Learning Management Systems

When I first started back into college, I was introduced to what was called Canvas. I had no idea what this system was, what it’s purpose was, but I have to say, I am extremely in love with it. 

It’s a website for students and instructors to interact more regularly, share files, and so on. Students can:

  • Use it as an online storage for their files
  • Connect with other students in their class
  • Access reading materials outside of their course books as well as any other links, videos, powerpoint presentations, etc which they might want to review
  • start discussions/mini chat rooms with other students
  • See their grades
  • View upcoming assignments that are due
  • See assignments they missed

These are just a few of the things I have learned so far. 

Since becoming familiar with Canvas, I have realized that other colleges use other similar sites. Some do use Canvas as well, but, like web browsers to email platforms, everyone has their preferences. Here are some other websites which colleges use that are similar to Canvas: 

  1. Blackboard
  2. Moodle
  3. Pearson Ecollege
  4. SAKAI
  5. Lore
  6. MyEdu
  7. Going On

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The Fear

As I have mentioned in entries past, I have been experiencing anxiety in areas of my life. The anxiety is slowly waning, but it is certainly having an affect on my classes. Whereas the anxiety started out in a personal pocket of my life, as that area improves and stabilizes, the knots of fear and worry snake their tendrils into other weaker aspects – such as my Communications class. 

This class has been the source of some anxiety all quarter. I have written about how I’m not fond of the group work, and the length and time of the class is horrendously distracting – never mind the homework reading load as well! 

We have a midterm which is due tomorrow. It’s a test which we can team up with other classmates and work on, and we have had it since last Thursday. It’s not too bad of a test, really. Nothing I can’t handle. However, I didn’t get to it over the weekend, and worked on it a bit on Monday. Our teacher suggested the test would take us at least 5 hours to complete, and I found myself brisking through it in an hour, getting at least half of it done (whether or not everything was correct is an entirely different matter). 

I worked on it some more between classes, as well as worked on research for our group speech which we will presenting on Tuesday. By the time I entered my English Class (which is the class before my Communications class) yesterday, I for once was feeling confident and caught up. I felt as though I could get through this, that I could face my group and say yes! I have done my part!

However, as the end of English neared, I felt that familiar knot in my stomach forming. little jolts of nerves wiggled down my arms and legs to the tips of my fingers. I ignored them, and did so successfully until I was exiting the building and making my way to the next class.

I couldn’t handle it. My breathing started getting shallower, and my feet stopped. They didn’t want to take me into the next building. 

I called my boyfriend and started crying as I talked to him, hoping he would tell me that everything is just fine, there’s no need to panic or worry, that it’s just a class. 

I got off the phone, and took some deep breaths, forcing myself to regain composure. 

The class, of course, was just fine. She answered some questions about the test, gave us some tips and hints on how to go about it, handed back out grades on our first speeches we did (I don’t think she paid very much attention to mine. I got a 100% and she said I did good with eye-contact when I know full well my eyes were rolling around in my head without rhyme or reason other than to stop myself from breaking down and screaming in front of the class), and had us meet with our groups to work on our up-coming speeches. 

The member of our group that has been causing the most anxiety suddenly was nowhere near as intimidating as he was in my head, and in fact, became quite human in that he revealed I was further along than him in my section of responsibility. 

Everything was just fine. There was no reason to be as terrified as I have been. It’s been build-up in my head. 

That’s the thing about anxiety – it is pure fear. It’s stress that has evolved into illogical fear that the brain doesn’t know what to do with, so it just assigns a place for it and makes up a bunch of crap to validate it (obviously, this isn’t always the case, sometimes there is complete just cause for the anxiety/fear). 

I just have to remember this, next time it gets bad again.

Resurrecting the dead

We are exploring the idea of contingency, or the absolute in my English class, concepts brought forth and pushed by _____________ Meillassoux (I can’t remember his first name off the top of my head), a French modern philosopher.
His idea is that the universe and everything which compiles it – every idea, art form, star, atom and so on – is on an ever changing path. This includes laws of nature, physics and man, more specifically the law that states that everything must die at some point. He says that we should prepare for this. He even entertains the idea that the natural law which affirms that once dead, a thing must stay dead.
He speaks of a fourth world, one that is a World of Justice. In this world we can resurrect the dead in some form or another (we haven’t gotten that far yet), and since they have lost life and regained it, they can focus on things of importance: the pain and love of friendship, love and creation (art).
I’m looking forward to writing more on this as I come across it

Fall Quarter 2014

Thanks to my wonderful friend who inspired me to go back to school in the first place, I learned that I could have registered for Fall classes back in June (something she just realized as well). At first I panicked, just like she did, since that just threw the doors wide open for missed opportunities of desired classes. It’s always a rat-race to get the ones you’re after before some one else does.

However, I happened to be near a computer when she told me, and I was able to register there and then for my fall classes – and get all but one that I wanted! (The one I didn’t get wasn’t scheduled for Fall quarter. It’s alright, I’ll get it Winter quarter)

So, beginning September something-or-other, I’ll be doing French I, English 150 – Intro to British literature, and Math 99. I’m really excited for my English class, which was my alternative to the class I couldn’t get, and French. French should be easierer purely because I took three years of it in High school and was good at it. But then again, I was good at math in high school too, and look at me struggle! Either way, I have a passion for linguistics, and French has always been something I gravitate back to. 

The best part is – my latest class is out at 2:30. No more days going from 10am-5!

Grade Update

This quarter is seemingly disasterous. The only class I have any grades in so far is my English Class, and that’s at a B+ becuase I diidnt’ see that a rough draft was due, the one day that I missed. I spoke to my teacher about, and he’s not worried as far as my grade goes. It’s my English teacher that I have such an excellent report with. Granted, the assignments we’ve had to turn in are few and far between, but as the assignments go, the grade will rise. 

Every day in my Communications class is a struggle, as I mentioned before. Though yesterday after my English class I immediately began to feel anxiety at having to go in. It just built and built. I was late to class, and turns out got points docked on the research my groupe was doing for our speech becuase it was due right as class started. The guy that causes me anxiety in our group ended up being there as well, though he wasn’t that bad yesterday. 

The research assignement was the first assignment we actually had to turn in in that class, so my grade is whatever that assignment has been graded at. 

My math class I am still behind on, though I think I’ve gotten to the point where I can mask that I feel behind. We’re getting into chapters that we did last quarter, so it’s giving me some breathing room. Apparently I missed a question on our first test from Monday, and when he handed them back out yesterday he gave me the chance to do that problem so he could ad it to my grade, which was very nice of him. 

I don’t get to see that grade though, he doesnt use the magic online grade-viewer program that my other two teachers use (our college uses Canvas, but I hear of other programs such as Study Blue and the like), so I have’t a clue how I’m doing in that class.

I feel slightly defeated. I feel like I’m trying to claw my way up a steep muddy hill while it’s pouring down rain, and that I’m never going to get to the top where that shining 4.0 stares down at me. It is so important to me that I get that grade. 

 

Beware – It’s not Just Facebook

I came across this article today during a class assignment. 

US military studied how to influence Twitter users in Darpa-funded research

“The activities of users of Twitter and other social media services were recorded and analysed as part of a major project funded by the US military, in a program that covers ground similar to Facebook’s controversial experiment into how to control emotions by manipulating news feeds.

Research funded directly or indirectly by the US Department of Defense’s military research department, known as Darpa, has involved users of some of the internet’s largest destinations, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Kickstarter, for studies of social connections and how messages spread….”

Potential Confrontation

I could just be having a more optimistic day, but I feel like I’m getting my steam back. That’s not to say that at the end of my English class today I’ll be ready and pumped to go to my Communications class, but at least I feel more confident with it, and I also know that a particular member of my group that I keep butting heads with wont be in class today, which makes it less stressful.

I actually didn’t realize how much anxiety dealing with him was causing me. He sent out an email a couple days ago saying he wasn’t going to be in, and sent his portion of the project. I find that he talks down just a little bit to me, and I don’t know if it’s because he doesn’t like me, if it’s because I’m a girl, or maybe he’s just piss-poor at communicating. 

However, being in a group with him has so far caused me some anxiety about the class, and in fact caused me to just miss out on it all together last week because I couldn’t handle the idea of dealing with him. Though, I suppose it’s a good thing that we’re in an communications class. 

I recently have been coming into this situation a lot, actually. There are a lot of people surrounding me that have bigger energy than me, and in my split second of weighing whether or not it’s worth going up against that energy, I decide to be a bendy tree, and just let it all wash over me. Then when I do decide to stand up for myself, I get told I’m out of line, or that I’m being a bitch. Hmm. 

I also can’t organize my ideas when I’m on the spot. I will bring up a point, and whoever I’m bitting heads with will either say that I’ve completely misinterpreted the situation, or that it didn’t happen, or whatever. I allow too much margin for personal error, trying to be real and fair that it could possibly be my own interpretation or memory isn’t entirely accurate. However, since I am such a huge advocate of leading by example, in my naivety, I expect people to see that is what I am doing, and examine themselves for the same trait. It never works out. Then I get trampled all over. 

This guy in my communications class reminds me a lot of those people that trample me, that when I go to him and say, “hey, I feel like you talk down to me and are unwilling to hear our ideas as a group, and I would like our voices to be heard, and for you to watch your dismissive, high and mighty tone,” (obviously, I wouldn’t say it like that) he will turn it around and make it seem like it’s in my head or whatever.

And so, I dread my Communications class. Kind of ironic that I can’t seem to communicate well in that class.