perfect and jumping before I am ready) so, now for a "tour" around the office...

All good tours start at the door... it has my name on it! You can also see my "Strengths" are hanging on my doorknob. There are also a few chairs over there for advising and visitors and such... Oh and my favorite part may just be the new DRIOD on the desktop!

After coming in the door, you are looking straight at my bookcase of mementos... some things State FFA Office, some things NCSU, some things Mizzou, and room to grow the Oregon State collection (with my Achieve sign from the Velez's - Achieve is my top "Strength" on Strengthfinder). And, of course, a shelf for family! And the plants made the move from MU to OSU. 


Then you get the first view of the desk, complete with name plate (Thanks Ryan!) and business cards and TONS of workspace. The computer is phenomenal and I am using a laptop with a docking station so I can take everything on the work computer home as well as pick it up and take it to the classroom to teach right on MY computer. The bookshelf in the background is still a work in progress... mostly because it is still short a few shelves. And The M&M guys made the move, but I haven't filled 'em up yet.

Finally, a nice view of the desk from my side. Lots of storage: 4 drawers, 2 file drawers, a pencil drawer, and a pull-out keyboard shelf. LOVE IT! (even though it is not dark wood that I could use to "intimidate undergraduates!) And you can even see out the door and into the outer suite. 

P.S. If you click on the pictures, I think you can make them bigger so you can see in more detail.


Reading through summer

I am a geek. People use lots of different terms to classify the characteristics they are talking about:  nerd/ geek/ overachiever*/ smartypants/ teacher's pet. I have been called all of these at one point or another. I prefer geek. I admit it and fully acknowledge and embrace my geekiness. 

I think these terms were first applied because I like to read... most anything and as often as possible. I would go to the library as a kid and my mom would put a limit on the number of books she would allow me to carry out. I also like school. I have been in school non-stop (working or attending) since 1985. According to a friend's kid, I just finished the 21st grade. :-)  I read for fun. Grad school put a bit of a cramp in my reading for fun because I spent all day reading for school. I had to get glasses to keep up with all the reading :-)

So, once I got past that whole dissertation thing this spring, the starter's pistol fired and the race was on to read as much as I could before the academic job began and reading purely for fun went on the back burner again. Here are the one's (that I remember) I have read since May 15.

My favorite of the summer was BY FAR "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. I found it while browsing some recommended reading lists online. It's set in Nazi Germany and narrated by death. Sounds morbid, I know, but I couldn't put it down. I think it is listed as young reader material, but it wasn't available when I was a young reader (it was released in 2005), so I am just catching up. Everyone should read it.

LOVED "Life of Pi" when I read it back in 2004 -because one of my SGHS kids was reading it in English classes and recommended- so when I saw a new book by Yann Martel, I jumped. I bought "Beatrice and Virgil" even though it was only out in hardback, which I never do. It was just okay ...so if you haven't read it, check it out from a library or wait until it comes out in paperback. Definitely no "Life of Pi."

My friend Beckmeyer got me hooked on Russo and in the last year I have read a ton of his stuff  (That Old Cape Magic, Empire Falls, Nobody's Fool, Straight Man, Mohawk). "The Risk Pool" did not disappoint. Next on the list, "Bridge of Sighs."

"The Secret Life of Bees" is one of those popular "IT" novels that you get a lot of buzz about all at once, but a really quick read with a neat story - and, bonus: then I got to rent the movie (with Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keyes, Jennifer Hudson). Both were entertaining!

"Rebecca" - Another classic and apparently made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock WAY before I was born (well, before my parent's were born). Now the film is on my "to-rent" list. And, like all things Hitchcock might gravitate towards, there was a nice twist.

"Brighten the Corner Where You Are" - Another one of those from a recommended reading list. Worth the time.

"The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" : I thought this was a great story - even if a friend I recommended it to was not exactly excited about a boy and his dog! And, maybe the only "Oprah Book Club" book on the list. (I won't hold that against it.)

A class. I threw of few of these in just for fun. Now I can say I have read "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time": Amusing note: I read the entire book with the voice of one of my former students in my head as the main character (both happen to be autistic).Neat story.  

Yes Indeed, That's LC's second book, "Sweet Little Lies". I told you it wasn't exactly high-brow stuff (and I admit it, I loved "The Hills").

"Game Change": one of the only non-fiction items on the list, but I wouldn't say it was exactly academic in nature. All the behind-the-scenes dirt on the 2008 Presidential Election. Interesting stuff!

And, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" is the one I am finishing this weekend: so far, it's awesome...and, being made into a movie. The other two Stieg Larsson books in the series are now on my to-read list, but it may be Christmas before I get there.

That's because the current list is related to the fact that I am teaching leadership this fall and next spring. The current list includes "Today Matters" by Maxwell, "Cases in Leadership" by Rowe, "The Leadership Challenge" by Kouzes and Posner, "Leadership" by Northouse, "Leadership" by DuBrin, "Teach with your Strengths", "Emotionally Intelligent Leadership" by Shankman and Allen, "Good to Great" by Collins and a stack full of supplemental materials that I could use to teach. Good thing I like to read!

*Rob Terry says "Over Achiever" is not the correct term because it implies that I have achieved beyond my capabilities. Therefore, "High Achiever" is more accurate, but he may be the only one who has called me a high achiever.


Art in the Garden

This Saturday I went to 'Art in the Garden' at Garland Nursery. What a neat little place! They had a wine tasting (and free coffee - which was much more up my alley) along with local artists and vendors. I just strolled around the garden center and snapped some photos. I need to take a class in photography! They had an amazing bonsai section! I want to take a class in that, too! (Anyone doubting that 'Learner' was my third strength in StrengthsFinder?)

It made me miss working at Homewood in college or being a "plant geek" of a teacher, and taking field trips to garden centers all over NC with plant ID teams. Good times....

I am broke and I live in an apartment...combining those two things meant my only plant purchase of the day was a $7.00 orchid (I love orchids!). Although, I almost drooled myself dehydrated over a gorgeous dissected Japanese maple. They grow so well here.. Well, everything does! I did take a business card from a local artist who shoots black and white images of Oregon. Some of his work will be hanging at my place before long. Gorgeous stuff.

I then tried out a little pasta place here in town and had the mac and cheese (just for you Annie!). It definitely wasn't The Rome :-( The search goes on....


Where I Work

Well obviously I work at Oregon State...And, I get lost all the time so I am the worst person to give the tour. But I am the only one offering :-) I definitely haven't made it all around campus yet, but here are the highlights.

The Stadium

Valley Library

The MU (Memorial Union)

And here is my specific building: Strand Ag Hall (built in segments between 1909-1913).

The great part about our location is that we are right in the middle of things. We are between the Valley Library and the MU so if you could fly, my building would be right in the middle of things.

My office (there is lots of green in Oregon so you will have to take my word... my office is back there). Once I have permanent furniture in my office, I will show you the inside.


It's County Fair Time

So I spent Friday night at the Benton County Fair and took in all the sights.... booths, games, rides, demos, rodeo and more. Here are some shots. I tried to be good and steer clear of the fair food. I only had a sno-cone.

They had logging competition - not something I have seen at a county fair before. These were just kids but it was neat. This was a race to climb the trees.
This was the only part of the rodeo moving slow enough to capture with my super-slow camera... the kiddie stick horse race.

I just liked this sign....
 The entire midway... it was a pretty small fair, but good. A thoroughly enjoyable evening.

The weather was a phenomenal 70 degrees. Perfect fair weather.... so I did the very Oregon thing and walked, yup, WALKED to the fair. It was about 2 miles... each way. It wasn't so bad going because it was 6 in the evening and all down hill... (there is a mountain back there if you look hard). Gorgeous views everywhere I look.

Coming back was a little more entertaining. It was cooler but ALL UP HILL. The rodeo ended and the concert was going ("The Guess Who" was playing). I could hear them my whole walk back. But about a mile in to the walk and up a particularly steep hill I had this vision of these nice people sitting in the living rooms with the windows thrown open, enjoying a cool summer night and listening to "These Eyes" while a 30 year old woman was walking along in the dark breathing hard. It cracked me up so much I laughed out loud. And I am sure that made them wonder even more!


Times they are a changin'

I think Bob Dylan said it best: "The times they are a changin'".

Since the first of July, I have a

new car
new apartment
new job
new couch
new chair
new smart phone
new address
ring full of new keys
new bookcase
new office
new license plate number
new parking tag
new time zone
new cable/internet company
new business card
new boss/ secretary/ colleagues
new office phone number
new email address
new home office desk
new appreciation for things that stay the same. Hmmmm...maybe I am not the self-professed change-junkie that I thought I was.