Me Manifesto

Monday, January 30, 2012 | | 0 comments

Have you heard of the 30 Goals Challenge for teachers? Starting on January 16 and continuing through April, teachers are challenged to complete a series of 30 goals. The first goal was to write a "Me Manifesto." According to Wikipedia, a manifesto is "a public declaration of principles and intentions.” I could have written a book on my principles and intentions. I began writing my "Me Manifesto" about 100 times, but I was never satisfied. It was verbose, littered with cliches, and I constantly changed my mind.

I'm sure you've seen these ecards floating around the Internet. One thing I'm consistent on is my love for technology. So I wanted to write my manifesto on something that had meaning. I also love humor. I enjoy having a good time. In addition, I'm a professor in the Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design department. Fashion should be fun! It isn't brain surgery. There are no lives in our hands. So we can goof around, explore, innovate, fail, and try again.

So I wrote my "Me Manifesto" on these ecards that often depict humorous (and yes, sometimes vulgar) phrases. I condensed my chapter book of a manifesto into three short phrases:

Rise to the challenge - why are we so scared to be challenged? Why must things come easy to us? A read somewhere that students often feel smarter when something is easy. Isn't that the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard? I intend to challenge my students. If I'm not challenging them, I'm not teaching them.

Use your imagination - look at how things are. Imagine how things could be. I believe things can always be better. Whether we are discussing fashion, life, or learning, the key is to exercise your creative muscles, and imagine a new way of being. Question everything.

Expect more - so you rose to the challenge? You imagined a new way of being? Go the extra mile, do something extra. Impress me. Expect more of yourself, expect more of others. Avoid complacency.

So there it is. My manifesto in a nutshell. I still have the urge to write an epic tale of my principles and intentions. But before I could finish writing I'm sure my mind would change. This is the core of my being. This is how I live my life. This is my manifesto.

What am I really after?

Friday, January 27, 2012 | | 0 comments
At our first book club meeting, Maggie asked us to write down one thing we really want to get out of this book. (Reminder…we are reading “What the Best College Teachers Do” by Ken Bain.) She asked us to reflect back, as we continue reading the book, and ask ourselves, “Am I getting out of the book what I hoped to get out of it?” “Has what I wanted to get out of the book changed as I continue reading?” She encouraged us to blog about our thoughts. So that is exactly what I’m doing.

At the first meeting, many of my fellow IU faculty mentioned that they were born skeptics. One person when so far to say that most academics are skeptics, that skeptics are even drawn to academia. I am not, by nature, a skeptical person. As I typed that last sentence, I suddenly doubted myself and had to take a moment to Google “skeptical.” In case you’re curious, the definition of skeptical is as follows:

skep•ti•cal/ˈskeptikəl/
Adjective: 1. Not easily convinced; having doubts or reservations.
2. Relating to the theory that certain knowledge is impossible.


Nope, I’m not a skeptical person. I am easily convinced. I’ve only read the first two chapters of “What the Best College Teachers Do” and I’m totally convinced that the six conclusions that Dr. Bain outlined will work to improve teaching. At least for some people. I’m willing to give it a shot. Even it doesn’t work for me, I will still believe that it worked for someone. Perhaps my lack of skepticism comes from my age. I have no doubt that I’m the youngest member of this book club. I don’t have the years of experience that sometimes leads my fellow professors to dismiss ideas and suggestions for improving teaching. Some might call this naivety. I prefer to call it my advantage.

But back to Maggie’s question: What do I hope to get out of this book? I hope to learn the strategies of the best college teachers, practice those strategies, and eventually develop habits that will improve my teaching. Sure, I dream of someday being recognized or referred to as one of the best college teachers, but mostly I just want to be the best college teacher I can be. This is my first year teaching, so there really isn’t a better time to start.

And lucky me! Chapter one outlines six strategies/characteristics of the best college teachers. They are:
1. Know your subject extremely well
2. Treat all elements of teaching, including lectures, discussion sections, problem-based sessions, as serious, as demanding and as important as your research and scholarship
3. Expect “more” from your students
4. Create an environment where students are inspired to “grapple with ideas”
5. Reflect a strong trust in students
6. Develop a system to assess your own teaching efforts and to make appropriate changes

Suddenly I don’t feel so “lucky.” As a first-year teacher (and a teacher who hasn’t been taught to teach, mind you) I’m overwhelmed.


Winter Break Reading List

Thursday, January 26, 2012 | | 1 comments
Over the winter break I began reading for fun again. I always find time in the summer to read but somehow during the school year I rarely make time for reading for pleasure. In an earlier post I mentioned that I found it difficult to get my mind off of work, even when I was at home. I discovered that reading for fun was an easy way to get my mind more in the moment. I take an hour or so to read a good book and suddenly I'm more relaxed, not stressing about what needs to be done for work, and I can focus on my family. Here is a visual list of the books I've been reading.


East of Eden by John Steinbeck was given to me as a Christmas gift. I've only read about half of it, but I really love it so far. It is unlike any other book I read over the break. It is very descriptive, takes my full attention, and is truly beautifully written. I can't wait to finish this book, but it definitely isn't a book that can be rushed through.


I recently joined a book club as part of the PEO chapter I joined in Bloomington. Our first book of 2012 was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. I never would have read this book on my own, so I'm already glad I joined this book club. It was an amazing (true!) story about a woman whose cells continued living long after she passed away and made significant contributions to science.


I rarely pick up books that a part of a series because I have a difficult time committing to a set of characters for an extended time period. But I had heard so many good things about The Hunger Games that I could no longer avoid reading it. In addition, I always prefer to read the books before I see the movies and the movie is set to come out this spring. I had no regrets reading this book, it was fantastic. And I was not ready to end my "relationship" with the characters, so I'm glad there are still two more books!


Finally, I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Again, I was pushed to read this book because the movie was set to come out over Christmas. Although I wasn't quite as enamored with this book (it was slow in the beginning) I'm glad I read the book before seeing the movie. I'm not as eager to read the second two books in this series, but I probably will eventually. I can't believe I started two trilogies in one month! That is so unlike me!

I'm always on the look out for new books to read! What books would you recommend? What books are on your list to read?

IU Plaid Contest

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 | | 2 comments
I'm excited to announce the next phase of the IU Plaid Contest! Last semester, SIFE-IUB (Students in Free Enterprise at Indiana University - Bloomington) invited students currently enrolled as undergraduates to enter designs into the Official IU Plaid Contest. We received over 25 designs! For more information about the contest, click here. The SIFE student group narrowed down the selection to the top 6. Those top 6 designs were sent to a select group of judges consisting of:

3 alums of the Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design department at Indiana University, Bloomington:
- Michael Ping, Project Manager, Kohl’s Department Stores
- Amy Levin, Founder/Creative Director, College Fashionista
- Jessica Quirk, Personal Style Blogger, What I Wore

2 representatives of the College of Arts and Sciences:

- Kirstine Lindemann, Senior Assistant Dean and Director, College of Arts and Sciences
- Jean Robinson, Executive Assistant Dean, College of Arts and Sciences


1 representative of the Bloomington, IN community:
- Judith Rose, Textillery Weavers

These fantastic judges chose the top 4 designs which are now available for online voting. Anyone associated with Indiana University (including alums, current students, parents, faculty, staff, etc.) or even anyone who just likes plaid is invited to vote for their favorite design. Help us choose the Official IU Plaid that will be licensed and trademarked through Indiana University. Visit the Official IU Plaid Website.

Which design is your favorite?







Bloomington Ice Storm

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 | | 2 comments
Over the weekend we had a mini ice storm blow through Bloomington. It has slowly been warming up but I noticed the grass and a few branches are still covered with a thin layer of ice. I just love how beautiful the grass looks individually coated in ice. Huxley, however, does not see the beauty. He rotates holding up his poor paws off the ice-covered grass. He looks up at me with those big, sad, puppy eyes begging me to get him off this awful grass. Well, Huxley is in luck, it is supposed to warm up to 50 degrees today, so that grass should be free of ice by tomorrow. And lucky for me, Eric took these amazing photos of the grass and branches before all of the ice melted away.

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This girl got a new hair dryer!

Monday, January 23, 2012 | | 1 comments
Not long ago the good people at Misikko sent me a new Hana Professional hair dryer to review. Prior to this I have used relatively inexpensive dryers available at bargain retailers because – let’s face it – hair dryers can’t be all that different. So what sets a professional dryer apart from an inexpensive dryer? I’ll attempt to answer that question below, and also provide a few other tidbits of information.

First things first – I need to show you what comes in the box. This product is clearly set up to be gifted. It comes with a variety of neat accessories, and even a plush toy. Check out the pictures below.

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The dryer is aesthetically impressive. It is more compact that many bargain store dryers, and the weight of the dryer is distributed evenly resulting in a balanced feel. Not including cord weight, my old dryer weighs in at 1lb 2.7oz, while the Hana weighs 1lb 4.5oz. Trust me, 1.8 additional ounces is difficult to notice. The Hana seems to be comprised of superior components. The twelve foot (yes, twelve foot) cord is both flexible and tough, the scratch-resistant plastic casing is sturdy, and the switches feel durable and of high quality. Additionally, the mesh guard for the fan intake is removable for cleaning! What a great feature!

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On to performance. There are a few metrics that come to mind: airflow, heat output, power consumption. In a thorough review, these and other metrics would be compared for a variety of brand new dryers. Unfortunately, my lab/apartment isn’t equipped for such an extensive project. I’ll do my best, though.

There is a tremendous airflow difference between my old dryer and the Hana, although I don’t have access to an airflow meter to back it up with numbers. The Hana’s low speed setting clearly moves more air than my Conair’s high speed setting. That extra weight mentioned above is certainly a result of the powerful fan. The dryer draws 1700 watts, but this number is really useless without a comparison. CHI makes two professional dryers in a similar price range, and they come in at 1300 and 1500 watts.

In order to measure heat output, I placed a standard analog kitchen thermometer across the dryer’s nozzle and allowed it to run for two minutes before taking a temperature measurement. The Hana reached 152 degrees Fahrenheit, while the Conair reached 143 degrees. Also important is how quickly the device can heat up/cool down. I measured this by depressing the “cool” switch on each dryer, holding my hand over the cool air, and releasing the “cool” switch. I timed how long it took for the air to become intolerably hot. For the Conair, it took between seven and eight seconds. The Hana took between four and five seconds.

So, how does all this tie together? To gauge overall performance, I’m offering a rudimentary but comprehensive measure – average dry time. Assuming I begin drying my hair with about the same amount of wetness and using the same drying technique, the amount of time needed to dry my hair on the same settings for each dryer should indicate whether one dryer is – generally – more effective than another. So I averaged three dry times for the Hana Professional and my Conair. The average dry time for the Conair was 3:49, while the average dry time for the Hana was 2:36 - approximately a 32% reduction in dry time. Not too shabby. My suspicion is that this time savings would translate proportionally to different hair styles and drying methods.

One last performance note. Like almost any dryer of merit, the Hana Professional features an “Ion” system for reducing static electricity, and therefore reducing hair frizz. My Conair has a similar feature, so I won’t be able to compare performance very well. I didn’t notice a marked reduction in frizz.

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If you are going to spend $194 on a hair dryer, it should out-perform entry level alternatives by a significant margin. In nearly every way, this dryer outperforms the rather ubiquitous bargain store model I had previously used. Additionally, it comes packaged as a fantastic gift. I highly recommend it to anyone ready to step up to the plate on price. Misikko makes a variety of other hair products including T3 hair dryershair straighteners, and other accessories.


Storytelling in 30 Photos ~ Day 30

Sunday, January 22, 2012 | | 1 comments
{Storytelling in 30 Photos}

30. a picture I’m satisfied with ~ what an odd prompt. I'm satisfied with most pictures I take. Isn't that the beauty of digital cameras? You keep snapping until you're satisfied. But I stumbled across this little birdhouse hanging from a tree near our apartment. I thought it was perfect. It has now been hanging there for months. It makes me smile every time I see it.





Why did I join this book club?

Friday, January 20, 2012 | | 1 comments

I joined a book club through the Center Innovative Teaching and Learning at Indiana University to join with fellow IU faculty to explore a book by Ken Bain, "What the Best College Teachers Do." Why did I join this book club? I guess the answer begins with my childhood. When I was very young, both of my parents were teachers. My Dad worked at a Jr. high school and my Mom worked at an elementary school. By the time I was in high school, both of my parents were public school principals. My dad had a reputation for being a big advocate of professional development. My mom had a reputation for using innovative strategies to transform small-town elementary schools. Dinner conversations centered around teaching strategies, how students learns, and educational politics. I swore I would never be a teacher.

Fast forward to today, I work for Indiana University teaching students about apparel merchandising. The only thing I know about teaching is what I couldn't help but overhear at the dinner table the past 20-something years. My parents, probably by accident, instilled in me an intense appreciation for the art of teaching. I know enough about teaching to know that I don't know enough about teaching. I do know it is incredibly difficult to do well. People spend four years studying how to teach others, why do colleges seem to think that anyone with expertise in an area can teach? It baffles me. Yet, here I am with knowledge about apparel merchandising trying to teach. I feel a sense responsibility to share my passion for the subject with my students. To make them curious enough about the material to go learn more on their own. To make them question what they think they know. To make them think...really think. I have the desire, but I don't have all the tools I need to be successful.

So why did I join this book club? Because I'm looking for the tools I need to be one of the best college teachers. I want my students to look back on the classes they had with me and think, "Dr. Hasty challenged me. She pushed me further than any other professor, and as a result, I accomplished more than I ever thought I could. She opened my mind to new ways of thinking, she encouraged me to question everything, she inspired me to continue learning outside the classroom. Most importantly, I still use the tools she gave me in my life today."


What I Wore ~ Book Worm

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 | | 6 comments
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Button down shirt: J. Crew
Cardigan: J. Crew
Skirt: J. Crew
Tights: Gap
Shoes: J. Crew
Purse: Coach
Book: East of Eden

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The Tamale Place

Monday, January 16, 2012 | | 0 comments
Over the Winter Break, Eric and I found ourselves vegging out in front of the television more times than we care to admit. We really got hooked on the Food Network (which is great for me because Eric wants to do fun cooking things, now!) Eric caught an episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri featuring a restaurant in Indianapolis. Ever since moving to Indiana, it seems that the Food Network is always featuring restaurants in Indianapolis. Maybe we're just paying more attention. I, for one, love being so close to a delicious restaurant mecca.

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We've been home for less than a week and we already made the drive up to Indy to check out The Tamale Place. When we walked in, we were greeted by a friendly server who was training a new employee. We lucked out that we got to hear her explanation for how this restaurant worked so we didn't seem so clueless. There is a whiteboard next to where they take your order that tells you what kind of tamales they have in stock (pay no attention to the large menu above your head.) They take your order by writing your tamales directly on the plate, along with your name.

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The restaurant may not look like much (hence the reason it is on Guy's show) but the food is amazing. Eric and I really got turned on to tamales through Feast in Bloomington, IN. But we were not disappointed with these tamales in the least. They were large, tasty, and had fabulous ingredient combinations. We would definitely recommend this place to anyone visiting Indy. It is a bit off the beaten path (not much nearby worth seeing) but worth a short trip out of your way.

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As you can tell, we highly enjoyed our meal. We ordered three tamales and one sweet tamale. We couldn't finish our order, so order less than you think you can eat! For my Indiana friends, or anyone who may be in Indiana soon, check out this list of other Indiana restaurants featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Bon appetite! 

What I Wore ~ IU Style

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 | | 7 comments
{In Celebration of IU Basketball}

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Shirt: J. Crew
Sweater: J. Crew
Jeans: The Limited
Shoes: Sperry Topsider

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