Sunday, June 26, 2005

Fourth Week

The fourth week is finished. The second-years have completed their summer coursework and I'm sure they are happy to enjoy the time off. They've been going non-stop since end of May last year, a process the first-years are just starting. Most are planning to go home for a little while and a few are planning to stay in MS. A couple will be coming to the Reunion in mid-July.

Unfortunately it wasn't the best week for Teacher Corps. There were scheduling problems for the second-years and organizational problems in EDSE 502 (Classroom Observations) for the first-years. These things happen from time to time but having gone through the program myself, and knowing both how busy everyone is and how disorganized their districts can be, I always hate for any organizational problems to come from our side. The teachers have enough to worry about as it is. In EDSE 502 one of the professors misunderstood the grading scale on the evaluation form we were using for formal observations. I believe we now have everything worked out, but at the same time I always like for everything to run smooth with the Teacher Corps.

The second-years had a mad dash to the finish line on Friday. They had two finals as well as some other work to do so they were quite busy. Their second and last final was on Friday at 2:00. We had our usual group lunch at 11:30, this time at Two-Stick. Two-Stick is the one and only sushi place in Oxford. Instead of mixing and mingling all of the second-years were gathered around one of the high, wooden tables with their food and textbooks taking up equal space.

On Thursday afternoon we had two workshops. Dr. Mullins did a "History of the Teacher Corps" presentation for the first-years. We videotaped and audio recorded the presentation and we hope to have both up on the website this week. This is the fourth presentation Dr. Mullins has done for the first-years. Previously he did a "Walking Tour of Ole Miss," a "History of Education in the Mississippi Delta," and a "History of Education in Jackson." The first-years loved all of them (and a few of the second-years attended as well), as Dr. Mullins is a such good speaker. These sessions are a precursor to what I hope next summer will be a weekly lecture series with Dr. Mullins. For those who aren't lucky enough to be here we will videotape everything and put it up on the web. We are planning to create a special "Dr. Mullins' Web Page" on our site.

The second workshop was on college admissions. This was for the second-years as over the next two or three years many of the students they teach will begin the application process. We had a speaker from undergraduate admissions, one from athletic compliance, and one of my former basketball players, Tambria. Tam is currently an undergraduate at Ole Miss and she talked about making that transition from Hollandale to Oxford, and from Simmons High School to Ole Miss. The best speakers are always the students. Tam is the second student speaker we have had this summer. The first was Ashley , a rising junior at Simmons High. Both of them did an excellent job of explaining how towns in the Delta are still segregated by race, and they also shared their thoughts on good and bad teachers. The general consensus of a good teacher is that he or she is firm but caring.

Reunion planning is going well. Ginny (our summer intern from UNC-Chapel Hill) and I met with the catering service to review menu options. When I mentioned that former Governor William Winter was the keynote speaker the caterer became much more interested. We will continue planning for the Reunion this week. It is only 19 days away...

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