Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I don't know about where you are, but I woke up this morning to about 4 inches of snow and more coming down! I think we are going to have a white Christmas after all. I was beginning to wonder. I went outside and scraped my driveway enough that I could pull my car in because the mail lady doesn't like to have to try to maneuver around to get to the mailbox, so now I am out of the way. Looks like I finished just in time. I just saw her drive by. :)

I am in the middle of finishing up my final projects. I pretty much finished up a big paper yesterday. I have been trying to get it to come together all semester, and I just could not get it. I worked a lot on it last Friday and I felt good about it. Then Saturday, it just wasn't there. Finally yesterday, I felt like it finally all fit together, so I was happy. I need to finish just a couple of things on it this morning and then I'll make the long trek down to campus so I can print it and submit it. One class down!

I am also finally ready for Christmas. I have just a few more things to do for it, but I am excited now!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I have so many things to be thankful for. I hadn't planned on going home for Thanksgiving, but when Monday came and Lori and not had the baby yet, I just decided I would go. So Tuesday morning I left early and had a good trip home. Thanksgiving was really small with just Mom, Dad, Grandma, Papa, and me. We had a really nice day!

I was also able to make the traditional fruitcake while I was home. I asked Grandma if it was going to be bad if I did it on Wednesday. The traditional day to make it is on Friday after Thanksgiving because you can feed the family leftovers so you have time and energy to make it then. But I knew Dad was going to be off work on Friday, so I made 2 1/2 batches for Grandma and 1 1/2 batches for Mom on Wednesday. It turned out so well!

Every time I talk with Grandma about the recipe for fruitcake, she reminds me of when she was up at the State Fair and the judge was walking around tasting all of the different fruitcake samples. The judge picked up Grandma's and said "Now this is a fruitcake." And it is. The recipe is really good, and when you put as many raisins, dates, and nuts as we put in it, it is very heavy and very yummy. I really do enjoy that family tradition.

On Friday afternoon Grandma Coleen called and had just gotten home from her trip to Colorado Springs, so I was able to go spend some time with her. I have been attempting to crochet a little white baby dress, but I wasn't sure if I was doing it correctly. I took it over and she said it was okay, so I guess I will keep going on it!

Mom came back with me on Saturday and we had a good trip back. We laughed a lot and enjoyed being together (at least I enjoyed it). We got back and enjoyed seeing Lori and Jordan. We were even more excited to see Lori and Jordan at the hospital on Monday with their precious little Mckenzie. She is so sweet and I am excited for them to be able to go home today.

Last night Mom and I were able to go to see Savior of the World up at the Conference Center Theater. It really was amazing! We talked about how cool it would be to do it for a pageant. It was just so awesome.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Video chats

Do you remember sitting down and watching the Jetson's when we were kids and instead of talking on the telephone, they had video discussions? Then they had their little flying machines? I have been playing a lot with video chats and video exchanges in the classes that I'm teaching and I just remember Mrs. Jetson having those types of discussions. I actually just had this recollection this morning because that idea is now a reality. Yesterday Gmail lauched their version of Video Chat and so I've been playing with it. So now we are experiencing the "future" that we looked at as we watched the Jetson's and thought about how "far out" it was. But now it's here.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I always feel excited to go home, but I have to say that just being in Colorado was good, even just being in Denver. I kept hearing people in my group talk about how kind people were in Colorado and how they appreciated their driving, etc. This made me proud to be from Colorado. Just one more reason anyway.

So I just got back on Saturday night from Denver. We drove there on Wednesday morning and had a good trip. I went to the American Evaluation Association conference this year and had a chance to give a couple of presentations while I was there. I stayed at the Comfort Inn Downtown near the 16th Street Mall and we were very comfortable there. One of the highlights of the hotel was the Workout Room. They had really nice equipment and the best thing of all was the cucumber water they had for after you were done. On Thursday I went to the conference and then That afternoon, Jennifer (a colleague from the Russian department that is in my research group) and I presented our evaluation/research project on the Foreign Language housing at BYU. The presentation went really well and people seemed interested in it, so that made us happy. That evening, we went to the business meetings (for the food mostly) but they really did have good refreshments.

Friday morning I went to the plenary session, but it was a little over my head, but that was okay. Right after it, I worked with two other colleagues, Steve and Mike, and we had a roundtable discussion/presentation. This was a good experience because the room was packed with people interested in using blogs and web analytics in evaluation. I felt like we had a lively discussion for the 45 minutes that we had in our time. I felt like everyone there really did have lots to contribute and they are interested in the topic. There were actually a lot more people in our room than I anticipated, so that was exciting. That afternoon we skipped out of the conference because we wanted to do some sight seeing. We really wanted to go to the Mint, but it was closed when we got there. But we did go to the Capitol and walked around a little bit and we also went to the Molly Brown house, so it was fun to find out more about her.

Friday night we walked down to The Cheesecake Factory, probably one of my all-time favorite restaurants. I ate a really yummy chopped vegetable salad because I wanted to make sure I had enough room to eat cheesecake. I ate some key lime cheesecake this time and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Saturday morning we got up and pretty much got packed and then we drove back to Utah and got home around 9. We had a good trip. Every trip to Colorado is good!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy October

I can't believe it is already October. So that means that one month of school has already gone by. I know I said I was going to post more often, but for some reason, the days fly by and it doesn't happen. Here's the update for the month:
My classes are great! Here is what I am learning:

Qualitative Inquiry - We have been talking a lot about how to complete studies that look at more information than just numbers - it really looks at the stories that people have to tell and how that can help us better understand whatever it is we are studying. We are also trying to understand how to better tell the stories we are interested in telling in order to help others as they read the stories we tell.

Learning Theory - We have mostly focused our efforts on studying Behaviorism (mice going through mazes, or Shamu doing a trick and going back for another fish to eat0 and now we have moved into cognitivism (our brain functions like a computer a little bit in that we have short term memory, long term memory, etc.). I decided that these theories are okay, but human agency is often overlooked in the arguments for and against both of these movements. As I looked at the history of both of these theories, I was surprised how linguistics was one of the driving forces in moving from behavioral learning theories to cognitive learning theories.

Project - I am working really hard on the re-design of the class I am teaching. I am working with a professor up in the Teacher Education department and we have been able to come up with some really exciting things. This week the students are on Week 5 and we only have five more lessons to go! I feel like overall, it is going really well.

Fun things - I went up to Salt Lake last weekend for a Utah Association for Bilingual Education conference and I was happy to see the principles that we are teaching our students are really important issues in the field of education, so it validated a lot of the things I have been teaching this semester. I was really glad also to be able to watch the General Relief Society meeting and to hear President Uchtdorf talk about creativity and how important it is in our lives.
Right now, things are really busy, but I feel like they are going well. I have been going with the missionaries to teach a lady called Lilian. On Monday, we had a really powerful discussion with her. I feel like she is almost ready for baptism. She has several questions about the Church, so I am glad we have been able to answer them. We also taught her about the glossary in the back of the Spanish Book of Mormon and how she can use that to enhance her study. I think it has helped her a lot. My Sunbeams are really cute. I have one that just moved in and is new. She is so adorable because she has the cutest red hair and a sweet smile. We also had a our Primary Sacrament Meeting last Sunday and the kids did such a good job. It made me happy. I love the music of primary and the lessons that are being taught to these really small children because they are powerful lessons.

I am excited to watch General Conference and to hear the words of our church leaders as they give us the scoop for the next six months!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Something exciting

Last summer I worked with people in my class to write a paper and then we were able to send it to a journal to publish. It was published early this year. I received an email yesterday that said that our article has been selected to win the 2008 Marlowe Froke Outstanding Publication. This is what they sent us about the award:

2008 Marlowe Froke Outstanding Publication Award

The Association for Continuing Higher Education initiated the Outstanding Publication Award in 2002. The ACHE Board voted to name the award in honor of Marlowe Froke, first editor of The Journal of Continuing Higher Education. This award recognizes the most outstanding published article in The Journal of Continuing Higher Education in a given year. It allows ACHE to honor quality research and/or information relevant to continuing higher education.

The award selection committee initially rated articles on the basis of both content and style. They then selected the article that they thought stimulated the reader to think, provided new ideas, showed innovation, and contributed to the profession.

This year marks the seventh year that the Marlowe Froke Outstanding Publication Award has been given. The 2008 award winners are Jeff E. Hoyt, Scott L. Howell, Lee J. Glines, Cary Johnson, Jonathan S. Spackman, Carrie Thompson, and Chandler Rudd. The title of their article is “Assessing Part-Time Faculty Job Satisfaction in Continuing Higher Education: Implications for the Profession.” It appeared in the Winter 2008 issue of The Journal of Continuing Higher Education.

In selecting this article as the award recipient, the committee noted:

The winning article addresses a critically important topic as continuing higher education as well as higher education in general depend increasingly on the talents and satisfaction of a part-time faculty workforce. The authors conducted a high quality, extensive, and useful literature review on satisfaction of faculty in general and part-time faculty in particular, which alone adds to our knowledge about how to work with and support part-time faculty in our programs. The methods employed were appropriate to the research questions and addressed the research problem at a high level of sophistication. The authors draw extensively from their findings to highlight several important implications for continuing higher education practice.

This was really a surprise and something exciting about some of the fun things I get to do.

Monday, August 25, 2008

New Semester?

Since I've been told that I'm bad for only posting once a semester, I'll try to post a little bit more.

I was able to go to California with Mom and Dad and we had such a fun time. It was great to be with them and to also see Amy's family. It was great fun! We also got to go to Sea World (Shampu, Shampu) and the beach. It was so nice! Thank you Mom and Dad and Amy and David for hosting us there!

Over the weekend I was also able to clean house and do laundry. I guess I need to do my room next. ;) I'll work on it!

Anyway, I'm back at work today trying to finish up everything that needs to be done before school starts. I can't believe it's already time. The summer just flew by!
Love you all!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Life is Good

I just realized that my last post was at the beginning of Spring term and now Spring term has finished and Summer term has begun. I had a really good Spring term with 6 students. I was really impressed by them. I did try to have activities that really involved them and had them share their experiences. It worked really quite well. I had fun with them.

I also started working at the Center for Teaching and Learning here at BYU. I had the opportunity of helping at the ICED Conference (International Consortium for Educational Development). A lot of the conference was about faculty development and training. I did get to go to a couple of sessions, but mostly I was a volunteer so I ran lots of errands, sat at the information table, and that is about all. It turned out really well.

In addition to the Conference, I was assigned to work on a project with the College of Nursing. They are working on their practice labs and want the students to work with real "patients" (mannequins) that have a whole history and story behind them so they can develop better critical thinking. The faculty developed some scripts and then I got to put them in a format where one student would be the assistant and one would be the nurse and then they would switch for a different scenario. With their scenarios, they would practice everything they learned in their classes and the demonstrations.

I spent two days down in the basement of one of the buildings here on campus that is a fully-filled hospital (but no patients). But they have the beds and all of the equipment and materials that you would find in a hospital. I learned so many fun things (i.e. how to give a bed bath and change the sheets with a patient inside the bed, how to wet-dress a wound, how to insert a catheter, how to provide oral care for someone with head trauma). It was really neat to work on the project and now we are almost finished with it.

Yesterday I started taking a class called Applied Creativity. I am really excited about it and am looking forward to unlocking creativity (I just hope there is some inside to unlock). Yesterday we talked about barriers to creativity and now I want to learn how to overcome those barriers.

Anyway, that's the update on me. I love you all!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Beginning a New Semester Is Fun

The last three days I have worked really hard preparing for this new semester. I am teaching a class on Literacy Development for teachers of English Language Learners. I finally solidified everything this morning. I decided I want my students to have something practical when they finish this semester, so I decided their final project (with parts all along the way) is going to be a book project. I want them to pick a book that they could teach to a class of ESL students. After we talk about each of our topics, I want them to create an activity or two that will correspond with their book that they have chosen. Then when they are finished with the semester, they will have a complete book project that they can take into a classroom that they enter. It would also be good if they are able to share, so not only will they walk away with their own, but they will also have one from each of their classmates. I hope they don't hate it! I think it would be really useful, but their viewpoint is often different than mine. I feel a little bit mean because they are going to have a lot to do, but I feel that it will be valuable.

So, I went to my Learning Theory class and I was the only person signed up for the class. I talked to the professor and we decided that it would be best if I just took it in the Fall. I am really pretty excited about it because I will have a break this spring. I have talked to the Center for Teaching and Learning and I will work for them starting on some projects probably next week. I'll probably only work 10 hours per week and then I'll teach my class. It is going to be a great summer!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

End of Semester

The semester has finally finished. I submitted my project and my grades today!!!!! Hooray! I was so excited about my final project (excited that it is finished, that is). It feels s/o good to have it done. You can check it out at this website

It is the last project listed (Units 7-8).

So now it's time to prepare for my first class on Wednesday. I need to work on a new syllabus. Shall I be a mean teacher or shall I be nice? I hope it's a good summer. I only have 8 students signed up for class. Won't that be nice?

Congratulations to Lori! Jordan, good luck on your last final!
And everyone else - Love you all!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sweet Sunbeams

Yesterday I got to church and sat down in my pew and was getting ready for the meeting to begin when my twin Sunbeams came up to me and handed me a rose and said, "This is for being a nice Primary teacher." They were so cute and I just thought the flower was so pretty. It really was the sweetest thing!

I think the kids are getting used to what Primary is all about. They are doing a lot better!

I love you all!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Being grateful

Yesterday and today I attended the Utah chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education (Utah NAME) conference. My friend Ramona was the chair of the conference. This morning they had invited a group of Native Americans to post the colors. They did it to a drum song on a really big drum played by about 8 of them. It was one of the most touching experiences I have had with the posting of the colors. I stood and cried during most of it. Then after they brought the flags down, one of the girls sang The Star-Spangled Banner. Once again, the tears just came. I was so moved by the gratitude I felt in being here and the blessings that I have. I feel that I often take my blessings for granted.

One of the sessions I attended today was about the refugee placement that is going on here in Utah. Utah is one of the sites that receive a lot of refugees. The presenter talked about how so many of these refugees have lived in refugee camps for 30 or 40 years because they escaped horrible conditions in their countries. The refugee camps had very few amenities and many of the people have been malnourished. Now the US has agreed that they can come here and receive protection. Life is very difficult for these refugees because they have lived in fear for so long, and now they have come to a new land and culture where they have so much to learn. Just listening made me feel even more grateful. We have so much and we don't even think about how much we enjoy. Even things as simple as being able to read and having clean drinking water.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

In like a lion

I decided (it wasn't very hard) that March has come in like a lion. Hopefully it actually will go out like a lamb.

This last little bit has been so busy. However, I'm hoping that will change a little bit. Two of the classes that I have been co-teaching have gone out to do a practicum in the schools, so they are not at BYU during the day for the next five weeks. So that means I can hopefully write a paper for our conference in Washington DC (March 28-April 1) and write a proposal for a paper to present at the Evaluation conference in Denver next fall. So it actually won't slow down any, but hopefully I will be able to focus on my writing a little bit.

My classes are going well. I really enjoy all of them. Right now in my programming class, I am learning how to write a quiz. So that is a lot of fun. It has been interesting to me how the concepts I learned when I took programming in BASIC lo these many years ago at Adams State have come back to my memory. It has been amazing. It has just been so long ago.

In my distance education class on Monday we talked about creativity. I was excited to think about the fact that creativity doesn't necessarily mean "artsy" because I'm certainly not that. But really, it is being able to think about things in a new or different way.

I have also been thinking about the power of networking. Some of that networking is virtual, but a lot of it happens in everyday interactions. I listened to a presenter (David Wiley) talk about the benefits of networking and how to go about doing it (to listen to his presentation, go to iptso.wordpress.com) and I realized that the "pick me" syndrome that I have is really a good networking tool because I am able to work with so many people. So being a "pick me" person is not all bad. :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Hair

Yesterday I decided it was time to do something new with my hair. So Lori was home from school and had some time, so we went to Fantastic Sam's and I got a haircut. Then the stylist styled it for me. Wow, was it big when she finished. We went back to my house and "fixed" it so it wasn't quite so big and fluffy. I really like it. Of course, today, I tried to do something similar, but it didn't turn out like I thought it would. Oh well. That's how it usually happens. Que va a hacer?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Proud of Myself

Hehe. I just finished a little programming assignment from one of my classes where I am learning to do web programming. So all I can do are simple little things...but I wanted to post the link to my project page so you can see what I have done. It is exciting what you can do with a few little tags and words and numbers. I got really excited when it actually worked!



Tuesday, January 15, 2008


What a wild semester already! But it's so fun! I love my classes a lot. I am taking a Distance Education class (how to create one). I'm learning a lot about the theories behind it, and how to do it. I'm also taking a computer programming class (how to do web programming) and I'm learning a lot there too. I wish I could pick it up a little more quickly though. I have to think about it.

I am also teaching. I have my Linguistics 230 class, and it is a lot of fun. I have good students and they are working hard. I need to work on my activities to make sure my students are always actively involved. I am enjoying them though. Then I am team-teaching two sections of Foundations of Bilingual Education with a professor from the Teacher Education Department. I am learning a ton from her and I am enjoying what I am learning. It is a great experience.

Today I got to hear President Eyring as the Devotional speaker. He spoke about how the Savior is the Great Deliverer and how He will comfort and guide when we lose loved ones to death, when we are faced with great challenges, and when we need to repent. I love listening to him talk.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thank you EVERYONE!

Thank you everyone who made my birthday special! It was a crazy day, full of meetings and organizing everything, but it was a good day! I couldn't believe how much I actually got done. I wish I had been there when Lori came for lunch. Sorry Lori! :(
Thank you for the nice gifts, for the dinner, the flowers, the books, the money, and all of the nice thoughts. It was a special day! I am so glad to belong to a good family. Thanks for all you do! I love you all!