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Workin’ the Worksheet

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Cowl neck printed top: Target. Feather earrings: Charlotte Russe. Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Khaki skirt: (thrifted.) Burgundy peep toed pumps: (thrifted.)

Cowl neck printed top: Target. Feather earrings: Charlotte Russe. Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Khaki skirt: (thrifted.) Burgundy peep toed pumps: (thrifted.)

Friday morning I was feeling a bit Fall-like, so I went with that in my outfit. I picked this outfit out earlier in the week, but kind of knew that I wanted to wear it on Friday. This top is a bit on the casual side because it is cotton, so I tried to elevate it by pairing it with a professional looking dark khaki skirt and pumps. I kept the jewelry and accessories minimal since the print in the top is a bit busy. I went with my small gold watch and feather earrings. I had originally had a burgundy leather belt at my natural waist, but decided to go without it at the last minute.

Since I am wearing peep toed pumps, I decided to go without nylons. Also, I felt that it went well with the slightly casual vibe of the outfit and the fact that it was Friday. Also, it’s a bit chilly in the morning, but by late morning we are still hitting upper 70’s.

During class I only spent about 15 minutes lecturing and that was over the last half of the chapter on Informative Speeches. This chapter just gives the students a macro-level overview of the whole process. We’ve discussed the first half of the chapter already. Then, each week we’ve gone back and spent time looking at the tasks involved in more depth and detail. There is a chapter devoted to each step of the process. This section is about at the halfway point in the process.

In lieu of lecturing, I had them work on the same worksheet that I spoke about in my last post. They were very receptive to working with a partner for two of the three worksheets and most of them said that it was very helpful. The first worksheet was done individually to introduce them to the task and then the second and third worksheets, which were much more difficult, was completed with the help of a partner.

I am holding my breath, though. We will see how they do with understanding the material in the absence of lecture in a few days. My M/W section will be taking a quiz over the material on Monday evening and my Friday class must complete their quiz by midnight this Thursday. I am actively seeking out additional ways to present the material to them besides lecture. So far it seems that they are appreciative of my efforts which makes me happy.

This semester is going very well so far. I think it’s because my experience has really helped me understand the whole process a little better and not feel as if someone threw me in the deep end.
Do you ever feel like that?!

Here are a few more ways that I have styled this cowl-neck top in the past:

My inclination is almost always to pair this top with khaki colored bottoms. I have worn it with brown trousers before, but didn’t really like the result.

-Carla

Switchin’ it Up!

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They say that the only thing constant is change. Which I agree with. But, that doesn’t make change any less difficult to deal with. Humans are creatures of habit and it takes a lot for us to get out of our comfort zone. Usually, there has to be some sort of big motivator at play. I guess you could say that one of my motivators is my student evaluations.

I received an e-mail with student evaluations from last semester. I think that they are from my satellite class, but I am not 100% sure why they just found their way to me now. I received my other section’s evaluations a few days after I submitted final grades. Anyway. The feedback on these was a little troubling to me. I was downgraded in a few categories where I am not sure why–i.e. generally starting and ending class on-time, providing additional resources, giving helpful feedback, and using different instructional methods. These are the student’s opinions and perceptions and it can be very difficult to see how they perceive things sometimes. But, taking this in to consideration, I decided to do something different in my class on Wednesday.

Normally, I lecture with a Power Point that is provided to me by the company that sells us our textbook. But, in an effort to try different instructional methods I attempted to lead a discussion over the material instead of a lecture. I also gave them some hands on practice at using some of the knowledge that I have lectured over previously in the form of a worksheet that they worked on in-class with a partner.

The discussion went o.k. I need a little more practice with discussion questions and leading a discussion, but it didn’t fail completely. I will see how well it worked out for the students on Monday because they are having a quiz over the chapter. I will continue to try different techniques here and there to make myself a better educator, but I don’t ever want to feel like the students are sacrificing learning while I “practice.”

Blue button-up: JCP. Gold rope necklace: Target. Grey trousers: Target. Blue belt: Old Navy. Daisy earrings: Target. Faux snakeskin pumps: Target. Gold watch: Target.

Blue button-up: JCP. Gold rope necklace: Target. Grey trousers: Target. Blue belt: Old Navy. Daisy earrings: Target. Faux snakeskin pumps: Target. Gold watch: Target.

I also changed things up a bit with my accessories and make up, too! I almost never wear post or stud earrings, but almost exclusively dangles or hoops. But, I decided to with these simple and sweet daisies. Also, I went with a bit of a statement necklace and I didn’t want my earrings to compete. Normally, I would go with silver jewelry with grey trousers and the grey-toned pumps, but I really like the combination of royal blue/navy with gold. Also, you can’t really tell from these pictures but I went with navy eyeliner instead of black or brown.

Before my class, I attended a department meeting and then we broke out into groups based on our area– reading, communication, etc. Adjunct professors aren’t required to go to the meetings and usually aren’t invited. But, since I was invited I made it a point to attend. I am glad that I did because, to my knowledge, I was the only adjunct that was in attendance. And, since I want to become full-time eventually, I would like to believe that those types of things help to strengthen my case. Time will tell!

Here is a bonus picture of me with my super sweet kitten, Pumpkin:

September 17, 2014 W (g)

Going out on my balcony was as close as I could get to taking pictures outside.  I worked late at the bar Tuesday night and then I had to go to campus 2 hours earlier for the meetings, so time wasn’t on my side as much as I would have liked.  Lastly, I’ve added another Love it, Like it, or Loser episode to my youtube channel, but you can view it here:

 

Thanks for reading, watching, and commenting!

-Carla

Cooler Temps Bring out Fall Colors

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Monday’s are my prep days!  I have the ability to sleep in a little, and then all morning and early afternoon to do errands and get ready for the week ahead.  They are truly a valuable resource and I am thankful that I have them.  This Monday I made a quiz for my Friday class, skimmed over the chapters that I have assigned my students and prepared my lectures.  I also worked on a handout.

Then, I straightened up my house, pained my nails, and picked out three outfits for teaching.  I also put away and hung up clothes from the last time that I did laundry.  I started dinner by putting country-style ribs in the crockpot that would later be shredded and covered in BBQ, and caught up on blogs and Youtube videos.

During class my students had a quiz over the 2 chapters that I lectured on last week, then they had one of their first speaking assignments, and I finished out by lecturing on the rest of the chapter.  I also discussed the last half of the process of writing and presenting a speech with them and then gave them a reference page homework assignment that will dovetail nicely into the outlining activity that I have planned for Wednesday’s class.

Coral eyelet dress: Wal-Mart. Brown belt: (thrifted.) Coral earrings and necklace set: (thrifted.) Brown blazer: (thrifted.) Tortoise shell watch: Festival Mall. Brown pumps: (thrifted.)

Coral eyelet dress: Wal-Mart. Brown belt: (thrifted.) Coral earrings and necklace set: (thrifted.) Brown blazer: (thrifted.) Tortoise shell watch: Festival Mall. Brown pumps: (thrifted.)

Now that it’s getting a little cooler, I am incorporating more layering pieces into my wardrobe. Also, I am starting to pull in more Fall colors– orange and brown in this outfit. I’ve paired this dress with black, white, light tan/oatmeal, and turquoise before. But, oddly enough never brown. It seemed a little overdue. Although it is getting cooler outside, my classroom is still very warm and cozy! This time I didn’t wait until it nearly became unbearable, though, I propped open the door with the trashcan right away to let in the cool air in the hallway.

I didn’t notice until I started writing the details of this outfit that it is so cost conscious! Most of what I am wearing was thrifted or purchased very inexpensively. The dress was around $20, the blazer I think about $5, the necklace and earring set $2, the shoes $5, and the watch about $15! That’s pretty good bang for my buck!

Here are some other ways that I have worn this coral/orange cotton eyelet dress before:

My two favorites are in the middle on the top and bottom. What is your favorite look? Please sound off in the comments below.
-Carla

Stripes and Brown Shoes

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Friday morning I set my alarm for a little earlier than the past two weeks.  The extra time in the morning made things a little less hectic.  I actually even had a few minutes to snap my photo’s before I left for class in the morning.  That worked out well, too, because it was chilly and cloudy when I got home.  Plus, I was super-tired and wanted to take a nap before my evening shift at the bar.

I picked out my outfit on Thursday evening with the help of my boyfriend.  I knew that I wanted to wear pants since it was supposed to be cooler.  I also wanted something with some nice fall colors– mustard, burgundy, brown, orange, etc.  I had another top pulled for consideration, too, but my BF picked this silky blouse.  This outfit is a repeat of another compilation with most of these items that I totally fell in love with, here.

In class, I discussed the two chapters on researching with my students.  I am a tad worried because I get the sense that they are not reading the assigned material before class.  I know that many of them were preoccupied with their homework assignment and whether or not they did it correctly or they had to go back and re-do it.

Tan blazer: Wal-Mart. Striped silky blouse: Target. Red earrings: unknown. Burgundy trousers: NY&Co. Brown oxford shoes: Mudd. Silver watch: Fossil.

Tan blazer: Wal-Mart. Striped silky blouse: Target. Red earrings: unknown. Burgundy trousers: NY&Co. Brown oxford shoes: Mudd. Silver watch: Fossil.

I like this outfit, but I’m not sold on the shoes! I think that I should have went with black or lighter brown/tan shoes since there is no dark brown in the blouse. Also, I don’t think that the pants break properly with the shoes.

What do you think? Do any of my teacher readers have any positive tips for encouraging students to read? I know the negative technique would be a pop quiz, but I’d like to try a positive technique.

-Carla

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

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Yesterday I couldn’t take pictures outside. Mostly because it’s a little more time consuming and I had a busy morning of doing this and that getting ready for class and such. But, also because there was a tornado warning on my area. As I was driving to school I was listening to the radio and the expected pathway of the storm. Much to my glee, I was driving South and away from the storm that was moving Northeast. I wasn’t too worried about the weather interfering with class, but I should have been.

When I went to begin class, the P.A. system announced that our area was under a tornado watch and we needed to move to a safe area. My classroom has several skinny and tall windows so we needed to vacate the room. For us it was safer in the hallway where there were no windows. I collected my students homework and then instructed to settle in for an unorthodox lecture in the hallway. It was a bit difficult, but we made do. After about 30 minutes, the warning was cancelled and I ushered everyone back into the classroom to finish the lecture with the Power point. We were supposed to get through half of the next chapter, but it didn’t quite happen. The important thing is that everyone was safe.

Polka dotted dress: Wal-Mart. Magenta belt: Target. Bracelets: gifts. Silver watch: Fossil. Black open-toed sandals: Target. Black and silver earrings: Target.

Polka dotted dress: Wal-Mart. Magenta belt: Target. Bracelets: gifts. Silver watch: Fossil. Black open-toed sandals: Target. Black and silver earrings: Target.

Even though it was windy outside, it was also very warm. Plus, this is the classroom that sometimes feels like an oven. For that reason, I went with this short-sleeved dress. I love this dress because it combines three of my favorite colors: red/burgundy, purple, pink/magenta. Also, I think that it’s a great transitional piece for Spring and Fall. The short-sleeves make it great for more temperate weather, but the black background keeps it from being too Summery. With the right layers, it’s also a great option for late-Fall and Winter.

But, for the tail end of Summer/slide into Fall I went without any additional layers. Not even pantyhose! Long time readers know that I don’t often go without pantyhose when wearing a skirt or a dress to a professional setting. Wednesday I did just that. Also, I went with an open-toed heeled sandal to complete the look. This dress comes with a fabric belt in the same material, but to give it a bit more structure and polish I swapped it out for this skinny hot pink belt. I went with silver accessories–watch, bracelets, and silver and black earrings. I kept my eye makeup soft and shimmery with pinks and browns and then added a pop of color with the hot pink lips. I had intended to wear my hair in a half-up/half-down style, but decided that it looked better down. (I think the weather played a part in that, also.)

Here are some other ways that I have styled this same dress in the past:

In the top left, I’ve gone pretty basic with the dress and wore it as it came. I went with silver watch/earrings and lots of silver bracelets. In the top right, I’ve chosen to pull out the purple in the dress. I’m wearing a skinny purple belt, purple and gold necklace, and purple peep-toe heels. The watch and earrings are gold. In the bottom left, I wanted to pull out the burgundy and red tones in the dress. I’ve layered the dress over burgundy tights and added a velvet blazer in the same hue. I’m doing black and grey pumps, silver watch, and delicate silver and purple bracelet. On the bottom right, I’ve Winterized the dress with a black v-neck sweater, burgundy pumps, and a magenta and gold statement necklace. The earrings and watch are also gold-toned.

Do you have a favorite look? Please let me know in the comments any suggestions you have for styling this dress in the future. Also, don’t miss out on my most recent youtube video:

Thanks,
-Carla

Fall 2014 Gallery

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This semester I am teaching two sections of Effective Speaking. One section runs on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5:30 p.m.-6:45 p.m. The other section meets once a week on Friday’s from 9:00 a.m.-11:40 a.m. Here, you can see all of the outfits that I have worn this semester in one quick and easy location. Click on any photo for a larger view. The photo’s from L to R will be my outfit for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week.

Monday Blues (but only in my outfit!)

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Monday morning was a day full of errands. This is a light week for prepping for classes since my Friday class got ahead of my M/W class last week due to the holiday. That is a very nice thing, sometimes. With my “free time” I took my kitten, Pumpkin, to her first vet appointment, did a load of laundry, and picked up around the house. My kitten is 11 weeks old and everything checked out great– she goes back in a few weeks for another round of shots.

Also, I already had an outfit in mind! This is the outfit that I had originally wanted to wear on my first Friday class but couldn’t because the top was in the laundry. Since I missed the opportunity to wear it the first week of classes, I waited until this week (Week 3) to wear my navy pencil skirt to my M/W class. With so many different items of clothing in my closet, I have to force myself to rotate through items so that I make good use of them and not constantly re-wear the same 5 things.

This outfit was inspired by a pin that I came across a few weeks ago.  This pin, below left, links to a white belt from Target, which looks like a different belt than in the photo, but who knows?!

Turquoise blouse: Wal-Mart. Blue and gold earrings: Target. Gold link bracelet: Versona. Watch: Festival Mall. Navy pencil skirt: Target. Brown studded pumps: (thrifted.)

Turquoise blouse: Wal-Mart. Blue and gold earrings: Target. Gold link bracelet: Versona. Watch: Festival Mall. Navy pencil skirt: Target. Brown studded pumps: (thrifted.)

I enjoyed this outfit very much! Instead of a sleeveless turquoise shell, I wore my long-sleeved silky button up and rolled up the sleeves for a more Summery look. I chose to go without a belt or any other sort of waist definer, but I did stay true to the gold accents. I am wearing a gold chain link bracelet and a gold and tortoise-shell watch. I chose this watch to help pull in the brown and gold/bronze studs on my pumps. Lastly, I went with royal blue and gold earrings to complete the look.

I took my outfit pictures outside, again. Because my class is in the early evening on Monday and Wednesday I can take pictures outside before class. I enjoy the background and scenery and will try to shoot pictures outside in the natural light as much as I can.

What do you think? Are you enjoying the outside pictures or do you miss seeing my fireplace and mantle? Lol.

-Carla

Outside

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This past Friday morning was only the 2nd time that I have seen this particular group of students, but after these first two weeks I am back in the swing of things.  I’ve been really careful to keep a few steps ahead with skimming the chapters, putting content online for my students, creating quizzes and handouts, and picking out outfits.

But, Friday mornings are still a bit frenzied because I have to get up so early to shower and get ready.  I am trying to get myself on a schedule where I shower or bathe on Thursday evening to help alleviate some of the morning stress, but I’m not there yet.  In any event, I didn’t have time to take pictures before I left for class in the morning, but I wasn’t too upset because I have really been wanting to take some pictures outside.  This was a great opportunity to do that.

After my 2 hour and 40 minute class, I came home and freshened up my look by brushing the tangles out of my hair, powdering my face, and reapplying lipstick.  Then, I grabbed my camera and tripod and marched outside to take pictures.  It was an experience!  It’s going to take some practice dealing with the sun and the shadows, but I think that in the end it will be worth it.  Some of my pictures are too dark, some of them the wind is blowing my hair into my face, and in a few I am squinting at the sun.  But, here are the best of the bunch!

Burgundy short-sleeved blouse: JCP. Purple earrings: gift. Leopard belt: gift. Black trousers: NY&Co. Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Leopard pumps: Target.

Burgundy short-sleeved blouse: JCP. Purple earrings: gift. Leopard belt: gift. Black trousers: NY&Co. Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Leopard pumps: Target.

I picked this outfit out on Thursday afternoon and I was really excited to wear in on Friday morning! I rarely wear black dress pants because I feel that they are a cop-out and because they used to be required as part of my uniform at the bar. We have since switched to dark wash jeans and now I hardly wear those in my personal life, either!

My outfit was weather appropriate, comfortable, age-appropriate, trendy, and filled with personality.  I mentioned this in my last post, but I am trying to let a bit more of my personality come out a little sooner with my students.  Many times I receive feedback that I seem strict, harsh, and like a taskmaster.  And, while those things may be partially true, I don’t want my students to feel that I am not approachable or that I am mean or standoffish.  As much as we may not want to admit it, our clothing choices say a lot about our personalities and I am very conscientious about my choices.

What do you think about this outfit?  Is it a favorite of yours?  Here are some other ways that I have incorporated this same blouse in outfits over the past few semesters:

Also, if you have any tips on shooting pictures outside, please let me know!
-Carla