Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blog Assignment #1

About Me

Hello there! Well, obviously my name is Lauren Cunningham and I am taking this class for educational purposes. Thankfully, being a transfer student from Faulkner State Community College, I was able to leave the institution with two Associates degrees: one in Early Childhood Education and the other in Liberal Arts. I do not really know what to do with them at the moment, but it is nice to know that my work paid off for some nice plaque to hang in a future office. I am attending South Alabama to pursue a degree in Secondary Special Education with Collaborative Language Arts. After I graduate from USA I plan on attending Troy University's graduate program for Sign Language. My passion for those with special needs started at an early age: two. My best friend and next-door neighbor of 19 years and counting, Mike, has down syndrome. Mike is about forty years old and still the happiest person I have ever met. He has showed me that is okay to be weird at times, just as long as I am being myself and making myself happy in the process. People with special needs have such beautiful personalities that get overlooked so frequently; mostly, because people become barricaded by their disability and are scared to approach them.

Currently, I am the Satsuma Middle School volleyball coach. It can be challenging at times, but I love it and am so grateful for this position and opportunity. It has provided me with the chance to meet school officials at such an early stage in my educational career. I also just got my substitution license, so I will shortly begin doing that on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On top of being a full time student and two jobs I am also a USS ALABAMA Battleship Crewmate. It as an ambassador program for young college girls to solicit the battleship, Mobile and tourism in Alabama and honor our current soldiers and veterans and those who have fallen in the process. Just within the past six months of this program it has made me so patriotic and thankful for whom and what this country has.

In the midst of my busy days I am still able to find some free time here and there. I love to go kayaking, play disc golf, ride my bike and round up a quick game of volleyball. You can also catch me at antique stores looking for old records (I love to collect them!) or enjoying a good book at the local coffee shops. Music is a huge part of my life. I can barely function in my day without it. The Killers and the Black Keys are my absolute favorite bands to listen to. I just went to a Killers concert this summer. I apologize for random outbursts and reminders about it. I still cannot believe it. Oh, and as sad is it is for me to admit, my favorite TV show is Spongebob... I know, I know, I'm in college.

I come from a small family of four, well, five if you consider my awesome pug, Pugsly (how original, right?). My little sister and I have gotten very close over the last couple of years. She is a senior in high school, so we are pretty close in age as well. My mom and dad both have average jobs: Mom is a business technology teacher and dad is a chemical operator at Chevron. We are a crazy, loud, chaotic, absolutely out-of-control family that loves each other and the Lord. I have recently accepted Him as my Savior and it is the best decision that I have ever made (and the same goes for you, too!). I am surrounded by many loved ones. I have a few people that I consider "best friends": one goes to South, with me! One is at University of Mobile, one at University of Alabama and the other is at Georgetown University in D.C. I am a very blessed girl and couldn't be more thankful for what and who I have in my life.

Well, this is pretty much me in a nutshell. My advice (well, it's actually Mike's advice) to all of you is to just be weird and embrace yourself. You will never find complete happiness until you can learn to do that. I finally did, and I have to admit, that it is all working out for me pretty well so far. I am looking forward to taking this class with you all!

My Thoughts on Randy Pausch's Time Management Video

Something that really stood out to me in his video was the quote he said about half way through: "It doesn't matter how well you polish the underside of the banister".This is very true when you plug it into reality. Why waste your time, effort and money fixing something that will never show? Use your time efficiently and towards something that is useful. I thought him to be a very wise and intelligent man that uses his talents very adequately. This video was useful to me.

My Thoughts on Penn State's Time Management Exercises

After going plundering through theses exercises, I found to be very impressed with myself. Most of the exercises brought to attention by Penn State, I already do on a daily basis. I can be very type A at times, and other times be very type B (I confuse myself). I ALWAYS have my planner with me, no matter where I may venture out to. Also, I have recently learned to get rid of my "time wasters", as Penn State puts it. "Time wasters" can sneak up on me so easily, especially when working with and on my computer. I just erase Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and now, the wonderful world of Netflix, away from my memory for the time being. I reward myself with those things once I complete a task. Although I do several of the things mentioned by Penn State, I still found this helpful in reinforcing what I am already doing.