Who I AM

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Hello everyone, I am 23 years old and a Physical Education. I graduated from SUNY CORTLAND upstate New York. I am currently getting my masters in HPER at Emporia State University in Kansas.I currently work at Malverne High School as a leave replacement for physical education. I also teach 1 health and physical education class at the middle school for their district. I love volleyball and I am very competitive. I like challenges and being pushed to my limits. I've done some amazing DVD workouts such as Insanity and Insanity Asylum and P90X2. They can change your physical appearance tremendously. Your results are based on what you give in, how much you will push yourself, how much pain you can take and keep pushing knowing it will only benefit you. How much sweat are you willing to sweat? I believe that every person in this world can make a difference in a positive way, my way is by teaching. This blog is mainly from my undergraduate degree but I tend to add more post as I continue my career.

December 6, 2012

Loss Reflection

Riding our small trick bikes and playing volleyball at the beach all seemed like yesterday. These are my last recollections of Christopher J. Fox. We had some great times together, but would not have considered each other to be best friends if we hadn’t hung out together on a normal basis. When someone you know has passed away, you still are affected by them and are saddened by their passing. Christopher Fox was a very popular student at Lindenhurst High School. He was a good-looking boy who always had a smile on his face. He was a great person, and the girls adored him. Like me he was short, and we were known for being of the shortest in our grade. We always got along great and spent much of our high school days together sharing some great laughs. 
            On July 13th, 2009, approximately two weeks after our senior year graduation, Christopher Fox passed away because of drinking and driving. He was on his way home with a few friends after a great beach day. The day involved lots of fun, but resulted in poor decisions of drinking. On his way home, his 1993 Volvo swerved off the road and crashed into a sand dune, which caused his car to flip over. Fox was not wearing a seat belt and therefore he was ejected from the car. The other passengers all suffered minor injuries, but Fox took the most of it. His wonderful life was stripped of him in the matter of seconds.
            All of Lindenhurst was shocked and deeply affected by this tragedy. Many individuals and family members had lost a loved one because of that one split decision to irresponsibly drive home intoxicated. One thing that was very upsetting to discover; was that a friend had taken his keys from him because she knew he was incapable of driving, but one of the passengers in the car had gotten the keys back from the girl. They ended up leaving when she had been trying to prevent something like this from happening. The irony about this accident is that Lindenhurst High School, year after year, holds a drunk driving seminar called “Shattered Dreams.” This program has some senior students from the school participate in a fake drunk driving situation. It starts off by all the students attending a mock party, acting as if they were undergoing the affects of drinking. The house party has music blasting, students drinking and playing all sorts of games, not expecting anything bad to happen. As the party is winding down and a few students begin to leave the party and drive home tragedy strikes resulting in a drunk driving incident. Here is where the seminar is taken outside into our parking lot and is acted out. All the juniors and seniors were watching this event take place before their eyes. The great acting helped in this assembly to show the crashed cars, the people injured, and the victims who end up “dying” from the crash. Everyone was silently fixated just listening to the actors screaming for help and hysterically crying. Loud ambulances sped into the parking lot to do their job of aiding to the injured, while disposing of the dead person. The cops had come to put the driver in handcuffs and take him away. After this scene, another video was shown at the funeral home. Here Chris’ friends had an opportunity to recite speeches they wrote about/to Christopher.  Sadly, Christopher Fox had seen this assembly two times, and yet ironically enough the poor choice was still made by him to get behind the wheel of his Volvo, which unfortunately resulted in his death.
            A beautiful memorial was made at the site of his crash on the road of the beach. Still to this day, friends and family slow down to see it and remember Christopher J Fox. This memorial is a reminder to all to drive slowly and to not drive after the consumption of alcohol. His death has definitively prevented plenty of his friends from making the same mistakes, but it took his life to save others. If you ever said to yourself, “it will never happen to me,” please think again. R.I.P.

Gender Socialization

Throughout society children are generalized into gender stereotypes, they learn to adopt gender roles, which are not always fair to both sexes. As a child grows up into who they are, they are exposed to different factors that influence their beliefs, attitudes and behaviors regarding gender roles.  As a child you spend most of your time with your family so you adopt these attitudes and behaviors from them as you grow up. They are the main reason you become who and how you are regarding gender characteristics. As you mature, your peers and school experiences amongst other things help to further molding your gender role. When I was a young boy I learned what it was to be a boy or a girl in our society. Boys and girls are expected to like different specific things, do different things, and most of the time are against things that would put them on that little line of whether or not it is too feminine or masculine for them.

When I was born, within 24 hours my parents knew that they would raise me to be a man. This was shown in the way they had set up my room. The colors of the room were blue and red, a color that generally is regarded with males rather than females. The decorations of the room were sports and cars. The way my room was set up showed how I was socialized into my gender role.  This was technically not fair because they engulfed me in this and didn’t give me a chance to formulate otherwise. This was to be my room with the things they expected me as a male to want and like.  If they wanted me to become more feminine they could have surrounded me with colors that are generally “girly” such as pinks and light pastels. My decorations could have been floral without any cars or sport paraphernalia.  When I have my children I will decorate the room a neutral color so the child has a freer chance to become open minded to what he/she likes once he/she grows older and understands more

The activities I did when I was younger were also a way into which I was socialized into my gender role. My parents bought me a baseball glove, which is typically a male sport. I always was encouraged to play catch with my father and take some batting practices. If I threw the ball underhand, I would hear the stereotypical comment, “don’t throw like a girl.” Being a female usually meant you would throw underhand or have less power than a male and throw it with weak velocity. This is generally not true also. If I had females come over to play with and they brought their barbies I was not encouraged to play with them. My parents bought me action figures such as GI JOE, a manlier figure than the famous plastic Barbie and Ken dolls.

Besides my parents socializing me into my gender role, society and television did just the same as well. Commercials were a big part of socialization or gender roles. Have you ever seen a female on a car commercial pumping gas or changing the oil? Once I became a teen and understood the difference of a female and male I tended to notice a lot more things that were socialized into the gender roles. A TV show usually consist of the females cooking the food while the men were out at work. This shows that cooking is seen as more of a female activity, which isn’t always true.

I conformed to the gender roles that I was exposed to because I fell in love with sports and became very athletic. Females can be very athletic also, but if one female tends to excel then she is usually called a “tom boy.” I tended to always be manlier and ride my bikes fast, do tricks on scooters, and not be scared to fall and get hurt. If I resisted the gender role my parents exposed me to, I could have possibly been more cautious and rather than enjoying riding fast or building ramps to jump off of, could have feared getting injured like most expect from a female. I integrated the gender rules and roles that I was taught as a child into my adult self by always going to the gym and lifting heavy weights. I always wanted to get bigger and bigger and was never fully satisfied with being small, or skinny like a female typically strive for. I am always physically active. I still decorate my room with sports pictures and masculine colors. You will never see my room purple even though my favorite color is purple. There are limits to what I can do with my favorite color since it is considered a female color. I will definitely wear purple clothing, but I would not paint my wall purple. You will never find me writing in a diary since that is considered to be a female gender characteristic. I would keep a book of writing and call it a journal, but definitely not a diary.

As you can see, we are shaped to our gender roles by our surroundings, and by our upbringing.  Society today strongly shows what is expected of a male and female. Socialization of gender roles are not always fair for everyone. We should all have our free will of choice to be what we want to be and not worry of society making fun of us for our decisions.

September 9, 2012


Have you ever been addicted to something that you tend to do everyday for long periods of time? This is a trait that I have, but don’t mind at all.  I just do not want to experience a “burnout.” Burn out is a psychological term for the experience of long-term exhaustion and diminished interest. This can be caused by excessive and prolonged stress. If stress continues you tend to lose all your interest and motivation. There are many different coping mechanisms that you can do to deal with being overwhelmed.

I have noticed over time that I am a highly qualified person who is at risk of burnout. I have an excessive trait that hooks me to a new workout routine or a new goal. I will train every day to reach my goals and never give it a rest. This can sometimes pose to be a problem because I become over whelmed when I do not see improvement or results. Since I am into being physical fit I tend to workout day after day. Without struggle there is no progress, but when I see no progress and I struggle, I become overwhelmed with frustration. I have noticed that I am at the risk of burnout when I start to workout twice a day. I do not give my body a rest, and just always want to be better and do more. I am never fully satisfied. Working out has taking priority and I always find a way to workout where ever I am. This can involve me doing calf raises in the shower or even calf raises sitting in my desk in class. I never handle stress well so I easily experience a burnt out. I lose my motivation and then slowly lose all the progress that I made.

When I feel overwhelmed the main coping mechanism that I do is taking a nap. Naps help me to calm my mind off the certain event that are causing me to stress such as, practice for sports teams, homework, and/or even my friends’ drama.  My mind becomes relaxed and clear of all these tedious things that are causing me to be overwhelmed. Another coping mechanism that I use when I am feeling overwhelmed is food. I notice that I tend to sit down and just eat and eat. I guess food is something that relaxes me and it is sure something that I enjoy. I personally like to eat peanut butter as a little snack or I also enjoy a nice fruit salad.  One way I think is most effective for me to overcome being overwhelmed is music. Listening to songs that I love and songs that have a soft tune and beat calm me down. My mind is totally cleared from all my thoughts and I just sing along.

The coping mechanisms that I might use in my professional life are definitely listening to music and journaling. I think it is a healthy alternative to write down the things that cause me to be overwhelmed when I am feeling on the brink of a burnout. This will help me to see what I should not do and help me arrange different ways to overcome it. As a future physical educator I think switching my activities weekly will help students from becoming burned out from that one particular activity. Always having different variations of different games are key to my success. My goal is to make my students have an enjoyable experience that will help them to not stress or become overwhelmed at any time. 

April 30, 2012

Karagrozis' PE Farewell Address

"For this class, you must blog 250 words, 7 days a week," these were the first words I heard this year from Mr. Yang in our EDU470 class. My first impression, I must say, is truly not the one I have now. Honestly, I learned a lot about life from my EDU470 class with Mr. Yang. He was a strong motivator, one who does not have a lot of people to back him up because he takes the road that is less traveled, down the lonely road of technology. Mr. Yang is all about technology and many people are not for this. I personally was one who was against it from day one. He opened up my eyes to reality and explained how it is the 21st century and technology is everything. My first impression of him was that he seems like a nice guy but no way can I deal with blogging everyday and worry about all this technology that he uses. I knew he was a great guy but I was not for this and I wanted to drop this class immediately. I gave it a try for a little while since I had time to drop it and my thoughts changed, my views changed and my morals and motivation towards PE changed. Blogging the 250 words, 7 days a week was not bad after all. 91 blogs later I can say that I am hooked on blogging and I will further use this in my educational experience and to also educate others. Blogging became a habit and from there on I felt guilty and not complete if I did not blog. Blogging is a way to get your thoughts out there without communicating in person. You also have time to think about what you want to say rather then just say the first thing that comes to your head if you are under pressure. Mr Yang showed me what it was to be a leader. Someone who starts his own path and does everything himself even if he has no one backing him. He explained to us how he changed his 12th grade curriculum and taught through the physical. He got the students to do all the work themselves and he just assisted and guided them to success. I am totally for this. I think this is a great thing to do to get the students independent and opened to reality and the struggles we all will face in life. Everything is just a little bump in the road and life will go on. We will get over it and the clock will keep ticking. Soon your buzzer will click and your life will be over. Today is my 21st birthday and I am thankful for everything in my life and everything I have done. I am still not complete with any of my journeys because I want to change  friends,family, strangers and students views on certain things. I have motivated many to attempt Insanity, the workout program. Most of them said that if it was not for me they would not look how they look or be motivated to continue, I encouraged them and changed there outlook. This is great and just a start, I want to be a big difference in this world. I want to be able to get a future job as a physical educator and go into a school with confidence and bring something to the table. I want to change something in their district or curriculum for the better of it. Mr. Yang does not have many supporters but he still does what he does with classes and still is confident about it.  I want to be a motivator just like he was to me. Overall, I am glad I stuck with his class because I personally enjoyed it. Best of luck to Mr. Yang in the future and to all the students in my class.

April 29, 2012

Wiz Khalifa

Yesterday was the SUNY Cortlands Spring Fling concert and we had the new rising artist Wiz Khalifa come perform for us. The Wiz concert was sold out like everyone expected.  I wanted to be front row and lean against the bar because last year I had a great time in the front row for Kid Cudi.  Desperate times call for desperate measures so for me to be front row I had to sacrifice the fun I could of had for the 3 and a half hours of being early in line. The concert started at 8pm and I was in line at 4:30. I was the 3rd person in line and the line grew longer faster than my heart was beating when I won my tournament the previous night. The wait in line was boring and cold but in the end it was worth it. I was against the bar like I hoped and was very comfortable leaning on it. The concert was amazing and Wiz Khalifa had the crowd going wild. Everyone was throwing their hands up and rocking to the music. I personally was fascinated by his ring and necklace on his finger..I saw my reflection in it because that's how shinny it was. I would not be shocked if it cost more than my house. Overall, the Wiz concert was great and I would definitely go see him again. I was able to capture some amazing pictures that are below.


Have you ever been on a team that was called a "Dynasty."  A dynasty in sports is usually three championships in a row. If you recall, the past two volleyball tournaments that I played in at SUNY Cortland,I have won. Once again, this past friday my team and I had captured another victory. This victory was like no other because we went undefeated the whole tournament. We played the same team once again in the finals this time. This tournament we were a lot more agressive, swinging harder and serving more jump serves. I personally served the best I ever had at any of the tournaments and even possible best I ever had in my life. My vein were filled with adrenaline because I wanted this win more than anything to start off my birthday weekend. Game point for the tournament I  jump served. The ball whizzed over the net and dropped down hard into the floor.. the team and I screamed ACE for the victory. We all jumped up and down like we were on a trampoline! There was no better feeling that I have felt in a while to win three tournaments in a row. The dynasty team has been made. Later that night I gave the shirt to my friend who came up to visit me for the weekend. He played in the tournament but his team was short in players so they lost in the semi finals. I had a the same shirt again from the previous tournament so I did mind giving up my shirt to my friend. The picture and the pride of winning meant more to me.

April 23, 2012

9 Square In The Air.. Better Than 4 Square?

As I was scanning through my twitter feed, I saw that professor Yang retweeted someones tweet about a game called, "9 Square in the Air." This is not what caught my attention, but the sentence after it caught my eye: "Great lead up to volleyball."  Since I am in love with playing volleyball competitively and anything that has to do with the over hand swing it the under hand pass, I thought I'd research this game a little. As I did my research, I found this game to be very interesting and I became eager to play it. Everyone loves the game called, "4 square" and I can guarantee you that you will love 9 Square in the Air.  The objective of 4 square is to hit the ball into your opponents box without them returning it back. The goal is to eliminate your opponents and stay in the box that is known as the "kings box." This game can get very intense at times. 9 square in the air is very similar to 4 square, but it has 9 squares and it is in the air. They use PVC pipes to form 9 squares in the air. Since it is in the air, it is like a net that is across a volleyball court. You must hit the ball into another persons square without them recovering it back up. This is a great lead up to volleyball because you can jump to block the ball, jump to spike or even tip the ball into 1 of the other 8 squares. This game can be adjusted to tend to a diverse group of kids from young ages to adults by just simply sliding the poles higher or lower. This game is great to get students interacting with each other. You can make different variations of the games to make it more interesting. You can shut the lights off and use strobe lights if you are in doors. The ball they used is very soft so it will not injure anyone.  I will subject this game for my future school that I plan to be teaching at. All this talking about 9 square, and I might go out and play 4 square right now. Just map out boxes with tap and you are ready to play!

April 20, 2012


Tomorrow is my L.A.S.T which stands for liberal arts and science test.  This test is a must pass to get my teaching certification.  I am very nervous for this test because it is just on basic knowledge that I learned back in high school and my first years of college. I wish I took this test sooner, but I had not. Worst comes to worst I can always retake my test if I do not get the passing grade but I will not think about retaking it because I will pass tomorrow. I am going to enter this test with confidence and no worries about a single thing because it is not the end of the world if I do not succeed on my first try. If I do fall short for a passing grade I will take this as a learning experience and just work harder and do better on my retake. When I get a my certificate for teaching it will not say how many times I took this test, just that I passed it. For the rest of the night I am going to just prepare myself and take practice test. I will go to sleep early tonight and have a great breakfast. I will be focused and mentally tuned in to my test and use all that knowledge in my brain and pass this test.

April 19, 2012

John Dewey The Pragmatist

John Dewey at the University of Chicago in 1902.
John Dewey at the University of Chicago in 1902. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
John Dewey was born on October 20th 1859 and died on June first 1952. Dewey is a reformer with a background in philosophy and psychology who taught that people learn best through social interaction in the real world.  He did not believe that the mind could be disciplined through reading Great Books, rather that the mind should be trained to analyze experience thoughtfully and draw conclussions objectively. He saw education as an opportunity to learn how to apply previous experiences in new ways. He believed that students, facing an ever changing world, should master the scientific method: 1. become aware of a problem; 2. define it; 3. propose various hypothesis to solve it; 4. examine the consequences of each hypothesis in the light of previous experiences; and 5. test the most likely solution. I am a big fan of his theories because I believe in building the curriculum around the experiences, interests and abilities of students and encouraging students to work together cooperatively. My philosophy of physical education realtes to him and I will teach my class around his theory. I will get the community involved and take my students on field trips and get them to do research outside of class. Students will work in small groups to obtain information and teach other information while I walk around and assist them for success.
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