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Beyond the 40 Days

Posted by: on March 27, 2016   |Comments (0)|Prayer

By guest blogger Courtney Gareau ’17 

I have a love hate relationship with Lent. I think that is great way to work on temperance and my relationship with God, but it is also difficult because nobody really enjoys giving things up for Lent. You at least have to enjoy whatever it is that you are giving up, hence the difficulty of giving up something for Lent. I once had to explain this to one of my first grade CCD students in a conversation that went like this:

Me: “So, have any of you decided what you are giving up for Lent?”

Boy [raises hand]: “Yes! I am giving up chocolate cake!”

Me: “Ok great! Do you really like chocolate cake?”

Boy: “Oh no! I hate chocolate cake! I only eat vanilla!”

Me: “Oh that’s not quite how Lent is supposed to work.”

I then went on to explain how you are supposed to give up something that you actually like and enjoy, which is far from what my student had been planning on doing.

We all associate Lent with something that we have to give up, and then the joy of getting to go back to eating that chocolate or scrolling on Facebook once Easter comes. This year, I am challenging myself to grow in other ways during Lent. I know that just giving up a food will mean that I start eating it again after Lent. While that forces discipline, I know that it won’t have long lasting effects for me. Instead, I am working on eating healthy to work on overall health. Additionally, as a way to bridge health and the discipline of sacrificing, I am giving up the thing that we all know to well – scrolling through all of our social media accounts to see what we have missed in the past hour. My Lenten goal to work on this is that I am not allowed to go on social media when I am laying in bed because by giving this up, I am cutting back on my screen time as well as giving myself those few extra minutes for an earlier bedtime as well as nightly prayer. This leads me to the last part of what I am working on for Lent – my prayer life. This cannot be boiled down to one specific thing because I am working on this in a few different areas including Mass, Adoration, and reflection. These are all things that happen in my life already, but this Lent, I am working on increasing the frequency in a hope to deepen my prayer life and relationship with God.

This year, I am really working on having my Lenten goals be things that can continue after Easter and not just end after the 40 days. When giving things up for Lent as a kid, my dad used to always tell me, “You can do anything for 40 days.” This is very true because even difficult sacrifices can be made for 40 days. My goal this year though is to challenge myself to make my goals ones that last much longer than the 40 days. I think that this is something that we can all work on because Lent should be a time to reflect on ourselves and our own lives and make the changes that are necessary to prepare ourselves for Christ’s death as well as the redemption that comes with His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Jesus was in the desert for 40 days, but the Israelites were in the desert for 40 years. Can we challenge ourselves to make our Lent something that affects us for not just 40 days but for 40 years?

By guest blogger Courtney Gareau ’17  I have a love hate relationship with Lent. I think that is great way... MORE

Digital Publishing

Providence College Joins Open Textbook Initiative

Posted by: on November 30, 2016   |Comments (0)|Open Educational Resources

Providence College has joined the Rhode Island Statewide Open Textbook Initiative.  Launched in September 2016 the goal of the initiative is to reduce college costs by saving students $5 million over five years using openly licensed textbooks and open educational resources (OERs).  In addition to PC, current participating institutions include: Rhode Island College, the University of Rhode Island, the Community College of Rhode Island, Brown University, Bryant University, Roger Williams University, and the New England Institute of Technology.

PC textbooks Here at PC work has begun raise awareness of OERs and open textbooks on campus.  Representatives from the Library teamed up with Assistant Professor of Economics, James Campbell, to provide an introduction to open textbooks at the Center for Teaching Excellence on November 1st.  The presentation covered the basics of OER, information on locating open materials, and open licensing with Creative Commons.  Campbell is using an OpenStax textbook to teach several sections of Microeconomics this semester.  His insights on the experience were extremely valuable.  You can view the slides from the talk here.

Through generous support from the Provost’s Office the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Library are collaborating to administer a series of small mini-grants to support course design and revision projects that prioritize open educational resources (OERs).  Awardees will be selected this month.  Over the spring semester mini-grant recipients will work closely with the Library to incorporate open content into their syllabi for adoption in Fall 2017.

A Steering Committee made up of library representatives from participating institutions will be responsible for implementation of RI Open Textbook Initiative.  Members of the Steering Committee will communicate with the Open Textbook Network (URI, RIC, and CCRI are now member organizations), provide training opportunities around OERs for librarians around the state, and develop instruments for documenting and reporting student savings resulting from the initiative.

The Library’s Digital Publishing Services has been engaged with work around OERs for some time.  We are thrilled about these new opportunities to collaborate with PC faculty around OERs.  For further reading on this subject check out some of our previous here, here and here.

Providence College has joined the Rhode Island Statewide Open Textbook Initiative.  Launched in September 2016 the goal of the initiative... MORE

Elementary Special Education Abroad

Caitlin in Florence

Posted by: on December 9, 2016   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

Caitlin Whitaker

ESE Study Abroad Blog

Week of December 4

 

I can’t believe we are in the single digit countdown to coming home! This has been such an incredible experience it’s hard to believe that we have less than 10 days left. One of the best parts of this experiences has been practicum. Teaching in an italian classroom has been incredible and nothing like what I expected. For starters, I NEVER expected to teach with my hands this much!! And I never expected to teach in a room with no technology. 2 chalboards. That was all I had.  

I don’t know what I was expecting going into this experience. It never really hit me until I got into the classroom that I was teaching English to Italian students. When I walked into the room for the first day the students were so excited and all yelled “good morning” at me. That is why it did not hit me until after I sat down to observe and they all started yelling in Italian. I was attempting to make out the few Italian words I knew, like how to say pizza, pasta and thank you….but none of the students were using those. It was very overwhelming…but I was also excited.

My favorite lesson of this semester was by far the last lesson I taught, my Christmas lesson. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Christmas, so it is obvious that this is by far my favorite subject to teach. Throughout the semester I always made it a point to integrate US cultures and traditions into my lessons whenever possible. I liked to show the students how things are different at home and give them as accurate of a picture of America as possible. When I taught the Christmas lesson we compared Christmas in Italy to Christmas in America and found many similarities and a few differences. For example, in Italy there are no stockings hung by the fireplace. When I was explaining it to the students they thought it was the coolest thing ever but did not understand how Santa could fit anything in a pair of tights!! During the lesson the students were decorating paper ornaments and hanging them up on the paper tree I placed at the front of the room. It was an indescribable feeling to be looking around the room at my little Italian 6th graders as they colored ornaments, writing English phrases on them and randomly bursting into song, with those songs being various American Christmas Carols. I saw the students writing things on their ornaments that I taught them weeks ago. It was such an incredible feeling to see that the students were actually learning and understanding what I was teaching them.

So now as practicum has come to a close, all the weekend trips have ended, and we are in the final single digit countdown, I am realizing more and more how grateful I am for this experience. It has changed me in ways I cannot describe, but I am so thankful for. Florence is a beautiful place to be able to call home for 4 months, but I think I am ready to be back in Friartown!!

 

Caitlin Whitaker ESE Study Abroad Blog Week of December 4   I can’t believe we are in the single digit... MORE

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