I realize I have been somewhat spotty about my blogging in the past two weeks, but there are great reasons for that! I have been working on some things that I am pretty jazzed about. I had an article published on our local newspaper’s website, I have teamed up with with an exciting new business and I have been actually making some decent strides in what has turned out to be the most challenging semester of my grad school experience so far. I also have a few guest bloggers lined up that will be writing in to give another perspective about life as a returning adult student.
I plan to bring you up to speed this week.
Thanks for hanging in!
I need some feedback fellow bloggers. In my journalism class, we use a blog hosted by a local newspaper to publish student produced journalism stories. Our professor, who is a former journalist herself, is the mediator and administrator for this site. As such, she uses in the same way she would if it were a print article being published in a newspaper. Yet it is on a blog. So we receive comments.
Some are quite colorful.
We received one this week that was more of a rant, and it was hardly constructive. Likely it was also filled with half truths.
Our professor posed the question: Should this comment be approved for the entire readership to see?
We debated this for most of the class period. There are two schools of thought in this sharp divide:
One group feels we should approve the comment. It is a blog after all and blogs are intended to foster open dialogue and everyone is allowed to their opinion. Since the blog was free of obscenities or profanity – put it out there. If you start deleting comments, then you are only publishing comments that share your perspective. By doing so, you are shaping the topic in your own way and this a form of censorship. Even though we use it for journalistic learning it is a blog and we should allow all perspectives to enter into the dialogue. Even if we may think it the comment is absurd.
The second group feels that we should maintain the integrity of our journalistic endeavors. Since we will not be investing our time to investigate any of the accusations in the comment we cannot ethically publish them. We should not give an audience to this type of authorship. A newspaper does not publish every letter to the editor, and we shall run this blog in the same discriminating spirit. This comment may invite another and it may run away from us in an acerbic dialogue that will take away the value and the good writing of the original piece.
Before I reveal my thoughts on the matter, tell me which side of the fence do you fall on?
Image taken from: Google Images, Censorship
Seriously, I am asking. I am at my son’s school each day. Every elementary school is a festival for all germs and freakish diseases. So I use hand sanitizer promptly upon my departure. I have a stash in my glove box. When I leave my college (another germ-fest) I do the same. I have been taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily, chasing that with a cup full of Airborne, drinking tea, washing my hands until my skin is raw, wearing warm socks and still I feel it coming on.
I am now officially collecting all home remedies. I don’t care how strange it may be, if you have any good tips on how to stay healthy during the school year, please share.
I’m plum out of ideas.
Picture taken from: http://divagoesgreen.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/sick.jpg
Image via Wikipedia
It is approximately half way through the fall semester. I am feeling the “mid semester slump” in a very real way. The honeymoon phase is officially over. The honeymoon phase only last a couple of weeks; it is the beginning of each semester when it is all fun and exciting to consider all that you will be learning. Then routine sets in and the work load starts to wear you out. Before you know it, you are racing around trying to get it all done, reducing your sleep, running your body down and constantly feeling like you are “coming down with something”. Before you know it you are on a steady diet of coffee, Theraflu and dinner comes from a vending machine twice a week.
I am going to have to use the next school break to detox and live on a diet of celery sticks and OJ.
Wait, the next break is Thanksgiving.
That plan may not work out.
So far I have spoken to you a great deal about my interviewing class, and frankly I have no intention of stopping this week. This class is just so darned unique and interesting that it is a weekly source of blogging fun.
Not to mention, I am convinced that my professor has a devilish sense of humor.
All of this interviewing practice and discussion that we have participated in is leading us to prepare for a radio interview with each other.
Here’s the idea: We split into 3 groups. Each of the groups is given a topic and articles from the NY Times to correspond to our topic and we use this information to moderate a radio program between our groups for 35 minutes.
As our professor is handing out these articles, I see a glimpse of that mischievous grin that I have noticed before. Here are the assigned topics per group:
- Group one: Naming the ‘00s. (thousands, like the 80’s 90’s, etc)
- Group two: From Students, Less Kindness for Strangers
- OUR group: Sex and the Single Drug. Viagra for Women.
Boy did we pull the short straw.
Upon receiving this, my classmate and now my new friend, looks amused. He exclaims, “Don’t even ask me about a woman’s libido, I know nothing about it. I am gay.”
I begin looking around for Aston Kutcher. I am sure I am about to be “Punked”.
For one week I had a full brood about this. I don’t see myself as a prude, but I am not exactly comfortable discussing sex openly, much less in a forum that is being recorded. I feel only slightly comforted by the fact that my friend may be more uncomfortable than I am, yet he doesn’t seem to be.
This has the potential to be great fun or a hot mess.
Titles of the articles referenced are from www.newyorktimes.com.
To finish up our group assignment in my Interviewing class, all we have to do is create a name for our project and get the heck out of there. In jest someone comes up with the name Everlasting Gobstopper, for our survey of an emerging adult. What?!
My professor raises an eyebrow.
Even Gene Wilder would think we are nuts.
I lost my sense of humor an hour ago. Everlasting Gobstopper it is, but there is no chance that this title will appear anywhere next to my name on a graduate paper. If this means I’m not a team player, I’m fine with that.
Photo taken from: socialmediaanswers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/wonka.jpg
For the group work in the Interviewing class, the “elders” gathered round. Story time began. This group likes to tell stories. Not relevant ones that will help us to get our assignment done, but just basic life stories. I LOVE these kinds of stories – over a steaming cup of coffee in a café. Not while we are playing beat the clock at the end of class. One fellow opened the activity by speaking of his recent promotion, then another started speaking about the hardships and frustrations of his last job. Interesting? Absolutely. Relevant? Not so much.
8:30 PM (the time class concludes) comes and goes. The young uns have long since left. I was anxious to leave so that I may attend to my evening chores of packing lunches, ironing uniforms, signing permission slips and my homework. Another team member was more frustrated than I. She had tried to make headway and create some questions. She could not because the gentleman who was speaking of his new promotion at work has not yet been able to find a conclusion. She literally got up and left. Awesome. I couldn’t decide if I was impressed or irritated. The story-teller didn’t even notice her absence. The third story-teller then chimes in to tell about his recent lay off and now we have a full on discussion that is not leading us closer to completing this assignment.
More than half of us are unemployed. That’s why we are in school.
Simultaneous thoughts run through my mind as I watch the clock keep ticking:
- Lyrics to an Eagle’s song… “Somebody’s gonna come undone, nothin’ we can do”
- There is a reason why we are called the “elders”
- The transition for all of us in this group into a nursing home will be an easy one
- Violence solves nothing
- I hope that one ounce of my professor’s diplomacy and endless patience will rub off on me this semester.
- His skilled attempts to keep us on track are absolutely useless. We people are dedicated story tellers.
- Bringing a flask to school may be a violation of school rules and I should reconsider that plan for next week
Finally, finally we put 5 questions on paper. It took us 40 minutes to come up with:
- How old are you?
- Do you work?
- Full time or part-time?
- What is your highest level of education?
- At what age do you feel you are an adult?
Just one last item and we can head home…
Image taken from: www.teamrise.com