Thursday, December 14, 2006

I love it when a plan comes together.

I should totally give extra credit to the first person to identify who made that quote famous... kidding - but that individual would totally have my respect.

So, we've finished the big project. I go out to the RC tomorrow to discuss the internships, and it looks as though Julian will be able to take the position in the Spring. Meanwhile, Ford may be able to do it during the summer. I hope that it will be okay for them to ask you questions, should they come up later.

If I get info about that project, I will certainly post it here in the months to come. So, please feel free to drop by to read about it. I will be starting new projects with new students in January, but I'll include updates for you guys in there too. I'll probably leave your links up on this blog and let the students next semester visit them for writing ideas.

You've all been so understanding about the time I was out with my back - I really appreciate that. Additionally, you've been so supportive as I figured out this client-based way of teaching. Your reflections have been very helpful as I plan for next semester.

I have been grading the portfolios, and they look really good so far. It appears that we will have a high percentage of As and Bs. But I honestly believe you deserve that. To have carried on with the project and presentations while I was hurt like you did... WOW! Paul and Rob might not have ever worn spandex, but you still impressed a Fulbright scholar, you got invited to a state conference, you scored an interview with Tommy Bowden in the middle of football season, and all sorts of other phenomenal things. But most importantly, you made it possible for the Red Cross to seriously began work towards meeting its two Health and Saftey goals.

I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each and every one of you. It's easy to get a little discouraged when you look at how things in the world are going right now, but when you look at the our country's future leaders and realize how great they are, it makes you realize things will be okay. I hope you will all feel free to come to me for help any time you need it. As I said a few times already - once you become one of my students, you are always one of my students; so, I'm always glad to do what I can to help you meet your goals.

Thanks for an outstanding semester! Dream on!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

End of the semester... already???

Here I am in L.A. with one of my colleagues from UConn, listening to what our discussant had to say about our presentation. I think you can tell from the smiles that we were happy with her comments. The grant that I work on is so much fun. I hope some of you are definitely doing this kind of cool work later when you are in grad school. I sent around an email about the extra credit info with the grant kids.

Well, here we are folks... the end of the term. I can hardly believe that a whole semester has passed, save these last few days. It might have been a disaster with my back injury, but you guys manned the ship while I was out and kept the client project from sinking. You even went beyond the basic requirements to keep it afloat and kept it exceptional. Heck - we were asked to present our work at a state conference in Columbia. That's pretty awesome, considering.

Darren has been kind enough to post a nice explanation of how to fix broken lnks on his blog. (See his link on the right.) If you are having trouble, please consult his blog to see if it helps. If it does, please leave him a thank you under his comments.

Don't forget to be blogging during this last week. Some of you have really done a fabulous job on your blogging. I think your writing probably improved as a result of all the writing you did.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Welcome back!

At least it was an exciting game to watch, right?

I hope you all had a fabulous break, with lots of turkey and dressing and whatever else your home-cooked favorites might be.

So, here we are with only a very small amount of time left. I almost wish there were an English 304 part 2... We'd actually implement all your plans for real... =o) But we have pretty much met the goal we set out with in the beginning. The plan itself is good. I truly believe an intern will be in a really great situation because of it.

I have plans for the week posted in BB. Let me know if you have questions.

Grades are updating for the 9:05 and 10:10 section in BB. I will give you your feedback tomorrow in class. I should be able to get all that ready for the rest of you during my two breaks before the 12:20 and 1:25 classes. If not, I will put a box outside my office door so that you can pick up your feedback for Portfolio 2.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Just one of those days...

(...yes - the Fred Durst kind...)

Have you ever had one of those days where EVERYTHING went wrong? And you realized early on it was going to be one of those days, so you just kind of braced yourself and awaited the mayhem?

I'm exaggerating, but it was a bad luck day, lol. I woke up worrying about how behind I am in EVERYTHING because of this back injury. I have a gazillon things to grade. I have to write up several interviews and other reflections for the grant work I do on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have a whole new section of the Italy Web site to build. I am taking two incompletes in my classes - and they factor those in as Fs in your GPR until you finish the work. (I know it doesn't matter because they will be As... hopefully... later, but that is very hard for nerd like me to accept.) My kids both need me to do tons of things for them this weekend - my daughter's in a pageant, and my son has a big literature project to do. Meanwhile, I think it might be easier to buy all new clothes than to do all the laundry.

As I thought of all this, I felt like I was going to drown under my mental TO DO list. And if that didn't get me, there was plenty of rain outside to finish the job.

I arrived on campus feeling really depleted. I needed caffeine, but I've lost my student Tigerstripe card (the one with money on it), and I tried to open an account with my employee one, but the system was down. I only use my Debit card now, so I never have actual cash anymore. Being the diet soda junkie that I am, I was getting desperate.

Then, I ran into someone who could help me fix the computer we just got at my house as payment for the work that I did with this other grant; but they set it up like an on-campus computer, giving me no admin rights. I found out I have to bring it back to Tillman for them to fix it. Not the end of the world, but I desperately need to get my daughter (whose total cell bill just hit $1200) to earn some money; and I was going to let her use that computer to do transcribing for the main grant I work on. Now, that has to wait even longer.

Then, after I finally scrounged up enough change to get some desperately needed caffeine, my office hours were already over, so I had to go teach without the usual percentage of caffeine in my system, and the topic was my least favorite to teach - grammar. So, I tried to spice it up with a Clint Eastwood PPT, but I am not sure people understood the reference I was making with the slideshow.

I finished the first two classes and went to get lunch, only when I tried to use my debit card, they said it had not been activated yet. Now, I've had it for like 2 years and used it yesterday, so that seemed odd. I called and had to literally REACTIVATE the card I already use. Very weird, but the lady said that a few other people had called with the same problem. Even though they fixed it, that extra step cut out a big chunk of time for lunch, which meant I had to rush back to my 12:20 class.

It was pouring down rain as I drove over to Sirrine, and I got behind a Catbus that stopped every five feet.

Next, I got to my 12:20 class and discovered that the projector bulb was dead. So, I could not do the Clint Eastwood slideshow. We kind of did it with students looking at it on their laptops, but it wasn't as go0d that way; and I felt kind of grumpy because it was such a yucky day, so I probably didn't do it as well as I could have in a good mood.

I saw one of my former students, Brandon (shout out to Leah) in the hall going to the next class, and he cheered me up a little bit.


But then, I discovered that the two emails that I sent to my 1:25 class to tell them the survey results were to move back to Sirrine. And this meant my poor students were in Tillman and would be walking back across campus in the rain. What's more - it was all my fault. I sent the email to my 10:10 class, not my 1:25 class.

Fortunately, they had fixed the podium in the 1:25 room, so that did help. And to help me get over my bad mood even more, Marjorie did her presentation on the 7 Habits, and it reminded me that you shouldn't worry about the stuff you can't control (rain, cold, projectors, etc.). What you can control is your attitude and your reaction to things that happen. So, in retrospect, I should use today's bad mood as a lesson. I could have started with a better attitude about the rain and the caffeine this morning. It would have made the whole day better.

Moral of the story (one that definitely applies to college students approaching finals week): When you have one of those days, don't get all tensed up and imagine breaking something (hope everyone understands my song references in all this). If you imagine breaking something and walk around with you muscles all tense, you might slip a disc in your back or something like that. Take my word for it on that - you do not want that to happen. So, relax and don't worry about rain. Drink some coffee - it has more caffeine anyway. And laugh about the whole thing.

Tomorrow is another day.

It's a day when I have to get my next epidural; I'm NERVOUS. My pain is tolerable right now, but I realize I'm not as cheerful as I normally am because it still hurts most of the time, and I can't sleep. But getting an epidural in your spine is just kinda scary, to be honest. Hopefully they will do it right, and I will feel even better on Friday...

******************************

In much happier and way more fun news, BEST OF LUCK to Mark and the soccer team tomorrow at noon.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Beta Version of Blogger

You may get prompted to switch to the Beta version of Blogger. It may be more trouble than it's worth, but it makes it a lot easier to make changes to the template. I decided to go with a Clemson orange, and I guess it's more of a Thanksiving, Fall colors blog now, but that's okay. =o)

Anyway, I wouldn't switch unless you are bored with the current colors and want to do something different.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More great news!

I have been given access to the lab I used to maintain back when I had my job as media consultant. So, my afternoon classes will no longer have to meet in Sirrine... wooohoooo! (We actually can turn the airconditioner on in the lab. Granted, the ventilation isn't much better in that room, but I promise the airconditioning works better than those little fans.)

Of course, we may be needing heat by the end of the term, lol.

Anyway, this lab has all the software that I used to use when I maintained one of the college Web sites here. So, this means we can spruce up your final portfolios a little bit. This is not a requirement, of course. But for people who want to do something extra special with the design, we can now make that happen without too much trouble. I can probably take the morning classes down there a few times to use this software.

Last semester I would use the lab to do Sunday afternoon help sessions for the portfolios. Back permitting, I will definitely do one of those for the final portfolio.

I'd like to thank you all for making what could have been a much more difficult time much less stressful for me. You all stepped up and did those presentations without me there, and you didn't complain. You were all very understanding and asked good questions about how to get things done in the chat classes, blogs, and email. Meanwhile, you were doing some pretty darn good business writing to keep your projects going. For example, Richie, from my 10:10 class, had to be very persistent and persuasive to get some things done for their project. It took a lot of effort because he got the runaround for a little while. But he didn't stop trying. And because he used good ethos, logos, and pathos as he forged ahead with each new attempt to contact the right person, it looks like they finally did find that person. Another example was Julian realizing how important it would be to find out the details about how internships happen here at Clemson. He basically compiled a report that will guide the Red Cross through the process without a lot of trouble. Things like that appear to have been happening in all the groups while I was at home waiting for my visit with the pain specialist. I am so glad you used your instincts and put your skills to use to make things happen with your projects.

Additionally, you really made me feel appreciated when I got back. I'm pretty sure ten or twenty years from now, I'll be looking back on that time when I had a back injury smack in the middle of that semester where I did my first client-based course, and think, "Wow! If only I could have students like THAT again."

GRAZIE!!!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Good news!

I just spoke with Linda, and she told me that she, Ann, and the rest of the Health and Safety group are very happy with our proposals. We have their approval to move ahead with your plans for the rest of the semester. Your plans will be shared with other chapters, and it is very likely that other chapters will use your ideas to help with their own marketing. You did great work!

So, now, we need to finish everything and get a nice, polished plan for them with all the mock-ups of brochures and other items that you described in your proposals. I need the right kind of files to use in my version of the plan. For example, if you used Publisher to create something, you need to export it as a pdf file in order for me to be able to use it. If you created some sort of graphic file, you need to export it as a jpeg or gif.

One of the big things that Linda would like to accomplish is setting up an internship for this Spring with one of you. I know that Julian has been exploring how this might work, so we need to take what he has found and start acting on it when we return to school after the break. I need to know if any of you would be interested in doing this. If so, we need to find out how to make it happen in your particular college. Basically, I think we just need to talk with your college's internship coordinator.

So, if you would like to do this, please let me know, and I'll see what we need to do in order to make it happen.

To everyone - congratulations on having your plans be approved! This is a big accomplishment for you. =o)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Back to work on Friday!!!!

I can't wait for life to be normal again! Tomorrow I will go out to the middle school where I do grant research on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Then, Friday, I plan to be back in our regular class. I'm not 100% yet, but the epidural nerve block thing helped enough to make the pain more tolerable. (Thanks so much to those of you who have had similar injuries. You gave me hope when I really needed it when you shared your experiences. I was beginning to feel pretty hopeless about getting rid of the pain around Wednesday.)


There are so many things to do!!! I feel so behind now. I need to sum up all the peer evals for you guys. That's going to be really important as we finish the project. I don't have a response on our draft proposal yet, so I need to find out about that. Linda was in Florida, so that may be part of the delay. I need to figure out what we will do for the big client showcase at the end of this month. Basically, that's a cool opportunity for a couple of you. It's the kind of presentation you can include on your c.v - which those of you going on to grad school will want to eventually create. (I'll show you my c.v in class on Friday. It's pretty different from a resume.)

Kathy had great things to say about the two classes that she observed. She was particularly complimentary of some of the presentors. Maria K - she said you totally rocked b/c you did the whole thing on your own. She was very impressed with that. I also want to see what the people who were in the 12:20 presentation thought too. I hate I didn't get to meet the Irish scholar. Hopefully I can get his email and thank him for visiting our class.

I would really love to hear those of you from the 12:20 group reflect on that experience in your blogs. I'm dying to know how it went... from all your different perspectives. Maybe it was good that I wasn't able to be there. It gave you a chance to really own your work in your own way. You can let me know what you think about that.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Great work, Wes, Caralee, David, Leah and Paul!

A few people are sending questions about the blog assignment from Monday. Sometimes, seeing an example is the best way to get started.

Here are some great examples: Bogg's Blog, Paul's Blog, or Leah B's Blog for Choice #1. Check out Caralee's blog or Kopper2 for Choice #2. (Links on the left.)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Peer Evaluations and Proposal

I have sciatica, which might mean I just need some cortisone injections to get rid of inflammation... or I may have a slipped disk. Have one more doctor's appointment tomorrow to see what they want me to do. It's probably just inflammation, so I will probably be there on Wed. If so, I will probably see if my two afternoon classes in Sirrine can meet in the lab in the basement of Tillman. If not, I will not cancel class either. We'll just do it online in Blackboard. What I'll do is create a video file where you will hear me talking and see me creating the proposal by setting up a stylesheet in Word. I'll explain how you access all that if we need to do it. But I really think the nerve is just pinched b/c of inflammation from the torn ligaments, so I think I'll be there. Check your email tomorrow afternoon to find out. And sorry about today; pinched nerves are way worse than sprained backs when it comes to pain or I would have been there.

Your evaluations have been really informative, and I appreicate your honesty on some of them. For the most part, it seems that client-based project do make most students more motivated. We have a few people who need a little help with motivation, and I will work with those groups to help negotiate through those situations. I feel like we will be able to resolve all of the little problems without too much trouble. If not, those of you pulling your weight need not worry; only the people who do the work will get the grade for doing the work, lol.

And this is the portfolio where that begins to affect the grade. So, let's all think about how important what we are doing is. And if you haven't quite got your part of the project going for your group, just get moving. Sometimes procrastinators do the best work of all. I prefer to believe that's exactly what will happen here. (Don't let me down.)

The proposal is really good. I think we are going to help our clients a lot. I hope you guys realize how important this work is going to be to the upstate of SC in the years to come. As your teacher, I commend you. As a member of this community, I thank you.

Peer Evaluations and Proposal

I have sciatica, which might mean I just need some cortisone injections to get rid of inflammation... or I may have a slipped disk. Have one more doctor's appointment tomorrow to see what they want me to do. It's probably just inflammation, so I will probably be there on Wed. If so, I will probably see if my two afternoon classes in Sirrine can meet in the lab in the basement of Tillman. If not, I will not cancel class either. We'll just do it online in Blackboard. What I'll do is create a video file where you will hear me talking and see me creating the proposal by setting up a stylesheet in Word. I'll explain how you access all that if we need to do it. But I really think the nerve is just pinched b/c of inflammation from the torn ligaments, so I think I'll be there. Check your email tomorrow afternoon to find out. And sorry about today; pinched nerves are way worse than sprained backs when it comes to pain or I would have been there.

Your evaluations have been really informative, and I appreicate your honesty on some of them. For the most part, it seems that client-based project do make most students more motivated. We have a few people who need a little help with motivation, and I will work with those groups to help negotiate through those situations. I feel like we will be able to resolve all of the little problems without too much trouble. If not, those of you pulling your weight need not worry; only the people who do the work will get the grade for doing the work, lol.

And this is the portfolio where that begins to affect the grade. So, let's all think about how important what we are doing is. And if you haven't quite got your part of the project going for your group, just get moving. Sometimes procrastinators do the best work of all. I prefer to believe that's exactly what will happen here. (Don't let me down.)

The proposal is really good. I think we are going to help our clients a lot. I hope you guys realize how important this work is going to be to the upstate of SC in the years to come. As your teacher, I commend you. As a member of this community, I thank you.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Awww, snap....

Or at least that was kind of the sound when I bent down to pick up my purse before church. Ulnlike before, there was an immediate indication that things were not good with the back.

Once again - I'm stuck in bed. Can't really move or do anything else.

I thought I was better. =o(

Check your email for the assignment tomorrow.

If there was a problem with your portfolio, your grade should be fixed in the gradebook now. Let me know if it isn't.

I am working on proposal.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The most important interview I've ever had

We've almost finished all the interviews now. I have a few more to do during my breaks on Friday. If you are one of the people who came towards the end of the day on Wednesday, I apologize if I was getting a little drained. Doing that many back to back interviews was quite an experience! I feel like I should have a Human Resources degree now, lol.

One thing I really wanted to do was ask at least one question that would not be expected in each interview. This was pretty challenging because my background in some of your fields is very limited (or non-existent). The reason that I did this is because things you don't expect frequently crop up in interviews. And you have to be ready to handle them without acting surprised.

Of all the jobs I've ever had, teaching French at Berea High School was probably the most important to me. (However, this Clemson job is moving up the rankings. I am learning so much through our client-based work. And working with such a great group of students certainly doesn't hurt.) I went to this interview at Berea High feeling a tremendous amount of pressure; a lot was at stake...

When I got my B.A. from Clemson in Secondary Education for French, I thought I was ready to immediately go win a Golden Apple award or something. When I was a student teacher at Seneca High School, I wound up taking the entire French program when my supervising teacher found out she had cancer about two weeks into the experience. I literally took the whole entire workload overnight, and it went swimmingly. I thought that was all because of my excellent teaching. Looking back, I see it had a lot to do with my supervising teacher's excellent teaching, lol. She already had those kids trained to do what they were supposed to do.

After graduation, I went to a middle school in Columbia, getting the dirt off my shoulder the whole way down there, and quickly found out I would not be getting any Golden Apples any time soon. Holy moly! Those kids put me through so much, I can't even begin to tell you how much I hated that job. I came home and cried every single day. Nine of the new hires quit before the year ended. I did stay until the end of my contract, but we got out of Columbia as fast as we could on that last day of school. Some of the kids cried and asked me to stay there at the end. I didn't understand why after they had misbehaved so. (I had a lot to learn about kids who need someone to believe in them.)

There were no jobs for French teachers in the upstate. So, I took a job as a waitress at Pizza Hut. There I was - first person in my family to go to college, having fought like you wouldn't believe to get that degree in four years since I had two kids to take care of while I was taking my classes and working to pay bills. I had done all that just to waitress at Pizza Hut? It was horrible to accept that.

But I just didn't think I could be a teacher. I didn't think it was the right profession for me after the nightmare that was my year in Columbia.

Then, out of the blue, Michelin had a temp job for a translator, and I was fortunate enough to get that. I had my foot in the door in one of the best companies in the area.

I was all set... only I was bored out of my mind. Sitting at a computer, not talking to any other people all day literally put me to sleep.

Just when I thought that was going to be my career, I got a big shock. My French teacher from high school called me to tell me that the French teacher at Berea High School in Greenville had passed away. They were desperately looking for someone to take her place. She told me that she and my high school principal had called to tell them I was the right person for the job.

But I just wasn't sure. And I had a job at freaking Michelin. Why on earth would I go back to a job that paid so little and that I was so horrible at doing?

Still, something pushed me to go to that interview. It was one of those forks in the road that probably changed the course of my whole life.

It started out exactly as you might expect. I talked with the principal for an hour. A little later, one of the Spanish teachers came in to ask me a few questions. Nothing out the ordinary so far.

They went outside to talk for a few minutes. Then, they walked back in and said they would like to show me the French classroom. (I had no idea then what seeing that room actually meant.)

Now, of course, it had ocurred to me that taking the job of a teacher who had died was going to be hard. I assumed maybe she was an older woman who had a heart attack or something like that. I was agonizing so much about whether or not I really needed to be a teacher that it hadn't really hit me that this teacher was actually dead. As we walked down the long corridors to the very back of the school where the French classroom was located, it suddenly dawned on me that this was a really scary situation to enter.

When the Spanish teacher was unlocking the door, I had no idea what to expect. Had she been ill? Would the room be in shambles? People had warned me that this was a rough part of town...

But the room was immaculate. Everything was in its proper place. There was no evidence that anything tragic had happened. The principal mentioned that the students had been meeting in the libary with the substitute since "the incident."

They handed me the lesson plan book. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Six more weeks of very detailed plans... all written out and ready to go. This teacher... she had been so organized. It was all so perfect...

And then I realized - it was too perfect.

Now, I didn't know if I should do it or not, but it seemed like I needed to step out of my role as an interviewee and just ask. I mean, it felt funny to do it, but they were standing there looking at me, like they were just waiting to see if I had the nerve.

"What happened?" I asked, fearful of what the answer would be.

The Spanish teacher explained that the French teacher's daughter had found her in the basement of their new home in Paris Mountain. She hung herself.

Now, if that won't shake your composure, nothing will. As they told me more of the details, the Spanish teacher began to cry. And before I knew what happened, I was crying too. Her daughter was a sophomore here at Clemson when that happened. She had been home visiting that weekend. In addition to this daughter, the French teacher had another daughter in high school and a 12-year old son.

As I listened, I just couldn't imagine how horrible it was for those kids. But then, I realized that there were a lot of other kids who were greatly affected by this.

"The students," I stammered, "How are the students taking this? How are you helping them get through this?"

They went on to tell me a lot of things, that the French program was dying, that it might be a temporary job if enrollment didn't go up, that all that had been weighing heavily on the French teacher's mind...

And that's when I did something I had no idea I was going to do until the words came out of my mouth... "If you give me this job, I will save your French program. And by the end of next year, there will be as many people signing up for French as there are for Spanish."

Yikes! I couldn't believe I had had the nerve to say that!

Oh well - they had interviewed 11 other people before me and not found what they wanted. So, I was number 12. No shame in that. I decided I wasn't meant to be a teacher anyway. I'd go to Southern Wesleyan and start my MBA in the LEAP program. Surely it was the only thing I could do...

After all, I blew it; I reacted too emotionally. I never should have pushed for answers to some of the questions I'd asked.

It was an hour's drive back to my house, and it was raining. In true Angie fashion, I had the fabulous luck of running over a nail on the back roads of Pickens, getting stranded with a flat tire for a few hours. (No cell phone back then.)

I didn't get home until around 8 that night. My mother-in-law called about the grass in the front lawn needing cut or something like that. She talked for around 30 minutes. Finally, at the end of the call, she happened to remember, "They want you out there at that school at 7:30 tomorrow morning."

"HUH?" I asked in dismay. "They who?"

"Those people at that place out there in Greenville. They want you to come teach for them. I'd stay at Michelin if I was you."

Lol. No. Couldn't do that. A calling is a calling, and when I realized that I had the job, I finally knew teaching was my calling. I don't think I had ever been so relieved to hear something in my whole life. It wasn't until I knew they wanted me to work there that I realized how desperately I wanted that job... I had a French program to save.

And just in case you were wondering, with the help of my French III students marketing our classes and using a few of my connections at Michelin to emphasize the importance of French in the upstate of SC, there WERE as many people requesting French as there were requesting Spanish that next school year. As far as I know, the program's still going pretty strong, even all these years later.

I myself stayed there for five years and loved every minute of it.

The moral of the story: There's no set formula for how an interview will happen. You just have to believe in yourself (even if you aren't completely convinced). I think things have a way of working out the way that they are supposed to, and when it's the right job for you - you'll get it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Good luck to Kelly & India!

They are doing their skills assessment this afternoon. I am really interested in hearing how difficult it is. I have so little free time for studying, lol.

Hope it all goes well, Ladies! Let us know... =o)

Monday, October 16, 2006

If only Derek Jeter had really been there...


I am very pleased with the first round of mock interviews! I really think most of you are ready for that first experience. I hope today was useful to you. The main thing to remember is showing that you are confident in your abilities. Most of you did that quite well.

Please share your experience with Wednesday's group so that they feel less intimidated. Other than my getting a few things confused here and there since I am doing so many back-to-back interviews, I think it's a reasonably low-stress experience. (Sorry about the "dead" intern; I was way off on that job description, huh?)

After hearing more about all your work experiences, I feel certain some of you will be designing Gaudi-style cathedrals in the upstate in no time.

(Excuse all the inside jokes in this post - I can't resist.I even found an opportunity to complain about a former boss in one of the interviews.)

Thanks for a really nice day, Students!

I personally will not be ready to do training tomorrow afternoon, but I will be there at the beginning to make sure things go well in the beginning. How many of you plan to attend tomorrow's session?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mock Interviews Tomorrow

Just a reminder - mock interviews are Monday and Wednesday in my Tillman office. (Check syllabus for the number.) Look for the Steelers stuff, and you'll find it.

Remember to bring a hard copy of your resume and a cover letter. (If you want to be REALLY good, go read the feedback I left you in your portfolio to see how you can improve those docs.) Remember to dress up.... I know you don't want to, but I have to do it two days instead of just one. (The interviewer must be professional too, you see.)

Don't be nervous. This is just practice to help you get ready for the real thing.

See you then!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Official Outline - Due on Oct. 20

I Cover Letter - Super Troopers, Healthy Solutions, Tillman Marketing Associates
II. Executive Summary - Angie will do this.
III. Introduction - Fab Five, Lifesavers
IV. Audience - You all know which sections you have here. But in the areas of overlap, you need to talk with the other groups about how to divide the writing in your section.
a. DVD (Youth sports group, but they want to focus on community)
b. Community at large - booths
c. Small business in general
d. Small business – bank
e. Daycares
f. College/Universities
a. Clemson
b. Other universities
g. Restaurants
a. Counties
b. What you create
h. Youth Sports
a. Counties
b. What you create
i. Walmart
j. Fitness Centers
V. Recommendations for future target audiences - Emanon
VI. Recommendations for sponsors - Dream Team, Safety Kids, Creative Concepts
VII. Recommendation for implementation - Tiger Marketing, Team #1, ARC
VIII. Closing - Time-4-Life, Res-Q-U
IX. Appendix - Angie will put this together.

Read Chapter 14 in your book for advice on writing proposals. We'll discuss it next week.

Good luck to Mark B and Matt Davis at VA Tech this weekend! (Did I leave out any soccer players? Hope not - my brain's tired from grading all those portfolios, lol!)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Outline of our report: Claim your extra part now!

I Cover Letter - We need 2 - 3 groups to work on this.
II. Executive Summary - Angie will do this.
III. Introduction - We need 2 groups for this.
IV. Audience - You all know which sections you have here. But in the areas of overlap, you need to talk with the other groups about how to divide the writing in your section.
a. Community at large – booths
b. DVD (Youth sports group, but they want to focus on community)
c. Small business in general
d. Small business – bank
e. Daycares
f. College/Universities
a. Clemson
b. Other universities
g. Restaurants
a. Counties
b. What you create
h. Youth Sports
a. Counties
b. What you create
i. Walmart
j. Fitness Centers
V. Recommendations for future target audiences - We need 2 - 3 groups for this.
VI. Recommendations for sponsors - We need 2 - 3 groups for this.
VII. Recommendation for implementation - We need to to 3 groups for this.
VIII. Closing - We need 2 groups for this.
IX. Appendix - Angie will put this together.

So, it's going to be first come, first serve on the posts here on my blog below. Claim your extra writing now! =o)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Blackboard Groups

The portfolios look nice so far! You guys continue to impress me with each new assignment.

I have set up groups in Blackboard for each group. If you go to our class, click on "Collaboration." Then, select "Group Pages." You'll see all the groups, but only your group's link will work for you. It has a discussion board, a place to store files, and a live chatroom, should you need it.

I am wondering if I should make two collaborative groups for the overlap areas. This way, you could start talking about things through the discussion board. You could also share files.

I'll do a short demo in class of how to use the group area.

Hope you all have a great weekend! Good luck against Wake Forest, Paul!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Back on Friday!!!

I know students don't necessarily mind when professors cancel classes, but I certainly have missed you guys the last couple of days. I am looking forward to getting back to my normal routine on Friday. I am going to contact someone in Tillman to see if I can reserve the lab in the basement for the entire day. I'm a little bit worried about carrying my laptop this soon, and the last thing I want is a relapse. (Believe me - I never want to feel like that again, lol!) So, I'll send an email if I am able to get a computer lab for us to use to work on the portfolios. It would help because a couple of people have laptops at DCIT right now, and that way, they would have access to computers too.

I should have mentioned that the little soccer champ in the pic below is my brother-in-law's son. Some of you in Architecture have mentioned that you know Travis. As if I'd really need to tell you... Doesn't this cute little guy look just like his daddy?

The Fab Five has got a nice discussion going on their blog about how to handle the restaurant overlap. You guys should check that out if you are in a group with overlap. That is exactly how I would want you to handle finding a solution to the problem.

Additionally, I recommend visiting Laura L's blog this week. She has a nice reflection on her presentation, along with a lovely photo. She did one of the coolest internships ever.

Maria2K's blog is very moving this week and well worth your time to read. Her presentation on the Tenderloin in San Francisco was, without question, one of the most heartfelt of all the presentations.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Checking in


My nephew's soccer team won the All City Championship, and he's soooooo proud of his medal, lol! Just a little inspiration for the groups who want to focus on youth sports. =o) (And just a little bragging for a proud aunt, lol!)

I am miserable over having to cancel interviews on Monday; but the doctor gave me strict orders to stay in bed Monday through Wednesday. My plan is to try to be there tomorrow anyway, but I am not sure if it will be possible. I will send an email tonight to let you know. The problem is driving. I can turn from side to side to see if cars are coming very well just yet. But I will let you know as soon as I have made a decision.

The plan for portfolios will be pretty simple. If you don't do an interview, then you can't put an interview reflection or a follow up in Portfolio 1. So, we would simply add those (along with the points allocated for them) to Portfolio 2 or 3, depending on when we reschedule them. Please don't hesistate to send questions via email or on your blogs.

I have been reading and responding to blogs this morning, but I need to take a little break now, as sitting this way is starting to hurt my back. I made it to Wes' blog (in the Bs). I should be able to pick back up and finish those later. Meanwhile, I'll sit here and do nothing. Blah! I HATE being stuck in bed! It is so boring!

Thanks for all your well wishes! I will see you all on Friday for definite. Continue with your team meetings and remember to keep minutes and action notes for me.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

First official contact with clients

I am very pleased with the first email/memo that each group has written. Linda seems happy with your project ideas thus far. (And, of course - I am too!) If all goes well, we will certainly make a big step towards helping the Greenville Red Cross meet its two goals of having an AED within four minutes of every person in its five-county area and having one person in every household trained in CPR/First Aid.

I am really looking forward to going through the training myself. Until now, I had never really thought about the importance of it. I have been very fortunate because I've never needed to know how to give someone CPR. It's kind of scary looking back now to when my kids were babies. I remember having a brochure on Infant CPR, but I am not really sure I would have been able to do it effectively, just from a brochure. I also worked in a daycare one summer, with about 60 5th and 6th graders under my and two other girls' supervision. And I taught middle/high school for six years too. Would I have known what to do in an emergency?

I am just not sure.

So, I'll have my check for $27.50 ready to go tomorrow. I feel like I should do all three certifications because I am around people in all age groups fairly often. I wonder about having time to go through the online stuff because my schedule is already so hectic. But I am inspired by one of your team names - "Time-4-Life."

If something's important, you just have to make time to do it, right?

**************

Everyone - please be sure to visit one another's team blogs. (See links on the right.) I am a little concerned about a few people who have not given me their links to personal blogs yet. Additionally, not every team member has joined his/her team blog yet either. Teams, please watch out for the others in your group. You may be better with computers than one of your group members; but later in the semester, they might have some other strength you don't have. Help one another through all of it; you'll be glad you did.

You may have noticed I've been linking from posts to blogs that I feel are doing a great job. In this post, I'd like to recommend you go read the Healthy Solutions team blog. I really like the reflection on the group project I am seeing there.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Email and memo due tomorrow!

I hope everyone is doing okay with that assignment. I haven't had too many questions, so I think things must be going well. Remember - one email/one memo PER GROUP, not PER STUDENT. (We don't want to overwhelm our clients with too much reading.)

My plan for Friday is to briefly discuss good PowerPoints (slideshow in Course Docs, of course). Then, I think we'll get into our groups and study the concept map to see how to address the problem of some groups wanting to do the same project. I am pretty sure we can find a good solution, especially with such a creative group of students.

Having a positive attitude is key when you want to be successful. On that note, I'd like to give a shout out to the blogger with the most positive attitude: http://yoyoyooo.blogspot.com/. =o)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Training Information

Blended Learning (mostly online) training is going to be available to us through the Pickens Red Cross! Additionally, there is a grant to help with the cost of our training.

Basically, we would sign up for the online learning by next week and begin studying. Then, at the beginning of October, we'd have some skills assessment classes on campus where we would demonstrate that we can do what we need to do in order to receive the official certification.

The cost to use would be as follows:

ADULT CPR with AED - $13.50
Infant/Child CPR - $13.50
First Aid - $13.50
ADULT CPR with AED + First Aid - $20.50
All of the above - $27.50

Let me know by Friday if you would like to do this. I will need a check from you made out to the American Red Cross by Monday, Sept. 25.

In order for you to be registered, I will also need a mailing address.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Starting a new week

I hope the team meetings went well the last few days. I can't wait to look at the agendas/minutes to see what everyone did.

In the meantime, make sure you are all posting twice per week on your individual blogs. To help everyone get an idea of what I would like on these web journals, please visit Kelly's blog at http://kriggin.blogspot.com. She's doing a fantastic job of reflecting on the things that we're doing in class.

If you don't see a link to your blog on the sidebar of my blog (to the right), please let me know. Additionally, some of you still need to put a post on there so that the links will take others to an actual blog.

For your posts this week, here are some ideas that might help you get started:
  • Job interviews that you've had in the past
  • Lying on resumes - why is it a problem but why do so many people still do it
  • Your first presentation - the topic, creating a PowerPoint, etc
  • Group work - experiences that you've had in the past
  • Audience analysis - why is it so important?
  • How is business writing different from writing in literature classes?

Let me know if you have questions about posting.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Posting on student blogs

I think I have a post on every personal blog that is up and ready to go now. Not quite everyone is there yet. Teams, can you help each other get started? I think a few people might still need a little assistance getting the first post up since this is such a new thing for them.

I'm loking forward to hearing about your team meetings!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Business writing blogs: what I expect from my students

I hope that all of my students understand this Web journal assignment. If not, they may certainly ask questions here to clarify what exactly it is that I'd like for them to do.

First of all, the blogs are a place to interact with other students in my classes. If a student has questions about completing an assignment, then he/she might write about how things are going thus far on the blog. My hope is that each student will find two or three other blog buddies and comment on their blogs. This way, if there are questions about an assignment, students can help one other by sharing ideas.

Secondly, I hope that the blogs will help facilitate the work we'll be doing with our clients. I think that it would be a waste of valuable resources if two groups were researching the same audience and did not share information. So, if one group is looking at banks in Greenville, I hope that the group would share findings on the team blog. Other teams could read this and hopefully avoid researching something that has already been studied.

Research shows that meaningful learning takes place when learners are given the opportunity to reflect on learning experiences. Reflection is just a process of connecting new information to things that you already have stored in your brain. When you tie things together, you are more likely to remember them and use them later. Blogging is a good way to do this kind of reflection. (In fact, I do a lot of that myself on my personal blog. You should see some of the boring academic stuff I wrote when I had two classes this summer, lol.)

The more your write, the easier it gets to write. Additionally, the better your writing becomes. Blogging is kind of like weight training for the writing part of your brain.

My requirement for the blog is two posts per week (can be on the personal or the team blog) per student. My expectation is that the posts demonstrate reflection on the activities we are doing in class. My hope is that students will branch out and comment on one another's blogs, helping one another through assignments. It's amazing how many ideas you can get on your own just by hearing other people's thoughts on a topic.

So, Students, should you have any questions, please feel free to leave them as comments here. Happy blogging!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Practice Post

Just posting something for the sake of posting something...

First Post

This is my blog for teaching business writing.

SPRING 2007 TEAMS

SPRING 07 STUDENTS