Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dear Future ENG 304 Students...

Hello! First of all let me say that the fact that you are reading this blog makes me happy because it means that the University has not nixed this class- a blessing we should ALL be thankful for :)

Now that we have that established, I can move on to some important items I want to share with you - namely how YOU can be successful in this class. For ease sake I have broken up my suggestions into four main categories - all of which are extremely relevant to this course - and chosen three items I feel will prove most helpful if you heed them...

Managing the Client Project

1. Be yourself when organizing into groups - having a good group is KEY, and you don't want to misrepresent yourself and have to spend the rest of the semester regretting it

2. BE FLEXIBLE. This project has its roots in collaboration WHICH MEANS that there are going to be differing opinions and (at times) conflicts of interest. Do your best to keep your focus on the project and what is going to benefit the client the most versus keeping nit-picky tabs on group members and their ideas.

3. HAVE FUN. This is a semeseter long project and there are bound to be days when you don't feel like working on it but remember that this project is different from any other you have done because you are actually producing a product that is going to impact the community!!!

Preparing Career Materials




ok so I know you probably think I am crazy but I PROMISE you the people there are INCREDIBLY nice and INCREDIBLY helpful and they will equip you with everything you need to have a killer resume, cover letter, and everything else you might need in this arena.

Handling Technology

For this class you are required to keep a blog (what you are reading now is a blog) as well as establish and develop an e-portfolio...

1. Don't be a techno-phob. I promise I am about as computer illiterate as they come but this stuff is b-a-s-i-c. A rudimentary working knowledge of the internet and an open mind is really all you need - and a little patience!

2. Don't be afraid of new things - you adapted to the New Facebook just fine I assume :)

3. Don't be afraid to ask for help! We don't all work at CCIT but there are people who do! And Mrs. Rogers is extremely helpful and understanding as well. USE YOUR RESOURCES.

Making the Most of the Class

1. Use your time wisely. Mrs. Rogers does a great job of letting you know when things are due so you have no excuse to say you didn't know. Follow her To-Do List and you will be golden!

2. Don't throw everything you learn out the window after an assignment is done - you are going to be in the work force the rest of you adult life - you need this stuff!

3. Put your heart into the Client Project. As I previously stated, this project is happening in real life. Get excited about making a difference!

Best of luck to you all!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Client Project Reflection

Overall, I have really enjoyed working on this project. In the beginning I was not really sure what to expect and I did not feel like I had a good grasp on what was expected but Ms Rogers did a great job of clearing things up.
My group has been really wonderful - such a blessing! I have been in horrid groups before and that is always a real fear of mine but praise the Lord He provided and we all work really well together. As a group our biggest obstacle has definitely been TIME. We are all super busy and so finding time when we can all meet has been a bit rough.
My group has been awesome on a personal discovery level as well. It is a habit of mine to think that I have to take on everything or it wont turn out ok and my group has really helped break me of that because of the mutual diligence, intelligence, and conscientiousness we share - a fact for which I am MUCH appreciative. The faith they have endengered in me will certainly aide me in future collaborative projects.
My favorite part of the project is definitely seeing how far we have come from the beginning and knowing that what we are producing is going to have a "pay it forward" effect - very cool and inspiring!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dual Coding: like NIKE, your brain "just does it"

As we discussed in class, the crux of Dual Coding Theory is that there are (at least) two different cognitive systems operating when a reading stimulus reaches the senses.

The first system processes the written stimuli, the second system processes the visual stimuli, and lastly, a third system assimilates all the information to infuse meaning.

It is important to note that these two systems are involuntary, meaning that the individual does not ever consciously have control over this process. Simply put, no one ever says, "I am going to start processing the words I see; now time for the pictures; ok, brain, now it is time for you to work your mysterious magic and integrate everything I see into a comprehensive schema of some kind" - the brain just does it!

The NIKE ad posted on this week's blog prompt exemplifies dual coding theory quite well.

For starters, the words definitely jump out at you first, thus supporting the theory's claim that written stimuli are processed first.

[Strictly speaking perceptually, it makes sense that the words would capure the initial focus because they are symetrically centered in the ad and appear in color against a white background.]

After processing the words, my mind (as the theory would predict) immediately began to scan the environment surrounding the words/phrases I had just read. Although the environment was pretty stark as far as visual stimuli was concerned, I was able to pick out a door frame, a color divide on the back wall, and a small box-like structure in the lower-left corner. I also noticed that the "We Believe" phrase appeared to be written on a separate background from the white wall and that there was a sliver of color on the left side of this background.

Luckily, my brain does not stop there!

The final component of Dual Coding Theory came into play when my brain integrated all of the aforementioned stimuli and helped me to consciously reach the conclusion that I was looking at the door of a gymnasium or locker room leading out to a sports arena of some kind. At this point I infer that the words "We Believe" are written on one of those banners that team players run through before the start of a game and that the "Practice like Champions" is a phrase painted into the actual gymnasium wall - something the players would likely see every day.

Beyond this, my brain attaches further meaning to the scene when I take into account that this is an ad for a sport's brand company.

All in all, a fine example of Dual Coding Theory!

Friday, October 24, 2008

An Apple a Day Does NOT Keep the Embarrassment at Bay

I had a job this summer with a corporate wellness firm in Columbus, OH where, all things considered, most days went really quite well.

There was one incident the first day I started though that I will not soon forget..

I will try to make a long story short here:

Right when you walk in there is this big bowl filled with green apples which I thought was clever because they are a wellness firm and so what better business tactic than to promote health from the second someone walks in the door, right?

I made some comment about them and one of the ladies (Amy) said, "Oh I know don't they look delicious? If I hadn't had such a big breakfast I would snag me one!"

They certainly did look appetizing, but I too had had a big breakfast and was not hungry.

I went about my business, showing various clients to the appropriate rooms when they would come, getting coffee, etc.

Then it happened. THE INCIDENT....

One of our biggest clients was coming to visit to hear some of the new health insurance proposals and my boss had given me explicit instruction to "make him feel right at home" while he was waiting.

So in he comes.

I greet him.

I offer him coffee.

I offer him a seat.

He takes the seat right next to the apple bowl.

Knowing I am supposed to make him feel at home, I say, "Sir please feel free to have an apple while you wait if you would like".

He looks pleased at the offer.

He extends his hand.

He grabs an apple, dusts if off on his [expensive] trouser pants, and is about to take a giant bite when my boss walks out of his office and anxiously cries, "Mr. Kerpline, STOP!!!"

The whole office is startled and comes over to the area.

Turns out it was a plastic apple!!!

There was apparently some humor miscommunication between Amy and I in the morning because I thought she was dead serious about eating one if she hadnt been so full and they looked so real it never occured to me that she was JOKING.

Clearly, I learned a valuable lesson here: when in doubt - assume they are plastic.

This could have been avoided if I had taken a better assessment of the situation from the get-go, but alas..

Friday, October 10, 2008

Interview Reflection

1. Were you nervous? How did you deal with this? I have done a few interviews already so I was not too nervous. Also, I felt confident because I know the direction I would like to see my career go in and am extremely passionate about it. The fact that I know Mrs. Rogers and feel comfortable talking with her helped to =)

2. Did you get any questions that threw you? How did you handle those questions?
The very first question "Tell me about yourself" always gets me. I never know exactly what to say to answer that because there are so many things to say about yourself. I never know what aspects the interviewer is really looking for and what will just sounds cliche...
I handled this by trying to give a few tidbits from my personal life, some from my academic life, and some from my spiritual life.

3. If you could do the interview again, what would you do differently?
I would probably have tried to be more aware of what I was doing non-verbally because I know that that can speak volumes and I wish I had been more cognizant of that.

4. What did you learn from this experience?

This interview really just affirmed for me that I do indeed have a huge passion for what I am seeking to do with my life and that makes me feel so blessed =)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Presentation Reviews

Let me start out by saying that I sincerely enjoyed all of the presentation and honestly felt that all of my classmates did a really fine job and truly seemed to have fun with their projects.
In particular, I enjoyed the fact that Ms. Rogers allowed us to choose something that we care about to present on because it gave me further insight into my classmates' wide range of personalities and interests.
This being said, I would like to say that the three presentations I have chosen to write about are not better or worse than anyone else's - they just happened to grab my attention the most based on my personality and interests :)

1. Rob Painter: Historic Events of October 3rd

I enjoyed this because it was very unique and unscripted. Rob presented it with the perfect balance of spontaneity, sincerity, and sarcasm - not an easy task! Well done, Rob; I will forever remember October 3rd.

2. Shawn Corey: Officiating Triangle Style

What drew me to Shawn's presentation was his topic of Duke vs. UNC - a rivalry that has healthily occupied my heart since I was a young lass. My older brother brought me to love the Tarheels of the early and mid-90's and I have retained a special affinity for them ever since because they stir up fond childhood memories of my brother and me.

3. Frankie Bennett: Marijuana

You have to laugh! I cannot imagine why he chose to do marijuana over every other topic in the world but it was hilariously unexpected. It leaves me to wonder how exactly he knows so much about it and why exactly it is so near and dear to his heart... Care to comment, Frankie :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Favourite Things

Since we have a free topic this week I thought I would indulge everyone a little in the life of ME :)

*these are in no particular order - aside from the order they popped into my mind*

1. Cloudless days

2. Eating half-ripe peaches

3. Eating ricecakes with overripe bananas and strawberry applesauce- no comments allowed until you have tried one prepared by yours truly :)

4. Seinfeld

5. Gilmore Girls

6. The color green

7. My nose stud

8. Getting dressed up

9. The smell of cinnamon

10. My roommate, Juliana

11. Making (and eating) my own Hummus

12. Running in the rain

13. Laughing til it hurts

14. Whole Food grocery market

15. Watching people sneeze

16. Finishing a run

17. Wishing upon a shooting star

18. Sitting by a fire with friends

19. Sunbathing

20. Watching "the light bulb go off" when a child learns something