Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Do as I say not as I do. . .

This semester's English class has not been one of my more difficult courses but there are a few hints I can leave to the next group of ENGL 304 students. First of all, blogs are easy to forget and to turn one in a day or two late (like this one) will not devastate your grade; however if all of your blogs or late it will add up in the long run and negatively affect a grade that may be teetering between letters.

The other helpful hint I can give (even though I know many people will not take this advice) is to finish your group presentation BEFORE spring break. I mean have the document written and the power point completed before heading to the beaches. I guess I should modify this advice and say before Thanksgiving break. After these holidays, this assignment is so easy that it is hard to pay attention to when you have final papers and test looming around the corner.

Bottom line is that you should try to finish all assignments as soon as possible despite their due dates. If you do this the class will be a breeze.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Ethics Research; The Titanic

Research on the Titanic tragedy has been a lot harder than one would think. This is mainly because there is so much public documentation on the event and the ship prior to the wreck. Newspaper articles and books written about the Titanic can be found in abundance on the Internet; however, company memos and personal correspondence within the White Star Line are nearly impossible to find. I'm sure that detailed research has been done on the correspondences with in With Star Line however this research was not easily found and you would probably have to read a detailed book to understand the investigation that followed this tragedy.

In my research with my partner we found one White Star Line memo that spoke about the removal of valuables from the bodies that were recovered. While the memo referred to people as bodies and not some disassociating term, it did dehumanize the situation by setting up a limit to how much could be recovered from the bodies by one person and the penalties if the limit was exceeded. This shocked me and makes me wonder what happened to the bodies of those who lost there lives on the Titanic. It is very possible that everyone was not identified and that there is an unmarked grave somewhere. This is very interesting to me because it is an aspect of the tragedy that I have not seen in movies or read about in books and I would be very interested to learn more about this subject and why it is so often overlooked.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ethical Environments

“New study from LRN finds U.S. workplaces at risk for reduced worker productivity and scandal” The finds of this study basically say that if unethical behavior is tolerated at the work place it is less controllable and more distracting to workers. This article really made me think of the classroom setting and how much these finding may also relate to our place of study.

When you think about it, students tend to get very distracted by a teacher’s methods and policies. Many students actively search out so called “easy teachers”; this is evident because of the website entitled “rate your professor”, a website where students can say whatever they wish about any teacher. I noticed the other day a graduate student arguing with a professor about a late assignment. The student’s argument was that she should just be docked points for the late work because that’s what most teachers do for late work. The teacher argued that this was not her policy and the assignment would not be accepted at all after the turn in date. The whole situation made me reflect on how as students we may have become accustom to leniency from professors. I don’t know if I think that it is unethical to accept late work; but it is interesting how many of us would expect work to be accepted with a penalty. Is it unethical for a teacher to not take attendance, allow for a formula sheet during a test, or allow students to make up missed work? I don’t think I would label these as “unethical situations”, but I do know that rules have been bent so often that we students have come to expect them to always be bent even though a teacher has every right to follow these rules to the letter. I wonder how this all will affect us in the workplace, will we expect and accept rules being bent? Will we notice when these bent rules are actually large lapses in ethical practice?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Paper vs Pixels

Paper and pixels as a medium do share some very basic common elements; they both attempt to convey information and provoke a response. However, the fast pace of the World Wide Web makes it difficult to share information and ideas if they are presented in the way they would have been presented on paper. It is important to remember that most people who surf the web are looking for an easy way to find the information that they need and they can be highly agitated by any fluff found in a paragraph.

When writing on the Web it is essential to use headings and plenty of spaces between paragraphs. These two techniques make the document easier to read and navigate. Links and attachments are also ways to include additional or further information in a clear and concise way. Pixels are definitely the way to get your ideas out quickly to a lot of people.

Paper, on the other hand, still has strength that make it the better medium choice. Subconsciously, most people consider paper to be the more formal of the two mediums; invitations, proposals, and announcements are received as being more sincere and meaningful when presented on paper. When using paper you can easily add a personal touch that makes the receiver feel that they are important to you. This is possible when using pixels but it definitely take a little more effort.

Both paper and pixels can be used effectively if they are presented in a way that is appropriate to the medium.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Break?

I don't think so. More like "Spring-try-to-fit-in-more-than-is-possible Week." Reflecting on the week of so called holiday, Torrey and I have decided to never again go anywhere for Spring Break so that it has the oportunity to be the week of vacation that it strives to be.

Our "vacation" started on Thursday, the day after I signed a new lease agreement for a new apartmen, with a five hour drive to Savanah. The drive was riddled with the normal array of short tempered disputes since both of us highly dislike travelling. Then once there I realized that I was the only person in our group that was not a member of Tiger Platoon wich ment that I was left alone quite a lot as they did practices, traditional group dinners (members only), and of course there was the parade that they lined up for at 8 AM and got finnished with by 2:30! Next year either Torrey is going by himself to this thing or I am bringing friends so that I'm not alone. After the parade, we spent a few day in Savanah but it honestly wasn't that much fun.

Monday and Tuesday we spent moving my stuff from my storage unit in Charleston to my new apartment in Clemson. (not fun) and of course since it took two days instead of the intended one b/c one of the guys that helped us decided that he had to go to the beach. So we all got in the car after loading the Uhaul and headed out towards Folly beach with my beagle, whom I might add despises car rides. Two and a half hours later we manage to get unlost and find the 47degree warm beach. After the boys and dog had their fill of froliking we returned to my mom's house (in 15 mins) where she procedded to tell me that we where not alowed to to drive that "thing" in the dark. One nights sleep, 4 hours drive and a parking ticket later we arrive at Clemson. My car tags were expired so I then spent the next day faxing documents to my mom. And of course none of this was complete without Torrey being yelled at by his mom because we got to Greenville Wednesday instead of Tuesday.

Thursday morning we boarded the plan to New Orleans. The trip to Louisiana was amazing and I got to see my family for a few hours and eat some really good food. We arrived back Sunday night to TWO apartments that were distroyed (one looking like a Uhaul had thrown up in it).

That sums up my break (minus a few parental confilcts)... man I could use a vacation!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Mock Interview

This week’s mock interview was slightly helpful. I realized that I do give a good interview. With a little research and preparation I can give a great interview. However I also realized that in my field this is not going to be enough to get me a job. I can be a great person, easy to talk to and have amazing ethos; however without a good or even decent portfolio there is no way I will ever get a job.

The criticism on my resume was extremely helpful, mostly because there wasn’t much criticism given. This gave me a great confidence boost. I had been really self conscious about my resume because I do not have any work experience; but now I realize that I can list my academic accomplishments and community contributions.

While listing my community contributions on my resume I have come to realized that I really do have something to show for the last few years despite the fast that there was no pay check involved. This is probably one of the largest mental hurtles that I have conquered during the last year and I know that I am only that much more self confident because of it.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


So far the class presentations have gone really well. I was really surprised at my own performance even though some of the animation on one of my slides did not work exactly as desired.

When the assignment was explained on Monday, I was really excited because I thought that it would be a great opportunity to get my documentation together for the last few weeks of studio work. Unfortunately, I received the sign-up sheet last and therefore I only had 48 hours to put this presentation together.

Last semester my class in Charleston spent at least a month developing a sleek and powerful PowerPoint presentation. This was both a great help and a great hindrance to my presentation last Wednesday. It was helpful in that I already knew exactly how I wanted to present my presentation. It was a hindrance because I had great expectations for my presentation and its quality. I was also daunted by the fact that I had already gotten the idea into my head that I would present my current project and ask for feed back.

Amazingly, I was able to deliver a presentation that was decently put together and successful. If I had been given more time to prepare I think I might have been able to better gear my presentation to the concerns of my audience. For example, I don't think I really explained which parts of the master plan that I showed would most likely be happening (if any).

Of all the presentations so far, I think the one that best addressed the needs and or view point of their audience was the presentation given about how music can help us through a bad day. The presenter's name is not on his handout, but this short presentation delivered a positive message in a time riddled with midterm exams and I appreciated that. I also really appreciated getting a free Top Gun CD! :)