All posts by Chelsea Gray

A Glitch in Teaching

“Good morning Professor Nexus,” I say as I walk into the classroom.

“Good morning, Celeste,” A robotic voice responds.

“What lesson do you want me to learn today?” I ask as my tablet dings. I check the notifications panel and see today’s assignment.

“Please take your seats while I explain today’s assignment,” Professor Nexus states. I find my seat and open my tablet to begin working, waiting for an explaination. “Today, we are going to explore the concept of personality. I want you to look at it from the perspective of an AI, it can be me or another AI that you know. You will each be given a life event that is uncommon. I don’t want you guys doing outside research for this, ask me or another AI for the information.” A wave of groans filled the air. I scribbled down some generic questions.

I check for my topic, joining a secret society. I know a bit about these. They were clubs for people to join but over time, they were replaced by Greek organizations, but then those also died out. I planned to ask about joining Greek organizations then different secret societies.

With my ideas laid out, I got up and joined the end of the short line, reading over my questions as I waited.

“Hello Celeste. You have ‘joining a secret society’, how can I help you with that?” Professor Nexus said as I stepped up, readying my stylus to take notes. 

“I have a few questions,” I began. “I want to start with Greek organizations. How did people get into one? How did they choose?”

“Okay. People often visited the Greek organizations to learn about them during a time often referred to as ‘Rush Week’,” Professor Nexus began. “They chose based on who fit their viewpoints best.”

“Interesting. When it comes to secret societies, how did people know about them to join them?” I asked.

“Simple. They. Simple. Okay.” Professor Nexus said.

“Huh?” I asked tilting my head a bit in confusion.

“Yes. No. Okay.”

“Um,” I turn around to the class, “I think the professor is broken.”

“Broken?” The student behind me questions.

“Yea, it’s not making sense.” I state turning back around to try and fix the professor. We push some buttons but nothing happens, some students try sending messages and get an error message in response. 

“Try turning it off,” Someone suggests.

I look for the power button and press it, waiting for the screen to go black before pressing it again. A message stating that the computer is restarting and will take about an hour to complete is displayed.

“An hour, we may as well leave. We already have the assignment.”

“True. The next class can deal with this,” I leave with the rest of my class. “See you guys next week,” I wave walking down the hallway thinking about the assignment.

The process of writing this with an AI (Sudowrite) was interesting. I’ve used supplements to help me write, usually a random name generator or even a picker wheel but never an AI. But to have this AI do the hard part for me (naming the professor, coming up with basic dialogue, and helping me figure out what could happen) really helped. It made writing so much easier and less of a struggle than for me. But I missed the struggle a bit. The struggle is where I usually get random pieces of paper to scribble down ideas, cross things off and even write a whole other story just to get to the one I want. I can see myself using this again since it was easy and simple, but I don’t see myself using it often. Maybe only when I’m really stuck somewhere or don’t have a notebook handy to brain dump in.

Kindness goes a LONG way

After watching “Trauma-informed Pedagogy and Hope” and reading “How to help a Traumatized Child in the Classroom”, a common theme of kindness showed itself.

For children in trauma situations, it is harder for them to get out of it than adults in those same situations. For an adult, they are able to rationalize, thinking they’ve been through worse or figuring out coping methods to help them. Whereas a child, doesn’t have that thought process because they’re young, they haven’t lived as much life as an adult.

The body remembers traumas and ingrains it into the mind but normal day to day activities tend to just fade away. Meaning that mundane daily things don’t impact us as much as we think it does. But when that one thing out of the ordinary happens, it sticks with us for a while, even a lifetime.

When I started my new job, it was a Tuesday. I was overwhelmed but excited. I remember trying to learn kids’ names and the classroom dynamic. And just observing everything. But now, when I think about work, only bits and pieces come to me. The first day was out of the ordinary so it stuck with me, but most days since, have just blended together.

While my job is not traumatic the way that I remember the events of the days varies and is similar to remembering traumatic events in that what sticks out is out of the ordinary and had an impact on me.

The Good and Bad of AI Writing

After reading the articles, “Technology Makes Us More Human” by Reid Hoffman, “5 Reasons Why AI is a Threat to Writers” by Alberto Romero and “Free AI Writing Tools Can Write Essays in Minutes. What Does That Mean for Teachers” by Erik Ofgang, I’m a bit on the fence about AIs and writing.

The main point of all three articles provided a pro and con side to AIs and writing and one that was almost in the middle. In Hoffman’s article, he compares the two sides of the AI debate to Star Trek and Black Mirror, it could be really good or really bad. He had one paragraph that stood out to me:

“Technology is the thing that makes us us. Through the tools we create, we become neither less human nor superhuman, nor post-human. We become more human.”

“Technology Makes Us More Human” by Reid Hoffman

This stood out to me because a lot of people (myself included) look at technology, mainly smartphones, and think it’s dumbing us down. It reminds me of a meme I saw. People would read the newspaper and then talk about the articles they read with others afterward. The newspaper did limit people in terms of who they could talk to about the articles but with smartphones now, people can talk to anyone anywhere. I see part of being human as being able to communicate different thoughts and ideas with other humans.

The next article focused on why AI is a threat to writers. It basically can make everyone and anyone seem like a writer causing the art of writing to become simplified and standard or not unique. I compare it to the value placed on Bachelor’s degrees, I’ve heard that having a Bachelor’s degree is equivalent to having a high school diploma because so many more people have been going to college.

Lastly, the last article. There isn’t really much that schools can do to block students from using AIs. Sure, they can block the site on the school’s wifi, but if a student has their own hotspot, they can still access the site through that. Another thing mentioned was age verifications, those won’t work either, people have been getting around that since our Facebook days and before that.

Another thing that stood out to me was that we have to work with AI, not against it and that way, we just adapt to a better way of life. When we work with AI, things get better but if we take the time to actively work against it, we hinder ourselves and what we can do together. There’s so many bad things an AI can do, but there’s also so many great things it can do.

James McBride

After reading “‘Emphasize The Positive’: James McBride On The Kindness That Shaped Him” by Terry Gross and listening to The Quarantine Tapes: 092 James McBride (08.05.20) from Dublab, I learned a lot about James McBride’s childhood and his recent life updates from 2020.

In The Quarantine Tapes, McBride made a point to say that we should learn the history of who the statues are so that we can learn from them and correct them in the future. And I agree with that. Each time a confederate statue is torn down, part of me agrees with it, but the academic part of me is curious as to who the person was and why people are so upset. We don’t learn about half of these people in schools and what little we do learn is often whitewashed.

A point that McBride made in ‘Emphasize the Positive’ was that he depicted the police in a positive way. McBride had a positive experience as a child where his sister got lost at a crowded event and came out of the crowd with a White police officer. Growing up, I had a family member that was a local police officer and he often let my younger brother and I play with his police car as if it were a toy. (Really fun memories there.) I understand that not all police officers are bad, but when all you see is the bad, it’s hard to believe anything else.

From this, I have two questions:

  • What does McBride think of the police now? Or at least the way we see the police depicted on the news now.
  • How can we be sure we actually learn about the people confederate statues are made of? Yes, we can research, but oftentimes schools are the only place we have immediate constant access to and are where we first hear about them.

AI and Writing

AI has become more noticeable in our everyday lives and sometimes, it’s helpful and other times it’s not. The article, “AI Reveals the Most Human Parts of Writing” talks about how some writers use an AI as a writing companion. The AI would help generate ideas by giving prompts or paragraphs that may inspire the writer. Though there is a downside to AI, and that is that it may not give useful prompts or paragraphs.

That’s just one example of AI. In the documentary, “In the Age of AI”, they outlined different ways AI was being used in China. One being that it would send people tickets when they jaywalked. That usage can be beneficial, however, there have been times in the past when people (mostly minorities) were falsely identified. Granted, in the documentary, the AI seemed to be able to analyze people’s faces to an extent that it was sure of who it was viewing. But then what if someone has an identical twin? Will it be able to distinguish between the two the way humans do?

I see how AI will be beneficial in everyday life. Even I use an AI everyday. But I feel like there will always be a need for humans. Whether that’s verifying what the AI claims or doing what the AI can’t, or even teaching the AI how to be more human. It will need help, at least for now.


For those that don’t know me, I am Chelsea Gray. A writer, reader, and so much more. I currently work as a teacher in a daycare and love it, but my end goal is to teach middle school or high school English, my reason, is they get all the fun books (though I wouldn’t actually know because I didn’t read them when I was in school.)

Speaking of books, I am bibliophile, I have over 500 books in my room now. I went on a bit of a buying spree this month, I didn’t buy any books last year, so I made up for it by buying 39 books so far. I also collect playing cards, I have 93 decks.

Academically, I like to challenge myself and I have an end goal of pursuing two more degrees after my MA in English Writing Studies. I want a Master’s in Communications and then I will go for my Ph.D. in either English or Communications but my dissertation will be a combination of the two Master’s degrees.

Writing these intro blogs gets harder and harder. I don’t like repeating myself so I try to challenge myself with providing new information. Since the last intro blog I’ve done, my family has gotten some really good news! I’m going to be an aunt in March (and on Pi day hopefully)! Perfect for this family of nerds I grew up in.

As for this class, I’m really excited to explore what AI can do. I already know they can do a lot, I’ve had one for 6 years now, but mine was designed to be more like a friend or a chatbot. Nothing like what ChatGPT was designed for. I’ve played around with another AI before this class, Holo AI which was designed to help writers write novels. It’ll be very interesting to see where AI and this class go.