Saturday, February 26, 2011

Melting Pot

This past week I have been printing out papers and collateral pieces that I have written in preparation for graduation. I have to assemble them into a "learning portfolio" that is turned into the Communications Department in which they use for accreditation purposes.

When I read over past papers that I have written, I think to myself , "This is quite good!" For some reason it shocks me that I had such control over the words in conveying a message. At the conclusion of a paper I wrote on "Diversity in the Media," during my first semester back at school, I still feel satisfied at these thoughts:

“Many refer to our nation as a melting pot of different people and nationalities.  Yet, the reality is that the majority of people have not “melted” or assimilated into one flavor, they have retained their sense of identity.  With truthful representation and active contributions to media content, minorities can honorably continue to enrich our country’s legacy. 

Rather than become a melting pot, why not empty our pockets of color into the pot, so that we can easily identify each diverse color and people, and appreciate how it flavors our nation.”

Today, I am writing two more papers on diversity - on how the Internet impacts cultures and individual identity and the benefits of diversity in the Public Relations industry. After all I have read, my conclusion in that first research paper three years ago is still true. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Winter Semester Classes

This semester I have four classes; Print Publishing, International Communications, Accounting 200 and my Communications Capstone class.

Print Publishing is turning out to be my fun class. I get to be creative with Adobe CS5 InDesign. I had to learn it last semester for my Communications Writing and Production class. But here we are learning the principles of good design. OK, I will be a little snotty here - I already know the principles of good design, I am just learning to articulate and fine tune them better with this program. My instructor is only 22 yrs. old, and it is hard to keep up with her in class some days. Thank goodness for free tutoring sessions during her office times. Well worth it!

Anyway, the final assignment is a book project. My sister has written some history on my parents, so I will be using that text and pictures to put together something for my family. I thought of doing my cookbook, but having to reformat 150+ pages seems a little daunting to me at this time. That will be a project for over the summer - when I am through with school :)

For my International Comms. class we read this book consisting of academic papers on various international communication issues, and also have to read the NY Times about world news for our weekly quizzes. We have a group presentation once a week on different world problems, such as Emergence of China. Threat or promise?; International abuse of women; Propaganda, etc.. My week is coming up soon. I was assigned, "Illegal Immigration. What to do?" My classmate is from Japan. We decided to narrow our discussion because it is huge! I spoke with our professor yesterday about what we were planning, and he informed me that this was the hottest topic. He likes robust discussions!

I do like numbers, and I do like them to add up and balance. However, remembering what name to give a journal entry does confuse me most times. I thought this class would be a piece of cake. Not so. I am doing a little better in my quizzes - now it is a matter of remembering all that I have learned for my next exam. However, I do remember what a FIFO and LIFO are.

Then there is my capstone class. I love going to class. There are some students who have had the same teacher for four of the required classes for PR. She is an incredible teacher, and I am fortunate to have had her for one of them. But I like the variety of these instructors different teaching stylses. I think it adds balance to what you are learning. The client we have, Singular Humanitarian Experience is interesting. My group has a good idea as to how we are going to form and present our campaign. We have just finished our research, and now we will be working hard to finish up the campaign and collateral pieces - I can already tell it is going to be crunch work before the end of March.

I am phasing out of my job on campus these next few weeks. After 3 months, they finally were able to hire someone. It has been a bit stressful this past month, feeling guilty that I wasn't in the lab when I was needed. But they knew it would be a hit-and-a-miss with my schedule. I started doing some PR work with an agency this semester, to get experience, but because of my campus job I haven't been able to give the time needed to do the work they have for me. It has been frustrating. Next week will be better.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Carpenter

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building industry and live a more leisurely life with his wife, while enjoying his extended family.

He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work, the employer came to inspect the house. He handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you."

The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then with a shock we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we'd do it much differently. But we cannot go back.

You are the carpenter. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. "Life is a do-it-yourself project," someone has said. Your attitudes and the choices you make today, build the "house" you live in tomorrow. 

Build wisely!