Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Christmas Tree Nature
The majestic Christmas tree!

With the end of this semester, the holiday season begins with festivities, family gatherings, scrumptious food, and hectic shopping. Christmas’ meaning is different with everyone. And a huge question is, what is Christmas all about? 

  • To some, Christmas is a huge get-together with the ones you love. For others, it is a time for giving and being thankful. And, to be kind to those in need. Kids too, love to receive gifts.  Don’t get me wrong, these are all great. But, what is Christmas and why do we celebrate?
  • For me and my family, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Of course we love to do all of the above, but our mentality is different.
  • Some people misunderstand that Christmas means “Christ’s birth”, but in Old English, it was Cristes mæsse, or “Christ mass, which refers to the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, i.e. the Mass. ” It’s been written as a single word since the fourteenth century
  • The word “Christmas” occurs nowhere in the Bible.  The earliest occurrence of the word on record is 1038 A.D. Christians at this time considered the Mass (Lord’s Supper) to be the most important part of the celebration of Christ’s birth, hence it came to be called Christmas.

These verses from the Bible give the awesome story of the Birth of our Savior:

(Luke 1:35) The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.  

The Nativity Story movie scene
A clip from the movie, “The Nativity”…birth of Jesus!

 (Luke 2:7-14) She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”  Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,“Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” 

I love this time of year, as do many others. I wish everyone a very blessed Christmas and a great New Year!!

Collaborating With Awesome People

Tonight, we came together at Bill Mangrum’s house, hanging out and working on our blogs! It has been a fun time and his house is very beautiful and cozy! We were able to relax and help each other on our blogging. Mangrum gave us a website to check out,, a blog site that a bunch of student from all over the nation created. It is really interesting! You should definitely check it out!


It is very nice to be able to do this. It is a very unique way of learning and collaborating. And eating m&ms!

Super fun and I definitely enjoyed it:)

Banana Fever!!

Yep, that ‘s me in a banana suit. Classy!

I’m very sad. I am down in the town of Silver City, NM for a volleyball match, and unable to go to class this morning! Prof. Mangrum wanted everyone to come to class dressed up…I am unable to, but I was able to get a picture of myself in my costume:)

I normally don’t dress up and go trick-or-treating, this is my costume for my volleyball team’s last practice we have next Friday. Yes, in celebration of our last practice, we play volleyball in crazy costumes!! The crazier the costume, the better! But I thought I would show you all anyway:)


Have a great time tonight, and be careful!!

Collaboration of Education!

Why do we have colleges? To obtain knowledge, right? To make steps to earning a degree for a future in this world? Should people even go to college? These are all questions that go through the minds of many people, I’m sure. In class, we talked about the values of each part of a school. Everyone is different when it comes to values, and it is important to not be ignorant of those values.

Each section of a school has their own values.

Animation for my Blog 5
The Four Audiences of Fort Lewis College; the bold letters represent my view point

Administration’s values:

  • money
  • quantification of learning
  • how many scholars they have
  • overseeing that everyone is doing their jobs correctly

Community of Scholars’ values:

  • friends
  • adventure
  • movies
  • relationships
  • education
  • courses
  • assignments
  • readings
  • their degree
  • jobs
  • music
  • food

    SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!! Very important and often taken for granted
  • sleep!
  • GPA

The Program Area values:

  • engagement
  • application
  • connections between different majors
  • doing something with information they were taught

The Professor’s values (specifically Prof. Mangrum’s):

  • initiative
  • personal responsibility for learning
  • self-assessment
  • application

However, each person’s values differ from person to person. Even the students.

In class, Caitlin mentioned, “[there is] conflict with all the values…everyone sees the values a certain way.”

These are what I value at Fort Lewis College:

  • education
  • application of my learning
  • my major
  • studying
  • volleyball
  • friends and family
  • professors who believe in me
  • assignments
  • my GPA
Aren’t all parents guilty of bragging about how smart and awesome their kid is?!

Colleges and universities are businesses. Yes, they are designed to enrich and equip students for the future, but they also need money to support and provide jobs.  For example, churches are businesses. They are here to enrich us and bring us to the LORD. But they are a business too, they need money to continue to thrive and support the staff. The members of the church tithe, and give offerings, which helps run the church and gives the staff salaries. It is essential to support those people who are in the front seat, so that we may benefit as well.

  • It is hard to view things just for the students, or just for the staff, or just for the administration. We need to view it as a collaborative effort to educate people.
  • I am thankful that I am given this opportunity to learn new things and take classes that aren’t specifically tied to my major.
  • It is important to look into the future and see if I will be using my major for a living

Here are some questions that pop up;

  • Are college/universities equipping students with enough skills and tools to go on and get a job?
  • Are they truly interested in our education, or their jobs?
  • Would we have the same shot at getting employed with a high school diploma?
A graph about the difference from a high school diploma and a college degree, from the website,

I have heard from people, including friends and family, that you will have a better chance of getting employed with a college degree than with a high school diploma. I read an article on The Brookings Institution website, about attending college and if it is necessary. Click here to read the article. It is an interesting article about the earnings college graduates have over a high school graduate.

To Conclude,

I believe that going to college is a good thing for me, it may not be for others. I have been enjoying learning and getting closer to graduating with my major. I have been obtaining knowledge, I have been working hard to hopefully earn a degree. Colleges/universities are businesses and are here for us to obtain knowledge and to apply what we learn to our future lives. Without the collaboration of the administration, programs, students, and professors, college wouldn’t work for anyone’s benefit.






Designing Multimodal Texts

Multimodal texts!!

All writing is designed and communication comes in many forms. When you are designing any type of text, you must think of these two things. After reading chapters 2 through 6 of the book, Writer/Designer, I was able to understand the steps to creating multimodal (creating two or more communication modes to make meaning) projects. Here are the chapters and what they’re about:

  • Chapter 1: This chapter introduces the five modes in communication, and explains what they are (the modes are: linguistic, spatial, gestural, visual, and aural)
  • Chapter 2: This chapter gives information on how to analyze multimodal projects, and what modal texts are, and to choose the most effective design choices. Factors to consider when analyzing a text to see if it’s effective–what’s the author’s reason for creating the text? What audience is the author trying to reach? And what place, time, or situation is the text being created?
  • Chapter 3: This chapter is about choosing your genre and pitching your project. Factors to consider–how other authors are presenting certain topics, what design choices they are making, and what genre they are using.
  • Chapter 4: This chapter is gives you, the reader, tips when working with multimodal sources. It is all about research, and the strategies you need to use when collecting sources and using assets (the pieces of content you actually use from the source in your project). This chapter also gives you a brief overview of copyright, and ways to qualify as fair use.
  • Chapter 5: This chapter is about the technology tools you need and the people to help your project. It asks you to consider the different affordances of many technologies and what is the best practices for collaborating in a group.
  • Chapter 6: This chapter is all about designing your project and being organized and prepared. It gives you examples of mock-ups (rough layouts of a screen or page, used mostly for drafting web sites) and storyboards (are sequences of drawings, like a comic book or visual outline that represents the movement) to use when preparing for your project.
image (12)
Reading and applying, a non-stop process!!

These chapters really helped me and gave me ideas for my blogging. I will definitely be using these very helpful tips with my future projects!

Dead Man Walking

To me, that is a freaky title: Dead Man Walking. It makes me think of zombies or something horrific. However, I found out what it was about. For our comp class, our professor wanted us to go to this performance and see what we thought of it. It is called, “Dead Man Walking”. Originally, this is a book written by a nun, Sister Helen Prejean. It is a true story about her experiences:

  • Sister Helen began corresponding in 1982, with a death row inmate at a prison in Louisiana
  • Matthew Poncelet, was the inmate, who was found guilty of murder and rape
  • Sister Helen desperately wanted to help him find the Lord
  • She cared about his feelings and became his “spiritual adviser”
  • She then dedicated her service to abolishing the death penalty, and tried to help many others after Matthew

*If you would like the more details of the story, click here!

image (10)
Here is a picture of the show. It was performed in Jones’ Roshong Recital Hall

I had no idea what the show was going to be like. It was very good, and the acting was amazing, the actors/actresses really made the story come to life. The only props they used were chairs and some scarves, it was very minimal.

It was very intriguing and made you think hard about the death penalty. Some of the cast even said their minds were changed about the death penalty because of this show.

image (11)
During dramatic scenes, the lights would turn down into a fuchsia color…

During the show, I was still confused about the title. Until, during the last part, when a guard is escorting the convict to the death chair, he cries out, “Dead man walking!” It still is a little confusing, but it made sense as to why the title is named that.

It really made you stop and think about the death penalty, and what would you do in other people’s circumstances. What do you think about the death penalty? It is a very tough subject in this country.

I enjoyed this show and hope others did as well 🙂

Arguing Analytically

Arguing is a mess. However, after reading the Toulmin Article about arguing, it made sense as to why we should argue and how to do it. It gives you the steps you need to take in analyzing an argument and then making your own argument. Here are the steps:

  1. Identify the claim
  2. Examine the claim
  3. Identify any exceptions the author makes to his/her claim
  4. Identify and examine the reasons which support the claim
  5. Identify and examine the evidence (is it sufficient, credible, and accurate?)
  6. Anticipate objections
  7. Interpret results into what your formal response is
  8. Make a claim on your own based on your analysis of the argument

This is an example of analyzing an argument based on the Toulmin Method:

An example of analyzing an argument. The “Grounds” is evidence, and the “warrant” is a reason.

Volleyball Talk

What if a person, who didn’t play volleyball, came and watched my practice. Would they understand our volleyball jargon? Probably not. As a team, we have to communicate with each other, in quick precise ways.  If you are curious about our strange language, here are some words to enlighten you:

  • Volleyball has a serve and three contacts:                                                                             pass, set, and hit
  • Serve: When you stand at the end line, toss and hit the ball over the net to the opposing side, like so:
image (6)
That’s me serving the ball in a club volleyball tournament in high school
  • Pass:                                                                                                                            When you receive the ball from the opposing team by extending your arms out from your body with your hands together, like so:
That’s me passing a volleyball in high school
  • Set:  When you deliver the ball quickly to your hitter, like so:
That’s me setting the ball to my teammate in one of our home games this year
  • Hit:  When you jump, and swing your arm and hit the ball with your hand over the net at the opposing team, like so:
That’s me hitting the ball at a club volleyball tournament in high school

Now, we use interesting terms within the world of volleyball. Here are just a few:

  • Six-Pack”–                                                                                                              When a ball is hit (with ultimate force) square into your face…that’s not supposed to happen by the way
  • “Chester”–                                                                                                               Cousin to the  evil six-pack, this happens when you are hit (with amazing force) in the chest with the ball
  • Pancake”–                                                                                              A phenomenal up you make by sliding your hand under the ball before it hits the floor
  • “Scramble”–                                                                                                            When your team makes phenomenal plays within a rally and doesn’t let the ball hit the floor
  • “Campfire”–                                                                                                                 The place in the middle of the opponent’s court that is open to hit or tip the ball into
  • “Dump”–                                                                                                                   When the setter shoves the ball miraculously quick onto the opponent’s side
  • “Wail”–                                                                                                                      When a player annihilates (hits the ball really, really, really hard) without recognition of the placement of the set, whereabouts of the blockers, or that her coach had just told her to tip
  • “Twin Towers”-                                                                                                  Extremely and freakishly, tall girls who block the ball at the net

There are many more terms in this awesome sport, I’ve showed you only a few. All sports have their own jargon, it is all very interesting and funny if you don’t know it. I probably don’t know football, soccer or ping-pong jargon, for example. It does help to understand what some terms are so you don’t sound ignorant.

Although it would be fun to sit in on my practice and learn the language of my people, be careful, you might accidentally get six-packed. 🙂

That’s a six-pack, but that’s not me! 🙂






Say What?!

After reading some essays in the book,  Language, I was motivated by one in particular. Alexander Arguelles writes how he was able to obtain the ability to speak three dozen languages fluently. Whoa.

What that struck me about Arguelles was that:

  1. He tried to speak a new language when he was 11 years old and he couldn’t get it
  2. He learned German in college and set his heart to learning more languages
  3. He learned to speak new languages in his 20’s

For me, it was hard enough to learn English.  And it’s still hard! In high school, I had to take Spanish and it was very difficult for me to grasp the language.  This cartoon hits it on the head with learning a new language:

Yep, that was me in high school!
Meow, the universal language for feed me, pet me, and scoop my litter.

I just converted to speaking cat…just kidding, but I was very close to it!

I realize now, what a gift it is to be able to speak another language. I am motivated to learn. Arguelles mentions that there isn’t a secret to his ability to retain languages. “it’s down to endless hours of concentration-reading, studying, and practicing grammar…” (p. 50)

  • I have family from Brazil, and they all speak Portuguese and English. I envy them! It is such a beautiful language, it flows effortlessly off the tongue.

I am determined to learn another language before I die!!!

Going back to the reading, it was very interesting, it made me have hope that I can do it.  In his essay, Arguelles stated, “although I can see the benefits of a universal language, I do think the loss of so many quirks and colours [of different languages] would leave the world a less intriguing place.” (p. 51)

  • Many people expect other countries to know English, however, we should attempt to learn THEIR language.
  • Não ser uma articulação-chefe, aprender o idioma! (Portuguese for: Don’t be a knuckle-head, learn the language!)

If it doesn’t work out, I’ll start speaking cat. 🙂








Jumping Jacks and Coffee

Students say professors are boring. However, I find that Professor Mangrum is quite the opposite.   He made the whole class get up and do jumping jacks for attendance.  Bizarre, but it worked.  He was able to get us scholars engaged.  For doing so, we were rewarded coffee on Wednesday.

Vital part of everyone’s day: COFFEE.

We were instructed to post our notes of class, so here they are!

  • Pay attention to fundamentals, no excuses
  • Sweat the details
  • Pay attention to form
  • Within our world, there are conventions


  • You have to quit fighting against the conventions
  • You have to agree the the “rules” of the conventions
  • It’s a choice to play the game, but if you choose to go along, you must obey these conventions
  • As you are moved up into conventions, you gain authority by paying your dues
  • Thus, you are awarded the privilege to question the conventions

No ifs, ands, or buts about it!”

  • Alicia Laws quoted, “In theater, you challenge your conventions and possibly change them…it is encouraged to do so.”
  • Many conventions change
  • Problematized- “to make into or regard as a problem requiring a solution.”

Different Conventions:

  • Presidential debates
  • Athletic rules
  • Schooling:  the college level needs more specific comments than what we did in high school
  • Professional:  interdisciplinary, ie. Surgeons (the field advances)
  • Rock climbing

*Styles differ within each convention!

Adalyn Mandeville quoted, “Are all conventions social?”

  • How much of what we do is based on what others have agreed on
  • You practically live off the knowledge of other people
  • Questions should not be construed as resistance
  • Be critically aware of the situation you are in

“[You] can’t change the convention, but you can challenge it ’til you master it.”- Austin Pierpont mentioned in class.

  • Cory Saxon explained in the book he is reading, Lone Survivor, how we are “programmed to survive.”
  • We think by a variety of voices that we have heard…you are having conversations in your head with those voices to make decisions
  • These kinds of conversations [that we are making in class] improve writing, they accomplish something. This is what scholars do…we are learning together! 

Without a doubt, I was fully engaged in class on Monday. Yep, all those jumping jacks helped…however, some of my classmates weren’t thrilled about jumping, their faces were like so:

Seriously? Jumping jacks? Meh.

Despite having to be physically active, we became mentally active. As scholars, we were able to communicate and express our thoughts with each other. Ultimately, we were learning how to convey what we thought of conventions, and describe different instances within each convention. We communicated through visual, verbal, and gestural modes.

We used gestural mode in class, but not in Italian:)

Although we used hand gestures, we never did the international Italian gesture:)


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