Coffee – Drink Up The Wicked Brew

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    coffee

    Coffee – Drink Up The Wicked Brew

    Category:Humanitarian,LifestyleTags : 

    Coffee – Drink Up The Wicked Brew. There are a lot of pros and cons about drinking coffee on the net. Once you start to dispell the myths and facts about those little coffee beans that brighten your morning and relieve your brain-fog – life can be good! Especially if you like coffee. It’s all about the caffeine.

    It’s all about the caffeine.

    The extent that people will go to get caffeine is uncanny. As well, the many flavors added to caffeine, and scrumptious desserts on the side, are only limited to one’s imagination.

    The Wicked Brew

    I love this sign on the side of an espresso drive-thru, located in a small wooden trailer sitting on a parcel of land next to HWY 191, just south of Moab Utah. The Wicked Brew is the name on the side. Eclectic in every way, this drive through serves 100’s of coffees a day, to locals and tourists alike. Drive-thru windows are located on both sides of the building. The staff is friendly and makes your drinks for you right at the window. It rivals Starbucks in every way for taste and quality. Yet, it has that new age mantra that so many millennials flock to in trying to fit into a culture that says “the new in crowd”.

    AAIA_wDGAAAAAQAAAAAAAAr_AAAAJGNkMjRiYTA1LTUzNTUtNGU5My05NDFmLWQyYjIwNzQ4ZmFmOA Coffee - Drink Up The Wicked Brew

    They have a killer pumpkin and chocolate chip bread.

    Getting personal with Caffeine

    My personal experience is that caffeine helps to remove the brain-fog, increases my concentration, energy, and feelings of being more social. There is scientific research behind these types of experiences. John Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore and Harvard both did studies that support these experiences. They also have shown that within moderation caffeine can help improve memory and logical reasoning.

    Cognitive ability has also shown a slower decline in women who consumed caffeine. That according to the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research.

    Antioxidants

    Those who are health conscious are finding that caffeine has a high level of antioxidants, which may promote heart health–not to mention reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and other such diseases. It can help with your mood and relieve Monday morning headaches. Let’s hope so!

    Moderation and Caffeine Levels

    For a healthy adult, it is suggested that about 300 mg a day is a moderate intake of caffeine. It’s not a pill that you take. It is a plant –but a stimulant. It can cause anxiety, and increase your appetite. Moderation is key with caffeine intake. You have to know your own shut-off point.

    Your Skin

    One downside to coffee (caffeine) is it’s highly acidic. High levels can mess with your stress hormones, which are directly linked to your skin’s oil production. We are talking about dry skin and wrinkles being a side effect. It can also act as a diuretic. So if you are wanting to keep your skin in good health, make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the rest of the day. Everyone is different and reacts differently to caffeine. Find your levels, and take care of your skin.

    Morning – Respect the Caffeine!

    Respect. While each of us has our own moderation levels, it isn’t safe when someone else tries to monitor those levels for us. If you constantly have someone bringing you in coffee or filling the office candy dish (ugh! sugar), you will never be able to moderate your own needs. Gently ask the happy giver to ask you what you like, and maybe suggest they buy for themselves first and allow you to decide what you like. Ask them to remove the candy dish.

    Ask them to remove the candy dish

    I don’t generally make office coffee. I don’t raise my hand and say “I’ll make it”. Rather, I like to plan to get a list from others in the office and do a coffee run. Maybe take a friend with me. Some people like lattes, some frappuccino, and some like it black. I like it black! Just give me the beans and I’ll chew them. Or brew a fine smooth Earl Gray tea – that’s like heaven.

    I’m no one’s personal secretary, but I do like those coffee runs! It’s an entirely self-serving function. I don’t keep coffee in my house. I make my caffeine moments more than just a cup on the counter. I make it an event!

    Enjoy a cup!


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    USU Alumni

    Instructional Technology & Learning Sciences- USU Alumni

    Category:EducationTags : 

    I received this great email from my alumni today ..

    I just had to share a blast from the past. When I started out on my own educational journey, I was having, way to much fun. ITLS was the best degree experience ever. Because of this wonderful experience, I have even toyed around with the idea of continuing along those lines with a higher degree (EdD or PhD).

    Just for kicks and giggles!

    Please share!

    A letter from Andy Walker

    Hello, this is Andy Walker, Department Head of the ITLS Department at USU. I need your help (and it’s not even money!) After modernizing our curriculum and energizing our student association we are on the hunt for our next generation of future Alumni. We all have someone in our lives (maybe a family member, a friend, or a co-worker) who we know would make a really good instructional designer, technology specialist, corporate trainer, game or simulation designer, project manager, chief learning officer, UX designer, Library Media Specialist or one of the many other career doors your degree has opened up for you. Maybe they are already working as an instructional designer, maybe they have a love for learning and have always wondered what it is you do for a living. Take some time to think about who is a good fit and either talk to them yourself, or send me their name and contact information (andy.walker@usu.edu) and I will reach out to them. Better yet, if they wind up applying, being accepted to and starting the program we will donate $200 (no cost to you) in your name to a scholarship pool for incoming students.

    What’s new in the department?

    • We have modernized our master’s curriculum (MA, MEd, and MS) after 1) checking with some of you about how you spend your professional time, 2) with our current students about what they like and want to see in classes and 3) with prospective employers about what they look for in a new hire. Students can complete these degrees by relocating to the Logan campus or online anywhere in the world. In fact our online degrees are extremely popular.

    • One example? We have expanded our already strong instructional design classes with a design thinking emphasis. Design thinking gives our students a chance to delve into user experience, interface design, and rapid prototyping. We have also expanded our research, evaluation, and assessment courses and added project management. Paired with our learning theory course and authentic project work throughout the curriculum, students walk away with a strong portfolio ready to advance their current careers or start new ones in the field.

    Do you have someone in mind? I hope so. I would love to talk with them personally (contact info below), or they could chat with our graduate program coordinator (Deidri Nelson, deidri.neilson@usu.edu, 435-797-2694) about our degree programs and how to apply. We are accepting applications by December 8th for a Spring 2018 start or by April 1st for a Fall 2018 start.

    The market for students in our field has never been more competitive. At the same time our graduates have never been in higher demand. Thank you for once again making an important effort in giving back to USU in this important way.

    All the best to you,

    Andy

    andy.walker@usu.edu * 435-797-2614 * Department Head and Associate Professor

    www.linkedin.com/in/andrew-walker-in-logan

    ___________________________________

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Instructional Technology & Learning Sciences- USU Alumni

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.


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    Copy room manners

    Copy Room Manners

    Category:Leadership,ManagementTags : 
    Copy Room Manners

    __________________________

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Copy Room Manners

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.


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    Humility During Times of Adversity

    Humility During Adversity

    Category:Leadership,ManagementTags : 

    Humility During Adversity

    Trying to remain humble and calm during times of adversity is a tough call. Especially when everyone around you is fighting mad, or suffering from some disappointment somewhere in their career or personal life.  A working office environment has emotion and life to it.  You are not immune to what goes on there.  You also are not immune to the politics inside and outside of your office. It would be nice if we could just shut out the political rhetoric – but often it seeps in when we least want it there.

    Add a political campaign cycle to an already fragile office environment and the circumstances are ripe for vindictiveness and strife.  If you don’t believe me, just turn on your television set, and come to work the next morning. Many workers are feeling the politician pressures from within and outside.  A game of tug-of-war or tug-of-wills can and often takes place.

    The tug of war within an office environment quite often only succeeds in oppressing those who are in the middle or lower level tiers.   Within this tier,  is generally the larger chunk of your workforce.  They are the ones that get hit with a wave of disenfranchising rhetoric, genuinely laced with arsenic threats and disallowances.   It is oppressing.

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAV5AAAAJDk5MmM1N2M0LTZjZmQtNGQ5MS04YTE2LThiM2MyYzFkMzk5YQ Humility During Adversity

    VOTE MY WAY – DO THIS OR ELSE!

    What happens within these tug of war zones,  is you get hit with lower level workers or middle management dogma.

    You deserve better, we all deserve better, but unfortunately, one side does not want to give the call – and the other side is too afraid you will call. It’s a tug of war, and you are the rope.

    Letting go of the rope. 

    As a society If we continue on the path we are headed on as a culture – pretty soon everyone will be opening up their own businesses because no one can get along.   The office environment has become way too toxic, oppressive, and controlling.  People want out, and they are leaving in droves.

    When you talk about diversity and equal rights in the workplace, that is easier said than done.  People for whatever reason – for just being born into a certain family,  have a rooted belief AAEAAQAAAAAAAAYUAAAAJDNjMzkzOThiLTEzNzQtNDc2OC1iMWRiLWE5ZDVkZGE1YWIxYw-207x300 Humility During Adversitysystem.    Thus their value systems are rooted in the very fabric of who and what they are.   It produces their attitudes and ultimately directs their behaviors.  It also tends to direct their political as well as religious viewpoints – those come out as behaviors.

    To say you can desensitize a working population into adopting a value system that is foreign to their belief system is radical thinking in-and-of-itself.

    Many workers do play the game of office politics  – just to survive.   They can walk-the-walk, and talk-the-talk, but they do not hold a common value system with those around them.  It is a game. 

    A person’s personal belief system is not the same as a company’s core value system.   Beliefs can separate us from other people, whereas values can unite us for a cause, like a business.   A business’s core values are what supports its vision, and helps to shape the culture within,  and ultimately form its identity.  That is all good – that is the way it should happen.  It is what is hidden that often stirs the pot, so to speak.

    What is Hiden?

    Political and religious views, as well as lifestyle preferences, are only acceptable at face value to some – and at a very thin surface level.  They can only be accepted as far as one’s beliefs allow. Those beliefs can vary slightly acceptable to greatly acceptable, depending on the individual.  Ripping at someone’s long-held belief system will not get you far.

    Underneath are the deeply held beliefs (roots) of the individual who may or may not adapt to your core values,  or see your point of view.  It then becomes a game of survival or tolerance.   At what level is enough – enough?

    Adopting Core Values 

    Posting an employee notice on the wall is only as good as the paper it is written on unless your core values are solid within your organization.    Some organizations have great success with their employees adopting their core values and visions. Those tend to have a higher moral and ethical workforce.   Others haven’t learned to adapt to a changing real-world environment, and the impact continues to be felt at the base. It takes time – don’t give up.

    At some point, it may become a competitive disadvantage for employers not to seek to adjust its core values.    I acknowledge that there are some businesses that need not change.  For once they change they lose their purpose, or it adversely affects their core values, as well as disrupts their belief system.  Let’s talk about that for a moment.

    QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

    1. Do your core values remain the same when you go from job-to-job?

    2. Do corporate values change? Have yours changed? Do they need too? What was the outcome of any change, or non-change?

    3. Do you expect to be rewarded for your values? What about your co-worker?

    4. Do your core values present a competitive disadvantage to your company?

    5. What core values do you see others exhibiting? What about your workforce, what do they see you doing?

    6. Does your company’s core values allow you to find a place where you feel “it works for me.”?

    7. Do you ever feel your core values might not work for everyone? How do you deal with that? What if the majority or minority disagree?  Are you open to collaboration? When do you end the conversation and give an affirmative answer – yea or nea?

    A lot of businesses are starting to understand that in a global economy you might need to adjust your core values.  The corporation itself may need to develop an attitude that is more accepting rather than directing in order to compete.

    With many companies outsourcing and setting up offices in different states, as well as internationally, you need to speak the language of business.  But that language may be different than you first thought once you factor in cultural diversity. The first step is acknowledging that cultural diversity exists and that it can be a very good thing.

    See the writing on the wall yet?

    This political year I am seeing splits within many business circles that I have never seen before; that frankly frightens me.  Conservatism is no longer conservatism, and liberalism is no longer liberalism.  These radically changing mindsets are pouring into the working lives of many. Workers are becoming agitated and depressed. They feel they are becoming disenfranchised, as the splits become more prevalent and the American culture starts to erode.  It’s not a good thing.

    There doesn’t seem to be a lot of collaborative efforts in play to help bring a common understanding of the working class needs to the table.   The right sounds more like the left in their anger, and the left strikes out with equal annoyance.   Two waves of anger do not make a positive.   Politics is a great disruptor – but at what cost to American worker? People are afraid of losing their jobs, and others just want a job.

    To the working class, the 2016 political environment has become a war zone, one created to emotionally and psychologically gain control or power over them; to disrupt and seize.   The workforce is concerned that it will become voiceless.    It shouldn’t be a battle to come to terms and find equitable solutions.  Yet, people are angry….. some in the violent sense.  We as a society need to stop fueling that type of anger.

    I hear the voices coming from  working American’s stating, “Damn the establishment!”  But what will you have after you have damned your rights into the hole?  If you can’t find some level of humility during times of adversity, you will either be confused with the outcome you sought and/or disillusioned by the choices of others.

    Trying to stay humble during times of adversity is a tough call

    No one wants to lose their job due to politics or adversity.  Sometimes remaining humble during adversity is the only thing that gets some people by.  But, when you try to put square pegs in round holes,  understand this – at some point, the game is up.

     – checkmate


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    puerto rico

    US Puerto Rico: Still Desperately Needing Aid

    Category:Humanitarian

    Puerto Rico is not even a third world country, but now they look like they are. It is estimated that nearly 1/2 of Puerto Rico’s housing (about a million homes) were built illegally (shantytowns). Add on top of that, the destruction Hurricane Maria inflicted on the tiny island, and you have a humanitarian housing crisis, animal, food, and water crisis. There is nothing left but rubble in many areas.

    It’s been months!

    Hurricane Storm Maria made landfall on September 20, as a nearly Category 5 hurricane that lasted approximately 30 hours. A combination of elements caused Maria to transform from a disaster to a “catastrophic event”, meaning it wiped out nearly most of the infrastructure on the small US territory island.

    According to news sources, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico with the equivalent of a 50-mile wide tornado; Puerto Rico took a direct hit. FEMA and government response didn’t reach those in distant locations immediately after the hurricane. Some didn’t see any type of aid upward for a month or more. When aid did finally arrive, most of that aid came from community organizers and not government aid.  People were hiking in to deliver groceries and even some medicines.

    Over 300,000 evacuees transcended into Florida after the hurricane. The aid for these evacuees living in hotels will begin to run out.  On the island, there is also now a growing Mental Health Crisis, and the increase in suicides is escalating. People are desperate for help.

    Electricity

    With the largest US blackout ever recorded, many Puerto Ricans still don’t have electricity today. Only 75% electricity has been restored. Another 1/3 of the population is still without power. No electricity means no power to pump water into homes, no water to bathe or flush toilets. Freshwater is scarce.

    Freshwater is scarce

    While disaster recovery aid packages are in the works, the US Puerto Rican territory was already bankrupt before the storm. It’s not just infrastructure that will need to be restored, it’s the billions of dollars they were already indebted.

    With a poverty rate of over 44%, devastated Puerto Ricans are badly in need of proper food, clean water, and housing. FEMA money is also scheduled to run out in Mid-March for the tiny US Territory.  There are community organizers on the ground taking computers to remote locations to try to get as many people signed up with aid as quickly as possible – but it’s a daunting task. Many cell towers were knocked out in the storm, so communication is at a very low capacity still. Reaching the people, and the people being able to reach out is difficult.

    Probably half of American’s do not even know that Puerto Rico has 3.4 million US citizens living there. Citizens who are entitled to the same government response as any state, like New York, Washington, or California, etc. But half of Americans don’t even know that.

    Housing & FEMA

    The island is dependent on U.S. relief from FEMA, the SBA, and HUD.

    In the impoverished area of Puerto Rico, many people have no title to their homes, and most were constructed without permits. These squatter community homes range from one room shacks to family homes (Informal homes).  However, one of the rules of FEMA eligibility is that the owners need to prove property ownership.

    FEMA states that it will now help those owners of “informal homes” if they can prove some sort of residency. The cap for disaster aid is $33,000 to individuals, but awards are often much lower than that.

    Another compounding problem is that applicants are giving up on FEMA aid. The application process first has to go through the SBA loan process. No one can afford a loan, so applicants just give up. Even though they aren’t required to follow through on the SBA process – they can’t qualify for FEMA aid unless they do. It is only after the SBA denies the applicant that FEMA will provide a grant. There are organizers on the ground to try to help educate people about this. But it is a slow process.

    There is a need to “Build back better,” say’s Puerto Rico, Governor Ricardo Rossello.

    “Build back better”

    A little knowledge goes a long way. I found this description from Odyssey:

    “Puerto Rico has been a commonwealth of the United States since 1898 during the Hispanic-American War. The result of the war was that the United States ended up with Puerto Rico, Philippines, and Guam. This means that Puerto Ricans ARE American citizens. It also makes Puerto Rico a territory of the United States”.

    AAMAAQDGAAgAAQAAAAAAAA4NAAAAJDFlYzk1ZGFkLTVjMjEtNGY1My1iNDNhLWNmMmJjZWJhMjI2YQ US Puerto Rico: Still Desperately Needing Aid

    While a Puerto Rican can fight for the United States Government – If they live on the island they cannot vote in US Presidental and Congressional elections! They can only vote in the primary elections. If they live on the mainland US, then they can vote in all the US elections.

    Puerto Ricans have been citizens of the United States since 1917 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act.

    Ways to Help

    Spontaneous volunteers are needed to help build housing and schools. One group called All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response has been bringing in teams of volunteers to work on building secure homes and community structures. Their motto is “Come Early and Stay Late”.

    Other organizations coming to the call of Puerto Rico (just to name a few)

    AAMAAQDGAAgAAQAAAAAAABEpAAAAJGRlZTA5Mjk5LTY2YzctNDVkYi05YTlkLTc1MDc0YTFkZmJhMg US Puerto Rico: Still Desperately Needing Aid

    _____________________________________________________________________


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    living the dream

    Enjoy What You Do – Living the Dream!

    Category:Lifestyle

    Enjoy What You Do – Living The Dream! Hand Me The Remote Please

    AAMAAgDGAAgAAQAAAAAAABBjAAAAJGYyNTQ0Y2UxLTRhOTMtNDZkYi04YzUwLWY2MmFkNGNhZDVmYw Enjoy What You Do - Living the Dream!

    Enjoy What You Do – Living The Dream! I see many people leaving lucrative positions in order to personally, Live the Dream. People are opting out of complacency they find within the confines, of corporate American. They are moving away from the fast-paced lifestyle of city dwelling and migrating to the rural areas of the country. To say they are taking a hit in their salary range would be an understatement. So why are they doing it?

    Peace of mind

    Having the big bucks doesn’t necessarily help you much when all you want to do is be out on the bike trails, riding downhill, or rafting someplace like the Colorado River during the peak months. There are only so many years that a body can put up with being a corporate zombie – before you check out mentally, physically, and emotionally. Not everyone makes it out alive.

    It is time – time to pick up your lifetime remote control. The remote that will change your life channel. I would not want you to miss the biggest adventure of your lifetime. Buy lots of extra batteries, because the adventure is looking good, and tastes sweet when you are already near the edge of your life.

    Change that channel before you go over that edge! It is not about starting over; it is more about putting your life on a different channel. A channel that has you as the star of your own life.

    Whether you are in big business, government, a non-profit, education, private enterprise, or a simple homemaker, do not miss life.

    You need to purchase an extra set of batteries for your lifetime remote controls.

    Oh the Health with It All

    Many lifetime channel surfers are being told to hang it up by their doctors. The stress, the complex lifestyles have robbed many of their youth and vitality. Being told to hang it up and settle down – that is not an easy task for many. Nevertheless, there are some upsides to this process of growing older. I like to think of it more as a second opportunity to grow up again.

    Just think, you get to wake up when you want, wear faded jeans and tee shirts to work, and there is no one to question you when you camp out in the wilderness for two weeks or longer. Besides, your cell phones will not work there anyway. They can call all they want – but I would not promise anyone more than a smoke signal in return. Your life – your channel.

    Moving to an area where all people do for a living is work in recreation – that is Living the Dream. Sure, I would love to star on my own channel. I have a remote too. I have begun to channel surf to find those locations that allow me to be me, stress-free, and happy. I am taking my own advice.  I like my job now. Four 10 hour days, and a long sweet weekend. A group of down to earth people, and new memories.

    The Cost of Living

    The cost of living is high – we all know that. You can spend all your time making bank, and never experience life. The cost of changing your channel and surfing away to a new life can be priceless because you get to be free. Free to breathe without fear, or worry. You get the opportunity to let go of those moments that cause your heart to race and blood to pound in your head (in a negative way). Change your channel; change it to one that has people on it that have never known a corporate office. All they may have known in their lifetime is how to dig in the dirt, drive a truck, guide a jeep tour to the top of a mountain, or surfing in some far off country where no one goes. These new interactions will force you to learn to come up with better conversation topics.  I learned a new topic this month, “Farming Dirt”. You move dirt from one pile to another, and mix it until it is the right combination, then ship it.

    “Farming Dirt”

    I know that not everyone can pull off this lifestyle change, but at least you could incorporate some new channels. Channels that have interesting topics that you like, and that make you feel worthwhile and fulfilled in your life.

    Change the Channel

    Pick up the remote and look at it. If you want too, you can claim that picking up that remote is a start if you like. When you are brave enough, and feeling bold, start pushing buttons. You are changing your life.

    Your life – Your channel

     

    ______________________________

     


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    A beautiful distraction

    A Beautiful Distraction

    Category:DanceTags : 

    A Beautiful Distraction

    Teaching-learning. How do you teach someone to learn?  It’s a beautiful distraction.

    Learning to teach isn’t quite the same when you realize you have to train others on what you’ve just learned.  You must offer the simplest and traditional training first.  It is here, that you make the decision of what not to do as well.

    A Vision of Dance.  It’s a Beautiful Distraction.

    New approaches are only incorporated when you understand that some change or actions can work, and work well.  New approaches should be looked at,  as beautiful distractions.  But, not everyone will adapt to new approaches, or accept outside assistance.  Some will fight off change no matter what – even if that change is the substance necessary to make things better in their studios, or their own personal performance, etc.

    Good teachers research their subject.  But how do you teach research?  With tutorials?  How do you write the tutorial without the research? Or without the teacher?  Or even without the student to learn?

    Somewhere in time,  someone (maybe you)  took on, r will take on,  the task of inventing a dance process by which others will benefit.  When a process is finally viewed for the first time by others, many begin to understand the painstaking hours that it takes to learn,  teach, research and write out,  an explanation of a  vision.  A vision of Dance.  It’s a beautiful distraction.

    Dance Choreography is “A Beautiful Distraction”.  You take the very raw elements of dance technique and music and you incorporate your own personal vision.  You can add pieces of emotion, and suspense.  You learn to talk and express a story using your body, and facial features, even the use of your hair flowing as you turn and move.  You feel the movements of dance in your soul.

    Dance, like with all the arts,  is perceived differently from one individual to the next.  It takes time, energy, and patience,  to make your dream a reality.  It is the lucky artist, however, who is able to reach a vast audience.

    ballet A Beautiful Distraction

    Follow your dreams – look into your own “beautiful distractions” that come your way.  One of those distractions may be that rainbow that you have been waiting for.

    To all those I’ve ever taught, or will teach,  I just want you to know, that having you in my life is a “Beautiful Distraction”.  You make up a very colorful rainbow.  Thanks for the  Skittles! Dance on, there are a lot more rainbows to come.

    http://cricketsdance.com/stagedoor/archives/2738

    __________________________

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg A Beautiful Distraction

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.


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    Making The Grade- It's Crunch Time!

    Making The Grade – It’s Crunch Time!

    Category:EducationTags : 

    Making The Grade – It’s Crunch Time!

    Making the Grade – It’s Crunch Time! Anyone who has spent much time at all in education might understand the term Death-Bed Repentance.  I had another teacher spell that statement out for me this week as we were trying to motivate our one shared student to get his work done.  Death-bed repentance, or simply stated:

    • – those last minute adjustments to assignments
    • -picking up on any  late work
    • -actually showing up to class instead of just leaving your recorder there
    • -cramming information into our brains for quick purging

    Loans and scholarships are all on the line now, and for a fraction of the time, all life stops in the fast lane.  It’s death-bed repentance time – we are making the grade baby!

    Making the  grade baby!

    I’m just as guilty as the next student, at least in my undergrad days I was; not so much through my masters.  Taking our bodies and minds to the level of non-functioning, just for a little alphabetic character on a piece of paper – it’s insanity.

    a Making The Grade - It's Crunch Time!What makes us do that to ourselves?   Unconsciously or consciously we fought sleep – up until  2:00 a.m. or later – if we slept at all.  We then drug our unhappy selves to class at the butt crack of dawn.  We lived for that college life-  Right?

    We lived for college life!

    I’m a distracted learner through and through.  I can sit in the middle of a room with nothing to do, and I will still be able to distract myself.   I don’t need any outside help to do that either.   If I have assignments in front of me, I will toss and turn any number of concepts around in my mind, making great strides – at least until I see something shiny on the floor.   Focus? What focus? For a few moment’s I am in mental bliss, at least until  I return to the task at hand – namely homework.

    Something shiny on the floor

    I am in the mindset of believing that maybe I am normal after all.  I watch my 9th and 10th- grade students struggling with the same issues I had (and still do).  Sitting in a hard chair with nothing in front of you but a cold table is really not anyone’s idea of a  warm and fuzzy experience.  I am the one with the soft chair, not them.  My experience is different of course.

    The best advice I could give to any teacher new or old –  is to build in distractions.  Don’t wait for your students to find distractive measures themselves, build those key distractive breaks into your curriculum.   Twenty minutes of study equals 5 to 10 minutes of light to mild distraction.  It could still be a learning distraction – just something different, or on a related topic.

    Some would ask how I would assess this distractive learning paradigm.  I look at this way.  If students who do not normally turn in assignments or have at least a passing GPA- all of a sudden start looking like the average student – guess what?  You get to go to the front of the class!

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAWPAAAAJGI0NDgwZTJmLWRlNDgtNDFkMS04MTI1LTU4NzNmNzA5OTk1ZQ Making The Grade - It's Crunch Time!Then comes the question, what about those students who can’t refocus?  Or those students who are already self-lead learners and like peace and quiet.  What I have done with my students is to switch out the quiet time with bird sounds, ocean and/or anything peaceful found in nature.  I have obtained good reaction from both pairs of students.   Any group is going to be dynamically different.  You just have to find the right built-in distractions without losing the motivational aspects of learning.

    Sounds are a good distraction, but so are those upbeat pieces of information that help students readjust, recenter, and perform better.  Types of distractive information might include:

    • -Word of the Day
    • -Piecewise brain twister
    • -Notice of an upcoming celebration on how well they have performed
    • -Or just something fun that is about them, and something they take to heart.

    The human mind can learn more than one thing at a time.  If you allow your brain short breaks from the tedious routines of study, it tends to reflect better on items it has just learned.  Use pre-designed breaks as a scaffolding tool for learning.   This following statement is a no-brainer statement – I understand.   But, you retain more when you aren’t stressing out over a problem.

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAATzAAAAJDNmODUxMTM2LTMyZTMtNDQ3Yy1iOWFiLTVjOGYzNTE0ODc2Yg Making The Grade - It's Crunch Time!

    Experiment with this distractive styles of learning.  If you are already in a quagmire wondering how to motivate your students – this might be a helpful resource.  Back away from the idea that you have to stain and look like a zombie to be successful in your studies.  Look at something shiny on the floor, and then come back to your primary focus.  Come back gently.   The problem isn’t going to go away, but if you allow your brain a short power break, you might find you come back with a solution.   Solutions are always much better than problems anyways.

    Good luck.  I wish all educators success as they venture into the “new”.

    Making the Grade Baby!

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    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Making The Grade - It's Crunch Time!

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.


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    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Come to work as our favorite characters

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.


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