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.

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