Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How Can We Blog If You Don't Teach Us How?

On Saturday April 13th the ILC held the first two of four tutorial sessions where our new ILCers gathered to learn how their blog sites work, how to use the tools on Blogger and what we’re looking for in their blogs.

We’ve established some formatting protocols that we want our ILCers to follow so their blogs are pleasing to the eye and there’s some conformity to their blogs.

We also show them examples of “good” blogs and examples of “bad” blogs so they can learn from the examples set by previous ILCers on what makes a successful blog and what will put their readers to sleep.

We had seven ILCers and two chaperones in our morning session and then eight ILCers in our afternoon session.

While everyone was prepared to participate in the hands-on sessions where they could post some practice blogs and get some direct instruction on what they were doing right and what they’re doing wrong, it didn’t work out that way.  In fact, it was a big bust.

Unfortunately, since we were using a District computer lab and needed to access the District’s Internet service, we were flummoxed due to some firewalls put in place to ensure that District staff and students don’t accidently go to inappropriate sites.  How they might see our blog sites as inappropriate is beyond me but there were no District staffers available on this Saturday to provide us with access.

Oh well…

As frustrating as this was, it didn’t stop us from proceeding with the numerous other items to be discussed.

We discussed some of the things the ILC expects from our ILCers, we explained about how to behave, rules they need to follow while back east, what to pack, what kind of loaner items will be available for their use, a few laundry tips, instructions on how to take better photos, what to do with those photos and whether Evil Don should come to the homes of our ILCers.

It would have been very easy to allow these barriers to have shut us down but everyone worked very hard to find ways to proceed.  This is the kind of thinking we like to see.

And for the record, the next two tutorials will be at a venue where we will be able to do what the tutorial is set up to do.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Another Saturday, Another Opportunity

It's only been about two months since I was interviewed for the Experimental Physics program at U. Penn. I remember staring into the eyes of each of the four professors. I wasn't frightened, nervous, nor scared; I was anxious, excited, and relaxed (until I was behind the door). I was the last to do an interview, and my name was also the last one announced. It seems to me that that day's sequence of events was fortuitous. When I heard my name announced for the scholarship, I could feel my blood pressure rising and the muscles around my mouth expanding so wide that it could make 3 revolutions around the moon. I felt embarrassed and surprised that I could make a smile that big. Then, it hit me; the friends that I made 3 hours before my interview did not receive the scholarship, and I knew that the next couple of days for them would be of constant disappointment. Realizing that, I felt a peculiar mix of both sadness and satisfaction. Regardless of that, I will continue for it's not anymore a contingency, but an obligation and duty to represent the District. 

The smile's not that big, but you get the idea.

4/13/13 Tutorial Session With Don

Today at 8:00 AM was the time I was supposed to arrive for the tutorial at Hercules High School. I came around at 8:02 AM with my older brother and mother in the room. It was weird walking in because in the beginning Hannah and the other girls were not there since they got lost and went to Hercules Middle School so I was the only girl in the room. Luckily they arrived few minutes later after me. 

Today we learned the do's and the do not's in blogging and how to behave in the summer program. In the tutorial we had a lot of technical problems like the school Internet was blocking Don's fake blog for the tutorial and the scanner was not working to scan our ID's and our medical insurance card so Don's going to do that another time. At least today I figured to do this:
I learned to Photoshop pictures (sort of)! The 3 Amigos say Hi!

A New Voice

Despite my efforts to arrive fifteen minutes early, I arrived at Hercules High School a mere five minutes before 8:00 AM. I immediately saw Elia, Sonya and Jun looking around for room 106. When we found that the room labeled M-106 was dark and empty, we got worried. We felt a bit silly when we realized M stood for middle school and we were in the wrong place. We found the right room shortly after.

After figuring out some technical problems with the district log ins and the computers, we began with some introductions. I got to meet a chaperone who will be going to UPENN with us this summer. Everyone seemed like nice people, just as I expected. 

We went through an informational packet that was very helpful. Even though the computers didn't work completely correctly, I still learned a lot about how to blog. After going through my whole life wanting to regularly blog, I finally have the perfect opportunity to start. I am even more excited about this summer now that this process has officially started! I'm also excited about being able to share my journey through a new voice.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Just a Sample Blog with Foto

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah,

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Hey folks! My name is Mr. Hillyer and I am a social studies teacher from De Anza High School and will be the chaperone for this year. You should be expecting a phone call or email from me soon so we can get to know each other for this upcoming, and exciting trip we will be on this summer. If you have any pressing questions that need immediate attention please contact me through this or my email which is jhillyer@wccusd.net thanks!

Mr. Hillyer