Wednesday, May 20, 2015

9 to 5

Yesterday was my first day at sort of a summer internship. It's pretty informal and very unpaid, but I will be learning from and helping out the director of UCLA's Infant Development Program (IDP) in the psychology department. I was able to get this opportunity through my mom, who supervisors her. IDP has two mixed age classes in two different buildings with a total of 25 different children ages 3 months to 3 years.
First, I followed along on a prospective parent tour. I found it very interesting to see the similarities and differences with the three other preschool centers on university campuses that I have seen.
When we got back, I did a lot of shadowing and some filing.  I was also shown the mailroom and various offices before leaving for my hour and a half lunch break. During my break I just grabbed a salad and fruit from Ackerman and sat outside as I ate and caught up on social media.
My main tasks after lunch were to edit a parent consent letter, create an invitation for the student interns end of the year party as well as make certificates for them. For the invitation, I googled invitation makers and came across this Greetings Island website. For the certificates I downloaded the free version of Publisher Lite to my Mac. I think they both are a step up from the one's used last year.

I've already gotten a great look at what is involved in running the center, such as the process of hiring new teachers and filling open spots, but I can't wait to go back next week to see what else is involved.
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Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring Break 2015


Today is my first day back to class since spring break. I arrived back at my dorm after twelve hours of traveling yesterday afternoon.

During my break, I enjoyed soaking up the sun in So Cal. Initially, I thought I would be so bored since none of my friends had the same break as me, but boy was I wrong. The week went by so fast that I didn't even have enough time to catch up on my TV shows. Today I will be recapping my break starting on Sunday since I arrived home late Saturday night.

{Sunday} On my first full day home, practically all of my extended family on both sides came over in support of my grandfather's passing just a week before. I definitely enjoyed seeing everyone! I ate so much food, including too many desserts to count, played some ping pong, and entertained the little kids for a while. By my grandfather's request, we did not have a funeral, memorial, or celebration of life for him, so it was basically just a gathering, which I didn't mind.

{Monday} My Monday started off with a quick follow up appointment at the doctor's office,  and by quick I mean she saw me for five minutes, but I waited for forty-five. I then couldn't help but head over to Jamba Juice for a cup of Pomegranate Paradise. Later that day I ran on a trail behind my neighborhood to my brother's baseball game at the high school. It was a lot hillier than my normal treadmill runs, but I was determined to work some of the dessert off from the day before. The picture above was my view. Once I made it to the high school, it felt kind of weird being back. Everyone seemed so young. Haha! After the game, my mom and I headed to California Pizza Kitchen a.k.a. CPK in Encino to meet one of her old colleagues, who is now the director of the child care center at LMU to discuss that field. I definitely felt like I learned a lot.

{Tuesday} On this day I drove down to my cousin's high school to see her play in her softball game. Their team needed players, so she stepped in as the starting first baseman having only one year of t-ball experience, if you can even call that experience. Even though the team lost I loved seeing her play! We then went to one of the kids from her church's t-ball game, and let me say they were so adorable! I don't even know if I've seen anything cuter. We then headed to Chipotle and Yogurtland for dinner and dessert. I drove back home after about an hour at their house.

{Wednesday} This day was long. I started my day off by picking up my friend at UCLA and then driving us to Santa Monica to have lunch at Tendergreens. I am obsessed with this little eatery. It is amazing! I opted for the daily special of tuna crunch cakes with an arugula and asparagus side salad. If you have never been you must go ASAP or you'll be missing out. We shopped for a little bit along Third Street Promenade and then I drove her back just to turn around and drive to LMU. My mom's colleague that we met for dinner on Monday night invited me to tour the preschool on campus and sit in her back to back classes where she was having guest speakers from 5:00 to 10:30. Luckily we ended early so I had time to have In N Out at my aunt's apartment before driving home.

{Thursday} On this day I went shopping with my grandmother at the mall to find some business clothes for a couple events I have coming up. I was so happy to find a black long sleeve dress on sale in the B.P. department of Nordstrom and a great black blazer as well as a pencil skirt at ANGL. Of course we also had to take a break and have a yummy lunch at Stone Oven. Once we got back I offered to pick up my brother from baseball practice and ended up waiting in the car for just under an hour before touring to a nice senior living facility for my grandmother.

{Friday} I was so excited to have lunch at the California Chicken Café with my friend who came home early before her spring break officially started the week after mine. She left Thursday night since she did not have any classes on Friday . It was so nice to see her since I didn't think I would. Later that afternoon I went to another one of my brother's baseball games. It was great to see him get an at bat this game and score their only run!

{Saturday} I arranged an interview with the senior catering director at the Four Seasons for a career report I have to do for my recreation, parks, and tourism class. I found learning about her job so interesting, and of course I was soaking up my time at the hotel. She showed me this gorgeous ballroom they have with these windowed french doors all around overlooking a waterfall. I am so appreciative that she took the time out of her Saturday to answer my questions. After, I had to go home do a little homework and pack. One of my friends had just arrived home for her spring break, also the week after mine, so she came over to hang it out for a little while. Then, I headed over to my grandmother's for dinner before heading over to the airport for my 11:15 flight, which ended up being rescheduled earlier. This meant I got reassigned a middle seat for my red eye when I originally had a window seat.

Anyways, I enjoyed my time at home. In just two months I'll be back for the summer. Hopefully I'll get a home cooked meal since I did not get any over break. Have a great spring break if you haven't already!

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Friday, March 6, 2015

B-I-N-G-O


Recently I was invited to join the Penn State chapter of the national Phi Eta Sigma honor's society. Last night, I went my first event with them. We are going to be formally inducted and have our first general meeting after spring break, but they invited their new members to attend some of their activities early. I was supposed to go with them to the basketball game last night, but it got cancelled due to the campus closing because of weather.

At first, I was a bit hesitant to sign up for the event with them since I didn't know anybody and would have to leave my CHAARG small group potluck early. But, I just decided to go for it signing up kind of late. So, the day before, the activities chair texted me saying there wasn't enough room in the cars, and since I was one of the last to sign up, I would probably have to wait to go next time. But then, the next morning, the other activities chair texted me saying a few people dropped out so there was room in the cars for me to go.

Every other week Phi Eta Sigma organizes a service event where members drive over to the retirement home about twenty minutes away to play Bingo with the senior citizens for an hour and a half. It was definitely a new experience for me, but I did end up winning one game. They even had prizes for the winners that included Hershey's bars, gold fish, sandwich cookies, popcorn, M&M's, caramels, etc. I enjoyed seeing what the facility and the residents.

I can't wait to get involved with Phi Eta Sigma more. They are having a formal coming up, intramural sports teams, and academic workshops. After talking to one of the activities chairs last night, I may even run for a position as another activities chair if things pan out. I'm sure it won't be the last time I play BINGO either. Who knew there were so many variations to the game? From four corners to postage stamps to round robin to cover all... do you have any clue what I'm talking about?

How did you spend your Thursday night?? I can't wait for the weekend! Have a good one!
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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

My First Snow Day

Today is a rare day for Penn State. It is the first time in eight years that classes have been cancelled for a full day. It hasn't happened since February 14, 2007 when State College received a foot of snow. The funny thing is that it's not even snowing today. Last night there was freezing rain, which I guess have made the roads and sidewalks unsafe.
Yesterday afternoon all classes and activities were cancelled after 4:00 meaning that the gyms and libraries were shutting down as well. I was already done with my classes at that point, but I was disappointed since I hadn't gotten my full workout in. I was still required to go to work last night since dining services are considered "essential." Walking back to my dorm was so crazy that I just knew there was no way classes would not be cancelled for today. It was basically like walking on an ice skating rink. I had to take baby steps and figured some sort of walking device would help me. Luckily, I made it back to my dorm unscathed. 
Now, you would think that I am just LOVING this snow day, but that is truly not the case. Just being real here. I had to wake up to my alarm to check my e-mail to confirm that indeed my classes were cancelled. It would have been nice if they could have decided this last night, so I could have least gotten to sleep in. At first there was a delay until 10:00, which would not have meant anything to me since my first class did indeed start at 10:00. But, then a little after 9:00, the university announced everything would be closed until 5:00 A.M. tomorrow morning.
Canceling the day meant I had to reschedule a mentor evaluation meeting at the preschool for Friday afternoon, and I'm sure my three professors will soon send out an e-mail giving us work to do later since we missed class. In addition, my plans to go to the last men's basketball game of the season are cancelled. Basically, a snow day for me means staying inside and working on homework all day since it is unsafe to go out and do anything. Apparently, downtown is empty. Above all, I hate that the gym is closed. We are heading into spring break next week when I will not have access to any gyms, so the timing is just great. I guess I am going to try to do the bodyweight workout in my room that I did with my CHAARG small group last week, but we'll see how that goes. I'm just hoping everything will remain back to normal tomorrow.
Do your snow days look more promising than mine? What would you do on your snow day? I had always imagined them more as building snowmen and drinking hot cocoa. 
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Monday, March 2, 2015

The Preschool Diaries {Part 2}

Last week I finished up my five week stint in the infant/toddler classroom for my human development and family studies class, so after spring break I will be heading up to the preschool classroom. I am looking forward to moving up because I think there will be more to do with the older and higher number of children, so I will be sure to update you all on how that goes.
But for now, I will share about my last few weeks in the infant/toddler classroom. It is great now because pretty much all 16 of the kids have warmed up to me. Recently, I had to implement my second lesson plan. This one was harder for me to come up with an idea. I decided to make a PowerPoint presentation for them with pictures of baby and mama animals to identify the names of each. For example, bear & cub or pig & piglet, etc. I thought of the idea after I saw one of the teachers naming the toy plastic animals with one of the kids. Many of the kids seem to have an interest in animals, so I decided to go with it.
I think that all the kids had fun looking at the pictures, but I am not so sure that they retained the names of the baby animals. For your enjoyment, here are some of the pictures I gathered from Google Images:
On another note, I am there for lunch with the kids on Wednesday's. They have their own personal chef for the preschool, so I am always so jealous of their food. Each day they have a main dish, a fruit, a vegetable, and milk or water. From the few lunches that I can remember, meals have included tacos, pasta, cantaloupe, carrots, broccoli, pineapple, honeydew, and pears. I know they also serve breakfast and an afternoon snack as well.
Read about Part 1 of The Preschool Diaries recalling my first weeks in the preschool if you missed it. Did you learn any new baby animal names today?
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