Greetings, gentle readers! I’m Trish, and in order to introduce myself to my IT 8050 classmates, I’ve created this blog. [However, I hope to use it in the future to chronicle my studies and refine my own perspectives on instructional technology.]
I am currently enrolled in the PhD program for Instructional Technology at Georgia State University, with a cognate area in Applied Linguistics. My research interests include the use of multimedia to address multiple intelligences in learning, technology as a tool for ameliorating affective barriers to language learning, strategic use of technology in adult language learning, and the use of virtual environments to support meaningful and communicative language competencies. I am very fortunate in that I can’t imagine a better job than the one I currently hold. I love the people I work with, the toys I get to play with, the environment I work in, and just about everything about the world of academia [except, maybe, the pay…].
The interest in instructional technology within the context of language learing is a result of interrelated personal experiences and challenges: as an adult learner of a second language (Spanish and Japanese), as a teacher of elementary Spanish at the university level, and most recently, as the coordinator for the Language Acquisition and Resource Center (LARC) at Georgia State. As the LARC coordinator, I work directly with students and faculty to integrate media and technology into the language curriculum.
And now, for the fun stuff! I was born in the Army hospital at Ft Stewart, GA, where my father was stationed, but consider Fayetteville my hometown, and the “family compound” in East Point, where my grandparents still reside, as the center of my geographic world. As a military family, we moved around quite frequently, with the most interesting place being the Panama Canal Zone, in the Republic of Panama, where I was first introduced to both Spanish and Latin American Culture. As a result, my favorite food is Carribean food, including plantanos maduros, ceviche, banana fritters, black beans and rice, and empanadas. When I was 17, I had the opportunity to broaden my international horizons by travelling to Japan on a Lion’s Club Youth Exchange, where I developed a driving passion for sushi, and an even stronger aversion to anything with eel in it. [Undoubtedly, the foulest thing I have ever eaten was a Japanese eel dish, served with a raw egg on top, but being a polite and courteous traveller, I ate it without complaining. There should be a medal for that….] My other international travels include Spain, Mexico, and England. In each locale I have attempted to “go native” in my eating habits in order to both a) appreciate the cultural differences and b) travel on the cheap, and, fortunately, my enjoyment of international foods is enabled by the fabulous world cuisine of Atlanta! I would have to say that my favorite thing to do in Atlanta is to dine. Maybe sometime later I’ll post a list of my favorite international eateries….
Other “favorite things”:
I don’t have a favorite book. There are many books that I’ve enjoyed repeatedly, and some are A Room with a View, any of the Patrick O’Brian novels, Candide, El Conde Lucanor, and Cyrano de Bergerac. And, as a Christian, I consider the Bible to be both a wonderful read and a guide for my life and relationships.
Favorite films include A Room with a View, Out of Africa, Field of Dreams, We Were Soldiers, and most kung-fu movies.
My favorite month is May. The days are long and warm, but not too hot.
I have too many pets…..
My husband, Tony, and I “share” our house with three cats (who think they share the house with us) – Lia, a fierce huntress and nose-licker; Oliver, a shameless coward and loveable orange poofy cat; and Alys, a fat little bully of a cuddler. Abby, our mixed-breed two-year-old dog, rounds out the family and offers not only a constant source of affection and amusement, but also a convenient focal point for feline hostility.
and too many hobbies…
I’m either extremely fortunate to have many interests, or unfortunate to be so unfocused in my interests! In my “spare time” (when I’m neither working nor studying) I enjoy vegetable gardening at home and with my grandfather, knitting, digital photography, listening to music of every sort, weaving, hiking with my dog Abby, browsing antique stores, and travelling. (I think I like to do things with my hands because so much of my job and my studies are so cerebral and intangible.)
Why a blog?
The purpose of this assignment (create a profile page) is to foster actual community within an online environment, and as such, I felt that a dynamic space allowing for interactivity between the author and the reader would be more effective than a static and uni-directional, traditional website. Therefore, please feel free to comment! Additionally, I felt that the essense of community is based on the quality and the depth of the revelations shared, in this case, the content of the page, not the graphics. Because web design is not one of my strenths, by using a template for the organization and visual elements of the page, I was better able to focus on the content.