A window inside life at Augustana College

Once EDUC340, Always EDUC340

This was a line in my EDUC340 professor’s final “Random Memorandum” for the term. Deborah Bracke teaches EDUC340: Methods of Inclusion, a class required by all Education majors, and the Random Memorandum is her weekly email containing any stray thoughts about our week’s progress.

As we come to the end of the term (and the year!), I’ve done some serious reflecting on my career as a teacher candidate as well as the amount of growing I’ve done in just the past year.

At the beginning of the year, I was a scared little baby walking into my first day of EDUC300. I had been told that EDUC300 was the “weed out” class of the Education major, and that was proven to me as I progressed through the course material. Randy truly challenged all of us to step outside of our box of assumptions and discover what it really means to be a teacher.

EDUC330 came next, where I learned about the power of assessment. Assessment is far more than just multiple-choice questions, short answer items, and a book report here and there. Assessment is a constant process that teachers go through every day, and I’ve learned how to craft meaningful assessments for many different kinds of students. Dr. Scarlett’s first term at Augustana proved to be a great success, and I’m so thankful to have had him for a professor.

Now, I’m approaching the end of my sophomore year and the end of EDUC340. Dr. Bracke (or Deb, as I call her) was my first year advisor. The first time I actually met with her was when my mom and I were exchanging tearful hugs at the opening convocation during Fall Connection! Little did I know, I would come to the end of this year having developed a fantastic relationship with Deb. She has helped me through my first clinical experience, deciphering IEPs, and even submit my first paper to a national education conference. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would have the guts to submit a paper to a national conference full of veteran teachers, but she helped me find the courage to do so. Now we’re crossing our fingers, waiting until September to find out if we get to travel to San Diego for the 2015 annual conference of the Council for Exceptional Children!

The amount of growing that I’ve done in the past year is just astounding to me. I came to Augustana to become a teacher, knowing how spectacular the Education department was. However, I didn’t know just how brilliant every member of the department truly was. So many of them have helped me in just these two first years, and I can’t wait to see what the second half of my undergrad career has in store for me.

Interviews with SIDs

As part of my internship in the sports information office at Augustana this term there has been an academic component that I manage to find time to complete occasionally. One of my assignments was to conduct brief 5-10 minute long phone interviews with three sports information directors that I have never interacted with before.

 

The three victims of my interviews were Dave Blanchard from Luther, Jim McGrath of Butler (formerly Augustana), and Dave Hilbert from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois.

 

Luther is a Division III school while Butler is Division I and St. Francis is an NAIA institution. Having the opportunity to speak with individuals from three different levels of competition was really interesting. It was cool to learn how different schools, at different levels, operate so similarly.

 

In the next couple of days I will get the questions and answers up from those interviews in my blog.

My Augustana internship experience hosting an NCAA women’s lacrosse game

For most people week nine consists of countless tests, quizzes, exams, and presentations. However, my final week nine has been a little different. On top of presenting my senior inquiry research in aquatic biology from this past fall, I have also been planning and preparing for an NCAA second-round women’s lacrosse game along with a speech and my internship assignments.

 

My experience planning the lacrosse game that takes place on Saturday has been such an awesome opportunity. I have taken part in conference calls along with meetings that give me a first-hand taste of the business. Being a part of everything that goes on behind the scenes of an NCAA event has caused to me gain a great deal of appreciation for the people that make these events run smoothly.

 

During the week, I have been busy assigning workers and making sure that they have picked up their game management passes for the contest. I also created a statsheet insert for the programs provided by the NCAA.

 

It hasn’t taken long for me to realize that planning an event of this caliber requires a lot of small tasks not just a few big things.

 

At this point, I would have to say that my favorite part of this experience is how much I have gotten to interact with coaches and officials of the event and being consulted about things regarding the event.

Your latest women’s lacrosse news is here!

In the last week I have had the opportunity to write seven stories reporting on Augustana’s women’s lacrosse team. The team has had a monstrous week. Starting on Monday, April 28th, the team returned to the NCAA National Rankings at 26th place.  Tuesday evening Tisdale’s unit wrapped up an undefeated regular season with a stomping over MWLC opponent, Fontbonne. With the victory the Vikings climbed to 16-0 and earned the MWLC regular season championship and hosting rights for the league tournament. Come Wednesday, the blue and gold had nine players named as all-conference athletics along with head coach Sara Tisdale earning the league “Coach of the Year” honors.

 

The Vikings took it easy on Thursday but on Friday beat North Central 16-9 in the MWLC tournament semi-finals to earn a spot in the championship game. On Saturday, the women’s lacrosse team decided its own fate by earning the MWLC’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament with a 17-11 win over Carthage. That victory marked Augustana’s 18th consecutive win of the year and 17th straight at Thorson-Lucken Field. The women’s lacrosse program is 26-1 all-time on home turf. Sunday evening the Vikings’  eventful week continued when they learned that they would be hosting an opening-round NCAA game against Adrian. The game will be on Saturday, May 10th at 12:00 noon. Adrian is the team that handed the Augustana program its only ever home loss. Earlier during the season Tisdale’s team travelled to Adrian, Michigan and defeated the Bulldogs 21-10.

 

The Vikings are now just one of two unbeaten programs left in Division III. When the national rankings were announced on Monday, May 5th, the Vikings were left sitting on the sidelines.

With my internship, I am the primary contact for our women’s lacrosse team. I anticipate that this week will be extremely busy but very exciting at the same time. During the week I will be handling all media requests as well. I am really looking forward to this experience and believe that it will be a great learning opportunity.

Your Augustana Athletics update

To follow-up my last blog post, I wanted to catch everyone up on how the Vikings faired on Saturday. Baseball was able to sweep the series with Millikin and claim the program’s first regular season championship since 1974….which is 40 years for anyone that doesn’t math well. The Vikings earned hosting rights for the CCIW tournament and will also be hosting a regional regardless of if they get a bid.

 

Women’s lacrosse pulled off the victory over Carthage by a 17-11 score despite being doing 3-0 and 4-1 midway through the first half. With the win, Augustana will earned the MWLC’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. The Vikings found out Sunday night that they will be hosting an opening-round NCAA game against Adrian at Thorson-Lucken Field on Saturday, May 10th.

 

Men’s tennis finished 3rd in the CCIW while the women took second place.  In Naperville the women’s track team brought home a 3rd place finish while the men tied for second place.

 

Softball ended up losing the second of the three games that they needed to win to come away with the CCIW automatic bid. However this morning (Monday) the NCAA Selection Show was good to them and Kistler’s unit came away with an at-large bid, as did North Central to join the tournament winner, Illinois Wesleyan.

It’s a big day for Augustana athletics

Typically my blogs revolve around just lacrosse, my internship(s), or sports information in general. Today I am broadening my horizons (just a little) to inform you of how big today will hopefully be for the Augustana sports nation.

 

We’ll begin with baseball. With victories in both of today’s contests the Vikings will claim the CCIW regular season championship. Currently Wallace’s crew is 25-10 overall and 13-6 in the league. With two wins the Vikings will also win hosting rights for the conference tournament next weekend. Augustana is also hosting an NCAA regional.

 

On to softball. Kris Kistler’s unit entered today (Saturday, May 3rd) needing three straight wins to claim the CCIW tournament championship. The Vikings won their first contest at the time of this post so they need just two more for an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. Augustana is 33-10 overall and 10-4 in the CCIW.

 

Women’s lacrosse is on a hot-streak winning its first 17 games of the year. With a win tonight Augustana has a lot to gain. First off, a win would earn Sara Tisdale’s squad an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament for the second season in a row not to mention an MWLC tournament championship for the second straight year. With a victory the Vikings would also have never lost in the league during two seasons as a member with a mark of 22-0 including four tournament wins.

 

Over to tennis, both men’s and women’s tennis are in action today. A win for the women’s team at 2:00 p.m. would earn the Vikings a bid into the NCAA tournament. On the men’s side a victory would give Augustana a 3rd place finish in the CCIW tournament.

 

In track both teams are in competition at the conference meet at North Central College in Naperville, Ill. A victory on either side would earn the group bragging rights within the conference.

 

Needless to say, it is a busy day in the sports information office of Augustana College but there is potential for today to be a great day.

Another Belated Happy National Poetry Month

April was national poetry month.   Here’s a poem by the dynamically talented Jeffrey Mcdaniel.

Feel free to send your daughters to Augustana.

Alibi School

My pal, Jake, majored in corruption.
His final exam: a girl from the Midwest,

three weeks to dismantle eighteen years
of good parenting. High results came early

in the easy days, with the principal taking
his puff from the honor role in the bathroom.

In gym we learned how to turn our backs
on the world at once; the team

elected me captain of varsity nosebleeds.
At the prom, we parked our limousine

before doing the mandatory wind sprints;
my date’s eyes were big, hazel dictionaries.

At our homecoming Jake injected the clouds
with a hero’s last breath; rain on the victory parade

was greeted with cheers. The years rushed by
with their tongues hanging out. We packed

our cages and invented course work overseas.
In Guatemala, we copied back pain

for a hundred milligrams of extra credit
and proudly parachuted into sleep. In Prague

we emptied our text books and guzzled
chapters of Bohemian history. The class

kept shrinking until it was just me, passing
all the social tests. I returned to America

fluent in disaster; all the smiles I looked at
collapsed. I walked my pneumonia

up Avenue A, where inconspicuous teachers
assigned telepathic equations. My pupils

leapt from dilated chalkboards; a hundred
consecutive nights of slow, dirty arithmetic

curdled inside of me. Graduation
is an impossibility. Ditto expulsión.

I am permanently unrolled in the rambling
Lectures of insomnia. Wake in the lab

with my back against the wall. Turn: the wall
turns on me. I am the mutual friend

of enemy foxholes. It’s like bowling
for hostages: exactly beyond my periphery.

Jeffrey McDaniel

Also, enjoy some poetry written and performed by Augustana Students.

Graduating Early? Maybe.

One of my biggest goals I want to reach after graduation is to be financially stable, so I try and work. A lot. I don’t really make much money, but I figure if I’m used to working a lot now it will prepare me for when I’m a post-grad. I currently hold three jobs; one on campus as a CA, and two off campus. This comes to a minimum of 20 hours of work a week, which doesn’t seem like much but half of that is off campus in Iowa, so I do have a small commute. This summer I plan on working 50-60 hours a week between the two jobs I have for the summer. All this money will go towards paying my rent and utilities, groceries, and spending money for Brazil in October. Any extra will go into savings, maybe?

I also have a 2-5 year plan for post graduation for paying off my loans. This is assuming that I get a job right out of college making between $25,000-30,000/year after taxes. With such a job I should be able to pay of my loans within 3 years, if I’ve done the math right; and it’s totally possible that I’ve done the math wrong. However, even if my math is wrong, I should definitely be able to pay everything off within 5 years.

Since I’m so focused on being financially stable, I try really hard to get the most out of my money; because if I have to spend it, it better be worth it. So a couple of months ago I looked into graduating early. At the time, I didn’t really think it was going to be feasable for me. I thought I was going to need more classes or that classes I needed wouldn’t be offered during the summer, so I just dismissed it as an idea. I also had no idea where I would come up with the money for summer classes.

However, I recently started looking into it again. This time around I found that there are at least three classes I can take this summer that would apply to one of my majors or my minor. This means that I could get 9 credits out of the way this summer. I currently have completed 84 credits at Augustana. After this term I will have completed 94 credits. You need 123 credits to graduate from Augustana. 123 credits – 94 credits = 29 credits left to take. If I took 3 classes or 9 credits this summer that would leave me with 20 credits left to take. I am registered for 8 credits during fall term. That would leave me with only 12 credits left to reach the graduation requirement, and it is very easy to take 12 credits in one term.

Once I realized that I could make things work credit wise I started looking at the cost of things. It would cost me $7,290 to take 9 credits this summer as each credit is $810. This would save me nearly $4,655, as the cost of tuition for one term of classes at Augustana is $11,945. If you ask me, this sounds like a pretty good deal. However, I don’t have an extra 7 grand laying around to cover the cost of summer classes, since I’m out of loan money for the year and “There is no Augustana College financial assistance for summer session tuition.” So now I’m just trying to figure out what to do. If anyone has any legitimate get rich quick schemes it would be gratly appreciated!

Happy National Poetry Month!

Hello!

So…have any of you noticed the brightly-colored eggs hidden (albeit not very well, but that’s the point) around campus? If you have, you’ll notice there is a folded piece of paper inside as well as a piece of candy or prize. Don’t throw that paper away! It’s a poem.

April is National Poetry Month–nothing like waiting until the last day of April to tell you this–so I have hidden these eggs all  over campus in random batches (usually 2 or 3 a day, but since April is almost over and we had Easter break, I’ve hidden more lately). If you see an egg, you can pick it up. It’s allowed. Go ahead, do it.

And now I leave you with a poem:

Introduction to Poetry
by Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

~Kaylee

My life in a blog part 3

I got off the phone and the call still had not sunk in. I had just been offered an intern position at my number one choice of places I had applied! Following my summer camp job I knew where I would be…the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

 

I spent much of the rest of the afternoon informing my friends and family! However, I still had to formally accept the offer, which I did the following afternoon with little hesitation. Come Friday I needed to get ahold of the interviewers at Villanova and Iowa and let them know so that if I was a candidate they would not waste any of their time on me.

 

It was not an easy task to speak to the individuals on the phone as it took me multiple calls before I received a phone call from Villanova. Instead of returning my phone call, they were offering me an intern position with them!  Part of me was quite glad that I had already committed to Illinois so that I didn’t have to make a choice but another part of me knew that if I had an offer to intern at Illinois no other offer would be able to compete. Therefore, I declined the offer and then waited patiently to hear back from Iowa so that I would finally be able to post my post-graduation plans on social media. Finally, the phone rang and the call was over and a weight had been lifted! The fact that in a few short months I will be down at the University of Illinois interning in the athletic communications department was really beginning to sink in!