a good measure

My students have been improving considerably.  Two in particular, M & F (no, not Mom & Floyd, but another M & another F!), have caught the I-want-to-learn bug.

M has improved his mathematics skills considerably (among other skills).  It’s not easy to do ‘mental math’ without guidance and practise.  We’re using the practices of 1) using fingers to count, 2) memorization (as in the multiplication table), 3) writing out problems long-hand, and 4) using a calculator for complex calculations or to check one’s work.  Because M is in a Montessori program (and, no, it isn’t just for playschool, preschool, and kindergarten – it’s valid all throughout elementary school and beyond), it involves practical life (understanding everyday activities), sensorial (tactility, sound, vision, etc.), academic (mathematics, language arts, histories, the sciences), and societal (creativity, games, group work, social activity).  It’s not just reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic anymore, folks.  So, part of yesterday’s homework is fractions and their uses.  What’s the good in knowing fractions unless you can use them?  He’s a creative fellow, so he could go on to use this skill in everyday life.

No, he’s not helping me build the trailer.  He’s reading the tape measure in the pictures.

F has improved his reading skills. It started with not knowing the phonics of letters and combinations of letters of the alphabet, having difficulty writing letters in patterns, and knowing sight words.  Now he’s sounding out words he doesn’t know and breezing through those he does.  It’s about not being intimidated by the written word, I think, and he’s come a long way in this.  He says he enjoys writing, so hopefully this will pull him along in the reading thing, too.  Plus, I promised him a prize (a notebook from Korea) if he reads really well – something to shoot for.

intro to mentor

D.F. is my Mentor, set up by ASET.  We emailed a few times and spoke today by phone.  What an interesting conversation!  He’s in the architectural world, and I’m his 4th mentee.  The first 3 were all young people.  I’m his first old guy.

We talked about marketing one’s self, the industry(s), expectations of employers, personal backgrounds … lots of things.  I’ll sit and think about what he said for a while before embarking on any more comments.

He did give me homework though.  Yes, homework again!  Not easy homework, either.  I am to create an “elevator speech” for our next conversation in a few weeks from now.  …  I had this ages ago in the ESL world, although I didn’t know it was a thing, per se.

high-pitched squeaky-talk

In reading about ocean life, as mentioned in my previous Ongoing Letter entry, I saw this article, “How to talk to little kids“.  (No, you didn’t read it wrong.  I know the two concepts aren’t related.  But there was an ad, if you can call it that, to read the article.  And of course, being an ex-kids’-teacher, I had to click on it.)

I don’t agree with all of it, but one thing the article mentioned that also drove me a little batty when teaching kids is adults’ habit of talking in high-pitched squeaky-talk sing-song voices.  Aunts or uncles or grandparents would come by sometimes and say, in a sing-song tone, “Ohhhhh, youre speaking English!!!”  Not sure who it drove nuts more – me or the child.  The child, of course, would roll their eyes, get terribly embarrassed, and never open their mouth (in English) again while they were there.  Parents, on the other hand, would not.  Why?  I asked them to please not do that.  It hinders the overall process of learning to speak another language.  “Talk to them normally,” I asked.  They would – except for one really old grandmother who came by who spoke to everyone younger than her that way all the time.

Convocation 2018

It’s done!

I spent 3 years at Lethbridge College in the Engineering Design and Drafting Technologies diploma program.  The Convocation ceremony lasted from 1:00~4:00pm.  About 12:00 inside the “Player’s Entrance” (the back door) of Enmax Centre we gathered into groups according to program and then alphabetically.  People soon dissipated – it was obviously going to take a while.  I texted the scoreboard a picture of Mom & me and a message in case they came.  They came, but they didn’t see it.

Thanks Mom and Floyd for everything!!!  Could not have done it without you!!!

Pending application and approval, I’ll be a Technologist in Training (T.T.).  After two years of working in the field, I’ll earn my C. Tech (Certified Technologist) or C.E.T. (Certified Engineering Technologist).

preparing for convocation

Today is Convocation 2018.  It’s 10:30am.  Been keeping busy today so as not to get too nervous – doing dishes, reading the paper, doing Architecture homework.  We (convocates) should be there, lined up in order, no later than 12:15pm, so I’ll leave in an hour or so.  The ceremony is from 1-4pm.  I’ll be wearing my black gown, cap, & tassel and Lethbridge College green stole.  Good thing it’s a nice sunny day today.  It’s now 14°C and not a cloud in the sky.  My hair is cut, my gown & stole are pressed, my shoes shined.

I don’t think Mom & Floyd can make it.  Mom is pretty weak.  I know she really wanted to go, but she’s been unwell the past few weeks.  We took some pictures yesterday – Mom, Floyd, me in full dress.  The ceremony today is kind of like PBR (bull riding) in that it lasts for about 3 hours, it’s mostly sitting and clapping, and at the end of it hordes of people will be leaving.  Except this time, I’m a successfully graduated soon-to-be professional, and that’s no bull.  But I understand why she cannot go.  She has a hard time getting her breakfast and coffee down, let alone this.

I am missing my favourite formal black shirt.  It must be at Father’s house.  The last time I wore it was at Father’s viewing on Sept. 12, 2017.  It’s probably still hanging in the closet.  I’ll put on a tie – not sure which one yet – and head there early, on foot of course since it’s so close and I don’t want to fight for parking.  I’ll bring an e-book with me to keep me occupied.

I’m supposed to meet Clara there after the ceremony.  She said she’d come down from Calgary to see me.  I’m sure she has other people to see, too.  All my peeps from class will be there too, I’m guessing, except Aaron.  He said he’d not attend the convocation ceremony.  Actually, he said he’d attend as an audience member!  <sigh>  Well, maybe I’ll see him there later, along with Tyson, Randy, and my other teammates and classmates.

Gotta go graduate.  Catch you later!

spring begins, as do corrections

It’s sunny, warm, pleasant.  Yesterday I met TB & RH (my bamboo research group) to talk about our submission to the ASET Capstone project.  We all wrote blurbs about ourselves, and TB will organize it all and submit it.  I trust Ty to catch all the goofinesses such as font sizes, placement of images, etc.

I worked on the Architectural class group project.  CE, a teammate in the Stan’s Stuff – Auto Parts and More, said he could meet up and work on it with me.  It’d be a good portfolio item.  It turns out he was too busy with flooding in his house and preparing to travel.  Se, the other teammate, rarely shows up for any length of time to help.  Very helpful when he does, but it’s rather seldom.  So I’ll continue to work until it’s absolutely time to wipe the drives on the computer.  Work on what?  Corrections to assignments.  All those red marks on assigments – I’ve paid for them.  I paid money to have the instructor put red all over my paper.  I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let that go to waste.

All students’ computer drives need to be wiped at the end of this course.  They have software on them that’s only licensed to the college.  We get a deposit back when we allow this.  I forget how much – like a hundred dollars or so.  No wipe, no deposit back.  So, we’re all told repeatedly to back up our stuff and save anything we want to save on another drive.  I’ve got my server (the one you’re reading this on) to store my stuff.

In case you’re wondering, I rarely use real names here on the ongoing letter.  I don’t imagine people would want their names, faces, etc. online.  So, rather than names, I use initials.  Are they real?  Who knows!  Ha!

perspective

As I’m finishing my education and getting ready to search for jobs, I know there is so much for me to learn still.  We all come out of our course thinking that we’re qualified, have got the knowledge, will run out and do great things.

I saw a video tour of New York City from 1911 on YouTube.  They had traffic management with electric, petroleum, and horse powered vehicles intermingling.  They had trains being driven several storeys over the street, buildings so high that an engineer these days would take seemingly forever to design and build.  They had so much already back then.  We think we’re doing something new – and we probably are – but we may be forgetting that these things have all been done without the technological help that we have today.  Damn amazing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aohXOpKtns0   Keeps it all in perspective.