Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New at your Apple Store

I was investigating some new hardware and software at the nearest Apple store the other day, and took some pictures of their newest products.
First up is the new Apple TV.  The remote sitting next to it is about 4 inches long, so you really get a sense of how tiny this thing is.  Basically it's the perfect device for someone who's fully tuned-in to the iTunes lifestyle.  If you have movies, music, and photos on your computer, or want an easy way to rent movies and tv shows from the iTunes store (as well as Netflix and Youtube integration), then this thing would be perfect for your living room at $99.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Landline

I just finished hooking up my new landline/speakerphone.  The v-techLS6245 is a great expandable telephone system that lets me connect and dial/answer my cell phone via bluetooth.  This means I have a robust speakerphone (much louder) on my desk at all times, and I can hold the handset instead of my cellphone (which gets spotty reception in most of my bedroom).

It looks really snazzy; the entire thing is touch sensitive (like my iPhone) so while I can't exactly dial without looking (sort of...) it fits in perfectly with my room's decor (seen in front of my speaker and monitor).  

Friday, October 15, 2010

First Step for my Credential

Last Weekend's Project

We used to have these terribly huge bushes on one end of our house.  They were in the way from everything, and the pathway to our side alleyway was just a patch of dirt.  When we move out trashcans out onto the street, they have to come through the garage because the bushes blocked the pathway.  A few weeks ago my mom and dad decided they didn't want those bushes anymore, so we had them cut down.  Ultimately, what happened was that my dad decided to undertake the project of pouring concrete down and connecting our side alley to the driveway.  What does over a thousand pounds of concrete and around 14 hours of work net you? See below.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

iPad Case Comparisons

When I bought my iPad in April, I loved how it felt in my hands.  The aluminum and metal was a beautiful respite from the plasticky iPhone 3G I was using at the time.  Fast forward a few days after that, and I started to become terrified that I might mess up that wonderful aluminum shell.  So I bought Apple's ridiculously overpriced case (top left).

After putting my iPad inside that case, what I discovered was that, while well protected, my iPad now felt cheap and the edges of the case bothered my hands.  Read on to see my other solutions.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I have a love/hate relationship with white boards.  I love the convenience of being able to write on the walls.  I love that I can just think out loud and write it down and not worry if I make a mistake because it erases (relatively) easily.  I also love how much space there is on a good sized white board.

I hate how fast the markers dry up.  I hate how they don't erase completely.  I hate when someone else uses the board and doesn't clean it up afterward.  I hate when marker tips get smashed in and I can't use them anymore.
The solution? Today I bought my own set of markers that are supposed to last longer (we'll see) and that only I get to use.  I like having control over what goes on in my classroom, and I don't want to deal with the frustration of having seventy markers that don't write well (that's what it felt like last night).

Sunday, October 3, 2010

SuperBad Bag

Two weeks ago I ordered a new backpack when I realized that my go-to-gear-bag, my Chrome Mini Metro messenger bag was just a bit too mini for my needs.  That bag is still a phenomenal object of holding, but I needed something a bit bigger.

Enter the Timbuk2 SuperBad.

Friday, October 1, 2010

First week of school

For me, this week marked the beginning of my master's program at National University.  I'm working toward a master's in education and a single subject teaching credential for mathematics.  My program is designed to be fast paced and pretty intense; I finish a course every 4 weeks.  This first class, TED 601 is based around the teaching and credentialing standards for California.  Mostly it involves reading a lot of the different documents that describe what is required of every teacher and strategies to be an effective educator at the most basic level.  As the course and program advances, I'll be focusing on different aspects from some developmental psychology to lesson planning, etc.

The online format is a little bit new to me, but I'm not having trouble keeping myself disciplined and making myself work on things yet.  Hopefully I'll keep that up (since I pretty much have to).

This morning I have a meeting with my 7th grade math teacher to discuss some observations that I'll be doing in his classroom over the next couple of weeks.  It's a little odd to be going back to my Jr. High School, but I'm really looking forward to it.

Everything else this week has gone very well; I subbed for another teacher at work yesterday, so overall I was teaching for 6 hours rather than my usual 4.  I really do enjoy working with a variety of students, and didn't have any trouble in front of a completely new group of kids.  I'm enjoying what I do and am fairly confident this is actually what I'll be happy doing for a good amount of time.