• High Tech Art (with Humor)

    Posted by Amanda Cook on 11/19/2012
    Check out this awesome artist!
    The Pygmies are my favorite!!!

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  • Life, Dance, Tragedy

    Posted by Amanda Cook on 9/25/2012
    For the last two weeks, my 1A students have been learning a lot about the epically tragic life of Isadora Duncan.  Below you will see the culmination of their research.  This is 100% student work and they really blew my mind!  The best part about this project was hearing the students talking about Isadora like she was a friend.  They said things like, "I'm just being independent like Isadora today."  Enjoy!
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  • Take a Time Out

    Posted by Amanda Cook on 9/20/2012
    "When my cup is full, I stop pouring."
    Lao Tzu
    I needed to remind myself of this over the last week as I have been busier than ever!  And I wanted to remind all of you also!  Take some time to breathe, enjoy something, eat something yummy, and simply relax.  If you don't know how, get lost in this video:
    Or use this technique to meditate and relax!
    Or if you need a laugh, there's always this...

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  • Save Creativity

    Posted by Amanda Cook on 9/19/2012
    While scrolling through Facebook yesterday, I came across this article, posted by one of my many friends.  It immediately grabbed my attention.  I read it quickly, agreed with everything it said, and started brewing my next blog posting.  I have so much to say about how the current education climate kills creativity BUT I can't even begin to say it better than Sir Ken Robinson did in this RSAnimate.

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  • Dance vs Power Point

    Posted by Amanda Cook on 9/18/2012
    Why do we still have power point?  I can't tell you how many comedians I have heard making fun of the worthlessness of the program, not to mention the unbearable presentations I, myself, have had to sit through, yet... Some people STILL use it!  Its infuriating and boring, not to mention misused.  Here's a video that I found which jokingly informs the viewer of all of the mistakes presenters make while using power point:
    So here's a solution!  Use dance instead!  Watch this amazing video
    (if you don't know TED, get to know it now!)
    After doing a quick search... I found this awesome video of someone actually dancing their PhD!  And this is how I learned about SELEX :)
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  • I'm Bald

    Posted by Amanda Cook on 9/17/2012
    In my "free" time I work at a wonderful restaurant downtown on Trade St, called Finnigan's Wake.  In addition to having one of the most extensive vegetarian menus I've ever seen, having one of the best staffs of any restaurant in town, being owned by one of the most caring men in Winston (even though he might try to deny it), Finnigan's gives back to the community in MANY ways.  One way is by hosting an Annual St. Baldrick's Day Block Party!   The streets are closed down, vendors and volunteers transform the front of Finnigan's into a shave palace, and all afternoon people sacrifice their hair to promote and support pediatric cancer research. 
    This is my first ever St. Baldrick's Day and I was overwhelmed by the emotions and care that Winston-Salem citizens poured out.  I didn't think I was going to make it to the shaving (even though I had raised some money), but I flew in and joined the last crew to get shaved.  I sat beside my boss, Opie, and held my perfectly healthy 4-year-old (birthday boy) son on my lap while my head was shaved.  I didn't cry at all!  I think I smiled most of the time.  Then a bag of my hair was donated to Locks of Love. 
    Many of my students who have known me for any amount of time will tell you that I am a very active "hippie".  I campaign for women's rights, animal rights, children's rights, and most importantly, education revolution.  I LOVE people.  I love to make a difference whenever I can.  And most importantly, I am in no way afraid of looking ridiculous to do what I think is right.  Every year I challenge myself and my students to do something that makes life better for others, whether its a hug, a performance for the elderly, letters to teachers who've impacted their lives, etc.  Often, people think that dance is a fun activity and that my job must be pretty easy.  My job is fun and easy because I get to do what I love, which is helping children see a wide world of opportunities, challenges, problems to solve, and people to love.  My hope is that they will take the experiences with me and in my class with them to go on to do even better things than I am able to accomplish!
    "Go out into the world today and love the people you meet.  Let your presence light a flame in the hearts of others."
    Mother Theresa
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