BlogPost

A Day in the Life of Online Learning

My last day of college classes was last Thursday May 7th. Even though I had my last in-person lecture in mid-March before the coronavirus pandemic forced everyone to move out of the dorms and stay home, I have been attending my classes online to complete my final semester. I have taken online classes in the past, most of them over winter and summer breaks, but nothing could have prepared me for the new methods that would be used to continue education from home on a larger scale. This was the first time I engaged in “synchronous” remote learning, where classes took place at a scheduled time over Zoom and supplemental materials were posted to Blackboard, all of my online classes prior to this have been asynchronous, where I would have assignments to complete prior to a deadline instead of a specific time that I had to be online for a lecture. 

9:45am: Wake Up and Drink Coffee

Hands down, the best part of online learning is being able to sleep in. I typically wake up only a few minutes before my first class is scheduled to start and make myself some coffee. My first class of the day is EGL 308: Single Author – Margaret Atwood’s Dystopias. We only have Zoom lectures for this class on Thursday mornings at 10am. Tuesdays are for watching lecture videos and Wednesdays are for posting responses to our readings on the course blog. Our Zoom meeting typically consists of discussing passages in the novels we are reading that we find the most relevant or interesting to the story. Recently we have been reading the MadAddam trilogy, earlier in the semester we read The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments, her most popular books. 

11:20am Finish Class and Start on the Next

Once I sign off of Zoom, I will go downstairs to sit with my parents and watch Governor Cuomo’s coronavirus update. My next class of the day is also EGL 308, but covers the works of Ernest Hemingway & F. Scott Fitzgerald. We finished our Hemingway unit in the first couple of weeks of online classes, and lately have been reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. For this class we watch a Voicethread recording and post to the discussion forum (usually to answer a question the professor asked us). May 7th was also my day to present so I sent in my slides covering the last three chapters of The Great Gatsby. 

1pm French Zoom 

I am usually done with my discussion forum for my Hemingway/Fitzgerald early, so I have some time to make something to eat before my 1pm French class on Zoom. What we do on the video conference changes everyday, but most days we will talk about our most recent assignments from Google Classroom, go over new vocabulary, use breakout rooms for a group activity, and/or have a quiz on Kahoot or Quizizz. 

2:20pm French Class Ends/Working on Assignments

From 2:30-3:50pm was when I used to have my sociology class, but this class was changed to only use our large assignments (group debate, project, and paper) rather than smaller tasks everyday. On May 7th, I had my final paper to work on. I wrote about the ways social media changed us as a society, in both good ways and bad. 

4pm Activism in American Drama Zoom Class

In EGL 309: Activism in American Drama, we have discussion board posts every Tuesday and Thursday and must reply to the “discussion leaders” for the day. On Thursdays, we meet via Zoom to talk about the plays we have been reading and the commentaries they give on American social groups. For our last meeting, we talked about what we would be doing for the final project of the course. 

 

The biggest piece of advice I would want to share is to keep yourself on some sort of routine. Time management is the key to online classes, especially with all of the additional deadlines that will be added to your class schedule. All of my professors updated us within the first week of our online classes with a new list of assignments and due dates, and adding those to both a paper and digital calendar were essential to keeping me on track the past few weeks.

 

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The Story of Finn

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Finn Halsey was born on April 24th 2018 in Virginia, but was soon relocated to North Shore Animal League in Long Island, NY where he met his “fur-ever” family. On July 8th, my mother and I went out to North Shore to take a look at the puppies they had available for adoption, and that is where I first saw my baby boy, Finn. He was only 10 weeks and 5 days old, as I was told by the workers at the animal shelter, and was about 14 pounds.

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My mother and I were allowed to hold him and get to know him a little bit before filling out the adoption paperwork. As I held him, my mom reached over to pet his face and he immediately wrapped his paws around her arm and laid his head on her hand, we new immediately that this was the pup we would be bringing home.

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We filled out the required paperwork and waited to see if we were approved. After a few hours, we were told that we would be able to take him home and were given his veterinary information that provided us with details regarding his shots and when he would need to go back to the vet for boosters, then we were ready to pack him up in the car to go home.

The entire way back to Queens, Finn sat in my lap and chewed on my fingers with his sharp puppy teeth. We had brought a box and a few small toys for him to play with on the way home, (we were hopeful that we would be adopting a puppy that day and came prepared) but he was much more interested in chewing on my hands.

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When we got back home, Finn was able to meet my dad for the first time, and at last our new little family was complete. Before he was housebroken, we decided that he would be confined to the kitchen using a baby gate, but soon realized that he would do everything in his power to climb over it the second we turned our backs, so for his safety we took it down.

For his first night in our home, I decided that I would sleep downstairs with him so that he wouldn’t be lonely (yes, I am that crazy dog person). Even though he had started off the night on a makeshift dog bed in the kitchen, he ended up staying with me on the pull-out couch in our living room. Every night that I am home now, instead of on campus, he still spends at least part of the night snuggling with me.

Finn is now a happy and healthy almost-two-year old who is still very attached to his family members. His favorite activities are barking at the local cats when they walk past our home, barking at any and all delivery people, and barking at other dogs that walk down our street.

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March 2020 To Be Read

One of my goals for this month is to get into a more regular blog-posting schedule, so hopefully I will be updating Shannon Marie Claire more frequently. I have made a few changes to the website itself, so please feel free to click around and enjoy. A lot has happened in these past few months and in due time I will get up to speed, but in the mean time I figured it may be fun to revive this blog where I last left off with and update March 2020 “To Be Read” List (or TBR)

1. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

I am almost done with this novel, a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale and I absolutely love it so far! The story is told from three different perspectives, several years after Offred’s time in Gilead and shows how the society has changed as a new generation has grown up knowing nothing but Gilead customs. 

2. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

I have not started this yet, it will be the next novel we cover in my “Margaret Atwood’s Dystopias” class and brings us into the MaddAddam trilogy. 

3. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

I read this book before, in January of 2019 but now I am reading it in the context of a class that is focusing solely on the works of Ernest Hemingway (and later some F. Scott Fitzgerald). We are currently around half way through, but will be finishing by the end of the week. 

4. “Indecent” by Paula Vogel

This is a  play for my “Activism in American Drama” class, and is bringing us into our new unit about LGBT representation and messages in American theatre; this play is about the outrage caused by a play that features a love scene between two women. 

5. “Indian Camp,” “The Killers,” “The End of Something,” “The Three Day Blow,” and “A Way You’ll Never Be,” by Ernest Hemingway 

These are all of the short stories we will be reading in the Hemingway class this month, after we finish The Sun Also Rises

Hopefully I will also be able to do some of my own reading this month as well, I have been wanting to catch up on Cassandra Clare’s books now that The Dark Artifices trilogy has been completed and she released the first book in her spin off trilogy following Magnus Bane and Alec.

 

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To Be Read List: June 2019 Edition

This June, I am taking summer courses online through my university, and three English classes equates to a lot of books. On top of that, I also have the books that I would like to read for my own personal enjoyment and for the times that I don’t want to think about schoolwork. The classes I am enrolled in pertain to Literature, Science, and Technology, 20th Century Literature, and 19th Century Female Authors, so I am looking at a lot of different books and even more short stories and poems over the next few weeks.

  1. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
  2. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
  3. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  4. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
  5. Machinal by Sophie Treadwill
  6. The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
  7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  8. The American Dream by Edward Albee
  9. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  10. You by Caroline Kepnes
  11. Again, But Better by Christine Riccio

This list may seem pretty ambitious, but I am super excited about most of these books (and no, I don’t typically read 11 books in one month).

What are you guys reading this summer? Are you enrolled in summer classes? Have you read any of these books?

 

BlogPost

When Do You Become “A Writer”?

When I first began writing for the Odyssey Online, I had a lot of trouble figuring out whether or not I could call myself “a writer.” Oftentimes I would opt for “I write for the Odyssey Online” or whatever platform I was working on at that time. I eventually came to the conclusion that I was, in fact, a writer when I had started getting asked to provide pieces for websites instead of seeking them out on my own all of the time. Looking back, I feel like it would be appropriate for me to have said I was a writer once I had been published for the first time, but there were so many milestones that I passed that also could be applicable. I can still remember staying up all night once watching the numbers on my article going up by the minute, and ending up with thousands of views and hundreds of comments on the company Facebook page. However, there have been some negative milestones that also made me start to feel like a writer. That same article, about anxiety self-diagnosis, also received a lot of negative feedback from people who disagreed, some of which contained some colorful language. I remember telling my boyfriend that I was actually happy because “all press is good press” and it was the first time my engagement numbers had been that high.

I still consider myself to be a beginner at content creating, and see my own website/ blog as a good way of starting out with my own personal brand of writing. I have recently started branching out to paid writing positions, and I am hoping to get a job writing for a publication.

For those of you out there who write, when did you first consider yourself a writer? Was it after your first piece was published, or did it take you awhile to get used to the idea?

About Me · BlogPost · Writing

Welcome!

Hello World! My name is Shannon Connors and this is my website. I began publishing my writing in August of 2017, on a platform known as The Odyssey Online. I had written a lot before, but I had never considered myself “good enough” to share my work with others until I saw a post from the President of my college’s Odyssey community seeking new content creators. I decided to apply, and ended up getting an interview. On August 23, 2017, I had my first deadline and wrote a listicle about things  “gingers,” or people with red hair, understand. It may have not been my most sophisticated piece, but the overwhelmingly positive response gave me the confidence to post more meaningful things I had written.

I have been writing for the Odyssey for almost a year and a half, each week sending in something to be published the following Monday, but by the time February of 2018 rolled around, I was ready to start something new. I applied to The Stony Brook Her Campus chapter, using my Odyssey author page as a portfolio, and got accepted as a senior writer. I intend to continue with them this semester, as unlike the Odyssey, we only have deadlines during the weeks we are in school.

In my fall semester of sophomore year, I began a Business-Journalism internship with iConcept Media, writing 2-3 articles each day, 5 days each week. As you can imagine this was difficult to juggle when I had a full course load and my other writing obligations, but I made it work and have learned a lot about time management and writing news pieces.

Now, as I am entering my spring semester of sophomore year, I am looking forward to getting started with Trill Magazine, and continuing with Odyssey and Her Campus, while still looking for more places I can share my work with!