Monday, September 13, 2010

Starting the New School Year

I love my job.

That's not always something that you hear often enough. All too often, its the complaining about the job you end up hearing about. Now, I have plenty that I could complain about (and probably will at some point), and I know that Kath has reason to complain about my job a bit (way too many nights and weekends, and sometimes out of town conferences), but overall I love my job.

I work with low-to-middle income students who will be in the first generation of their families to go on to college. I work with these students, giving them the tools, tricks, support, and skills they need to get through high school and into some form of further education.

Over the course of two weeks, I go to ten different schools and visit with my students during their study halls or over lunch. Three of the schools I go to are alternative schools, so their schedule is a lot more flexible, and I see them when I can. Over the school year, I'll go out and see each school 13 times.

These contact times are among my favorite parts of the year. I love it when the students come in, sit down, and talk with me. The subjects range from academics to movies to extracurriculars to (and I still cringe when these start up) the cute boy my student is interested in.

For the academics, we'll go over the various notetaking methods, talk about organization and time management (which, for any of those who remember me from high school and college, is terribly ironic), and learning styles. We'll do career research and college search. Scholarship searches are also very big.

I do enjoy the personal development part of the program. We go over the Seven Habits with our students, and they work on goalsetting and a personal Mission Statement to help them focus in on their dreams and goals.

In some very real ways, that is what we do at Upward Bound. We are the Dreamweavers. We help our students see that the world does not center around Northeastern Iowa. There is a much larger world out there. Dream big; go for it.

Spread your wings and go someplace.

Many of our students go out and come back, and I think that's great. I personally am living in a town very much like my hometown, and I've discovered over the last number of years that this area really is part of the ancestral homeland. My grandfathers were born less than an hour (in opposite directions, from here, and my parents were both born less than an hour from here as well. I may have been brought up a Cheesehead, but the roots are Iowan. (As a Cheesehead, I still find that a little embarrassing, but I'm getting over it).

Okay, enough babbling. I'll post again soon.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Life Update

Yes, another year and a half has gone by. I'll do a quick catch up.

The Lord of the Castle Zierath:

A. Still working with the Luther College Upward Bound program, now as Assistant Director. Still enjoying my work with my students; they keep me on my toes. More posts about the program and the happenings are coming.

B. Still working on all my Castle Zierath materials. Trying to finish editing Book 1, now called 'Zierath: Lord of the Alliance.' Having troubles letting it out of my hands. I do have a cover for the book. Now I just have to get it out of my hands. I am also working on a '' page. Have it paid for; just have to do it. more individual posts coming about this.

C. Still enrolled at the Art Institute Online. Enjoying it, but it is taking a lot of time and work. I need to become more serious about it again. I have not been happy with my performance in my most recent two classes. More posts coming about this.

D. Still playing City of Heroes. Been enjoying the last update. More posts coming about this, too.

E. Still being a good husband. The Lady of Castle Zierath is currently enrolled at NICC to get her Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Development. She is going to be done in December. She has really enjoyed working with the younger children. I'll be sharing some posts about her here, too.

F. Still being a daddy to a very independent almost three-year-old. I think I'm doing a good job. We're dealing with all those three-year-old issues. You know more posts are going to come about this.

G. Overall, life is good.

More updates to come. On a much more regular basis.