My Learning Project

Leaving my post till the last minute is not just because I am procrastinating and not finding the time. It is because I cannot settle on an idea. I keep coming back to learning how to play guitar. It was something I wanted to tackle eight years ago but after a little attempt I never stuck with it and kept going. When I read Curtis’ blog post he mentioned that he would walk away from this project playing simple guitar that would result in some weak sing-a-long’s around the campfire. Since my singing voice resembles something closer to a dying cat, it made me realize it would likely be very similar on my end. I would learn a few favourite songs and get some understanding but it likely won’t be something I keep at. Once the expectations to document my learning leave, so will my desire to make time to practice. Instead, a text from Durston to fire up the Xbox will pull me away from a simple jam session. Speaking of jam sessions, I won’t be joining or starting a band from this so where will I play the guitar? A little Raffi for my kids? Is it something that I can take to my classroom? I just do not see it happening. So I continued to think.

One thing I am knee deep in right now is renovations. My husband and I bought a house a year ago and have been slowly picking away at projects. Lots has been hired out but some of the landscaping we tackled on our own. Our next project is to change the edging in the front yard and build a couple of raised flower beds. I thought this might be something I could do. However, my experience in this area isn’t new as we already redid the backyard edging and I worked at a landscaping one summer in my college years. Of course I have a lot more I could learn but it just didn’t seem like I would be getting the whole learning experience from the project.

Finally I came to an idea that we weren’t quite ready to tackle. Honestly, it might be a little much right now but it got me excited. Months ago I came across a cool bunk bed that I would love to have in our eldest daughters room. The plan was for my husband to build it for her. He already has a bunch of projects he can tackle so why not let me attempt this one. Check out the pinterest inspiration :

My first plan would be to alter measurements. The wall we want to put it on doesn’t quite work for the information provided by the original post. Once I figured out a game plan, I would then like to attempt a CAD drawing of the plan. This is something I did in high school but my memory fails me so I know I will have to do some research to do this correctly. Will we add the light features? Will we use the shiplap like he has done? Or is there a different/cheaper and easier way to create this look? Once the plan is set, I will begin the build. I might start parts of it in the garage and build it section by section. Or maybe I will follow the video provided and see how it works out. I still need to think a bit more about this and if it really is something I want to tackle.

I know I will have to rely on some others for this project. I have done some construction work in the past but I am far from confident or an expert in this field. I know my husband will be supportive and walk me through the cuts. He is pretty handy and a bit of a perfectionist so this might kill him to hand the reigns over to me! If I end up welding the rails and the ladder together he will be my guide. He is an autobody mechanic that tends to have some pretty nice welds so he will be a great teacher. Next, a good friend and our go to construction guy (that is currently doing a big garage reno for us right now) will be who I talk to about using some of the tools I am unfamiliar with . I will do my research online but will likely need to use some of his tools so he will be a support with that. Finally, a dear friend of mine has tackled quite a few home renovation projects this past year. She has a very knowledgeable instagram account and blog that shares tips and tricks for all the DYIers out there. I will be sure to scroll through her feed to help guide me along in this process. I know I can also count on her if I am really in a jam.

As I type this, I can feel a slight panic settling in. Can I really do this? This seems like a lot to take on. Maybe learning guitar is more manageable? But will it be as rewarding? Will it be something I will continue with after this class is over? I would really be relying on social media and online apps to learn guitar, so maybe that is more applicable? Time for me to decide. What do you think? Is the bed build the project I should pursue? Or dust off the guitar and give it another go.

Social Media: A Love-Hate Relationship

When I think about my history with social media, I always find I am behind the 8-Ball. I am late to catching on to the trends and proceed with caution. I remember when MySpace first came out. I waited a long time to create my profile and when I did, it was mainly to link to my favourite bands. Fast forward to where I am now and I still am fairly basis on social media. I created a Twitter account in my undergrad because we had to. I have only used it recently because of my ED Tech courses with Alec. Even then I barely use it and really do not use it for its full potential. I have Facebook and Instagram for the sake of keeping up with friends and family. I haven’t moved into the more recent approach of sharing personal businesses or using it as a mean of sharing my political or personal views. It took me a long time to cave and get snapchat and now it is probably the app I use the most (even tho it isn’t very cool to do so). I refuse to get Tik Tok for the sole purpose that I already spend too much time on social media. I guess what I am trying to say is, I have the accounts but do I really use the apps to their full potential?

I find they suck me in and I aimlessly cruise through the same news feeds on a regular basis. I post mainly about my family and things we get up to. I often pay attention to the likes and comments and get sucked into that rabbit hole of acceptance. After taking EC&I 830 I changed the way I approached social media. I came to realize I focused so much on the negative side rather than some of the positives it has brought to us. Click on the link if you want to read my blog I wrote about it. In short, social media has helped connect some of our most vulnerable students to others than can relate to their struggles, thoughts and aspirations. It has connected family members across the world and provided them with a glimpse into eachothers lives without being together. It has allowed parents to work from home and make some extra cash while raising a family.

As a teacher, we are able to make connections all over the world. We can use social media as a form of education. A great example is creating a survey just like the one we did on breakfast with Alec last class. Educating our students to understand that social media is often a highlight reel and we can not get caught up in the fact that peoples lives aren’t always what they seem on social media is key. We need to discuss the proper use of social media, the safety we need to consider when interacting on social media and just what is ok to post. Our group looked at the new advancements in social media since 2005. I was shocked to see how much has come out and evolved since then. That was the year I graduated high school and I am so thankful I was able to complete my public schooling before social media really took off. We are so caught up in the digital world, sometimes we forget about where we are right now.

My views on social media have changed throughout this degree. I feel there are a lot more positives to it than I realized. I think we need to educate ourselves on the ways we can use social media and make sure we use it in moderation. I know i try and represent myself honestly and not shy away from posting about the tough days too and not just sharing my highlight reel!