Thursday, September 18, 2008

Back to the Grind!

School is back in session. I am taking 12.5 units and working 30 hours a week at the college. I have had several AWESOME SI sessions in the first week! It was exciting when last Friday, most of the students day off from school, I opened a session and had 7 students attend. Talk about peer facilitated learning! We were able to use several different procedures to process the Public Speaking information we needed to learn for the first Identity Speech, which is an informative speech. I have only had two sessions where no one showed up. Last semester, my Speech 9 Interpersonal Communication class only had 4 students show up the whole semester. Two showed up for midterms and two more showed up for finals! So this year is promising to be much better!

The students in my Speech 1 Public Speaking class had their first speeches this week and it was quite interesting to hear all the different stories these students shared about who they are and what has influenced them. One student talked about his being in the Army and going to Iraq where he lost 8 of his platoon members within the first month. He also spoke about how those that survived the attack where these men died, came home with missing limbs, eyes gone, minds blown from the trauma. He also said that he is back in college to eventually become a Psychiatrist because he saw many of the wounded veterans being given anti-psychotic, anti-depressant, and pain killers to help them deal with their mental anguish and NOT receive adequate mental health care. I commend him for his service to our country and for his desire to help his fellow soldiers in the future.

Another student spoke about how her parents didn't like how she was growing up here in the U.S. and sent her to their native country the Philippines. She shared how the culture there was so different and how that as she was eating at a McDonald's each day at lunch, she would see the children begging in the streets, willing to eat her left overs. This impacted her greatly and she learned the value of money and how to appreciate everything she had. It also taught her humility and respect for other cultures, adults, and to value her education more. She had a huge picture of herself as her visual aid and it was missing a piece, like a puzzle. As she closed her speech, she said that her parents sending her to the Philippines helped her to find the missing part of who she was. It was quite impressive and powerful.

Other topics included: influence of parents, being the first to graduate from high school in their family, car wrecks, sports culture and coaches, having babies young, music and its' influences, and other topics. I would say 90% of the students did VERY well for their first speech.

Now that the ID speeches are over, it is time to start working with them on their Demonstration speeches and Chapter Seminars. So tomorrow I hope I will have students attend the sessions and we can get going on these new speeches.

OH, and I joined the Speech and Debate team! SCARY! Not really but it is something different for me. I am looking into two different Informative topics and one Persuasive topic. I also plan to do a Oral Interpretation of Prose. So, pray for me to do well. I must attend two tournaments and I want to do well.