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With tears streaming down my face, I delivered the bitter-sweet news, choking on the explanation. I’d been accepted into an internship program for the next year--my senior year--and would have to forgo the second year of Computer Science in order to be a student intern for a French and English teacher at a nearby middle school.
“But Christina, this is what you want: To teach. French and English. At high school. You’ll get to test-drive your dream before committing money and years to study, perhaps only to realize that you’d rather do something else” Mr. Schram reasoned.
“But I’ve successfully written more lines of code than any of the boys in class! Plus, I’d planned to be your lab assistant during my off period.” The strained silence persisted until, accepting what I knew to be true, I meekly excused myself and walked away.
Being the daughter of an engineer with 26-years at Texas Instruments, I grew up learning to use a computer at a time when 8 megabytes of RAM was an impressive amount of memory. Smart phones, tablets, and wearables were the stuff of science fiction. People didn’t take their computers to the Genius Bar to be repaired because most people didn’t even have a computer. Daddy and his colleagues WERE the Geek Squad, and repairs were negotiated through bartering, creating an elaborate economy of favors. This was my ordinary world, and it is only recently, as a seasoned educator, that I’ve realized that I was privileged.
Computers are now everywhere, used by everybody, everyday. While using them is all but unavoidable, a deep understanding and knowledge of Computer Science is not, and the stereotypical Geek Squad of old is in need of a makeover to better include women, minorities, and anyone for whom a lucrative high-tech career might seem like a distant dream:
Hour of Code originated as a humble sixty-minute introduction to computer science, demonstrating that anybody can learn the basics. It has since grown into a global Computer Science Education Week event supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators.
No participant in Hour of Code will go from novice to expert programmer in the span of an hour. But between December 5th and 11th 2016, she can get a taste, a glimpse, an inkling of what she could do and say “Hello World” to something new.
As I sat at my desk—a deer in the headlights—I blinked confusedly as the faceless teacher bore down on me, trying to make sense of what she was saying. In a sandpaper voice that belied her 26 years, she’d caught me mid-flight and demanded an answer. Electricity ran down my back. I immediately started to avoid eye contact, looking at the plain walls with no decoration all around the room and hoping that she would not force a response. The loudly ticking clock seemed to mark not only the passage of time but also the dramatic increases in temperature. Suddenly, I heard my name being called. Fear rushed through me again, and I began to tremble. What would everyone think when I say that I don’t know. You’re stupid! Why don’t you pay attention? You’re hopeless! With that in mind, I whispered, “I do not know this NaNoWriMo.”
50,000 words. 30 Days. 1,667 words per day.
November 1, 2016 marked the 18th year of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This annual celebrationexpected participation of nearly 500,000 people to start a
50,000-word novel, guided by this year’s theme: Your Novel, Your Universe.
Last year, NaNoWriMo boasted...
This year, not only can participants receive weekly inspirational messages and mentorship from well-known published authors, but also NaNoWriMo unveils a brand new website for its Young Writers Program (YWP). Students will be able to draft their novels and track their progress directly on the site as well as use the inspiring resources that are provided. In addition, teachers have access to virtual classroom spaces to facilitate the program, free Common Core-aligned curricula, student workbooks, classroom resources, and virtual classroom tools. Furthermore, NaNoWriMo sends out 2,500 free classroom kits each year to help teachers offline as well. Finally, with the help of local businesses, libraries, and community centers, 930 Municipal Liaisons will coordinate hundreds of local, in-person writing events throughout the world.
Up until a few few years ago, I’d never even heard of NaNoWriMo, but with those six words, I was awakened—understanding that help was available if only I was willing to ask for it. So whether you’re an aspiring writer or just looking for a outlet for your creativity...tell your story. Write your novel. Build your universe!
Wondering how to survive this challenge, now that you’re committed? Check out Trent Cannon’s advice.
Coins for Coats is a fundraiser for the Round Rock Coats for Kids program which provides a coat to RRISD children in need. It’s one of the many services that the Round Rock Area Serving Center offers the community.
We need your help!
So, how can you get involved?!
This year’s fund drive begins October 1st and continues until Friday, October 28th. The coat distribution will be November 1st from 8:00am to 4:00pm at the Round Rock Area Serving Center (1099 E. Main St., Round Rock, TX 78664).
For more information about the Serving Center’s programs and volunteer opportunities, call 512.244.2431 or visit www.rrasc.org
Texas Teen Book Festival (#TTBF)--a celebration of the teen reading experience--is a partnership between the Texas Book Festival, BookPeople, and venue sponsor St. Edward’s University. This FREE one-day event invites teens to meet many of the most popular and critically acclaimed young adult authors. This year's festival will feature 34 authors and have an expected attendance of over 4,000 teens, parents, teachers, and librarians from across the state.
***The festival is free and open to everyone***
Saturday, October 1, 2016
8:00 AM – 6:30 PM
St. Edward’s University, 3001 South Congress, Austin, TX 78704
Book Sales start at 8 AM and will last all day.
Keynote Author(s) and Special Events:
Festival Schedule: Download the 2016 Schedule here.
Click HERE for more information.
one of this year's MacArthur Fellows, receiving a "Genius Grant" of $650,000.
The list of fellowship recipients dates back to 1981, but has historically been heavily populated with scientists, activists, and artists in fields that are more traditionally revered than comics. In recent years, however, cartoonists and graphic novelists have been recognized as their art form gained critical attention. Ben Katchor (Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply District, The Cardboard Valise) was named in 2000, followed by Alison Bechdel (Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama) followed in 2014. Gene Yang is by far the most mainstream of this trio of comic geniuses, with graphic novels aimed at budding programmers (Secret Coders), history buffs (Boxers and Saints), and superhero fans (New Super-Man).
Your Dragon Library just so happens to have several of Gene Yang's graphic novels ready for you to crack open and see why he's considered among
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