Friday, December 07, 2007

Carpe Diem, Baby!

(Shout out to Metallica in the title)

What a semester!  I have always been a workaholic, but I think this semester, I maxed out.  I have a friend who runs marathons, and she talks about how they find their maximum heart rate when training by sprinting until their body shuts down.  Well, I think I found my maximum work rate this semester, lol.

Nonetheless, I am so glad I did all the things that I was given the opportunity to do.  Four client projects - IMPACT!, Habitat, American Haitian Foundation, and the Faculty Senate... it was pretty overwhelming at times.  But now that we're in the home stretch, I am so glad we did it all.

Colin and Angela's work with IMPACT! was so well implemented.  I am really excited about the opportunity that they have facilitated through their work.  Axel, Patrick, John, and Corey had a great vision for a 5K last semester; now, Colin and Angela have continued their work and made it possible for this to occur in the Spring.  It will just be up to one of my classes in January to carry the torch for one last semester.

The rest of the students in my 9:05 section and all of the students in my 10:10 section took on the challenge of creating a new Web site for the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  We hit some bumps in the road, but we learned from them; I can't express how grateful I am for all the hard work you guys put in to the project.  Megan finally found just the right photo for the banner at the top of the page, and I think we will all be very impressed with the final version.

Then, words can't really even describe the synergy that happened in my 10:10 class with the American Haitian Foundation site.  I have never had a class work so well together.  You guys are truly amazing, and I thank you for all the work you did.   At the moment, I am sitting in your class marveling at how well you collaborate.  I wish I could take you all to the middle school where I do grant work (their blog - http://ticabulldogs.blogspot.com).  You could teach them what we mean when we say "help one another."  (That's a tremendous compliment, btw.  It is certainly not as simple as it seems.)

Finally, I am so grateful to my 1:25 class for all their patience.  They had a truly challenging project because they had to put information together based on links that were often broken.  I know it was frustrating for them.  But they have hung in there and made it all work.  I appreciate your positive attitudes, guys.  Problem solving is a great strategy to know.  Problem solving with a smile is something very few people in the work force have.  Thank you for your smiles.

I will miss you all, and I wish you the best.  Please let me know if you ever need a reference letter.

Angie =o)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Blog Topic due Dec. 2 by 11:59 pm

Your groups should be working on the projects.  I will be available via cell - email me if you need the number.  I will also sign in to AIM when I am able to answer questions this way.

DeLong - people from my 12:20 class will likely contact you about pictures, so be ready for their emails.

I hope you ignored the blog topic that was previously beneath this one.  The title was Lesson 12.  It was supposed to be for the kids I work with in Greenville on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  You guys are definitely not supposed to create a survival guide for the wilderness in the Canadian Rockies. Sorry for any confusion. =o)

This week's blog is a free topic.  Wow me with something creative.


Monday, November 19, 2007

No Post Due This Week

If you need help with your portfolio, please let me know.

Make sure you visit the mockup of the Habitat site (if you are in 9:05 or 12:20) to see what your group should be doing.

Remember - I will be in Austin presenting at the National Reading
Conference the week after Thanksgiving, so there is no class meeting. Instead, each group should be completing its work for the projects.

I will be available by email, IM (cutiger9302), and cell phone while in Austin.

I will post the blog topic for that week on here, so make sure you keep checking back to see what it is.


Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Blog Topic due 11/11 by 11:59 pm

We will begin our week with a discussion on dual coding theory. A PowerPoint will be in Blackboard, Class 31, which will outline this theory for you. I'd like you to look for examples of dual coding theory in commericals on TV, in magazines, etc. and see if you can find examples of marketers who implement this theory in their ads in an attempt to persuade the public to purchase their products. Blog about the things that you observe and talk about how the ads are more or less persuasive as a result of implementing this theory.

Meanwhile, on your team blogs, I'd like to see you pose questions to our clients. We know that we will have feedback on our proposals any day now. Use your team blogs to get clarification on what we need to do to finish our project.

*Special note: Some of you may want to visit the team blogs for my 10:10 class that is working to develop a Web site for the American Haitian Foundation. They are attempting to do some pretty cool things with their team blogs this week.

Since all of you were asked to reflect on the mock interview process, I've included a link today to a post I wrote a couple of semesters ago about the most important interview I've ever had. It was one of those interviews that went in a very different direction from what I anticipated, so I thought it might be helpful to you. =o)

My Most Important (and Most Difficult!) Interview

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Blog post due November 3 by 11:59 pm

For this week's blog, I'd like you to reflect individually on what you've learned about group work thus far. Have you had any miscommunications that have temporarily halted progress? How can you avoid those miscommunications in the future? What kinds of things have been very successful for you? What do you like best about your group? What do you want to do differently to improve your work in Phase 2?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blog Topic due 10/28 by 11:59 pm

This week's blog topic depends on your interview time.

If you did your interview last week, you should have reflecting on the experience for last week's post. That means you have a free topic for this week's blog.

If you had your interview this week, you should reflect on the interview experience for this week's blog.

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

I am enjoying the updates from each group on your proposals. I've only had my 9:05 and 10:10 classes thus far today, but I feel certain my afternoon classes will also have some impressive work to share. I'm looking forward to seeing our final projects this semester! I have been fortunate to get so many great students!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Blog post due 10/21 by 11:59 pm

Hope everyone had a nice break. My family's holding up, and I do appreciate your emails expressing your thoughts/prayers/support during this time. My uncle's funeral is tomorrow, so things should start to settle back down soon.

For those of you who have done your interviews, your blog topic this week should be a reflection on your interview. Just write a few paragraphs talking about what you learned, what you already knew, what you would have done differently, etc.

For those of you who were scheduled to interview tomorrow. you may write about any topic of your choice. A lot of you were in Chicago. You could write about that experience, if you'd like.

For those who are having interviews rescheduled due to my uncle's funeral, I will extend your Portfolio 1 due date. You cannot have it ready on Friday because you will not have completed the interview at that point. I believe that we can make up the interviews on Monday, Oct. 22. However, I'd like to talk with everyone in each of my four classes to be sure.

Give a random family member a call to see how they're doing and tell them you love them. It may seem silly or cheesy, but trust me - it's good to let people know they mean something to you.

I will see you all on Friday.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Blog Topic - Due October 14 at 11:59 pm

This week, I'd like you to reflect on one or more of the presentations done by your classmates. Which ones will you remember the most? What did your classmates do especially well? What do you remember about the PowerPoints that they used? If you write about someone's presentation, be sure to leave a comment on that individual's blog so that he or she will know what you had to say.

***********

For all my Architecture majors going to Chicago - be safe and have a great time! You should watch the Blues Brothers before you go, to get psyched for the trip. I've posted a couple of comments on some of your blogs about things you should try while you're there.

I totally forgot the Chocloate Lounge. That's near Michigan Ave. It's pink... can't miss it. If you like fondue, you've got to try it.

If you want to have a very cool fine dining experience and want to know what convinced me to go vegetarian, try The Green Zebra. (It's expensive, but it's definitely worth it!)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Blog Topic for the Week of October 1, 2007 (Due 10/7 @ 11:59 pm)


FREE WEEK - Blog about any topic that you would like. Just write about whatever strikes your fancy. =o)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Nice work, Quiesha!

Please visit http://habitathelpers.blogspot.com/ to see a great summary of how to write a good business letter.

The blog topic that is due Sunday night is list on the post below this one.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Blog Topic for the Week of Sept 24

This week's blog topic is similar to last week's. I'd like you to visit this link: http://www.careerjournal.com/jobhunting/resumes/. These articles pertain to resume and cover letter writing. Please look for articles that catch your eye and reflect on them in your blog.

Two of the articles that caught my eye are the ones on sneaky job hunter tactics. The first article doesn't actually condone the tactics, but it certainly doesn't dissuade the job hunter from trying such things as putting a fake message at the top of a resume from someone named "Bob" to try to make it look like someone in the company is recommending the candidate. I think that even if you have learned that a company uses software that would allow these notes to be typed at the top of a submitted resume, it is a really bad idea to fake have a contact within the company. The second article really seems to drive that idea home, stating that it can cause your resume to wind up in the garbage can.

My personal advice is to play it honest. List your skills. If you know the resume is going to be searched in an electronic database like Monster, it's okay to use nouns that would likely come up in the search engine. Beyond that, I wouldn't try to second guess the kind of software that a company uses to review applicants. I think companies will always be one step ahead of people who try to cheat the system, and just applying honestly is going to give you a better chance of landing an interview.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Blog topic for the week of Sept. 17

There are a number of short articles about interviewing, as well as comments from readers, at this Web site: http://www.careerjournal.com/jobhunting/interviewing/. Visit the site and read a couple of the articles whose titles catch your attention. Respond to what you have read in your blog. Did anything that you read surprise you? Was there anything that you had not previously considered important for an interviewee to know? Did you learn anything useful that you will be able to apply to future interviews? Was there any advice with which you did not agree? If so, why did you disagree?

This article caught my eye: http://www.careerjournal.com/jobhunting/interviewing/20010418-silverman.html. Now, logicially, I know that you want to fit into the culture of the place where you interview, so it makes sense to dress the part. Still, I was surprised to learn that at Amazon, interviewees who were overdressed were "snickered at" by the current employees of the company. I guess I always assumed that dressing up in the nicest possible suit was the best choice. I pretty much thought that even if everyone else was dressed casually, it'd be best to dress like I really wanted the job. However, I can see how this could work against a person at a very casual company.

With that in mind, I believe it really is important to investigate the company in every possible way prior to the interview. Now, I have one more idea about how I can do that. I already knew about researching them on paper, but now I see I should investigate the culture of the establishment in person, if at all possible. If I am interviewing at UGA for a professorship in a few years, I would probably need to go over and walk through the buildings where the education classes take place, getting a feel for how people dress when they teach. I think I'd need to be more dressed up than a person on a regular work day; still, I wouldn't need to overdo it if they tend to dress casually in that department.

At any rate, this is a very interesting perspective, one that I had not previously considered.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Reminders

The blog topic for this week's blog is in the post below this one. Make sure you have it posted by midnight on Sunday, September 16.

As I mentioned in an email to you on Monday, you need to print a job description, internship description, or graduate program description to class with you on Monday, September 17.

If you are in my 9:05 class, please remember to bring a draft or your resume with you on that same day. If you are in one of the other classes, please bring your resume draft on Wednesday, September 19.

Each group needs to send me the link for its group blog URL, if you have not done this already. You may also leave a comment on my blog with the link, if you prefer.

Groups should be researching and planning the client project now. With the exception of the 10:10 class, all clients have now visited us and given us information to help us begin. If you have any questions, don't hesistate to ask me or the client. Be sure to have one person in your group make a project update each week on the group blog, as your clients will be visiting these next week.

Don't forget that you will be giving a five-minute presentation very soon! If you don't know your topic yet, you should make a decision this weekend in order to give yourself adequate time to prepare.

Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Blog Topic for the Week of Sept. 10

This week, I would like for all of you to begin thinking about your resume and mock interview. As you look for a job description to bring me on Monday, it is important that you think about your future very seriously. As a result, I'd like for you to write a post about what you would like your life to be like in ten years.

For me, ten years doesn't seem like it's as far away as it likely does for you guys. (After you have kids, the years pass by much more quickly, lol.) I want to finish my Ph.D. in 2008, so this means that my career should change quite a bit. I have set pretty lofty goals for myself, but that's what got me to this point, so I might as well continue.

I would actually like to be back at Clemson in tens years' time. I plan to go to another school to teach for a couple of years after graduation; I think I'd like to teach at UGA because they have an excellent Education program. I am hoping that my career will really take off while I'm there. My goal is to have my dissertation published as a book; additionally, I plan to write a autobiographical novel about my own experiences while writing the dissertation. (Dissertation topic: What are the coping stategies of teen mothers who go on to two and four year colleges? I think this can be used to create a program that teaches other teen moms how to do it.)

I want to be on Oprah's show to discuss the novel/dissertation. Dream big, I always say. I really want to promote the program and get federal funding to put it in place. I believe the publicity attached to appearing on the Oprah show might help me with that. I wouldn't be opposed to winning an Oscar for writing a screenplay adaption of my novel; but my primary focus will be getting the program for teen moms going.

When I return to Clemson, I'd like to have such solid funding that I could start a laboratory school (kind of like what John Dewey did in the 20s) right here at Clemson. It'd be a school for the children of teen moms. In other words, the teen moms would be getting their degrees here without having to worry about daycare for their kids. My laboratory school would use incredibly innovative instructional techniques, modeled to an extent after the Reggio Emilia program in Italy. Meanwhile, the teen moms would have mentors to help them make it through their studies.

Of course, those are merely my professional goals. Personally, I'd like to be watching my two wonderful children blossum into happy young adults, living out their own professional and personal dreams. I'd like to be the kind of mom who talks to them every single day, regardless of where they live. I want to support them in all that they endeavor to do.

I want to still be married to my wonderful husband, hopefully having convinced him that travelling is good by that point. (He's not a fan of leaving the country.) I hope we are able to travel around together, learning about different cultures and just enjoying the freedom of being able to do that.

I will want to have a closer relationship with my other family members, bringing my life full circle. Being the first person in your family to go to college is a big thing, but it can alienate you to an extent. (I write this because I know some of you may soon be going through that.) It's just because your life can be so different with an education. I want to honor my family's culture with my writing... maybe doing a novel about my grandparents raising all those kids in the mountains. I want them to know that they have been a very important part of me getting to this point in my life.

Above all, I want to keep balance in my life by keeping my faith a top priority. One's faith, is, of course, a private thing, so I will not discuss that here. But I want to live both my professional and personal lives in such a way that I keep my faith a focus. That is very important to me.

So, ten years from now, I want to be there, in this world I've just described. I wish you luck as you endeavor to figure out where you want to go during this upcoming phase of your lives.

Friday, September 07, 2007

For all you FANBOY Fans...



Note: This is not the video you need to blog about this weekend. It's the one in the post below... =o)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Blog Topic for the Week of Sept. 5

I am enjoying all your introductory blogs! I hope that this next topic will prompt posts that are equally interesting.

For this week, I would like for you to watch this video:



Now, I'd like you to respond. What do you think the title of the video means? How does Web 2.0 affect someone who is ready to enter the workforce? How does it affect people who are already in the workforce? What do you think it means when it says that we will have to rethink everything?

Remember, this post is due on Sunday night, Sept. 9, at midnight.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Comments

Please leave me a comment by clicking the "comments" link below. You will need to log in to do this. Remember - if you did not have a gmail account, your username is your entire email address.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Update on client projects

I met with the potential client that I told you all about in class yesterday, and it is official - we have the project. He looked at each of my classes, considering the different kinds of majors in each section, and he selected the 1:25 class for his project. I will tell you guys more about what you'll be doing in class tomorrow.

Additionally, my supervisor contacted me about another project possibility. One of the retail stores for Habitat for Humanity would like a web site. I believe that we could have 2 classes work on this project. I will be meeting with the client for this project ASAP, and we'll decide then which two classes should complete this project.

Finally, two students have come to me with additional ideas. I'm going to talk with each of them about this tomorrow, and I believe that we can set put something together for the other sections with those two ideas.

So, it looks like we'll be good to go for the semester, with something client-based for each section to do. It makes for a much more enjoyable semester for all of us, so I'm really glad it's coming together so nicely now.

I enjoyed meeting you all yesterday and look forward to working with you to develop your business communication skills. I believe we'll have a great semester!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Welcome Fall 07 Students!

I'm looking forward to our semester together in English 304. Feel free to read any of my posts (below) or any of my former students' posts (links on the left) to help you get an idea of what the class will be like. You will all be making blogs too. We'll set aside one day in class soon to do this. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gareth's VA Tech Post / Car Wash

The final blog topic is in the post below this one. I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading Gareth's response to the VA Tech Tragedy. I think you might all feel the same if you read it.

Also, the TeamWORKS car wash is Saturday.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Final Blog Topic

I had originally mentioned a topic invovling a usability test to my 9:05 and 10:10 classes; however, Beth is on vacation, so we cannot finish in time to do this. Therefore, let's make the following topic the assignment for all four classes.

In August, I'll have four new sections of people very similar to all of you. It will probably be the first time they've worked with a real client. Chances are, many of them will feel like Business Writing is just one of those humanities requirements they must fill to get their degree and might not feel terribly engaged at the thought of writing lots of memos or making a resume.

I think the class starts on a very easy note, with lots of review. IMHO, nothing in this curriculum is terribly difficult; it's just that with the client project, we can have lots of due dates hit all around the same time. Additionally, students have to write a proposal in the class, be it for a client or totally hypothetical. I think sometimes it's hard to see the purpose of that when several groups are working on the same project. The thing is - if we don't write a proposal of some sort for the client, we're required to give one to you as a separate assignment.

To me, it seems like the client project would seem a little confusing at first because you'd have to do some problem-solving. If the client doesn't know exactly what he/she needs, it makes it doubly challenging. I think that all the groups managed to write effective proposals this semesters for our three clients; the grades certainly reflect this. You also created very nice deliverables after having your proposals approved by the client.

What I'd like you to do is try to ease some of the worry of next semester's students by writing giving them tips on how to do well in this class. Let me know if you have any questions. Please remember to complete the instructor evaluation in Blackboard.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Go Willy!

The Client-Based Showcase went very well last night, thanks in large part to Willy (please thank him at his blog link). He did a fantastic job of explaining the Anderson Sunshine House project to visitors, while he also invited them to the carwash that TeamWORKS is doing for the costs of putting the site online. All of you are invited to this carwash, btw. It will be on April 28 at Papa John's. We plan to create a Facebook event to promote the carwash.

For you blog topic this week, please select one of the following writing prompts.

1. What can we do to prevent something like the VT tragedy from happening again? Today is the 8th anniversay of the Columbine massacre, and we must not have responded in the way that we needed to since we have had a variety of school shootings since then. Is this preventable? If so, HOW?

2. Your group projects will be officially done next week? How was the experience for you? What did you really enjoy? What can I do to make it even better in Fall 07?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Snow!

Now, I can't say too much because I believe CT just got/is expected to get 2 feet of snow, but the weather here in Chicago is horrible! The snow/wind are so bad that the DSL connection here at our hotel keeps going down. I just got online for the first time and downloaded 160 emails. I hope to get back to all of your questions before it goes out again.

I answered a few questions in Facebook and have responded to comments on the post that follows this one.

Hope it's nice and warm there. =o)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Email down again =o(

So, I'll answer 2 questions I DO have in my inbox here.

Casey: You need to make copies of your index page, saving it with new names for each of the links... one for resume, one for proposal, and one for each of the others. Then, copy and paste the text from the word docs into the column where the text is on each page. (You can delete the home page stuff out of that column before you do it.) I hope that helps!

Capri: Right now, the link is not opening for me. Have you uploading the file to Blackboard yet? Or if you are working logged into Novell, are you saving the index page in the Engl304 folder in the public.www folder in your U:Drive?

To get the links on one side and the text on the right, you need to insert a table. Put the links in the column on the left and the text in the column on the right. I hope that helps!

And I also hope email's back up again ASAP. If not, just leave your ?s here or on Facebook. I'll keep checking both.

Hope you all have productive team meetings this week! Orange Cross - contact Ann or LInda about the Chamber of Commerce meeting on April 18.

See you next week!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Newest Blog Topic

Of course email goes down when I am planning to send the rest of the PPT 1 feedback emails. Hopefully it will be back up soon.

In the meantime, I can post about this week's blog assignment. First of all, I do have a specific assignment for the team blogs this week. I want the person who does it this week to write about what your team will be doing next week. If you are in the 9:05 or 10:10 class, I would also like for you to include a list of links that your group included in its proposal. I'd like for Tiger Web Design to be able to view your ideas as they plan what how they will organize the links on the templates. Every group has an assignment for the rest of the term now, but I am not sure if we covered stats on the homeless, about ASH, or FAQs. We should include these somewhere.

For the individual blogs, I would like you to write about the contribution that you will make as an individual as your group finishes the project. If there is anything else class-related you'd like to add, that will be fine.

Phase 2 is ending next week, so it will be time for me to do another daily grade average and another blog grade. I will average the daily grade from Phase 1 with the daily grade I give you on Phase 2; the average of the 2 grades is what you will see in Blackboard. I will do the same thing with the Phase 1 blog grade and the Phase 2 blog grade.

I found another Web site that might be of interest to you as you create the final materials for Phase 3. It's a very user friendly explanation of a variety of grammar rules. http://www.sparknotes.com/writing/style/toc_E.html

I am going to talk more about the portfolio on Friday. I hope that my 2 lectures, along with the handout that I emailed to you, will be enough to make the creation of the portfolio a simple process.

It looks like one of the groups from the 9:05 class will be doing a car wash to raise money to help the Anderson Sunshine House get its new site going. I'll announce the date/time/place when we get it so that anyone who would like to help or who would like to bring a car to be washed can do so. (I believe that if you have a public servcie grant, helping with something like this would count towards the hours required.)

Crystal, I can't email right now to ask you about this, so I'll go ahead and post it here. If it is possible for you to have that lunch meeting I mentioned on Friday, that works for Andrew. We could go to the Hendrix Center or even off campus if you would like. (One of the few good things about having 2 herniated discs in my back is that I get excellent parking and could get us back to Daniel very quickly.) I'll buy the two of you lunch while we figure out the best way to get this site on a server. Andrew has actually written a really, really nice php page that will help make maintaining the site very easy for our clients.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the next portfolios. I feel like you guys did some great writing in this phase, especially on the proposals. Overall, they were really persuasive and professional.

I know I have said it several times, but kudos to all of your for doing such great work!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Holy Moly! The end of Phase 2?

So, we are almost at the point of ending the second phase of our class. I can't believe it has passed so quickly! I have uploaded notes for what groups should be doing in Blackboard. For the 9:05 and 10:10 sections, these notes are in the Sunshine House folder. For the other two sections, the notes are the last thing in Course Docs.

Basically, you have several things to do to end Phase 2. You need to revise your proposals. I will give them back to you on Monday with my recommendations. Some of them are not going to require much work. =o) Then, you need to give the class a progress report on Monday about what your group has proposed and how you will finish the project in Phase 3. I will be giving you time in class today (Friday) for making this PPT.

Finally, you need to complete the portfolio for Phase 2. We'll be doing this on the Web instead of Blackboard. I will do a workshop on how to set your portfolio up online in class on Wednesday. I know a lot of you already know the basics for this because you've done it in your computer science and Engl 103 classes. But I will share some tips you may not know, just to make it worth your while. (Granted, I probably can't share anything that those of you who've made sites professionally don't already know. Maybe you can share some things with me that I don't know, lol?)

While I am in Chicago presenting at AERA, you guys should finish these things. Please plan on helping the other people in your group finish portfolios. Once again, AERA is April 9-12. I'll do my best to be available online. I haven't used AIM hardly at all this semester, but I'll be sure to while I'm in Chicago.

Your blog topic this week is to look for examples of dual coding theory in the media and write about them.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Kudos to the Little Miss Sunshines!!!

I just got the first completed proposal from the Little Miss Sunshines. I have glanced over it and believe it is concise, informative, and well-written. I belive Beth and Carolyn will be really pleased with the information that this group has planned to include in its site.

Not only did these girls write a very professional proposal, but they also have an EXCELLENT group blog. I highly recommend you check it out to see an example of solid A work on this particular assignment. (See link to the left.)

For this week's blog, think about how you've been blogging for awhile now. Imagine that you were working for a real company and someone at work discovered your personal blog. People have been fired for this on several occasions. For example, one airline stewardess was fired for having a lucrative photo in which she was wearing her uniform on her personal blog. People have been fired for a variety of blog-related reasons, but the majority involve complaints about the company on the blog. What do you think about this? There are no laws as of yet outlining how companies should handle this kind of thing? Moreover, the contracts that people sign do no generally spell out anything about public blogging. Do you think it's fair for someone to be fired for this reason? What if the person did not explicitly mention the name of the company OR even his/her personal name? What if he/she never blogged from a worked computer? Would it be okay then? Is blogging different from just complaining about your job in a bar on a Friday afternoon?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

This week's blog

I've seen a couple of people doing the post on tricky interview that I did below. You don't HAVE to answer those interview questions in a blog, but you certainly may if you want. Cate B just requested my input on them, so that was the purpose of that blog.

In an email I just sent to you, I mention that you may also reflect on the project as Phase 1 comes to an end. What have you learned about planning a project like this? Group work in general? Having productive team meetings? Keeping records of meetings?

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Portfolio grades are coming along. My original goal would have been to have them to you by Monday, but I am behind since BB was down this past weekend. I have to work on the grant all day long each day this weekend b/c of hte visit from the team we work with from UConn. I will get as much as I possibly can done, but I estimate that it will takee until Monday, March 19 to have them all graded. I apologize for the delay. I'm one of those people works best in the middle of the night when BB was down. (It's the only time my hubby and kids are asleep, not needing me to do other things for them, you see.)

I mentioned to Cori that I would link to a reflection I did at the end of the interviews last semester on my most important interiew experience. So, here's the link. Read if you would like.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Requested topic: Tricky Interview Questions

I've been asked to comment on two particularly challenging interview questions, so this blog will hopefully answer that question. =o)

1) Describe a challenging occasion, which required your persuasive skills and ability to organize people in order to reach a successful outcome.

I think you could do a number of things here. If you have ever had a difficult group project, particularly one in which a group member was not motivated to do his/her share, you might talk about how you talked to that individual to get him or her to get going. You might also talk about something that happened in an extracurricular situation. For example, several of you talked in your interviews about having leadership roles within fraternities, sororities, etc. If you do something that invovles participation by lots of people, I bet you've all encountered someone who was not terribly eager to get invovled. This question is a great opportunity for you to highlight your leadership skills. It's also a good opportunity for you to talk about your people skills by convincing the interviewer that you can motivate/organize someone without offending or ostracizing that person. That kind of skill is really useful in the workplace.

I recommend thinking back on all the experiences that you've had, thinking about something that wasn't going well in the beginning. But somehow, people came together and made it happen later in the process. What was it that made things come together? Was it something that you did? If so, you've got an excellent answer to this question - one that will really build your ethos.

2) Give an example of when you worked as part of a team to overcome a difficult situation. What was your contribution and the final outcome?

Here you have another opportunity to show that you can overcome obstacles and be successful within a team. A good answer will show that you were able to work with others to overcome the obstacle. Saying that you did all the work yourself is probably not the best answer because people who do that have a tendency to burn out quickly... usually within the first five years of their careers. You want to talk about how you worked with others to deal with a problem. That's key.

If I had to answer this one, I think I would talk about dealing with a really unpleasant president in an honor society in which I was vice president. The other officers always had to work around his snappy demeanor to organize events. Even though it was difficult, we always managed to get what we needed to do done. We lost one team member along the way because she got frustrated with the way we were treated. The rest of us decided to band together and not let him get to us. If we were angry, we'd talk about it, rather that fuming over it. If someone did something for which he/she was not recognized by the president, another of us we make sure to bring who was responsible for whatever was done. We focused on the goals of our organization and not the day-to-day challenges. By doing that, we were able to reach the goals we set.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Answering questions about this week

I have had some excellent email questions, so I thought I'd write a post answering those, to help anyone who might be wondering the same thing. =o)

When is the portfolio due?

I did mention this in class, but I totally understand if you didn't catch it. We had SO MUCH to discuss the last time we met. If you are doing your interview on Wednesday, 2/28, then you may have until Friday, Mar. 2, at 8 pm to complete your portfolio. If you did your interview prior to the 28th, then your deadline is the one listed on the syllabus. It will be due on the 28th by 8 pm.

The reason that I am extending the deadline for the students who are doing the interview on the 28th is because they need time to write the reflection and the thank you letter. Everyone else will have had a few days following the interview to do this.

How do you turn in the mock interview reflection and the thank you letter?

The mock interview reflection is this week's blog topic. So, post it on your blog. Then, include a link to your blog in your portfolio.

The follow-up letter (a.k.a, thank you letter) should be a Word doc that is available in your portfolio. If you need to see an example of a follow-up letter, check your book. OR look in Blackboard under "External Links." There is an example of a follow-up letter on that page.

What should go on the Welcome page of the portfolio?

This was one of those things we discussed in class, but you were watching the portfolio creation while I said it, so I understand if you didn't catch it. On the welcome page, be sure to 1.) introduce yourself, 2.) thank your audience for visiting the site, and 3.) exlain the links you have included.

Instructions for Creating a Blackboard Portfolio

1. Upload all your files (the resume, cover letter, thank you letter) to the Content Collection area in Blackboard.
2. From the Content Collection page, click on the Portfolio Creation link (on the left).
3. Follow the instructions, being sure to: write your welcome page stuff (above) on the welcome page, add the 3 files you uploaded to content collection on the "Add Content" page, and link to your blog on the "Add Link" page.
4. Share your portfolio with "angelar" (no "@clemson.edu) under the "Manage" link for your new portfolio.

If you have any additional questions, please send them to me. =o)

I am really pleased with what I am hearing about your group meetings thus far! Additionallly, the portfolios that have been shared so far are excellent!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More info on the next week

After we have our next round of presentations tomorrow, we will begin our interviews on Friday. These will continue through Monday and Wednesday of next week. I will bring the job descriptions that you gave me on paper to class tomorrow for those of you who have forgotten what your description was. If you emailed it to me, you should be able to look in your outbox to find a copy of what you sent me. (Let me know if you need help with that.) We will not be able to stop presentations to look at the descriptions, so the individuals who need to look at their descriptions will need to do it discreetly, while the presentations are happening.

If you have not signed up for an interview time yet, please let me know at the beginning of class tomorrow.

For your interview:
  • Remember to dress like you are going to a real interview. (I will dress up too, just to make it fair.)
  • Remember to bring a copy of your resume and cover letter (geared towards the job description).
  • If you are concerned about how to prepare, check some of the links that I included in the resume links folder in Blackboard.
While I am conducting interviews on Friday, Monday, and Wednesday, you will be required to have THREE team meetings. When you return to class on Friday of next week, you should bring a printed copy of your agendas and minutes w/ action items for these meetings.

For your team meetings:
  • You will need to prepare a one page, informal report explaining what you want to do for the client. This report should be written in memo format and should be handed in with your agenda/minutes.
  • You need to create a team blog for your group. We are going to send the link to the team blog to the client. One person in the group will need to make a new blog (under the user name that he/she already uses to do the personal blog for the class); then, this person will invite the other members to join the team blog.
  • One person will need to post the first blog to the team blog. This blog should talk about what is going on with your group right now. From this point on, one team member per week should post a project update on the blog.
  • You should check one another's personal blog links on my blog. I have some missing links and some incorrect links. Let me know what I still need to fix because I want to make sure I can give everyone a blog grade when Phase 1 ends. Include the blog links I need to fix in your minutes for that particular meeting.
  • You need to elect a Peer Project Evaluation Committee (PPEC) representative. (Committees are very common in the workplace now. This is great practice for you.) This is a person whom you all trust to represent your group during Phases 2 and 3. The PPEC will look at the proposals to the client that other teams make in Phase 2 and rate them based on how they compare to the work your team did. In Phase 3, the PPEC will look at the other final products and rate them for how they compare to your team's work. All rankings made my PPEC members will be completely confidential. You will need to include the name of the person you elect to represent you in the minutes you turn in to me.
  • At the end of Phase 1, we will do our first peer evaluations too. So, pay attention in your group meetings. You'll need to evaluate the conributions each member of your group is making to the project.
For this week's blog:

Reflect on the presentations so far. If you did yours already, reflect on the experience. If you have only watched others thus far, reflect on the ones that you enjoyed.

You may also reflect on how your team meetings are going, if you are not posting to the team blog for your group.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Blog Topic for the Week of Feb. 12

You guys have really done a lot this week... the formatting quiz (easy, but still required some preparation), the letter to the client (also pretty easy), and the Blackboard Portfolio Workshop we'll do on Friday (don't forget to bring laptops). So far, the things you have to do aren't terribly challenging. But I still hope you feel like you are learning some good things from what you've done.

Next week we really kick it up a notch because you will be responsible for doing a lot of things on your own. You'll be doing your presentation on a topic of your choice; be sure to make a really good ppt. We'll talk about how to do that on Friday. You'll have your interviews; be sure to bring your resume and cover letter to that. While I'm interviewing people individually, your groups will need to meet to begin serious work on the project.

Once that's all done, you'll be responsible for putting Portfolio 1 together in Blackboard.

Basically, you're going to have to do a lot on your own and in your groups. I will be here to answer your questions. But I'm giving you the chance to step up and be responsible for putting these different assignments together. Remember to look at the syllabus and stay informed about what is due when.

For this week, I want you to blog about what we've done so far and about your upcoming assignments. Do you feel like you've learned from these easier assignments, like the formatting quiz? Do you think things are going well so far? Do you feel prepared to do the presentation, interview, and portfolio? (Remember - you need to give me through Friday's class before you answer about the portfolio, lol.) Do you feel like your group is ready to begin some work on the project?

Reflect on all these things, and be sure to ask questions if you have them.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Reflections on Last Week

The 1:25 class had an excellent client meeting and will have another next week. I think that having a relationship with a client prior to the class makes it easier. I worked with the Red Cross last semester, so it really helps move things along with them.

We did not get to meet with Stacie from IMPACT in the 12:20 class, but I feel certain that what we did learn from the IMPACT intern will help us get started. I have not been able to talk with Stacie yet, but I hope we can have a visit from her soon. If not, we'll forge ahead with some plans for them to review.

We know how to start on the Sunshine House project, so I think we are okay there. We just need to make 8 drafts of web sites that are modeled after the links we have seen so far. We can do this without problem, I think. I believe one of the most important things for us to think of in the future is the ease of updating the sites that we create.

Reflections on the party situation on student blogs have not been very common in the blogs I've read so far. I think that it's a touchy subject, and people are a little hesistant to open up about it. That's okay. But I do think that people should try to learn from the situation. Things to consider:
1. Things might be offensive to other people even if we don't mean them to be.
2. Anything based on a stereotype is probably going to offend someone.
3. Playing up a stereotype about some other group of people can backfire and cause a stereotype about you to be perpetuated.
4. You have to be VERY careful about what you put online.

The world is a different place now because of the Internet. The way we communicate now has evolved so much in the last ten years. To me, this little youtube video does a good job of representing the evolution of communication:

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Week Two Blog Assignment

This week, I would like for all of you to begin thinking about your resume and mock interview. As you look for a job description to bring me on Monday, it is important that you think about your future very seriously. As a result, I'd like for you to write a post about what you would like your life to be like in ten years.

For me, ten years doesn't seem like it's as far away as it likely does for you guys. (After you have kids, the years pass by much more quickly, lol.) I want to finish my Ph.D. in 2008, so this means that my career should change quite a bit. I have set pretty lofty goals for myself, but that's what got me to this point, so I might as well continue.

I would actually like to be back at Clemson in tens years' time. I plan to go to another school to teach for a couple of years after graduation; I think I'd like to teach at UGA because they have an excellent Education program. I am hoping that my career will really take off while I'm there. My goal is to have my dissertation published as a book; additionally, I plan to write a autobiographical novel about my own experiences while writing the dissertation. (Dissertation topic: What are the coping stategies of teen mothers who go on to two and four year colleges? I think this can be used to create a program that teaches other teen moms how to do it.)

I want to be on Oprah's show to discuss the novel/dissertation. Dream big, I always say. I really want to promote the program and get federal funding to put it in place. I believe the publicity attached to appearing on the Oprah show might help me with that. I wouldn't be opposed to winning an Oscar for writing a screenplay adaption of my novel; but my primary focus will be getting the program for teen moms going.

When I return to Clemson, I'd like to have such solid funding that I could start a laboratory school (kind of like what John Dewey did in the 20s) right here at Clemson. It'd be a school for the children of teen moms. In other words, the teen moms would be getting their degrees here without having to worry about daycare for their kids. My laboratory school would use incredibly innovative instructional techniques, modeled to an extent after the Reggio Emilia program in Italy. Meanwhile, the teen moms would have mentors to help them make it through their studies.

Of course, those are merely my professional goals. Personally, I'd like to be watching my two wonderful children blossum into happy young adults, living out their own professional and personal dreams. I'd like to be the kind of mom who talks to them every single day, regardless of where they live. I want to support them in all that they endeavor to do.

I want to still be married to my wonderful husband, hopefully having convinced him that travelling is good by that point. (He's not a fan of leaving the country.) I hope we are able to travel around together, learning about different cultures and just enjoying the freedom of being able to do that.

I will want to have a closer relationship with my other family members, bringing my life full circle. Being the first person in your family to go to college is a big thing, but it can alienate you to an extent. (I write this because I know some of you may soon be going through that.) It's just because your life can be so different with an education. I want to honor my family's culture with my writing... maybe doing a novel about my grandparents raising all those kids in the mountains. I want them to know that they have been a very important part of me getting to this point in my life.

Above all, I want to keep balance in my life by keeping my faith a top priority. One's faith, is, of course, a private thing, so I will not discuss that here. But I want to live both my professional and personal lives in such a way that I keep my faith a focus. That is very important to me.

So, ten years from now, I want to be there, in this world I've just described. I wish you luck as you endeavor to figure out where you want to go during this upcoming phase of your lives.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Spring 2007 begins!

What a short vacation we just had! I can hardly believe I'll be back in front of a classroom teaching tomorrow morning. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to meeting my new students and learning more about their goals and how I can help them achieve them while they learn about communicating in the professional world.

I believe that a number of the students who have registered for my classes were referred from students last semester. (At least this is what students from last semester have told me, lol.) I've already met Alyssa (and welcome Harley back for another visit sometime soon). I noticed a number of Architecture majors on the roster; I believe those students may be friends of Ryan's. Things will be a little different this semester, but I hope to keep the same kind of fun, relaxed climate in my classroom.

One thing that is different is that I have two clients for us this time, as opposed to only one for all four classes. Sections 15 and 16 will be working with Anderson DHEC's IMPACT program to develop some materials for Cresent High School. Sections 17 and 18 will be working with the Sunshine House in Anderson to develop a top-notch web site for them. We will spend most of our time tomorrow talking about the syllabus and grading policy, so we won't have time to talk very much about the projects yet. Hopefully, some of our clients will visit us soon to discuss the projects with us.

Another difference this term is that I have added two quizzes. Don't panic - they only count 7% each. (If you, perchance, read this on Tuesday night, it said 3.5% then. That was a mistake on my part. I had originally set them up that way, and then I changed it to 7% each. Sorry for the confusion.) I am doing this because a couple of people mentioned the need for something like this in their evals. They felt that it would be good to force people to study the formats of business writing and grammar. These do not count all that much because I still feel the portfolios (with final projects included) are the representations of what you can actually do. I really don't want to grade you on your ability to memorize things.

I have also added more peer reviews in the project. One or two students last term felt the peer reviews needed to count more than they did last term.

We will be using the same textbook that students used last time because several students believed it was valuable as a reference. However, this term, I am incorporating it more into the daily class activities because I do want people to feel that they get their money's worth from the book.

I feel certain we are going to have an excellent semester, and I know we will produce quality work for our clients. Our work will have a positive effect on students at Cresent High School and on homeless families in Anderson County. I hope you are all as excited as I am about having the opportunity to do work that serves the local community WHILE you learn the fundamentals of business communication.

Please feel free to browse my old blogs from last semester if you'd like to get an idea of what my classes are like. Student blogs from last semester are also available for your perusal.

See you tomorrow!

SPRING 2007 TEAMS

SPRING 07 STUDENTS