Category Archives: No Adult Left Behind

Irons in the fire

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!    

6 Comments

Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

Blogging is Beautiful

What is the point of blogs? 

Blogging is a great new way to vet ideas and have a conversation that connects people clear across the globe.   As a blogger, I am delighted to receive comments to my blog posts.  I crave for them and get so excited when I receive an e-mail that tells me that I have one.  It makes my whole day!

I moderate my comments.  That means if you are new to my blog and you make a comment, I must approve it before it is posted.  Only comments that I physically approve make it for all to see. 

I haven’t yet declined to post a comment.  Yet.  I’d like to think that I wouldn’t delete any comments. 

What if someone writes in a comment that I am a sniveling, frakin, retched, ugly wench?  Hey, that’s good stuff and may be even true some of the time. 

To approve or not approve, that is the question. 

If the comment was free from obscenities and took aim at me alone then I would probably put it out there.  That is the point of the blog – to let everyone have a say who would like one.  It is a conversation, with similarities to what you would have in person.  You don’t always agree with the person you are conversing with but you can’t simply delete what they are saying as they say it!

There is a distinction between journalism and blogging.  Journalism has an ethical obligation to report events of interest with credibility and honesty.  The ethical obligation of a blog is individualized to the morals of the blogger who hosts it.  Blogging is a form of entertainment.  It may rub elbows from time to time with journalism, but primarily it is forum for personal opinions and the dialogue that it inspires. 

In the case of my class where we use the blog for journalistic educational purposes, I respect that my professor reserves the right to delete comments.  This blog was the only medium that she was offered to post the journalistic work of her students in the local newspaper so she had to take what she got.  She is now using the blog in the same way that she would run a print newspaper.  Since it is a blog however, I think we should have a comment policy to refer to so that the reader has the expectation that their comment will be evaluated before publishing.

However, if a true blogger deletes comments because they don’t like the perspective then they only want one side of the issue to be viewed – their own.  That is quite boring indeed and defeats the point of a blog.

As Americans, we have this amazing right of freedom of speech.  Why would we willingly censor ourselves?

2 Comments

Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

Trashing comments on blogs: A form of censorship?

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

9 Comments

Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

How to stay healthy?

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

2 Comments

Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

Is “Vending Machine” a category on the food pyramid?

This vending machine was made by National Vend...

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. 

Not ideal.

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.

2 Comments

Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

Are you there God? It’s me, Alicia.

Cults and new religious movements in literatur...

Image via Wikipedia

A priest visited our class last night as a guest speaker.  He had an open dialogue with us.  Prior to class, I had ideas of how he would behave.  I expected this to be a lot like Sunday Mass; a lot of preaching and pontificating.  I was wrong.

This conversation felt enlightening and uplifting.  I walked away tranquil and enveloped in the comfort of my own deep thoughts. 

The concept of religion is unique to the individual.  My ideas about religion and spirituality will differ from yours and I may think differently about the entire thing tomorrow.  It is very fluid for me.

Organized religion in a church is a dying fad in our American culture as we see more and more churches closing.  I wonder if people are truly less religious or are they just finding their spirituality elsewhere.  Maybe people feel more connected to God in the forest or by the sea-shore. 

Imagine if people traded their Hail Mary’s for charitable volunteerism or a random act of kindness when seeking universal redemption. 

Our guest speaker told us that our generation has not yet thought much about God or religion because we may not have had to yet.  He believes that this comes when we are faced with our own immortality; when all that we know, feel and value is about to vanish. 

Profound.

I found myself contemplating more of my spirituality in recent months.  Difficult times have led me there.  It also led me through them.

He said one thing that I hope to never forget:  “This life will hurt you and then it will kill you.”

We each feel the pain and perhaps that is what makes us all connected. Paradoxically, there is a beauty in that, yes?  We are not alone when we have problems or feel despair.  Those emotions are ones that we all succumb to.  Life is beautiful and it is fragile.  In the end, don’t we all seek a higher power when it is all we have left?

Leave a comment

Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

Our own radio show!

On the day of the recording, we meet in class and break into our respective groups.  We are preparing for our radio show where we are to vet out the pros and cons of a Viagra – type drug for women.  My group is a group of four and is much more manageable in size and in personality than the previously larger one.  As we discuss our game plan, I find myself wondering if we have the maturity level to pull this off.  It doesn’t matter how old you are, there is something about the subject of sex that makes people a lot more giggly.  We notice that our classmates have become quite quiet as they eavesdrop on our racy conversation.

When it is our turn, we head down to the impressive radio studio in our communications building.  It was so much fun to put on headphones and sit in front of the microphones.  It was very Howard Stern-ish.  Especially considering our discussion topic.   

The head of the communications department was in the radio control room running the show.   We are in another sound proof room sitting at a round table; each at our own respective microphone.  We can see the control room through a large window.

As we move through our discussion we get cues from the professor in the radio room.  In our headphones we hear him tell us things like, “Mic 3, wrap it up” or “Mic 2, get ready to moderate”  which we are clearly not used to because when he does this we stop talking completely right in the middle of the radio show.  With this type of flow our chatty group is suddenly very concise and on task.  Perhaps we need to adapt this type of process when we are having group discussion in class.  It gives me a smile to think of my professor saying, “Ok wrap it up.”

It didn’t take long for us to find our grove and everyone (except me) seemed relaxed.  The conversation was natural and often funny. 

I do not embarrass easily.  This is because I am a klutz by nature and anyone who lacks grace gets used to the sensation of feeling foolish.  However, my cheeks were on fire for the entire 30 minutes of this conversation. 

That really didn’t matter though.  What a rush!  It was so much fun.  I can see how people do this for a living.

This is really what the college experience is all about for me. It is the dread of being forced out of my comfort zone only to then to feel elation for conquering a new challenge when I have completed it.  That was a good day.

2 Comments

Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind, No Adult Left Behind

Viagra for Women

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:

  1. Group one:  Naming the ‘00s. (thousands, like the 80’s 90’s, etc)
  2. Group two:  From Students, Less Kindness for Strangers
  3. 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.

Leave a comment

Filed under adult education, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

The Everlasting Gobstopper

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

5 Comments

Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

There’s gonna be a heartache tonight

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:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Do you work?
  3. Full time or part-time?
  4. What is your highest level of education?
  5. 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

6 Comments

Filed under adult education, No Adult Left Behind