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Julie Mazz's blog

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Field Notes Week 2 - PE Rowing Class

As a member of the rowing team here at Bryn Mawr, we're encouraged to enroll in the PE Rowing Class that an instructor, Harriet, offers at the start of the spring semester. We don't officially start our season until the second week of February (per NCAA rules), so the class is a good way to get in shape for the actual season. While many of my classmates are also my teammates, everyone else in the class is entirely new to rowing, so the first few days are spent learning the rowing stroke on the ergometer. 

These notes are from the second class on Tuesday. In this case, I can't really say I'm learning how to row in the class  - hopefully I know how pretty well after eight straight years of it - but instead I'm learning how to observe the instruction and withhold my own critiques for the other students while still leading my team as the captain. 

7:00am - Class starts

- People milling around in the multi-purpose room

- Harriet takes attendance and instructs Joanna, my co-captain, to run everyone through a 10-minute warmup while she quickly runs to her office

- Joanna tells us to do a 3-2-1 warmup, with increasing pressure. Because she's standing next to me, I correct her and say that the new students have no idea what that means, so she clarifies that it's 3 minutes at an easy pressure, then 2 minutes with more pressure, and a final minute with more. 

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Map of Panem

I just wanted to share this map, a projected look at where each Panem district would be based on The Hunger Games. It's a little obsessive/silly, but I thought the geography and history that the designer considered was very smart. (I found it through Entertainment Weekly this summer. Ignore the random picture that doesn't show up)

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Site Visit

Although I'm in a journalism class, the teacher, Mr. A, also has most of the students in his ninth grade English class as well. Today, if the students had already finished their articles, he told them to use a website called, a website that runs grammer drills. To make it more appealing to students, when they sign up for the website they can pick a few of their favorite things, the NFL, country musicians, Modern Family, etc, and it uses those topics in the sentances. There are around 50 different grammar exercises they can work on, and because they sign up through a class code, Mr. A can check and see how they did on each exercise, plus how many attempts they made to get the correct answer. 

Mr. A explained that he really liked this program, even if the favorite things aspect is a little silly. He likes that it cuts down on paper use, it instantly grades their responses, and students can work on it whenever they have downtime. 

This is the first time I've seen them use this program, so I'm curious as to how much they learn from it, and whether Mr. A will address the students that make multiple attempts to figure out the right answer. Overall though, it seems pretty effective and perhaps this version of gaming appeals to some of the students. 

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Field Notes


At school X, the teachers rarely have printer paper, so instead of printing out essays for their teachers, the students email them or add them to Google Docs. This is also because most of the students can't afford printer ink at home. There were a few teachers who would force their students to print their work, so they would run over to my teacher's classroom, or the classroom of another teacher and ask to print their work there so they wouldn't get in trouble. Recently, the administration made a rule that you have to be able to email your work instead of printing it. 

So what?

Forcing the students to print out their work when a printer isn't easily accessible is not promoting equality at school. While some students may have a printer at home, this leaves out the students who can't afford one. Additionally, for my teacher and the others that help out the students who are forced to print end up with a smaller supply of paper. My teacher said that when he hears there's been a paper delivery he hunts it down in the school to claim some for himself. 

Now what? 

Hopefully the new rule will stop those teachers from forcing the kids to print their work. Additionally, it's just better for the environment. To tie this in with my journalism class, the students received their first article assignment, and some students are covering the new rule for the newspaper!

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Google Glasses

I tweeted about this, but I also wanted to post the link on here. Diane Von Furstenberg (the designer) taped her runway show using Google Glasses. She, along with some of her collaborators and models wore the glasses and it was edited in to a video. Watch it here:

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