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Nichole
01 August 2016 @ 08:52 pm

This last May, I completed my alternative certification  in Secondary ELA Education. Yay! On June 28th, I was hired at a junior high to teach 8th grade ELA. YES! There is just a problem and I could use some advice.

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I Feel: aggravatedaggravated
 
 
Nichole
20 January 2016 @ 06:04 pm

After two days of teacher her English II classes, my mentor teacher gave me some “unofficial” feedback. She mentioned two things: I talk too softly and I need an attention grabber, for when students enter and for when they get off task. I know about the low voice and I am trying to get better at it. But, I’m wondering about the attention grabber. My mentor teacher isn’t a fan of Bell ringers, because the school has cut classes to 50 minutes each - and sometimes they ring the bell 5 or 7 minutes earlier. I offered her some suggestions: “Class, Class.” or snapping. But, my mentor teacher believes that “too young” for high schoolers. I’ve been looking, but nothing is catching my eye. I thought about playing music as they enter or playing sounds when they get noisy. I could use some ideas and thoughts.

Oh, if it helps: the English II children are in both 10th and 11th grade. Many have failed English II before. The mentor teacher describes them as the most entitled, nasty, mean, immature children she has ever taught. And, considering where she has taught (an alternative school for teens awaiting prison) and who she has taught (gangs), that is saying something.


I tried asking for attention. I said things like: “Class, I need your faces forward.” “Class, we’re starting. This is important. If you don’t hear directions, that is on you. Please pay attention.” I get some looks or their attention for three minutes, and than it is back to talking.

I think the issue with my quiet voice is that her classroom is old - from the 1940s, solid brick, and it is crowded. It’s an old computer lab that is very bad with noise.

 
 
Nichole
15 December 2015 @ 10:40 am

Love Me, If You Dare aka Close Your Eyes, and Close To Me / He Is Here, Please Close Your Eyes (Ta Lai Le, Qing Bi Yan) is a Chinese drama, which is based on the novel by Ding Mo. It is a crime drama with romance and comedy thrown in. It stars Wallace Huo as genius criminal investigator, Bo Jin Yan (Simon). Sandra Ma plays his assistant and love interest, an English translator, named Jian Yao (Jenny). Rounding out the cast are: Wang Kai as police office (and Jian Yao’s childhood friend) Zhang Xun Ran, Yin Zhen as doctor (and Jin Yan’s only friend) Fu Zi Yu, and Edward Zhang as a mysterious and dangerous enemy.

The drama is very well written, beautifully filmed, and just a really fun and addictive watch. It has 24 episodes, and 18 have aired so far.

The Good:


  • As I stated above, the writing for the drama is really amazing. The crimes are interesting and just dark enough, without getting too disturbing. (Apparently, the novel is much more disturbing) The scripts mix romance, comedy, and crime cases wonderfully. There is just enough of everything to keep the show interesting and exciting. I cannot wait for more episodes.


  • The cast all have great chemistry. Wallace Huo and Sandra Ma have believable romantic chemistry. I ship the romance hardcore. Then, you have the friendships between Jin Yan, Jian Yao, Xun Ran, and Zi Yu is really fun. Zi Yu is the humor in the show – I adore the way he rolls his eyes whenever Jin Yan asks if he can do something with technology. And, while Xun Ran has feelings for Jian Yao, he’s more than willing to try and get Jian Yan to notice his feelings.


  • Meanwhile, Jian Yao and Jin Yan are the most adorable and adorkable things in the world. Jin Yao has a very low emotional IQ, so he doesn’t understand romance. But, he tries and it is adorable and sweet. Neither Jin Yao or Jin Yan are terribly experienced, but they fit perfectly.


  • The mysterious stories of the serial killers are so creepy and really exciting.


  • I am just in love with this show. Please tell me more people are watching it? I need to talk about it with someone.


    The Bad:



  • A lot of the story involves an American serial killer, Tommy. The FBI also pops up, as Jian Yan helped them solve Tommy’s case. So, there are several English-speaking cast members that pop in and out of the series. And... their English skills are not always the greatest. Tommy does this weird Southern accent at times, and it can be distracting. Susan, Jian Yan’s FBI friend, sometimes sounds like she’s just reading a prepared paper. I wonder if the actor and actress are Americans living in China or if they are simply Caucasians, and the production thought: “White = English speaking.” The show shot for a few weeks in the United States and I know there are Americans and Canadian actors and actresses who have done stage plays in China and Hong Kong. Could no one find a solid actor or actress? Seriously, that is a huge issue with me and Chinese, Korean, and Japanese dramas and films – 95% of the time, they have “Americans” or English-speakers being played by people who clearly aren’t American and/or probably have English as their third or fourth language.


  • I just find it so weird that Jian Yan speaks Mandarin to Susan and Tommy and they reply in English. He studied in the States, he worked as a professor in a university, he worked for the FBI – why does Jian Yan never speak English? Do Susan and Tommy both know Mandarin? Jian Yao studied English and is an English translator. We are told several times that her English is very good – why does she never speak English to Susan and the other Americans she interacts with? And how do they all know Mandarin?!


  • And the language issues just bother me. As does the somewhat shaky acting by the actors and actresses playing American characters.


The Random:


  • I looked up the actress that plays Susan, Emily O’hana. She is from Cuba and most of her credits have French or Spanish names. Mm.


 
 
Nichole
24 July 2015 @ 06:58 pm
So, I live in Lafayette, Louisiana. I've gone to the Grand. I could say a lot, but I want to say:

In regard to the Lafayette, Louisiana gunman. I think it is important that people not focus too much on the fact that he had a history of mental illness. It should be mentioned and brought up. Like, how did he get the gun? Etc. HOWEVER, "he was mentally ill" shouldn't just be the reason he did what he did. It puts negative vibes on people who live with their mentally illness daily and never harm anyone. I think it is important that people also know that this man was: a man who believed that women shouldn't work outside their homes, had hostility toward Planned Parenthood, ranted openly about women's rights, minorities, and liberals. In all likely hood he chose the film he did because it was a female lead film, that featured minorities and several female characters. I have no idea why he did what he did - but I just really hope the media doesn't go with the: "Another white man with a mental illness" reason for this horrible event. There is way more to the story than "he was mentally ill" and I'm angry that so many use mental illness as an "excuse" for violence or that mental illness is seen as a "bad and violent" thing.
 
 
I Feel: annoyedannoyed
 
 
Nichole
23 May 2015 @ 09:08 pm
Since it came out, nearly everyone has been praising and in love with this film. Aside from a few negative things (mostly that Max wasn't in it enough/didn't have enough to do), reviews are positive. This past week, I finally saw it. Now, I saw the original triology way back in the day - like the 90s - and thought they were okay. I was never a huge fan of them. So, I went into this not expecting very much. Now, I know a lot of people LOVE this movie. . .I liked it. It was much better than I thought it would be; and, I'll probably watch it on DVD or Blu-Ray when it comes out (I'd like to catch some missed dialouge and rewatch a few scenes). However, I'm not as in love with it as some are. I would say it was a solid 8 out of 10.

One of the things I really liked was the world building. This movie made the Wasteland and the different clans/groups/tribes seem more real. It felt more realtistic. Like, I could see 30+ years after the world is destroyed - an ex-military leader uses cult tatics to build himself an army. It happens now, so it makes sense. And, honestly a lot of this post-end of the world stuff rarely makes sense. Anyway, I'd really love to know more about this people. Like, what more backstory on the Vuvalini. More interactions between the wives. I just really want to know everything about these people and their world.

Max, Furiosa, the wives, Nux, the  Vuvalini were all amazing. I wish we had been able to spend more time getting to really know the new characters a bit more. I loved the big (and beautiful) car chases, but I would have traded one for more time getting to know the wives, Nux, and the Vuvalini. They all seem amazingly interesting and I wanted to see more of them just being them and getting to know one another. (Yes, I know there is a comic that deals with some backstories.)

Speaking of that: I really loved the little “romance” between Nux and Capable. It was sweet, innocent, and didn’t take too much away from the plot. (Though I personally would I have liked to see more of it.) Also, thanks for having Max and Furiosa be partners and be equals in their fights. I really loved that Furiosa was such a strong character and I enjoyed the friendship and respect she developed with Max.

BTW: what do people tag the Nux x Capable relationship on Tumblr? 'Cause I'm shipping that like FedEx and really hope they have deleted scenes somewhere.

 
 
I Feel: lazylazy
 
 
Nichole
Three weeks! This week I watched the season finale of TNT's The Librarians. I also watched ABC's Galavant and Agent Carter, as well as  FOX's Gotham. Plus, I checked out some new Korean dramas: Kill Me, Heal Me; My Heart Twinkle Twinkle, and Shine or Go Crazy. I then checked out the Japanese school drama Gakkou no Kaidan. Overall, a great week for television.

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I Feel: excitedexcited
 
 
Nichole
I managed to do this two weeks in a row. Though no one may notice or care, I'm rather proud of myself. This week I watched the end of two Korean dramas: Birth of a Beauty and Pride and Prejudice.  I also watched episodes of the TNT series The Libarians and two ABC shows: Agent Carter and Galavant. Of course, I also watched the newest episode of the BBC's The Musketeers. Find out what I thought of them after the cut.

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I Feel: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
Nichole
This is just a little something I thought I would try. I'm not sure if I'll do it this way every week - or even if I'll do it every week. However, it is something I'll try and keep up. I'm going to be very busy for the next four months, but I'm going to try and use this place more.

A little warning: I tried not to put spoilers in my thoughts on the shows/episodes, but there may be some. If you are scared, please skip the show.
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I Feel: contentcontent
 
 
Nichole

Looking at 2015 and shows from the States, I don’t think I’ll be watching too many.  At least at once.

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There are some other new shows I’m interested in, but I don’t want to say too much until more details come out about them/they have air dates.

 
 
I Feel: cheerfulcheerful
 
 
Nichole
The last couple of years have been fairly lackluster for me in terms of “Asian dramas”. China and Taiwan haven’t offered that much for me. Korea and Japan are slowly slipping into more and more medical and police dramas. However, 2014 had several dramas I enjoyed. It seems 2015 will be even better.


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As for Thai dramas, I'm really not sure yet.
 
 
I Feel: accomplishedaccomplished