In today’s walk down memory lane and find out what our Team alum, Kate Rojas, is up to.
Kate graduated in December 2014 (stayed until December 2015 to complete K-12 teaching license requirements) and is currently living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and working as a school librarian in a public elementary school.
Anything going on in life right now that’s especially awesome, bearing in mind that simply surviving is really pretty damned awesome right now?
Everyone in my immediate family is well, and my colleagues from work also appear to be in good health, which is a blessing. I’ve also been meeting with some of my students in a virtual capacity, and it’s been great to connect with them since I haven’t seen them in person for almost two months now. I’ve also made some new friends from all over the world through an online gaming community, and it’s fascinating to talk with them about how we are all in the same quarantined situation.
What do you remember best about your days as a GA? Any funny/crazy stories you can share?
I remember everyone’s positivity, and I remember our GA group being obsessed with Emily Bayci’s crazy hat collection. We laughed a lot. I remember how kind everyone was at the iSchool, and I always had a great time figuring out how to best help other people with any and all technical problems.
Do you find yourself using Team Awesome skills in your current life?
YES! I am my school’s “technology coordinator,” which basically means that I am the first point-of-contact with any and all tech issues. Every day, I look forward to receiving phone calls and emails from staff.
Right now, I am actually working with our district’s team of librarians on creating a virtual district-wide Reading Olympics or “Battle of the Books” competition. This event is once a year, and student teams face off against one another to answer the most questions correctly about books they read. Unfortunately, the in-person competition was canceled due to COVID-19. However, my students read over 400 books this year, so I am piloting a way to still hold the competition but virtually using the Schoology platform and BigBlueButton conferencing. I don’t know if this has been done before, but my students and I are really excited about holding this competition.
What was your favorite class or instructor when you were in school?
I can’t pick just one class or instructor because I had a great experience overall. My K-12 coursework was amazing with instructors, like Betty Bush and Georgeann Burch. I liked taking apart computers in Martin Wolske’s course; that’s something that I would love to do with my students now. My practicums and student teaching experiences were also exceptional.
Any regrets such as a class you wish you had taken, a club you should have joined, an event you weren’t able to go to, etc.?
I don’t have any regrets. I felt as though I made the most of my experience when I lived in Champaign-Urbana. I tried many different things and learned a lot. If anything, it might have been cool to take more classes on topics such as comics/graphic novels, library buildings, and diversity/inclusion. Granted, these topics are of personal interest to me, so I tend to read a lot about them in my free time anyway.
I’m a bit obsessed with the meme linked here because it involves a cute cat, and I think it does convey a concept that we all can relate to from time-to-time right about now. Click here to see Kate’s meme.
Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses, or one horse-sized duck?
I’d take on the one horse-sized duck because I’d be able to be strategic. I think I’d be able to make friends with the duck, and then I’d have a huge duck as a pet.
Cat or dog or ???
I don’t have any pets, but I think a white-haired blue-eyed cat would be cute.