Privacy, a couch, and teaching

19 11 2010

Isthisyourname.com says that my name in ASCII binary is 01000001 01101101 01100001 01101110 01100100 01100001 00100000 01011010 01101111 01101111 01101011. Wow, super random.

The reason I happened upon this started in my class this evening. We talked about privacy. About how the Internet and Privacy are almost mutually exclusive.

If you want privacy, disconnect your computer from the Internet and go live here

And while you’re at it, ask the queen how she’s doing. Maybe they’ll bring you breakfast in bed.

People had really interesting stories. They shared a lot. It was awesome. I talked about how once your data is in Google, it’s not really going away, so be careful what you post. Apparently one student thought it would be interesting to Google me (as we’re talking in class) and he said, wow, I found a lot on you. There are even pictures too! (I don’t know what he searched for; maybe Amanda Zook Biola.) So a few people are searching now at this point, and shortly another students says, so we found pictures from Miss Fullerton! haha. Yes, so you now know that your professor was in a beauty pageant and won a crown. Awkward moment.

I’ve definitely googled myself before so I knew what articles they were viewing and talking about but I was curious about how they found them and what search terms they used. When I did the Amanda Zook Biola search, I found the isthisyourname.com site. So very appropriate that one of the random facts they shared about me was that is what my name would be in ASCII binary. They have me nailed?
Yeah, so you have no privacy anymore. Probably especially since I write things on a blog, there’s no hiding.

On another note, I got a couch this weekend (if you weren’t informed by facebook or twitter). I’m super excited. $60 at a garage sale. Ones that I saw in catalogs were $300-$600 for almost the exact same thing. And the guys that I bought it from delivered it to my house too! It meant spending a good amount of time this weekend rearranging things and figuring out which furniture to keep and which to sell/give away (as I’ve collected a lot of free stuff in the past few months, since I knew I would need some furniture for my house)

A few other things made my week. I had one student email me to thank me for assigning them this 6-8 page paper on “The Effects of Technology”. Some background: Last week when I announced it to my Tuesday class, I thought they were going to kill me. I got a “This is a joke, right?” comment from one guy; a “We’re business students; we don’t write papers!” to which I responded “Right! Which is exactly why I’m having you write this paper. I want to stretch you and improve the Crowell School of Business. I don’t want you to be able to skate by. Yes, you probably won’t ever have to turn in a paper to your boss, but you will have to do reports, and you need to be able to think clearly, which is what writing teaches you. I want you to think about how technology effects you socially and spiritually, and if I asked you to sit and think for 5 hours, it wouldn’t happen. If I have you write a paper, that goal will be accomplished.” This paper has been really important to me, and something that I’ve been looking forward to having them do all semester. Before the summer when I began planning this idea was planted in my head. It was something that I added to the class (they’re all wishing they took the class last semester, as I’ve definitely made it harder); something that I knew might kill me — Look kid, you only have to write one 6-8 page paper. I have to read 80 of them! But I knew this was important. It was where faith and technology blend. Where we as Christian individuals can think critically and decide why this is something that we even need to think about. We too often embrace new technology without even considering what the consequences might be. I want them to ponder this.
Anyways, so this student emails me saying that she loved the assignment, had already finished it (about a week after assigning it – 2 weeks early!), and was glad to have the chance to do creative writing and reflection, as it’s not something done very much in the School of Business. The student said “I truly enjoyed it and I very much appreciate you assigning something outside the box. It was thought provoking and applicable.”
Can I brag? That’s pretty sweet. I definitely printed it out and hung it up in my cube 🙂

Another encouraging comment was given tonight after I helped walk them through the labs. Often I don’t want things to seem too slow and boring, so I’d rather have them figure out the labs by themselves and then help as needed. But people have been needing so much help, and I can’t run around and answer the same questions for 40 people at different times. So I walked them through it, and they said it was really helpful. Yay! I think it definitely went a lot smoother, so I’m very glad.

I feel like I’m becoming a better teacher just as time goes on. I’m really getting a better grip on it; being able to connect with students, trying to engage them, make content interesting, do things that are out of the box, and make it real life. Isn’t that what education should be? People think MIS is boring. So let’s make it fun! There are lots of fun things and topics about it.

A good week thus far. One day at a time the Lord continues to pull me through and show me his favor. Over and over again. I’ve seen God bless me so tangibly this semester. Maybe one of the toughest semesters (I’m working like 65 hours a week!), but definitely stretching and seeing God in different ways than I have before.
Hang on for the ride.

Please pray:
Health – haven’t been feeling well (again). I’m back in the cycle of feeling really tired all the time (getting more sleep would help, but it’s the exhaustion tired, not just sleepy), and being hungry all the time, even though I eat lots of food throughout the day, and I’ve been really really careful about eating GF, but it doesn’t seem to be helping!

Roommate – I have a friend who wants to move in, but I need someone else who would share the room with her. I’d really like her to live with me, so we have to find someone!

Excellence at work – the motivation to work hard and accomplish some great things before the end of the year. We have a lot of projects that would be great to complete, but it’s been hard for me to fully focus because I’m just zonked from teaching and not sleeping enough.

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One response

2 12 2010
Kristen Fraser

Ok Amanda… I have to be honest with you; this post brought tears to my eyes. I know it sounds emotional, but I really feel like I got insight into what you are feeling as a new teacher. There are frustrations and things you are learning right along with us. I read what you said about how encouraged you felt when that girl commented on the advantages of the writing the paper. I just wanted to be another student to brighten your day (or night – its 12:55am right now haha). I know you can’t hang it up in your cube because I don’t think this is printable, but I wanted you to know that you have a tremendous heart that really shows through when you teach 🙂 Throughout the semester it is has been apparent that you are desiring to relate with your classes on a personal level and I am all about connecting on a personal level. It makes learning so much more fun. I am sure i just rambling now due to the time. I will end by saying, thank you for taking your time to teach us and know that you will be blessed by your efforts. I realllly hope this makes you smile:)
– Sincerely, Kristen Fraser (Tuesdays 6-8:50)

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