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!