Once in a while there are those days

Once in a while there are those days

Once in a while there are those days
when everything seems wrong
and nothing seems right Continue reading

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Objectives, Dissertation, and a Long Anecdote

In August of 2011 there was an article by the Washington Post entitled, “Scores show students aren’t ready for college: 75% may need remedial classes” which made me pause and reconsider an aspect of my dissertation. The author stated that having taken the ACTs (a standardized test that assesses a high school student’s proficiency in English, math, writing, and science, similar to the SATs), 75% of students had not passed the ACT’s college preparedness benchmarks. The article went on to quote Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who stated, “These ACT results are another sign that states need to raise their academic standards and commit to education reforms that accelerate student achievement.” Former West Virginia governor and President of the Alliance for Excellent Education also chipped in, displeased by the lack of coordination between K-12 and higher education and outraged at the burden on taxpayers for essentially having to pay twice for students learning the same content. The article ended by recognizing the critics who discredit the emphasis in K-12 on standardized testing and providing statistics on racial discrepancies in different states. Continue reading

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How a small company made my day

I recently noticed a small slit on the tip of my favorite stylus, the Cosmonaut, which I use rather religiously with my iPad. Heartbroken, I decided to email the company to see what I could do. The email went like this: Continue reading

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From Flat to Round to Flat Again: What Columbus Day Means to Me and My Education

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. I whispered to myself, as I grabbed my yellow number two pencil and circled the letter next to the answer choice “1492.” The question was, “What year did Christopher Columbus discover America?” This was maybe in fourth or fifth grade at Hubbell Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. Following the multiple-choice test, our class worked in small groups and was told to do a report on the Era of Exploration. Our group decided to create a video reenactment of Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the New World. My older brother graciously served as videographer with the new Hi8 video camera that our technophilic dad had recently purchased. Continue reading

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Akio’s Declaration of Everyday Goals

During the past few months,  I decided to put together a list of my personal goals toward completing my dissertation. Entitled, “10 Things I Need To Do Everyday,” here is my list: Continue reading

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Wedding gifts do not have to be an item from the Bed Bath and Beyond registry.

I have an amazing friend that I met in high school. She is by far the most creative, inspirational, and all around wonderful person I have ever met. I hadn’t spoken to her in a while, but recently, we reconnected.

A few months ago, I received an invitation to her wedding.

I didn’t know what to get her and her fiancee. I wondered what she could actually use; something that she would need. Something both of them could make use of. And then a thought came to me. Continue reading

Climbing and the Art of Instructional Design

My friend Hirooki is an undergrad History major at my school. He is also an avid rock climber. He walks around campus with a hiking backpack with all sorts of climbing gear attached to his bag. One day, I asked him why he carried so much equipment. “I always like to be ready to climb,” he replied.

drawing of man carrying hiking bag

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