Dropped the Verizon MiFi and Went With A T & T

I was going to go with  a Verizon hotspot but Verizon was 1) hard to setup, 2) sucked my data out in a matter of days and 3) is Verizon. I already give Verizon loads of money, I can share the wealth a bit. I went with an AT & T mifi hotspot and data plan and have not had one single problem. I started out the first four weeks of the program on a 6GB plan ($60/month) and found I am barely at 1GB so I dropped it down to 5GB ($50/month) (that's, unfortunately, the lowest plan they offer).

Will be writing soon about those first four weeks. Lot's to say and no time to say it! Whew!!


First Week....Exhausted!

Why am I exhausted?! Because I have built my adult life around the ethos "live close to your work." And, after escaping Los Angeles, I always (but for one brief-ish exception) lived close enough to work or school that I could walk, ride a bike or had a short car drive. I'm not used to this lifestyle! Now, I have a LONG train and subway ride but it's for a duration that I think I can handle, 15 months. But for now, wow, I am a tired woman when I get home to Poughkeepsie. This has been my week at the Museum.

The commute: If I hit it just right, I can make it door-of-my-house to door-of-the-Museum in 2 and a half the morning. At night, it's longer. Hrumph. But I  have built-in exercise (walking from subway stop to Museum or riding bike from house to Metro North station) so there's that. And that mifi let's me work on the train.
Team Building: Our teacher candidate cohort (that's them above plus a couple of instructors) had an afternoon in Central Park where we worked on learning each other's names and team building. The upshot...we are a team...collaborate! Good to get that out there early because, though I have been out of the being-a-student game for a awhile, I hear that learners these days can get kind of competitive and suffer from grade-anxiety. Plus we got to scramble around Central Park.

Seminars: Over the summer, we will meet with different Museum curators who will give us an exposure to their area of expertise. This week was rocks and minerals. Looking forward to seminars on something I know nothing about like...the solar system!

Laptop: We each got a Mac. We will have to return it at the end of instruction.

Chancellor's Day: A day of NYC science teacher professional development at the Museum that all of we teacher candidates got to participate in.  I got to learn a bit about Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Also, I heard an interesting panel on encouraging girls to pursue the sciences. What pleased me about the talk and panel was that all teachers were there, male and female. What I found from my technology conference days is that these sorts of gyno-centric panel discussions are mostly women talking to ourselves.

First class - Solar System: This course is a mostly on-line class and the curriculum was developed by geologist Denton Ebel and Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. There is some face-to-face time each week with one of the three faculty members teaching the course. I need it. I know nothing about this topic. See Seminars above.

School visits: Our education involves teaching in in-school residency for the school year and we are visiting the four schools that are part of the MAT program. We visit them all to get a sense of each and then we request the schools for our residency training - a different school for each half of the school year. I saw two schools this past week (one in Yonkers and the other in the Bronx) and I can't tell one from the other in terms of, oh, this one would be way better than that one, so at this point, I'm going to request the schools closest to me to try to reduce my commute. See The commute above.

Circle Line tour: We wrapped up our very full week with a boat trip around Manhattan on the Circle Line. Before heading out, at AMNH we got a brief geologic overview of Manhattan so we had some geomorphic items to keep our eyes open for. The day was stunning. I love viewing Manhattan from this water vantage but what I enjoyed the most was seeing all the bridges.

Week number 2, let's go!


First Day (Back) in Grad School

Up early! Got my new backpack, my Mifi hotspot (Verizon Jetpack) and my monthly Metro-North ticket ready for my first day as a Master of Arts in Teaching student at the American Museum of Natural History.  At this point, I'm planning on taking the train down every day, Monday to Friday, while doing the museum-residency part of my education.