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Monday, August 9, 2010

(approximately) 100 Lessons

I've been told that taking a gap year between undergrad and grad school is a good thing. That you can learn a lot from it. Well, this is my last Monday post during my gap year. Next Monday is my first day of graduate school orientation. If you've followed my blog, you know it hasn't been an easy year for me. A voluntary gap year is one thing; an involuntary one is completely different. But I have learned a lot, and wanted to share some of those lessons with you. Instead of one list of 100, I've broken it down into lists of 10.

10 Things I've Learned About Myself
1. Even my greatest strengths can fail me.
2. I can't let my fears make my decisions for me.
3. According to one of my students, EMMA stands for: Educated, Mad skills, Magnifacent (her spelling) Amazing. That's right, I have mad skills :)
4. I'm a better teacher than I am a student.
5. I feel completely at home in Academia.
6. You can learn a lot by listening and not talking.
7. I can't always change my situation, but I can change my reaction to it.
8. It's okay to have to depend n someone else.
9. I have the worlds greatest parents. Hands down.
10. Some days, I am going to feel sad. And that's not a bad thing.

10 Things I've Learned About Teaching/Middle Schoolers
1. Middle schoolers really aren't that scary. And they really do want to learn.
2. Care about your students. There is no other way to reach them.
3. I'm way cooler as middle school teacher than I was as a middle school student.
4. Middle schoolers will believe just about anything an authority figure tells them. So be very careful what you say.
5. Middle schoolers notice how you act more than what you say. Make sure your actions don't contradict your words.
6. Sometimes an off topic conversation can lead to a better teaching opportunity than staying on topic ever could.
8. Respect only works mutually. You have to give it to get it.
9. Middle schoolers want responsibility, but don't always understand the consequences.
10. There is such thing as a stupid question- but it's always safer to assume that there isn't.

10 Things I've Learned About/From Social Media
1. Don't shout: talk and listen.
2. Never estimate the power of an immediate response
3. I can turn a 3 page press release into a 140 character tweet.
4. You have to shift through a lot of chaff to find the wheat. Sometimes it's worth it, sometimes its not. Learn to tell the difference.
5. People want to be heard. It's okay to be quiet and let them speak.
6. I f you believe what you're saying, others will believe it too.
7. Honesty really is the best policy...and can save a lot of backtracking.
8. Don't be annoying.
9. There is a fine line between paying attention and stalking. DO NOT CROSS IT!
10. Be yourself. Really.

10 Things I've Learned About/From Being an Office Assistant
1. Always, always be nice to the person who answers the phone. What ever the problem is probably wasn't there fault, but there's a good chance they know who to forward you to in order to fix it.
2. I can fold a piece of paper so it fits perfectly in a business envelop every single time (it's the little things that count).
3. The UPS/Fedex delivery guy always asks your last name after you sign a delivery form. Even though you just wrote it down.
4. If you're the person who works from a're the person who has to move desks when there's a leak.
5. Unattended Post-it notes will be "commandeered" by co-workers.
6. The best way to deal with an upset person on the phone is to be calm, and try to be understanding.
7. Don't take things personally.
8. I can use one of those strapping tape things to package a cardboard box.
9. When you buy a bag of M&M's to refill the office dispenser...don't keep the bag where you can reach it.
10. Keep your e-mail organized. Disorganized e-mails=disorganized office.

10 Things I've Learned About/From Running
1. It's easy to make excuses not to run.
2. The absolute best way to make yourself get out of bed in the morning is to have a running partner depending on you.
3. All the world's problems can be solved while on a run.
4. My mind is my worst enemy on a run. If I can beat my own insecurities, I'll have a good run.
5. Drinking water, eating a banana, and going for a run can solve 99.9% of your problems...according to my Mom.
6. I can't find the motivation to run if I don't have a goal I'm working towards.
7. A long run in the morning leaves you feeling accomplished all day.
8. There is no feeling in the world like crossing the finish line.
9. No pain, no gain.
10. No matter how hard it is to motivate yourself to go running, you always feel better after you run.

10 Things I've Learned From/About Blogging
1. Keep track of what you've blogged about so you're not confused when someone asks you about it.
2. Having a blogging schedule helps me stay disciplined.
3. I've found it nearly impossible to get people to leave comments on my blog (if you have any thoughts on how to do this, please leave them in the comments ;) )
4. Bloggers are, in general, really fun people to get to know.
5. I still can't figure out why people blog...or why I read them.
6. It's very odd to have certain aspects of your life out in the public.
7. Making a commitment publicly on your blog is a good way to motivate yourself to stick with it.
8. My blog readers are amazing, wonderful people. Proof: My apartment was furnished almost entirely from people who read my blog (mind you, a lot of them are family and friends, but my family and friends are amazing and wonderful, so it works).
9. It can be hard to find the balance between life and blogging about life.
10. I always have a moment of fear/apprehension when I hit "publish post" and send my little words out into the big, bad world.

One Thing I've Learned Today
1. Making lists can be hard. And kinda annoying. So...I'm going to stop for now. Maybe I'll give you the  reaming 31 lessons on Wednesday. But probably not.

Have a good week! And happy 8-9-10 Day!


Anonymous said...

very cool

Zachary said...

In case I haven't mentioned it, congratulations on grad school!

Also, I've found that people will start commenting on stuff if someone else goes first and sets the tone. This may require calling someone out on your blog. =P

That last comment is pure speculation, because I still don't think anyone actually reads my blog. Probably because there's no cohesiveness between the posts, but hey, it happens. I still haven't figured out what to write about.

Anyways, enjoy your last week of freedom and I'll try to keep in touch.


Emma said...

Thanks, Z. I didn't even know you had a blog!

Simplicity said...

Hi Emma,

So glad you were able to use that software and it works. John has one from his dad but hasn't really tried it out yet. You sound great and we are excited for you! We have had a great time with the grandparents. Have had some excitement with flooding issues but it may all work out for the best. Might get a new bathroom out of the disaster. Take Care. Love, Aunt Chris