Tag Archives: education

Finding my feet in Boston

Life has been busy for me in good ways and tricky ones. My family has been dealing with major health issues but I’ve recently been able to move to Boston. This move happened much faster than I expected as I found an apartment on the scouting visit at the start of February and was able to start moving near the end of February. Now its almost April and I’ve been applying for many types of jobs that I’ve always been interested in but hadn’t considered in a while such as being an educator or interpreter at a museum alongside teaching and library jobs. I love the possibilities that Boston with its culture of education and diversity presents.

As the world of politics is frightening and I’m doing what I can to advocate and make my voice heard. On January 21st, my mother and I were able to attend the Women’s March which gave me such hope. I’ve been watching how activism comes from different places, in Southern Delaware, meetings with the district at restaurants alongside social activism posts that detail how to best contact your reps.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under goals and career, Uncategorized

Books, reaching out and learning

Life for me has been full with substituting and fact-checking, both of them are constantly teaching me new information about kids and the world out there. My last fact-checking job ended up being more emotionally draining as I was working on a book about Yemen, which has amazing history and so much turmoil. I’m glad to have learned what I did so I can better understand what’s happening but searching through images for illustrations was difficult. The juxtaposition of beautiful buildings and then rubble of the same area captured the damage being done left me shaken and scared for everyone who lived there. In terms of the substituting, every day is different, which is exciting but tiring as I want to be a good teacher and para for these kids though I’m only there for one or maybe two days. When I connect and see that I’ve helped a student understand is wonderful but other days, I wonder if I made any difference. Most days are a mixture of seeing what’s possible in a great classroom and not knowing all of the context to be as much help as I could be.

I’m also doing what I can to become more involved with ALA by volunteering for some committees. ALA is so important and daunting to me, that I’m trying to put myself out there and do what I can to support all libraries and find where I best fit within ALA.

What I finished reading

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I love Rowell’s books and Carry On was fantastic as she really understands what it is about the Chosen One stories and fantasy that draw people in and how to turn it all on its head. This is a book about two boys who take control of their story even though the story isn’t encouraging them to and their friends who are along with them. I would recommend this book to everyone who loves Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but wishes for more.

What I’m currently reading

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan. I always enjoy Riordan’s books and this one isn’t disappointing, he’s got a great ear for dialogue, action and how kids behave. I appreciate that he’s gotten much better about putting diversity into his casts and understanding that diversity covers a wide range from being homeless to being Deaf.

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo. At this point, I’m not terribly far into this book and I’m not completely sure how I feel about it. I enjoy the setting and the main character has a good voice but so far, she seems fairly passive. I’m hoping more will happen as so far, there’s not much of a conflict or romance, but I like the author’s style.

What I’m reading next

One of the books I’m reading next is for Yuletide so I’m not going to list it but I’m looking forward to it. Yuletide is a wonderful fanfiction exchange that’s tied to small fandoms and is a major part of my holiday season. I love writing for other people and how Yuletide always ends up stretching my sense of what I think I can write. I also have the newest Jonathan Stroud Lockwood and Company book to read, which should be fun and creepy. The Rehoboth Film Festival is coming up next week, so far this year I’m not seeing a huge amount of films, I know there will be one or two that really stick with me.

2 Comments

Filed under ALA, book thoughts, goals and career, online life

Crossing the streams: using lessons from fandom to talk about digital life

Crossing the streams is an expression that I first heard in fandom, which means when two fandoms intersect in a way that you didn’t expect. An example of it from my work this year was when due to some odd light, there was a strange shadow under one of the library tables. Many of my students are Doctor Who fans and immediately thought of Silence in the Library, an episode where extra shadows appear in a planetwide library and signal enemies. When I got the reference, the students were amazed and then loved it as we all tried to figure out what was going on with the shadow. We never did but it was a powerful moment of the world of fandom becoming part of the life of the library.

This is a fairly simple example and a nice one, where my knowledge of Doctor Who became another way for me to understand what was going on with my students. In terms of their lives online, it becomes complicated but I think is no less important.

Two of the main concerns I see brought up when educators talk about life online are safety and creation and consumption. The worry is that young people are consuming too much online and not creating enough, that the internet is too passive. This will make them not as thoughtful about information online or what they post online. I think these are important concerns and have an idea of how to approach them.

I think crossing the streams and using the understanding of how young people are creating and posting their work online as well as how they live online can be a way to help teach them about issues of safety and copyright. What’s key about this idea is to make certain that its coming from a place of understanding and in a safe environment for the students.

Since high school, I’ve been involved in fandom and friendships online and have seen platforms change plus how those platforms are used. I know that I don’t consider myself an expert, there are parts of the online world that students will know better than I will. Yet I’m older and have more experience in terms of what will work and what won’t in a greater sense of the world. I learned this year when I was talking with students, observing them and trying to help them make good decisions that one of the best ways to begin was to listen. When you’re a teenager and an adult takes the time to listen to you and respect your opinion and understanding of what you’re doing, that’s powerful. Libraries are a space where there isn’t as clear a hierarchy between young people and adults, which means they’re a good place to have these sorts of conversations. These are risky conversations because much of what’s shared online and explored isn’t easy, teenagers are using fandom to explore their desires as well as their dislikes. I know I would have to begin any of these classes with an important disclaimer that what’s shared is what’s chosen to be shared or else no one will feel comfortable. Once that safe space has been created, then its possible to look into the mechanics of sharing and creation and consumption online. Since its important to realize that young people are going to not choose to share everything with all adults but talking with them about choices and giving them ways to think about them will help.

I wish these thoughts were more complete but I don’t think there are any right answers. Instead its important to get these discussions going and make certain that they spread from those living online to those who don’t understand what’s online.

Leave a comment

Filed under online life, roeper reflections, Uncategorized