Sunday, March 31, 2013

Project #14 SMARTboard

Blog Post #10

I'm a Papermate. I'm a Ticonderoga.

I'm a Papermate. I cost less, but break all the time. I'm a Ticonderoga. I'm the most expensive purchase a hipster will ever make.

This week, we were asked to take a look at the above comic by John T. Spencer. The comic was posted to his blog Adventures in Pencil Integration. This comic is a parody of all those PC vs. Mac commercials you see on television. For any of you reading that might be having a lapse in memory like I did, Papermate and Ticonderoga are both companies that make pencils. In the comic, Spencer is comparing Papermate to PCs and Ticonderogas to Macs. Papermates are more affordable but they "break" often, according to the comic. Ticonderogas are more expensive but are supposedly of better quality. I personally used a lot of Papermate brand pencils in my time in school, and I never had any trouble, but again, this comic is a parody. So to each his own I suppose!

Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?

We were also assigned to read Spencer's post Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?. I've got to admit that I didn't catch on to the point of the post until about half way in when I read the line "Do you remember what I said after the Hang Man Fiasco of 1895?". In the post, a teacher named Tom is called to the principal's office and scolded about playing a game with his students. Tom tries to explain to the principal that the game he was playing was teaching his students an important lesson, and that his students were engaged in the activity. However, the principal refuses to listen and shows more concern for the students making high scores on the "rote memorization test". The principal tells Tom that if he wants to "abandon slate-based learning" that Tom needs to at least try some worksheets or algorithm packets.

From what I can tell, Spencer's post is a parody of technology integration in our schools, as well as commentary on how it seems like a lot of school administrations are still focused more on test scores than actually teaching their students what they need to know. As Dr. Strange puts it, so many schools these days are still relying on "burp back" education. There are also too many schools who still haven't made any progress in integrating technology into the classroom. People are so afraid of change that they'll work hard to resist it, even if said change is actually a good thing and would make things much better! Because of this, many teachers who try to advocate for change and more technology integration are met with disagreement, and we need to fix this. Yes, it's hard to change from something you've been doing the same way for decades or even centuries, but it's time for a change, and technology can do wonders for us and our students.

Another brilliant post I read from Spencer's blog was 10 Points on Pencils. The post basically addresses the issues many teachers and administrations have with the integration of technology into classrooms. Except for his post, Spencer replaces modern technology like tablets and cell phones and computers with paper and pencils. It's quite humorous but also very witty. I love his use of sarcasm and how he talks about using paper and pencil. It really sounds like he's a teacher from the early 1900s advocating for change to move away from slate and chalk to paper and pencil.

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

Our other assignment for this week was to read Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please? by Dr. Scott McLeod. Dr. McLeod is an associate professor at the University of Kentucky and the founding director of UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE). The post is a poem written by Dr. McLeod. The poem uses heavy sarcasm, telling teachers, parents, and administrators to not teach their kids and students about technology. In the poem he sarcastically points out that technology is "evil" and only teaches kids how to cheat. Basically, he mocks the idea that children only use technology in bad ways, like for watching porn and for cyberbullying. At the end of the poem there's a break in the sarcasm, and he snidely point out that he will teach his students about technology and that they'll be way ahead of the game in the future, compared to the students and kids whose parents and teachers refused to teach them how to use technology.

I think his post was absolutely brilliant. I can really appreciate someone who uses sarcasm productively and efficiently, and Dr. McLeod accomplishes both of these things in his post. I agree that schools are so quick to demonize technology and assume the worst in kids when it comes to using technology. Yes, bad things on the internet do exist, but we can't just automatically assume that our students will use technology irresponsibly. If we don't give them a chance to be responsible, they'll never learn to be responsible! We have to allow our children and students to exercise responsibility. We have to be able to trust them. Yes, they're going to make mistakes. We all make mistakes. It's part of human nature, but we learn from our mistakes, and that's exactly what our students will do. They'll also learn from their successes. But first, we have to learn to let go and let our students fly because if we don't, we'll only hold them back.

Project #11 Short Movie

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Project #12 Book Trailer

Blog Post #9

Mr. McClung's World

At The Teacher's Desk: Part 1

This week, we were assigned to read two blog posts by Joe McClung. The first post I read was What I Learned This Year (2010-11). McClung first talks about how important it is that, as teachers, we stay focused on what's best for our students, not necessarily what will please our administrators. He says we initially became teachers to help kids, and that "our decision making process should always be student centered and not centered around pleasing adults". Another point he makes is that you can't expect everyone to be as excited about teaching and change as you are. Not everyone in the teaching profession is going to be as excited and open to change as you might be. However, you shouldn't let those people stop you from being excited. Don't let their attitudes towards change stifle your own eagerness and excitement.

Another point McClung makes is that you shouldn't be afraid to be an outsider. He explains that he enjoys hanging around with his students more than his colleges, and he is aware how that might make him an outsider. But he loves being so connected with his students, so he doesn't really worry about how others perceive him. McClung also points out that it is important to "never touch the keyboard" when you're teaching students. In other words, don't be so eager to take over whatever task you're teaching a student. A student isn't going to learn anything if you do the work for them. Yes, your students are going to struggle while they learn to master whatever skill you're teaching them, but they won't ever really master that skill if you're constantly stepping in and doing the work for them. The last point, McClung makes is we as teachers shouldn't allow ourselves to get too comfortable. While routines can be nice and help us feel comfortable and secure, we need to try new things to keep us from developing routines. Once you get into a routine, he explains, you can become stagnant and stop moving forward. And when we develop an attitude like that, it can be hard for even our students to get motivated. Therefore, we must "be willing to exceed the demands of the traditional 8-3 teaching format", for both our own benefit and for the benefit of our students.

This was a really great post. I agree with all of the points he made. I think it is really important that we focus on what's best for our students. If we concern ourselves too much over pleasing the people who are above us, we risk losing sight of what is really important to us and why we got into the profession in the first place: our students. Something I've learned through my time here in EDM310 is that, unfortunately, not everyone in this course takes their work seriously, and not everyone cares about learning about this new technology we're learning about. The same goes for our teaching careers. Not everyone will be excited about change, and that's something we have to realize. Even so, we can't allow them to influence our own thoughts and feelings about change. We have to keep our fires lit and use that fire to spark the fires of our students. I also agree that it's super important for teachers to stay connected with their students, even if it makes them look odd to their fellow teachers. After all, we're in this for our students, to help them be the best they can be. And we can better help them if we keep connected with them, whether that be through social media or just being around them during lunch or breaks or for hang-outs in the classroom after school.

At The Teacher's Desk: Part 2

The second post I read was What I Learned This Year-Volume 4. In this post, McClung first talks about how he didn't learn as much that year as he had in previous years. But he did learn two important things. The first thing he learned was that he needed to remember who he really worked for and not to worry about how his peers perceived him. He explains that he became wrapped up in concerning himself with how his colleges perceived him as an educator, which is something he never really concerned himself with in previous years. He says that after realizing this, he reminded himself that his main concern as a teacher was making sure his students were taken care of and were having fun. The second important thing he learned was that you must always challenge yourself. He tells us how he noticed himself becoming too routine in his teaching. He admits that he began depending on old lesson plans, and as a result, he began to lose his creativity. However, he was presented with the opportunity to teach a different subject, and even though it will require a lot of work from him, it will be worth it.

I love how this post tied in with his last "What I Learned This Year". He restated in this post that he needs to stop getting so concerned with how his coworkers view him as an educator and focus more on his students. As teachers, it is our job to focus on our students and make sure we are helping them reach their full potential, and we can't do that if we're too worried about what other adults think of us. Again, he also reiterates that you must not allow yourself to become stagnant in your teaching. If you allow yourself to get into a routine, you run the risk of being apathetic to change, which is dangerous. So, in our careers as teachers, it's important to keep that excitement alive and always look for something new to try!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Blog Post #8

This Is How We Dream

Change ahead One of our assignments this week was to watch This is How We Dream: Part 1 and Part 2 by Richard Miller. In his videos, Miller talks about how we are living in an age of change. Printed materials are becoming a thing of the past, while it is becoming more popular and more practical to read articles, books, and papers online and through computer screens. Miller explains that "this is the time to be engaged in the work of literacy." Miller also makes a point how we are able to go online and get real time updates on news stories and other things. He uses the presidential election of 2008 as an example, saying that, at the time, you could go online to a major news station's website and get immediate updates on which candidates were getting the votes in various counties and states. He also explains that by having academic material posted online, that material can live on for much longer than printed materials can, and you can also share online documents "infinitely", as he put it.

Miller continues on to explain that another incremental change is that through the internet, we are able to collaborate with other people using networking technology to create projects and write articles. Miller stresses that "ideas don't belong to us individually, but they belong to us as a culture." He gives iTunes U as an example of this. People can find lectures and information on all kinds of different subjects through iTunes U. However, Miller explains that iTunes U can be used to make wonderful compositions, but a lot of the lectures people are downloading haven't gone through any post-production work at all, and that's disappointing. The internet allows us to share and distribute ideas instantly, and it holds so much potential for academics, but for some reason, our culture isn't fully embracing it yet.

One of Miller's most important quotes in the video is, "We as educators must be in the business of sharing ideas freely." As a future teacher, I must be prepared to be able to write and share ideas using multimedia, and I will be expected to teach my students how to do this, as well. At the moment, no, I not yet fully prepared to write using multimedia, but that's what EDM310 is helping me learn to do. By the end of this course, I will know so much more about multimedia and education technology than I knew before taking this course, and I will be better qualified to teach it to my own students. With the speed technology is advancing now, it's possible that even when I do become a teacher, my students will know more about the current technology and how to use multimedia than I will. But as I've stressed before in my blog posts, it is my job to keep myself up to date and well informed on new technology so I can teach my students to the best of my ability.

Carly Pugh's Blog Post #12

A past student of EDM310 named Carly Pugh was assigned to create an assignment that Dr. Strange would deem worthy enough of being used for future EDM310 students. In her post, simply titled Blog Post #12, Carly describes that her assignment would be for everyone to create a YouTube playlist containing videos that reflect your views and philosophies as a future teacher. She gives a more detailed list of the types of videos she wants included in the playlists as well as guidelines for how many videos need to be included in the playlist and how many of the listed topics should be included. She then asks students to explain why they chose their videos and how they reflect their teaching philosophy. Carly even did this assignment herself, and you can see her playlist here.

Carly goes on to talk about some of the videos she included in her playlist, such as this one. I think Carly's suggested assignment comes pretty close to what Richard Miller talked about. Carly encourages students to use multimedia (in this case, YouTube) to describe their teaching philosophies and explain some of the things they have learned from EDM310. She encourages students to essentially use multimedia to share their ideas and beliefs, which is exactly what Miller hopes our future educators and other people will do.

EDM310 Is Different

Dr. Strange has made sure to explain to us that EDM310 is different from other classes we have taken. He told us to watch two videos at the beginning of the course. The first video, The Chipper Series narrates the story of a girl named Chipper who is taking EDM310, but she procrastinates all the time and eventually drops out of school. She doesn't get anywhere with her life, and after many failures, she has a change of heart and decides to go back to school and do better this time. The second video is EDM310 for Dummies. The video is a "commercial" advertising the book EDM310 for Dummies, and how the book will help you improve your knowledge and performance in EDM310.

If I were to create videos, I would definitely make a video telling people not to stress out too much over EDM310. I would explain that even though EDM310 is a lot of work, it's extremely helpful and it will really help you out in the long run. I remember at the beginning of the course, I was terrified of this class because Dr. Strange told us we would have to spend 9 hours per week on the material. But once I began the work, I realized it wasn't as bad as I feared it would be, and I've learned so much already. I'd also make some video tutorials on how to use Blogger and Twitter.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

The video Learn to Change, Change to Learn really makes a great point about our lack of technology in schools. Students typically aren't allowed to bring cell phones or tablets or even iPods to school, yet these are all wonderful tools that can aid our education! These are all tools that encourage creativity, and yet they're not allowed in schools, and students sometimes even get punished for bringing or using them. Instead of churning out SATs and other standardized tests for students to take, we should let their creativity flow. When these students get out in the real world and get jobs, they won't be approaching their jobs like they approach standardized testing. Their jobs will require creativity!

We don't need to focus on teaching kids to remember information and facts. We need to teach kids to find information, do research, and use that information to collaborate with others and solve problems. We need to create schools that teach children to embrace their creativity and to care about things, like their culture. The quote that really stood out to me was, "it's the death of education, but it's the dawn of learning." It's definitely time for a revolution in our education system, and we can start by teaching kids how to learn.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0

For this part of the assignment, we first watched the video Web 2.0 Intro, which gave us some insight into what we were about to do. After watching the video, our scavenger hunt began!

The first thing I found was a website that's similar to Twitter and Facebook. It's a website called Edmodo, and it provides a social platform for teachers. On the website, you can set up a classroom for your students, and you can post notes, alerts, assignments, quizzes, and even polls! The interface looks really similar to facebook, so it's easy to learn how to navigate, and since it looks like facebook, it would be much more appealing to students. I could use Edmodo to update my students on when assignments are due, and I can use it to post assignments and quizzes. I could even create a poll to find out how well my students are progressing and gain feedback on their opinions of the material being covered.

The second tool I found was the website Make Beliefs Comix, which allows you to make your own comic strips! Here's a comic I made!

Video Game Comic

The third tool I found is a website to create polls, called Poll Everywhere. I could definitely use this site in my classroom for my students to give feedback on the material being covered. Here's a poll I created with it:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

C4T #2

Learning Out Loud

For my second C4T, I was assigned to read two posts from Jennifer Brokofsky's blog Learning Out Loud. The first post I read was Program Evaluation: Pre-K-Grade 5 Math Learning Community. Her post was about an assignment she had to do for one of her classes, EDCUR 809. For her assignment, she designs a possible plan for the evaluation of a program. The program she chose to design an evaluation for is the Pre-K through Grade 5 Mathematics Learning Community. She lays out 5 important steps for the evaluation and explains them in greater detail. The first step in her evaluation plan is to engage the important stakeholders, such as teachers, the consultant team, and students. The second step is to focus the evaluation. She describes that the evaluation would focus on assessing teacher and student outcomes in the Math Learning Community over a short, medium, and long-term basis. The third step is to collect the information from reflections, observations, and products, including surveys, photos and videos, and written testimonials. The fourth step is to analyze and interpret the data. The data will show whether or not the program is effective in increasing student learning and success in mathematics. The fifth and final step is to use the information to make decisions around professional development in mathematics.

In my comment, I introduced myself and explained to her that I would be writing this C4T summary. I told her I thought her plan for an evaluation sounds great. I said I can really relate to her post because I'm going to be a math teacher, and I explained that it's great that she included students in the process of collecting data and feedback, since students are the ones who will be directly affected by teaching methods. I also said that conducting such an evaluation will help teachers share their successful teaching methods and ideas amongst each other.

The second post I read and commented on was Where We Are and Where To Go Next: Creating a Survey. In this post, she explains that she was assigned to create a survey for her EDCUR 809 class. Again, she created the survey for use by the Pre-K through Grade 5 Mathematics Learning Community. The purpose of the survey is to "assess the degree to which the math learning community members have reached the medium term outcomes." She goes on to describe exactly what those outcomes are, then she explains that she wanted to consider Guskey's five levels of professional development in order to strengthen her survey. She then links us to the initial survey she created, which you can see here. Then she links us to the revised version, which she created after sharing it with her colleagues and obtained feedback on it.

In my comment, I said that I saw definite improvement in the revised version of the survey from the initial version. The revised version asked much more in-depth questions and contained more open-ended questions that should give some very helpful information. I wished her luck on conducting the survey and reminded her that I would be posting a summary of her posts to my blog.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Project #9 PLN Progress Report

My symbaloo set up

In order to keep track of all my resources for my PLN I decided to use Symbaloo. It's a website that allows you to "bookmark" resources in a neat and organized tile format, as seen above. You can color code tiles and organize them in any way you like. So far, I've made connections with people through Twitter and Pinterest, and I've been connected to other teachers through assignments given here in EDM310. For instance, I have Langwitches bookmarked here on Symbaloo so I can easily find it whenever I need it! I also have tiles linking to the EDM310 class blog, TweetDeck, Delicious, Glogster, and Prezi.

As my PLN stands now, I'm following a lot of boards on Pinterest related to education and mathematics, and I'm following quite a few people on Twitter who I've found through my assignments for EDM310. I am also subscribed to blog of one of the teachers I was assigned for C4T because I found his blog very enjoyable to read. I am currently in the process of learning how to use Delicious and Glogster, and once I learn how to use those websites effectively, I'll be able to contribute even more content to my PLN.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Project #8 Podcast

Blog Post #7

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch This week, we were assigned to watch Randy Pausch's Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. Pausch begins his lecture right away by "introducing the elephant in the room". Right off the bat he explains his current medical condition, showing pictures of his latest CAT scans and saying that there are about 10 tumors in his liver. He further explains that his doctors have given him 3-6 months of good health left. He talks about it so matter-of-factly, saying "it is what it is" and that he can't change it. I love that he maintains happy spirits and a good outlook on it overall. He makes quite a few jokes about it in his introduction, so it definitely helps lighten the mood.

The first technique Pausch talks about is fundamentals. He begins my explaining that one of his childhood dreams was to play in the NFL. But he did play football as a child, and Pausch tells the story of his team's first day of practice. His coach showed up without any footballs, and when the kids asked why there weren't any footballs, the coach explained that they were "going to work on what those other 21 guys [who aren't holding the football] are doing". What his coach meant by that was that they were going to work on the fundamentals. Pausch iterates how important it is to learn the fundamentals of whatever subject you're teaching. Pausch further explains that if people stop trying to correct you when you've messed up, it means that they've given up. As a teacher, it's going to be important for me to never give up on my students and to always help them learn from their mistakes. Even as just a student here in EDM310, every week we're assigned a fellow student to leave a comment on their blog, and in the process, we learn to give constructive criticism, a skill that will be extremely beneficial when we become teachers.

The second technique Pausch discusses is leadership. He gives an example of another childhood dream he had: meeting Captain Kirk. Captain Kirk, as any Trekkie can tell you, is the captain of the starship USS Enterprise in the Star Trek series. Pausch explains that he sometimes wondered what skill set Kirk had that allowed him to be a member of the Enterprise crew, but then he realized that Kirk harbored the skill of leadership. As a teacher, I will be a leader for my students. Not only will I be a leader to them in the subject I teach, I will also be a leader to them in teaching them to learn the new technology that will affect us in the future. So as a future leader, I have to educate myself on the current technology being employed in classrooms now and prepare for the future of technology.

Another point Pausch makes is that there is a good and bad way to say "I don't know". There was a time when he had the opportunity to work with the Disney Imagineering team, a dream he had since childhood. He went to have a meeting with a Dean at the University of Virginia, and the Dean wasn't happy that the Imagineering team would own the rights to the intellectual property of the paper Pausch was going to help them write. The Dean threatened to call the deal off unless that clause was changed. Pausch asked the Dean if he thought this whole thing was a good idea, but the Dean said, "I don't know!" So Pausch instead went to the Dean of Sponsored Research. Pausch asked him, "Do you think this is a good idea?" The Dean's answer, paraphrased here, was, "I don't know if it's a good idea, but you're excited, so tell me more." One of our mottoes here in EDM310 is I don't know. Let's find out. And that's a motto I want to have in my future classroom. If I'm ever asked a question I can't answer by one of my students, I'll make sure we find out the answer together.

Pausch also tells us of a time when he started a class called Building Virtual Worlds. The class was made up of 50 students from different departments, like drama, art, and design, and they were randomly put into teams of 4 to work on projects every two weeks. After the first project, Pausch explains that he was absolutely blown away by what his students did, and he had no idea what to do next. So, he called his mentor, Andy van Damn, who advised him to go to class and say to his students, "Guys that was pretty good, but I know you can do better." His point was if you don't set a clear bar for your students, they will continue to surprise you and keep getting better. As a teacher, I can't expect my students to do their best if I set limits. Creativity doesn't flow well when it's pressed behind limits.

An important point Pausch gives about 52 minutes in is that the best gift an educator can give is to teach their students to be self-reflective. That's something Dr. Strange is teaching us to do here in EDM310. There are no grades. We give ourselves what we think we deserve. We have a checklist that we fill out ourselves and check tasks off as we complete them. During the course, we are to reflect on our work each week and see how we can improve. At the end of the course, we will evaluate our own performance and work in this class. When I become a teacher, it will be important for me to teach my students how to engage in self-reflection. As the saying goes, you are your worst critic. If you can learn to reflect on your work and make judgments on how well you're doing, you're going to be better able to learn and grow.

The last thing I want to iterate on is how, throughout the lecture, Pausch keeps bringing up that "brick walls let us show our dedication". When we run into obstacles, what really defines us and our ultimate success is how we deal with and overcome those roadblocks. When you're faced with an obstacle, you can do one of two things: give up or find a solution. And the people who choose to persevere and find a solution are the people who will do great things.

C4K Summary for February


C4K #1

For my first C4K assignment, I was assigned to check out the blog of a boy named Aaron, who is a 9th grader at Fairhope High School. The post of his I read was Code Talker: Halfway Post. In his post, Aaron does a report on the book he is reading for his history class. The book is called Code Talker, and it's about the Navajo code talkers that played an important role in the the U.S. military during World War II. Aaron describes the book as being about a young Navajo boy who is forced to go to a boarding school and learn English with other Navajo children. At the school, the Navajo children had their names changed and were forced to essentially forget most of their heritage. One boy, renamed as Ned, becomes fascinated by the Marines and wishes to become one, but he fears he won't be accepted because of his Navajo heritage. But an opportunity presents itself when the Marines begin recruiting Navajo people who are fluent in both Navajo and English. When he turns 16, he is accepted into the Marines and goes to bootcamp. After bootcamp, Ned and the other recruits are shipped off to Hawaii where they learn the skills they need as Code Talkers before they go to their field training. This is where Aaron leaves leaves off in his summary, stating that he will continue the summary when he finishes the book.

For my comment, I introduced myself and told him that I think it's really cool that his teacher, Mr. Cometti, is having his students keep blogs. I told him that I remembered learning about the Navajo Code Talkers in middle school and high school, and that the book he's reading sounds really interesting! It's sad that the military forced the Navajo children to conform to what was acceptable behavior and appearance in the eyes of the military, but that it was wonderful that Ned made the best of a bad situation and ended up achieving his dream.

C4K #2

For my second C4K assignment, I was given the blog of a boy named Radley. The post I read was about lions! He said that the female lion hunts for food in the day time, and at night time, the male lion kills other animals. He also added that he would like to be a lion because his friend Ryan likes lions!

For my comment, again, I started by introducing myself and said that it's great that his teacher, Ms. Balestrin, is teaching her students how to blog. Then I told him I thought it would be really cool to be a lion, too, and that I've always loved cats. I said to just imagine what it would be like to be a lion and hunt in the grasslands of Africa!

C4K #3

For my third C4K, I was assigned to comment on the blog of a girl named Faridah. She is a year 5 student at a school in New Zealand! The post I read and left a comment on was called Going Fishing. In her post, Faridah tells us that on sunny days, she and her father like to go fishing. One day, she and her father caught 30 fish! Then they cooked them and shared the fish with friends.

When I left my comment, I introduced myself and expressed my admiration for her teacher, Miss King, for teaching Faridah and the other students how to blog. I also told her that I've also been learning how to blog for EDM310. I said it was amazing that her and her father caught 30 fish! I've only ever caught one fish in my entire life. I also told her that it was really nice of them to share their catch with their friends!

C4K #4

For my last C4K of the month, I was assigned the blog of Caroline, a 10th grader at Baldwin County High School. Her blog post was about suicide. She wrote that she doesn't understand why people commit suicide. She explained that she lost her own uncle to suicide because he had been dealing with depression. She also said that a boy at her school took is own life, and that nobody really knew why. She explained that whenever she saw him, he looked happy, so she doesn't understand why he took his life. She wrote that people sometimes are driven to suicide because of bullies and depression.

In my comment, I explained that suicide is one of the leading causes of death amongst teens and young adults, and that suicide is a very serious and sad issue. I explained that it's important to be there for people who are feeling depressed and let them know that you are there to support them and talk to them whenever they need someone to open up to. I also mentioned that it's important that we teach students just how much bullying, harassment, and depression can affect people.

I think it was fate that I was assigned Caroline's blog. Suicide is an issue that is close to my heart, both because of my own struggle with depression and thoughts of suicide and because I have a lot of friends who struggle with it, as well. I always try to be there for my friends, and I won't hesitate to stay up all night with someone if it means I can save their life. I also hope to educate other people on these issues and how important it is that our society becomes more understanding and that schools teach young people to refrain from harassing other students just because they're different. So thank you, Dr. Strange, for assigning me Caroline's blog.