Month: September 2012

Could you learn to swim by watching YouTube?



It seems like you can learn anything and everything on YouTube. Everyone knows what it is, no matter how they pronounce it (i.e in Spain it’s YOW-ToobAY.) Media in our lives has swadzupled (a technical term for “grown a lot”) and now everyone everywhere talks about technology, social media, tweets per minute, cell phones in class, kids like phones, kids like T.V, I like honey boo-boo. So let’s use what kids like and incorporate it into teaching!

I actually LOVE honey boo boo.



I recently subbed in a Spanish class and we watched videos and did worksheets and so the glow of the students phone screens was even more obvious in the dark classroom. There was zero shame, zero sneaking.

I didn’t like it at all, but I don’t want to be the evil witch that comes in for one day and tells them to stop sexting their boo three desks over. I remember the akwardness of actually having to speak to people. Not fair.

Well I know a lot of teachers have incorporated slick ways of using technology in the classroom.

Teacher:”Text me the answer!”

Student: “School sux!”



Teacher: Today we get to watch a movie/YouTube/ Something that isn’t me!

Class: Yayyyy !!!(gets out phone, puts on headphones, humps desk, leaves, etc.)


Those things don’t always happen, and most kids actually do appreciate movies and focus and are then ready to discuss the topic/ theme presented…. but do we toss out other methods that are perhaps more difficult or “boring” to feed into this laziness? Just because someone likes bacon and chocolate doesn’t mean they get to start each day with a chocolate bacon shake.

Just like those girls on Dance Moms learn how to dance from Abby Lee, students are learning how to swim from YouTube.


Teachers have to get in there and get wet, and only use those technologies as re-enforcement or something the kids can do on their own time. Shout out to my aunt who told me there is a math teacher who makes the homework to watch him on YouTube, and then come to class ready to work.

The take away is that I STRONGLY disagree that you can learn as much from a computer or an online course as you can from a qualified teaching human. I’m not sure what direction education is heading in at this time but I do get concerned.

These are just some small thoughts that came up while I flipped through a book called “Speaking Activities That Don’t Suck” as I prepare to go back to Spain to teach English. So far nothing has led me to believe I should pop in Dead Poet’s society and then we’ll all have a cozy two hour chat about poetry.

4 Weeks from now I’ll see how many groans, blank stares and swear words I get. My own fault for finding teenagers interesting.



This is also my own horrible brief version of a “response” to the strike that recently happened in my great city of Chicago.  Much love to all the teachers working in horrible conditions most likely with no option of YouTube or even paper…. Thanks for standing up for your students.

Word to the wise: If you ever find yourself standing next to any current or previous Illinois politicians you’re probably in jail. 



40 is the new black

40 is actually the new countdown number. You’ve probably heard of 50, 20, and the ever popular 10, but 40 has something to it. So does 37.

In 40 days I’ll go back to Logrono, and help the youth of Spain learn eeeeengleeesh! wahooo.

In 37 days my sister will be getting married to a great guy.

In 30 days I have a dentist appointment. ha ha who cares?

I  abandoned this thing for the summer  just like all other previous journals and diaries because I wasn’t in Spain and I thought i’d be way less interesting. Then I got an email that someone had left me a comment and I realized that just because I don’t look at my blog, it’s still always on the internet. So why does 40 matter? Because it was on September 6th of last year that I started this baby up. Of course then, Spain was much closer and held a lot more of the unknown.

After my initial summer blues of being home with no known job, and living with my parents again, I immediately became extremely ill. I seriously lost a whole week and a half of my life so I won’t even tell you about it.

I would however like to gloat that through this difficult moment I went on an interview and got a job, but that ended about 3 weeks ago…

Now I have taken to cleaning out my room, finding shot glasses in doc martins and beer cans among stuffed animals, a notebook called “Campbell news” proclaiming my mom as a chip and pop nazi, and this….

Back in my day we had tapes

Just endless things that I haven’t looked at since I left for College. I give my sister credit for some of these precious memories too. Once we looked at them and laughed, off to the garbage they went. I still held on to plenty of dorky memories, because in five more years I’ll need to check again that they still matter to me.

I have to go on my couch to 5k run before it gets too hot out, but I’ve had a great summer and am again thrilled that it will soon be the season of sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, and LOVE! I even planned an entire OPI fall wedding collection of colors in my head.

For example: I love you a latte, A cornucopia of love, Orange you glad we’re married, something with red and apples, and something about the blue sky too. I seriously think if this whole teaching thing doesn’t work out my dream job would be in creating and naming nail polish colors. When I was younger I wanted to live in a trailer, so sometimes it’s okay if not all dreams come true.


Next exciting thing will be the shower! Oh la la