Let your life speak

Krista’s speech

I believe life is not fair. Life being unfair teaches you lessons in life itself. There are certain things that we are put through on this earth to make us the people that we are, and mold us into the people we are meant to become.

Throughout my sixteen years of life I have learn a lot from life not being fair. One thing that I have recently endured was when I was fifteen years old. I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder, something I used to consider not fair and maybe to this day somewhat still isn’t, but that’s life, and if it wasn’t for Panic Disorder I would not be the person I am today. I went through many painful and rough times over the past eight years, and not only with Panic Disorder. You learn at times things get tough, but tough times don’t always last; tough people do. Panic Disorder was dealt in my cards and there’s a reason that it was given to me. I consider myself a stronger person today because of my Panic Disorder. Throughout my whole experience I was just searching for a so called normality when in fact I never appreciated myself for who I truly am, Krista, a strong, independent women that has Panic Disorder. Instead of looking at the glass half full I always viewed it as half empty, when really by having Panic Disorder I gained many great traits. Sometimes stepping back and taking a minute to view things a different way can help you understand the situation or work through it.

I always was told that I cannot let my disorder control me, and for the longest time in my life, it did. I wouldn’t leave the house for weeks on end because I had such a fear built up inside me that needed to be let out. I needed to feel free, to feel as if I was safe. The only problem with what I wanted was I couldn’t gain the strength to push through to make the first step. I needed to be pushed, but I learned sometimes you don’t always have someone there to push you. In my life I had always had the background noise of dealing with my parents arguing continually. This started to occur more and more often when my Panic Disorder came out. I understood that my parents had been both hurting and were dealing with a rough time in there life, and I knew that I would have to grow up at a young age to get through life, or else I would be sitting there waiting for my parents to come around, and waiting for them is like waiting for a lifetime. So this is where I’m forced to push myself. You might have to find the tools to push yourself. I had to be pushed to the point where I would do something for myself, because I didn’t have the people there to do it for me.

On occasion life may come at you hard, but what separates the strong and the weak is how you handle yourself in certain situations. There is no dependence that can be sure but the dependence upon oneself. I believe the weak people in this world ultimately let things break them down and run away from their problems. The stronger people of this world find that strength to keep going deep down inside them, and step up and take control. During the rough times in my life, I continued to lose faith. I think having faith is an important part of life, but I don’t blame you if you feel as if at times you lose faith. I found myself losing faith in a certain point in my life so one day I went to the store and got materials to make a bracelet which contained the word “Faith” on it. After I had bought my materials I had gone back home and worked on the bracelet until it was finished. I had gone through my whole day with such a high because I felt if I wore this bracelet I had faith. When the day was over and I was about to go to bed, my bracelet broke. At first I stopped what I was doing and just sat there, I felt as if I had lost a part of me and felt like crying. Then I looked down to pick up the piece of my bracelet to then go fix it and perfectly placed on the floor was this “ F A I T H” I could not find the string, beads, or the other letters that had spelled out my name next to it, just the word “ F A I T H”. It was then when I realized that faith is not contained in a bracelet, but it lies within the heart.

Every so often I think to myself what a horrible thing to deal with or go through, Panic Disorder and my parents, but in the end I know people learn and grow from their struggles, just like I did. People understand life isn’t fair, you hear it all the time, but the problem is people do not except that life is not fair. I think people focus on so much of the negative in life that they never stop and look at the positive things that we are blessed with. Each time a door closes the rest of the world opens up. All we need to do is stop pounding on the door that just closed, turn around—which puts the door behind us—and welcome the largeness of life that now lies open to us. The door that just closed kept us from entering a room, but what now lies before us is the rest of reality. We need to welcome that reality and believe in it.

God does everything for a reason. I know each person has a set out plan for them, and I know God wouldn’t put anyone through anything they could not handle. Things may be super tough, but in the end you can walk away with two things, knowledge and strength for the next obstacle you may face. I also think life not being fair is what makes it so interesting. If we were handed everything on a silver platter things would get boring, no one would work for anything, and most importantly we wouldn’t learn anything. That certain challenge in life would be taken away. Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. People tend to dwell on the things they cannot control, which can make things in life rough.

I do not want people to think life is not a fun experience, nor do I want people to take from it that once you get over and obstacle you’re finished with rough times, they always occur no matter what you may have just faced. The beauty of life is that it hands you many hardships in which you have to find your strength. I think of life as an hour glass glued to the table, you only get a certain amount of time on this earth and I think we should live it to the best of our abilities, no matter what our given situation is. Let you life speak.

Aaron’s This I Believe Speech

 Aaron’s speech

I Believe………In happiness

You need happiness in your life because it makes life so much better. If in your life you suddenly lose happiness, you feel alone, left out or perhaps angry or frustrated. Happiness can make even the worst of feelings float away and become non-important. Happiness is also good for the well being of people. For instance if you are happy all of the time you rarely have neck aches, back aches, or headaches, that is because happiness works as a stress reliever, easing your aches and pains due to stress, and helping the body work more in sync with itself.

If you are happy it could help you in your personal life also because people would be more willing to be your friends and be around you, versus someone who is angry all of the time and doesn’t have happiness in their life, people tend to be intimidated by their attitude and don’t usually want to be around them. Happiness can also influence the way you approach certain events that come up in your life. If you are a person that always has a bad attitude then you will more than likely see things as the worst it could possibly be. Whereas if you are a person with a good attitude then there is a better possibility that you will approach your problems with a clearer head and won’t get as upset and solve the matter in a calm collective manner.

Happiness can also work to help the human body maintain a clearer mind by allowing outside negative energy to disappear and permits the psyche to focus on matters at hand rather than focusing on the negative thoughts that can be associated with unhappiness. My belief in happiness has helped me through many times in my life whether it was the death of a family member or just a bad day. Throughout my life I have discovered that I would rather spend my energy being happy than waste my energy being upset. Happiness however is a state of mind and it is up to the person pursuing it to choose to live a happy life.

Creating your own Podcast

Recording your own audio

Using music in your podcast

  • Be sure to consider permissions and copyright when podcasting. Here is a good site to find music. Check it out:
  • Be sure to give credit to the artist in your podcast.
  • Bumpers are segments of music that go in between and silently as part of your narration.
  • Most often instrumentals are effective for podcasts.

Upload your MP3 file

You can upload your file into your edublog to post it online!

What’s a Podcast?

Podcast (definition from Wikipedia)

A podcast is a digital media file, or a related collection of such files, which is distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers. The term, like “radio“, can refer either to the content itself or to the method by which it is syndicated; the latter is also termed podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster. Though podcasters’ web sites may also offer direct download or streaming of their content, a podcast is distinguished from other digital media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added, using an aggregator or feed reader capable of reading feed formats such as RSS or Atom.
An audio file with RSS feed. Essentially, a podcast is a file that is cast out in digital space and it can be caught by RSS feeds.

Growing use of portable MP3 technology and podcasters

  • In 2005, podcasters were projected by iMedia to “balloon in number by 2010” growing from .8 million Americans using podcasts in 2004 to 56.8 million Americans using podcast in 2010.
  • Moreover, use of technology is growing substantially, as Independent North American research company Ipsos suggests “one in five Americans aged 12 and older owns a portable MP3 Player”.

Listening to “This I Believe”

 On Friday, February 22, students were asked to review definitions of podcasting and listen to National Public Radio’s “This I Believe” podcasts.  They responded to the following questions and posted their responses on this blog to begin a conversation about podcasting and “This I Believe” essays.

a.       What do you understand about podcasting ?  What did you notice about the technology?  The sounds?

b.      Which “This I Believe” essays did you listen to?  Why did you select those pieces?  What stood out to you about the essay?  What aspects were memorable?  What was effective about the piece?

c.       What did you notice about the introduction the speech?  What was interesting about the introduction?

Speech Class Spring 2008

Welcome to our Charlotte High School Speech Blog!  In mid-January our class began and we’ve been working on analyzing speeches, speaking techniques, responding to peers as well as giving a speech of introduction and demonstration speech.  Recently we started talking about the role of technology related to communication.  We’ll start posting to this blog on February 25 and we hope that you engage in our conversation with us by providing comments to student ideas and then later our speeches.  We’re excited to share our voices with others as we blog in podcast this year.  Thanks for joining our conversation.

-Mrs. Reed

Charlotte High School Speech Class Receives National Recognition

It’s been a few months since our CHS spring speech class “signed off” as the course ended, but the excitement for putting your voice out there for a larger audience has increased. School started in September with students stopping by my classroom to let me know they were signing up for speech class this year. I’ll be teaching two sections of speech this school year beginning in mid-January. Speech students from last spring have also stopped by to let me know that they are still reading this blog for comments too. Other students have emailed from college to recall the URL to share our podcasts with their new friends at school. In addition, my student’s work has been highlighted in some national venues.

Here is the summary of the project:

Charlotte High School’s spring 2007 speech class created its own “This I Believe” podcast series on this blog. Students in grades 9 through 12 wrote “This I Believe” essays following the format of the National Public Radio “This I Believe” broadcast (http://thisibelieve.org/) and then recorded their essays to create a podcast (an audio file distributed over the Internet) about their beliefs. They also welcomed comments about their speeches through the comment feature.

This is what’s been happening since we wrapped up the project:

Recently this work has recently been highlighted on the National Public Radio’s “This I Believe” website in the educator database noting how teachers are using “This I Believe” in the classroom. Visit
http://thisibelieve.org/dsp_ShowEODetail.php?city=Charlotte&state=MI&uid=179&start=0 to view the class information.

I was invited to be a co-host, with Troy Hicks, of the webcast Teachers Teaching Teachers, a weekly webcast on the EdTechTalk channel of the WorldBridges network this past May. We spoke about “Re-mediating Speech Class” and you can access the podcast of the show at http://teachersteachingteachers.org/?p=117 .

As part of this podcasting project, Troy Hicks, an assistant professor of English at Central Michigan University and a Co-Director for the Red Cedar Writing Project and I collaborated on teacher research gathering student perceptions of podcasting in the classroom. This work has resulted in the Language Arts Journal of Michigan publishing “Keepin’ it Real: Multiliteracies in the English Classroom” an article that we co-authored. The focus of this article is on the role of multiliteracies, including technology integration, as a means for authentic audiences and purposes for assignments.

Just a few weeks ago, I the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference in a panel presentation on “Technology Toolkit Roadshow: Using the Write Tools,” showcasing Charlotte students in my presentation titled “From the Front of the Classroom to the Ears of the World: Blogging and Podcasting in Speech Class.”

Also, forthcoming in 2008, Troy Hicks and I will publish a chapter on “Podcasting as an Extension of Speech Class” in the National Writing Project sponsored book Technology and Change: Teaching Practice in the Writing Classroom.

Congratulations to Charlotte High School students for their stellar work in this exciting project. Our community has many reasons to be proud of the efforts of these students.

For our wonderful audience, we’ll be adding more to our Digital Voices site from speech students around March 2008. I hope you’ll check out some of my English student’s work.

My freshman English classes are sharing some of their work through podcasts and a few vodcasts at http://english9reed.edublogs.org/ and we’ll be adding more content soon.

Junior English used a wiki this year to show the connections between poets. You can check out their work at http://english11poets.pbwiki.com/.

We’d love to hear what you think of the ways we’re taking our learning beyond the walls of the classroom.

Thank you for being our audience.

Mrs. Dawn Reed

Blog & Podcast responses

Dear Readers,

Thanks again for being our audience. Several speech students have been reading, commenting, and sharing our blog with others over their spring break. We’ve also had several readers who have left comments to the speeches; thank you! I hope that you will also consider leaving a comment for them. To leave a comment, select the comment link at the top of their post and respond in the “leave a reply” box provided. Once I review the message it’ll be posted on our blog. It could take up to a day for your comment to appear, but oftentimes it’ll be posted faster than that.

Also, please remember to scroll to other pages, as we have several pages of student podcasts. To find a specific student podcast, you can select a category (or name) on the right side of the blog.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today.

Students, I hope you’ll reply to those that left you a comment. The students from NYC have linked their names to their own pages on Youth Voices, where you can leave them a comment on their page.

With appreciation,

Mrs. Reed

General responses to our project

Thank you for being our audience in this project!  This site will continue to be online (and a few more podcasts will be posted) so we hope you’ll visit it again and listen to more speeches.  Today is Friday, March 30 and it’s our official last day of speech class.  While we won’t be meeting as a class, many of our contributors plan to read and respond to comments after the class.  Some may not have as many opportunities to respond, so we appreciate your patience with replies.

Many people have also asked for a place to leave general responses to our project.  Please feel free to comment to this post to do so.  We’re thrilled by the support of our readers and we’d like to hear more of what you think about our beliefs, podcasting in speech and our whole project.

With appreciation,

Mrs. Dawn Reed