Change: Embrace or Curse?

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I’ve always been a fan of change, so I’m usually not fazed when life throws me a curve ball.  Honestly, I often feel annoyed when people complain about change.  I know I shouldn’t feel this way, because they are simply expressing their sense of loss in the only way they know how.  At least I have the good sense not to say anything about it…most of the time.  I did have a bit of a freak out moment this school year when the complaining and negativity became too much for me to handle.  LOL!  I won’t go into details because it would be rude and come off as complaining…then I would have to get mad at myself.  Besides, I’m not remotely proud of my behavior.  The point is, I usually celebrate change.  Yet, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed right now.

Change in the Scrapbooking World

Scrapbooking Change

Archiver’s is going out of business and will close shop mid-February 2014.

Yesterday, Archiver’s announced that they are closing shop.  This does not directly impact me as I’ve only visited Archiver’s a handful of times over the years while visiting family in Boise, Idaho.  What distresses me is what this says about the entire industry.  For years, people used the excuse that the economy was bad and that’s why people aren’t scrapbooking.  That may have been true, and it may still be true in some areas of the nation, but, for the most part, people have money to spend.  They simply aren’t choosing to spend their time or money preserving their family memories.  That saddens me and makes me wonder why.  Why was scrapbooking so popular for so many years, and now it feel like it is dying a slow death?  I hear so many people say that they used to scrapbook.  What changes?  Why does something that seems so important to me…memory keeping…seem so unimportant to them?  Even the cave dwellers knew how important it was to record their history, so why are so many personal histories being allowed to be lost?  It makes me sad.

Change in My Life

Perhaps the reason why I’m so melancholy about this is because Neal and I are about to embark on some serious change in our lives, and I’m a little nervous.  The good news is that he is finally going to pursue his dreams of writing.  He is very good…check out his blog, Infinispace.  What I find a little funny right now is that some things don’t change…I can not bring myself to write about personal challenges in a public forum.  This is why I’m a terrible Facebook friend!

Change in Education

I do feel comfortable writing about the changes I’m making as a teacher.  I spent 5 hours working on the Web Design framework yesterday while waiting for my car to be tuned up.  Side note–the next time I go to get my car worked on, I’m packing a lunch!  Today, my colleague and I met for another 3 hours to work on it.  I’m choosing to change the entire unit and am going to write the lesson plans for all the Technology Communications teachers to use.  I’m even going to film video lessons that they can share with their students and that the students will be able to access from home.  That is the beauty of being a teacher…as long as I’m teaching the standards, I have the freedom to change how I’m teaching each unit.  My students’ needs dictate how I teach, and they change every year!  Plus, I love having a job where I can be on my feet most of the day.

Change in Routine

Speaking of being on my feet, I’m going to stop writing and go exercise.  For some reason, I fell off the exercise wagon last year.  I’m not going to do that to myself again this year.  Besides, exercise will help me manage stress and deal with life’s inevitable changes.

Leave me a comment and let me know how you deal with change.  Do you roll with it or need time to vent while processing the change?


Transform Photos into Memories

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“Is Facebook making us forget?” Review

Sometimes a photo says it all!

Sometimes a photo says it all!

Earlier this week, I was wasting time on Facebook and happened across the UK article “Is Facebook making us forget? Study shows that taking pictures ruin memories.”  As you might imagine, my interest was piqued, so I stopped aimlessly perusing and read the article.

It briefly recounts a psychological study where university students were asked to either photograph or simply look at art in a museum.  The next day, their memory was tested and it was concluded that “the subjects were less able to recognize the objects they had photographed compared to those they had only looked at.”  Yet, the study also concludes that zooming in on a subject enhances memory since the photographer is focused on the object as opposed to mindlessly snapping away.

I'll always remember the joy I felt as she looked at the scapbook I made her for Christmas...I just wish I had a better photo of that moment.

I’ll always remember the joy I felt as she looked at the scapbook I made her for Christmas…I just wish I had a better photo of that moment.

Clearly, I love photographs.  Yet, I’ve been guilty of seeing an event through the lens of my camera instead of fully experiencing it in the moment.  So, I’ve been trying to be better about handing the camera to someone else.  In fact, I decided to leave my DSLR at home for Christmas and simply snap a few photos for my album with my phone…more on that in a moment.

The final paragraph states that “research has suggested that the sheer volume and lack of organization of digital photos for personal memories discourages many people from accessing and reminiscing about them…In order to remember, we have to access and interact with the photos, rather than just amass them.”  The educator in me started jumping up and down at this point, because teachers know that “learning requires active involvement. Learning happens when students actively process information through writing, talking, and transforming by using a variety of organization strategies” (Duke & Pearson, 2002).  We must get our photos off the camera/phone and transform them into something new.

Transform Photos!

This is why I scrapbook.  I reflect upon the photos I take, organize them either by event or person, and capture my memories through journaling.  I transform the photos and stories into blog posts, digital or paper scrapbook pages, and even home décor.  The time I spend with those photos allows me to relive the event, so I take my time when making layouts.  I love that process.

The day I didn't take the photos...thank goodness for Photoshop!

The day I didn’t take the photos…thank goodness for Photoshop!

So, what happens to me when someone else takes the photos or I leave my camera behind?  In the moment, I may enjoy myself more, such as when my husband took photos during our day trip to Positano, Italy.  Yet, when I later saw the photos, I agonized over the fact that they all had a blue tint. The act of reliving the event through my scrapbook was not nearly as enjoyable.  The same thing happened to me this year at Christmas.  I snapped a few photos with my phone, but the poor quality of the images distresses me and makes me wish I had taken my good camera. 

In 2014, I will strive for a happy medium.  I will take my DSLR to events and capture several photos that I know will make me happy.  I’ll also let other people take photos so that I’m in the story, as well. I’ll experience the moment with my own eyes, but I’ll also let the camera help me capture the moments that I want to remember the most.  When I get home, I’ll organize, reflect, and transform! 

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think about this study. 


June Challenge Update

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CTMH ~ Host a Zippidee workshop this month! Also, create a third 2-page layout for the workshop.
CTE ~ Complete my coursework, gather hours documentation, & submit application!

May Update ~ I qualified for the CTMH Scrapbook Spa Getaway contest! Thanks to all of my fantastic friends and customers who helped me achieve this goal.


YA Novel Reviews

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I finished Spanking Shakespeare last night. I’m very fond of YA lit and am incredibly passionate about Shakespeare, so you know I had to read this book! It is about a high school senior named Shakespeare Shapiro. He hates his name and is certain that his parents’ goal is life is to make him miserable. Each senior is assigned a memoir project for the year, and the novel alternates chapters between his memoir and a first-person narrative that corresponds with each month of the school year. As you might guess from the title, Shakespeare is preoccupied with sex and is determined to finally get a girlfriend. Throughout the year, he grows from a self-proclaimed victim to a young man who realizes that his life hasn’t been as bad as he thought. I really enjoyed this book; it is very funny. According to Wizner’s website, the novel will be made into a film. I checked IMDb which lists it as “in development” with a release date of 2011.

This book had a lot of similarities to Geography Club by Brent Hartinger, which I also read during spring break. Russel is a gay high school student who is trying to hide his true identity from a student body that does not tolerate difference. Like Shakespeare, Russel has two best friends (one male, one female). They both find it difficult to be completely honest with their friends in the beginning. When Russel confides in his friend Min that he is gay, she reveals that she is bisexual and has been in a relationship for several months. They are shocked and wonder how many other gay teens are in their school. They want to start a support group but know they must keep it secret, so they apply for the most boring club possible so that no one else will join them. Both boys mature throughout the novels, but Russel never gains the confidence to come out of the closet. By the end of the novel, the Geography Club turns into a GSA, so there is hope that Russel and the other kids won’t have to continue living a lie.

Although Geography Club has an important message, I think Spanking Shakespeare is more well written. Regardless, I enjoyed them both and will add them to my classroom library.


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