Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Big Dipper

To blog about something that is very prevalent in my life today, SCHOOL! I am a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin - Hook 'em! I am an English UTeach major, meaning that I want to become a high school English teacher once I graduate. I used to want to teach math, then I wanted to teach at the elementary level, however, I really think that English is the right department for me. I have always loved reading, and I have recently discovered my love of writing. Plus, there are tons of other job opportunities available with an English degree, just in case teachers are still having a hard time finding jobs in a few years.

The beautiful University of Texas Tower
I am in the middle of my third week of school, but only my second full week. I may have only attended ten days worth of class thus far, but it feels like I have been in school for half a semester! These college professors don't fool around - I have already had to read one entire book, write one paper, and take two quizzes. It's a tough adjustment to go from summer back into school mode, but I feel like I am finally getting back into the swing of all things school related.

I already love my classes so far. Hopefully I still feel that way after the first test! I am taking an Introductory Spanish class three times a week, which I absolutely love. I loved Spanish in high school and considered trying to test into a higher level Spanish class, but since I haven't taken a Spanish class in a few years, I decided to start again from scratch. It can be rather intimidating speaking in a foreign language in front of dozens of students whom you don't really know, but what better way is there to really learn the language?

A class that I don't love yet, but one that I think I will as the semester progresses, is my English class. I know, I know, how can an English major not love their English class? Well, I am in a class called Banned Books and Novel Ideas, and, you guessed it, we read and analyze controversial books. We read The Awakening by Kate Chopin last week, which was a quick, interesting read, with a somewhat depressing ending. Edna Pontellier longs to run back to the freedom she felt from her childhood, and escape the confinement society imposes upon her. I am surrounded by people who have such intellect, and I think it will force me to close read and really dig deep into what the authors are trying to convey.

Kate Chopin - author of The Awakening
A class that I am absolutely thrilled about is my astronomy class. All students at the University of Texas are required to take at least two classes that fulfill the science requirement, and being someone who used to want to be an astronaut (seriously! I used to have a book on stars and I would take it outside with me as I looked through my telescope), I decided astronomy would be the perfect way to get that science requirement for a girl who is not so good at science. My professor is awesome, and that may have something to do with the fact that he has worn a space related shirt every time we have met. Doesn't get much cooler than that. I can finally (somewhat) fulfill my astronaut dreams!

The University of Texas McDonald Observatory
This brings me to my last class. We may only meet once a week for an hour, but it is one of the most important classes I will take throughout my four years. It is called UTL101, or in a language that will make sense to the rest of my readers, the first class in the secondary teaching sequence. I will be observing (and teaching THREE lessons!) a class once a week at an elementary school. I just got assigned a teacher at an elementary school and I will be going for the first time next week! I can't wait - although I don't want to teach elementary aged kids, they are still a lot of fun to work with, and in my opinion, there is no greater task than being an elementary school teacher, that is where most of the foundation is built. We have various assignments throughout the semester, one being a HUGE portfolio that we have to put together - how fun will it be to have something like that to look back on?!

Whew! That was a long post! I hope all of y'all enjoyed a relaxing Labor Day and are enjoying a short week. I know I am, how could I not, what with this beautiful Austin weather we have been enjoying lately!

Congress Bridge - Austin, Texas

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