Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Vote Brandon M. Caten for College of Education Senator!

Brandon M. Caten for CoE Senator

It's that time of year again: SGA Elections!

This year, I have made the decision that I will run for College of Education Senator. I have several ideas that I would like to help implement for not only the College of Education, but also the university!

You can find a link to the facebook event supporting me here.

Make sure to let all of your friends know to Vote Brandon M. Caten. Voting starts April 5th at 8 am and go until April 6th at 3 pm. All voting happens through your Jaguar1 Email, so watch for your ballot there!

Below you can find more information about myself and my platform. I appreciate any and all support from you! Go Jags!

Brandon M. Caten is a Senior with a double concentration in Music Education and Vocal Performance and a minor in Spanish. He is the founder and director of the award-winning USA Show Choir. He is very involved in campus life at USA where he is a member of The University Chorale, The University Choir, USA OperaTheatre, USA Flute Choir and has performed lead roles with TheatreUSA. He is an active member of The National Society of Leadership and Success and a recent applicant to Mortar Board. He is a SouthBoard Orientation Leader and JagPal Peer Leader.

Brandon is a member of The Miss University of South Alabama Board of Directors where he has served for the past two years with Kerrie Benson. He was responsible for the creation of this part year's theme: South Alabama's Got Talent. He also is an active pageant coach with extreme success, having his contestants place always in the top, usually securing the crown!

Brandon is also extremely involved in the community. He is a cantor and choral singer at The Cathedral Basilica of The Immaculate Conception in downtown Mobile, a member of the Mobile Opera Chorus and a clinician and choreographer for local high school show choirs.

Brandon has spent the past 3 years working at Sunny Side Theater in Spring Hill. He has worked with over 500 children, ranging from 4 years old to high school Seniors. He is the Resident Choreographer and Resident Music Director and also the teacher for Musical Theatre Dance, Music Theatre Boot Camp and Private Voice.

If elected to be a Senator for The College of Education, Brandon will be dedicated to fighting for more funding for all education programs at South Alabama. He is determined to create a bridge between all education programs and create clarity and understanding for each concentration. He is also determined to find a solution to the current parking issues on campus while trying to decrease the number of tickets (with outrageous price tags attached) given out each year. Brandon also would like to help students create a better sense of school spirit on campus while proving that South Alabama is one of the top schools around!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Project #12 - Skype Interview with Alexa Howie

C4K Summary: #4, 5 & 6

This round of Comments for Kids was very interesting for me! I have the chance to read blogs of kids around the world and learn, once again, that all kids are the same no matter where they live!
Below you will find my comments:

is there a explanation for everything.
January 25, 2011 ~ 1 COMMENT      
No, there is not an explanation for everything. Some have explanations.   Some are  like this, Who broke the vase? There is an explanation. I did not break the vase. That is an explanation.

Brandon M. Caten
March 6, 2011 at 9:48 PM
My name is Brandon and I am a student at The University of South Alabama in Mobile and I have been assigned to comment on your blog through a class I am taking called EDM310.
I like where you are going with this blog post, but let me give you a few tips that I think would help you make a post like this more effective:
1) If you are going to say something like “No, there is not an explanation for everything,” then make sure include an example. You did a great job including an example for something that does have an explanation, but make sure to tell us something that doesn’t have an explanation. Be able to back up what you are saying!
2) Make sure to re-read everything that you write and include words to help the clarity of sentences. I would make sure to include the word “things” in a few sentences, but I’ll let you take a look and figure out where I might mean!
Overall, good post though! Keep up the good work!
If you’d like to visit my post, you can find it at http://CatenBrandonEMD310.blogspot.com or visit our classroom blog and see the type of work we work on athttp://EDM310.blogspot.com.
Have a great week!


On Friday the 4th of Monday our school had MUFTI DAY.
We had mufti day to fundraise some Money for the citizens of Christ-Church.
Our school raised $748.00,
The whole school brang A GOLDEN COIN.
We were all surprised because we thought that it would of been least and some thought it was going to be more.

 Brandon M. Caten said...

Hi Shontal,

My name is Brandon M. Caten and I am a student at The University of South Alabama in Alabama, USA where I am a Music Education major. I am currently in a class called EDM310 and I get to go around and comment on blogs like yours!

I am very impressed that a school was able to collect so much money for Christ-Church! Good work!

You should always be proud of yourself when you can all come together and make such a positive impact on a community!

Great blog post and pictures! I look forward to your future blog posts!

If you would like to see my blog, you can visit it at http://CatenBrandonEDM310.blogspot.com or visit our class blog at http://EDM310.blogspot.com
March 8, 2011 8:42 AM


Please Return My Money
March 10, 2011 ~ 2 COMMENTS      
Dear Rusty McRussell,
We are very sorry that you were so busy when we came to your restaurant. The food was not what we ordered and you gave me liver and onions instead of a burger. My mom got a cold grilled cheese sandwich, and my dad got a melted sundae. The service was late, and we waited for an hour. Please give us your money back.
Thank You,
Elizabeth Wadsford
(This Rusty’s Restaurant is a fake experience.)

Hey Rachel,

My name is Brandon and I am a student at The University of South Alabama where I am enrolled in a class called EDM310 and we get the chance to comment on blogs like yours!

What a funny story! Your writing skills are great! I've actually experienced a restaurant like this before and I wanted to say exactly what you said in your story!

Great job!

If you want to see our class blog and see what we do in class, you can view it at http://edm310.blogspot.com or view my personal blog at catenbrandonedm310.blogspot.com

Brandon M. Caten

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    FAME! Opens Tonight!!!

    If you are looking for a way to see the stars of the future, or at least how your classrooms might look once you start teaching, head on down to Murphy High School tonight to see FAME!!!

    Can't make it tonight? You still have two other opportunities: Friday & Saturday night!

    Doors open at 6:30 and the show beings at 7:00 each night!

    Tickets are available at the door and are as follows:
    $5 : Children Under 12
    $8 : Students 12-18
    $10 : Adults

    I've spent the past three months working hard with this show (I'm Music Director) and it has turned out great! Brought students from several area high schools together who have created a wonderful show! Come support them!

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Blog Post #9

    What I've Learned This Year - a blog post by Mr. McClung

    This blog was written after the Mr. McClung's first year of teaching in Missouri. He makes some amazing points:

    1. The Audience (Students) Must Drive The Instruction 
    2. No Lesson Is Ever Perfect. The Lesson You Plan & The Lesson You Teach Are Always Different
    3. Communication Is The Best Way To Resolve Any Issue
    4. Don't Build Expectations Higher Than Can Be Met By The Students. Remember, We Are Working With Children
    5. Technology Is Essential To Our Lives... Do NOT Be Afraid Of It
    6. Listen To Your Students, You May Be The Only One Who Does
    7. Never Stop Learning! We Owe It To Our Students (And Ourselves)

    He makes great observations of things I can imagine we would commonly forget during the busy life of a first year teacher! Thinking about what he said, these are not only good rules to use in the classroom, but also good rules to use throughout life itself!

    I hope that after my first year in my own classroom that I am able to turn around and have such wonderful things to remind myself about my classes. I foresee myself looking back at these rules for years to come!

    Project #13 - SmartBoard Instruction

    Producers, Consumers & Decomposers
    A SmartBoard Lesson by
    Brandon M. Caten, Alexa Howie & Brittni Sasser

    Summary of Observer Responses:

    • The audience found the presentation to be 9.2 out of 10 when it came to being helpful
    • The audience mostly enjoyed the subject matter & seeing the SmartBoard in action
    • The audience believe rated the SmartBoard a 9 out of 10 for when asked how helpful a SmartBoard would be in their future classroom
    • All audience members felt they left the presentation having learned something new or useful

    Overall, I feel that our group did a great job working on and presenting our lesson Producers, Consumers & Decomposers! It was great getting to just play with the SmartBoard without having people around to judge us when we would mess up. I am extremely proud of our group for their hard work and how fast we picked up the new technology! We are all ready to use SmartBoards in our future classrooms!

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    Blog Post #8

    This Is How We Dream, Parts 1 & 2

    After watching Mr. Miller's videos, I realized that he made it clear that it is our job to make sure that our students are technology literate! We have to make sure that we are encouraging students to use technology both inside the classroom and daily in their lives outside of school. We have to show students that computers and the internet is not just for using Facebook, but show them the wonderful resources that are out there for them.

    I am fairly positive that I will use technology in my classrooms. I want my students to feel as confident as I do when it comes to technology. I would love to be in a classroom where my students are not only learning from me, but in return, I am learning from them. The education system in this country, in my mind at least, is quickly going down the drain. It is our job to turn that around!

    We, as teachers, have to make sure that our students are learning all that they can, and that includes technology! Other schools and other countries are training their students to basically take jobs away from our students! We have to train our students for their future, and if we are not, what is the point of being a teacher?

    The Chipper Series & EDM for Dummies

    These videos are great and turned out great, thanks to the hard work of the students. If I had to think of videos that I would create, I think I would start to keep track of my journey from where I am in school to my first few years of teaching. Or maybe I would create a video about how to pass EDM310. Either way, I think quality videos should teach something or at least inform us of something! 

    Learn To Change, Change To Learn

    Saying that "Schools are like factories" upsets me more than I can EVER express. I believe that it is completely true that "technology is not an option." It starts with the teachers and these teachers (you and I) have to turn around and teach that technology we have learned to students. I've said this several times in previous posts, but we have to prepare students for their future. They are learning information that will be applied to jobs that are not even created yet, and we must insure that they can secure these jobs based on what we teach them.

    The Secret Powers of Time
    Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

    These videos brought up great points and showed some interesting facts when it comes to time management and motivational drive. Our concept of time is completely different, depending on what we are doing and if we see what we are doing as important. Drive is maximized by a want to do something and the freedom to do it at your own pace without someone always looking over your shoulder.

    I think that if we were to look at everything as beneficial instead of seeing things as mundane and necessary, then time will pass by faster. It's like the saying "Time flies when you are having fun!" We have to teach our children to work hard on everything and really get involved with everything in order to not make things seem like they are dragging by!

    Sunday, March 6, 2011

    Introducing The E-Beam: A Smartboard Alternative?

    With the current state of our economy (or lack there of), educators are fighting to teach the knowledge of tomorrow with yesteryear's budget!

    Maybe the E-Beam is the solution we are looking for...

    The E-Beam Website shows that the E-Beam sells for $899.95 ($1049.95 for the Bluetooth Enabled Model) and all that is required is a whiteboard/wall and a standard projector. Now how many classrooms meet those requirements?

    The argument may be that this system does not include all of the fancy software that a SmartBoard may include, but given the chance to have this technology over the out-of-date transparencies that are seen in classrooms, I think any teach would jump for joy to get an E-Beam in their classroom!

    What do you think? Could The E-Beam be a alternative to The SmartBoard?

    Blog Post #7

    Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

    For somebody who has been diagnosed with over 10 tumors in his lungs, Randy Pausch is extremely positive! I can only hope that if I am ever in his position that I am nearly as happy as he is… or at least able to pretend to be as happy as he is! I love his idea of always bringing up the elephant in the room and getting things out in the open!

    Mr. Pausch seems to have grown up just like every other child in America. His dreams included zero gravity, the NFL and stuffed animals. From the age of 9, he was being taught amazing ideals. With his football coach constantly riding him, he learned that “When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody bothers to tell you anymore, that’s a bad place to be! Your critics really care!” Even if he didn’t make it to the NFL, he learned more than he would have ever learned on that field. He has a great quote: “Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you wanted.” Just because things do not go the way you plan doesn’t mean you aren’t going to learn, but instead you might learn something you never planned on learning!

    Mr. Pausch next brings up a point of how he achieved his dreams of being an Imagineer. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon with his doctorate, he sent in his applications to Disney. When he received letters back rejecting him, he didn’t feel sorry for himself! Instead, he realized that “the brick walls aren’t there to keep us out, but the brick walls are there to show us how badly we want something! The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it bad enough!”

    He also says to “wait, people will usually always surprise you!” He goes on to elaborate by saying that “when you are pissed off and upset, usually you haven’t given people enough time to surprise you!” This is a great point! I know that there are times when I want my answers and I want them NOW, but I just need to remember that patience is an amazing thing and good things come to those who wait!

    Mr. Pausch continues to impress me my telling a story about "a pissing match" and some "brick walls being made of flesh"and all I can say is this man could speak for hours and hours and I would never stop learning from him!!!

    I could continue on and on about the wonderful things this man says and about how I want to sit down and watch every video he has (if only I had the time), but there is only so much to read about one video!

    This is a video that I want all of my friends to watch (I think I'll even post it to facebook), if not for anything but to see if they'll get emotional by the end just like I did!

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    C4T #2 "A Unique Way"

    Finally, I was able to blog about my comments on a teacher's blog! Below you will find my blog posts:

    Vulnerability is Feeling

    After watching this amazing Ted Talk in English class today, I learned, and redefined my definition of vulnerability. I used to think that being vulnerable was a weakness and in a way pathetic. But now I see that that exact characteristic is the essence of emotion, and essentially life. My free write showed how much this realization makes me understand how I have been living my life recently and makes me wonder – have I really been living at all?
    This picture is pretty self explanatory; don’t be afraid to show your emotions because showing you’re emotions makes you vulnerable – and vulnerability is beautiful.
    vulnerability is feeling

       Brandon M. Caten at February 17th, 2011 12:57 am: 

    Hi Jenna!
    My name is Brandon M. Caten and I am a Senior Music Education major at The University of South Alabama. I’m currently in a class known as EDM310 and I have been assigned to follow your blog and comment from time to time! You can view my class blog at http://catenbrandonedm310.blogspot.com/!
    I really like the top of this post! Vulnerability is looked at as a bad thing, but I completely think feeling vulnerable is sometimes a good thing! I’ve always told myself that if I ever get to the point of where I am about to step on stage to perform and I am no longer nervous, then I will stop performing! My nervousness is my vulnerability because I know people will be judging me form the second I step on stage and sing to the moment I hit my last note!
    Continue to live your life and feel your emotions! You have a great blog! I cannot wait to read more of it!

    Photography In-Depth Update!1

    As many of you know, my topic that I chose to study indepth was digital photography. I have created a Flickr account to begin a portfolio of my work so far! I also participated in my first Daily Shoot assignment, so feel free to check out my pictures and let me know what you think!
    Here are a few of my favourite pictures so far, much more to come!

    1.    Brandon M. Caten at March 3rd, 2011 11:45 amYour pictures look great! I think you have a good eye for photography, so keep up the great work!
      I find that a lot of people are starting to do the daily photo thing, maybe I should try it sometime!
      I could see how it would work out in my classroom too! Maybe find a way to get my students cameras and let them post on Flickr! They could share their photos with other students! It could be a great success!!!