Because being good matters

Students come here to shine

In them, our fires of knowledge burn bright

Dreams aglow and rising!

Years ago I made a transition into the work of academic advising. It was to be a short layover job of sorts before heading into teaching, but the teaching bug faded and never materialized for a variety of reasons. Advising as it turned out, suited me quite well. I found I loved the combination of helping students pursuing important educational and life goals as well as the constant research and learning advisors need to stay current in a realm of ever-changing academic and transfer information.

Advising when done right takes a breadth of skills and abilities many take lightly. You have to know or be able to quickly access volumes of information. Mistakes on your part cost students time and money. Regretfully, most advisement training is on-the-job learning from mistakes. I quickly learned that to be effective, you have to know a lot, ask frequently to verify when you don’t know something, and find help when needed to aid students in a more holistic manner when they need additional resources.

Most importantly, through advising, I was inspired every day by the stories students brought to my humble cubicle. The single mother with a terminal illness trying to make sure her daughter would be able to get an education and career prior to her death; DACA students looking for a good education in a STEM field with perfect GPA unable to get an Honor’s scholarship or any other for that matter; homeless students who made it through the semester without dropping out despite the barriers. I learned to listen to students and continue to do my best to help them while they are here at GCC. My reward is watching how often a little bit of extra effort on my part often makes the world of difference to a struggling student. And that, ladies and gents, is why I love advising and why I’m good at what I do. Because it matters.

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Get your kicks on “Write 6×6”

This is my third year signing up for Write 6×6.  This year I am setting a goal for submitting a full six pieces which I haven’t yet pulled off.  Wish me luck!

Week 1 (Feb. 1-5): Who or What inspires you to do what you do here at GCC?

http://write6x6.com/intro/

WRITE 6×6 INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the Write 6×6 Challenge. Beginning the Week of February 1st, we will begin our writing challenge.

What is the challenge? Well, the CTLE invites you to create 6 pieces of writing, one each week for 6 weeks beginning February 1st. Aside from the 1 post each week for 6 weeks, the only other rule is that the writing must be about teaching, learning and student success. That’s a lot of latitude to write about pedagogy, tools, successes, challenges, or hopes and dreams.

The short term goal of the challenge is to give faculty, staff and administrators a playful space to share and learn and to see what colleagues are doing in classes and around campus. These writings will also be in a place where new and seasoned faculty can easily access them for years to come. The long term goal of the Write 6×6 Challenge is to push faculty, staff and administrators to be reflective practitioners in the field of education and share their reflections with colleagues. While the six weeks of writing may be a start, we hope that some of the participants will continue to write and share their thoughts about the educational landscape.

write6x6_logo_white_bkgndWe will use the internet as a place to write and share the work. The faculty, staff and administrator writing will be magically delivered to the CTLE Write 6×6 blog, and it will be there so that you can read the work your colleagues submit. The CTLE will help you build a place to write from and support you throughout the 6 weeks.

You can see scheduled Write 6×6 trainings here or call us anytime and we will happily make you a master of writing on the internet in less than 20 minutes. And when you run astray during the 6 weeks, we will be available to help you find the right path. Really!

What is in it for you besides sharing your thoughts and ideas with your colleagues? For completing each week, the participants will be rewarded with a variety of awesome gifts (to be determined) To sweeten the deal, we will reward you with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s delivered to your office for completing the first week of the challenge! Adjunct instructors will get to pick up your awesome rewards from the CTLE.

So, are you up for the challenge? We know you are busy. We know you already share your ideas at workshops and at the water cooler. But we challenge you to use sentences as a way to reflect and share your thoughts about teaching, learning and student success with a broader audience. Imagine if 20 teachers, staff and administrators survive all 6 weeks that would produce 120 pieces of writing from GCC Gauchos about teaching, learning and student success! We could use that!

To signup, please email ctle@gccaz.edu before February 3rd or fill out the form below. The first week’s writing is due on the 5th.

 

 

Breaking the Glass Ceiling with Dame Stephanie Shirley aka “Steve”

Digital and Entrepreneurial Pioneer/Kindertransport Survivor

If you have ever wondered if you could make a difference in the lives of others, please take a few moments to listen to the story of Dame Stephanie Shirley.  The story of how she was able to build a software company almost entirely with women in the 1960’s is compelling.
http://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/2365863409/
 
Read and learn more about the Dame Stephanie Shirley at these sites.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/blogs/secretlife/blogposts/dame-stephanie-shirley/

http://www.steveshirley.com

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Shirley

 

 

 

Camille A. Brown: A visual history of social dance in 25 moves

Lovely (only 4 minutes) TED Studio Talk with
Camille A. Brown, Choreographer and educator
Camille A. Brown leads her dance company through excavations of ancestral stories, both timeless and traditional, that connect history with contemporary culture. Full bio
Why do we dance? African-American social dances started as a way for enslaved Africans to keep cultural traditions alive and retain a sense of inner freedom. They remain an affirmation of identity and independence. In this electric demonstration, packed with live performances, choreographer, educator and TED Fellow Camille A. Brown explores what happens when communities let loose and express themselves by dancing together.

Taylor Mac’s Wild and Beautifully Absurd, 24 Hour, History of America. Audience Participation Required.

It took a while for the magnitude of Taylor Mac’s new show to sink into my understanding all the way out here in Arizona.  There was an article in the NY Times this past weekend, but I skimmed through it and thought it odd what New Yorkers find entertaining.  Then, as oftentimes happens, I was listening to NPR in the car and caught this segment on All Things Considered.  Thanks NPR, I would have missed the significance without you.

A 24-Decade History of Popular Music will happen coincidentally, on my birthday, October 8th, at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn.  Taylor Mac will be delivering the most raucous, unusual and compelling combination of so many things, I’m sure it will be a memory of a lifetime for anyone hardy enough to stay the course of the 24 hour performance.

Read and listen yourself!

 

 

 

Explore the World With GeoGuessr

 

GeoGuessr is an engaging way to explore the world and test your geographic wizardry in a game designed by Anton Wallén of Sweeden.  GeoGuessr, through the wonder of Google Street View maps, plops players down in unknown locations making you guess where you are in the world by visual clues.   You can choose between global, country or city maps which is quite nice.  It’s fun and free!

Give it a go.  Or better yet, challenge a partner to play with you.  geoguessr.com

 

 

 

Local Motors New Olli

“This is the world’s first autonomous on-demand shuttle. So basically you call it on an app and it picks you up just like Uber and it will talk to you,” says Justin Fishkin, Local Motors’ Chief Strategic Officer.

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Local Motors, the manufacturer of the world’s first 3D printed vehicle, is actually local to us with a micro factory and base right here in Chandler, Arizona.

The newest addition to their line up is the uberly-cool (pun intended) Olli “Your friendly neighborhood mobile solution”. The self-driving Olli was the genius of industrial design student, Edgar Sarmiento, who at the age of 22, entered his concept into a Local Motors competition.   With an app on your smart phone, the coolest micro bus ever, will pick you up and take you where you need to be … in style.

More on Edgar Sarmiento and Olli from NPR here.
More on Local Motors read more here!

James Turrell’s Sky Spaces

Installation artist James Turrell, at Roden Crater in northern Arizona in 2001.  Credit Florian Holzherr

I am always on the lookout for something or someone new and interdisciplinary to bring to the STEAM Hub. James Turrell,  an installation artist and son of an aeronautical engineer and Peace Corps doctor, seems to have that beautiful mix of aesthetic creativity partnered with science that is so interesting to me.   It came as no surprise that his undergraduate studies focused on psychology and mathematics; only later, in graduate school, did he pursue art, receiving an MFA from the Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, California.

Here are a few of his Arizona projects to wet your whistle.  When it cools off just a little, I think a James Turrell art road trip is in order.

Roden Crater
The natural cinder cone crater is now home to a land art project and naked eye observatory thirty plus years in the making that will blow your mind.

Air Apparent
A Sky Space Art Installation by James Turrell and Will Bruder at the ASU Tempe campus.

Knight Rise
Another Turrell public sky space located at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

 

 

 

 

“THE RECYCLED ORCHESTRA” EXHIBIT AT MIM

On exhibit now at the Musical Instrument Museum

Exhibit displays instruments from remarkable group

Amid a massive landfill in Cateura, Paraguay, children find hope by making music on instruments built from recycled trash. In a slum town where families survive by collecting and reselling garbage (and where a violin can cost more than a house), a visionary music teacher gathered a small team to plunder the landfill for materials and construct an ensemble of “recycled” instruments. In just a few years, their innovation has led to a thriving music school in Cateura and a youth orchestra that performs internationally. For members of the Recycled Orchestra, material poverty is not an obstacle to a life rich with music. They have each learned to value greatly how music impacts their lives, helping them express creativity, build self-confidence, and strengthen community.

The Musical Instrument Museum features the inspiring story and the innovative instruments of the Recycled Orchestra through a Latin America gallery exhibit and docent mini-tours. The Recycled Orchestra exhibit features eight recycled instruments from Paraguay as well as video and images of the youth orchestra and the environment of Cateura.

Imagine Discovering That Your Teaching Assistant Really Is a Robot

Featured Image: IBM’s Watson Helped Design Karolina Kurkova’s Light-Up Dress for the Met Gala.  Karolina Kurkova attends the “Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology” Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Getty Images

IBM’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) product Watson, teamed up with Georgia Institute of Technology to experiment using Watson as a TA for an online course.  “Jill” Watson was able to deftly handle most questions, stimulate weekly discussions, and fool most students, who never guessed that they weren’t communicating with a real person.

Last year, a team of Georgia Tech researchers began creating Ms. Watson by poring through nearly 40,000 postings on a discussion forum known as “Piazza” and training her to answer related questions based on prior responses. By late March, she began posting responses live.

By Melissa Korn | Wall Street Journal
Read Full Article Here