Monday, April 28, 2008


I have two pieces of advice to help future students in business writing and other classes. These have come from my own experiences during the semester and they seem obvious, but they do help if you make an effort.

First, don't be like me and procrastinate on your work, especially your blogs! I waited to do my blog each week on sunday and that created all sorts of problems. Sometime my Internet was down and other times I ran out of time and didn't remember until right before it was due. It will help students if they take care of small things like this during the week when they have a few minutes.

Second, it is really important to get a good group to work with on your project. I was very lucky and had a great group through no action of my own, but you can't always count on that. When you are given a chance to meet your classmates, keep in mind who you think you will work well with and who you will get along with. The project is a major part of your grade, and it is important to build a good foundation to start with.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Buck v. Bell

Sorry this is a little late, I got back from the airport a little late. My girlfriend's plane was delayed because the Pope was leaving from Newark where she was going.
My group looked at a strange ethical lapse. It is something that we would think could only happen in another country like Germany during the Nazi regime, but under the surface the US isn't always as clean as we'd like to think. I read a book about totalitarian states in one of my history classes, and I remember reading about how the Nazis sterilized all those that they deemed to be unfit for society. Some of the methods of sterilization were pretty gruesome, and I aways associated forced sterilization with some evil government. Then I read about the tests done on African American males with syphilis and I realized that we are just better at hiding our crimes. We looked at a supreme court case called Buck v. Bell which dealt with eugenic sterilization. This 1927 case upheld compulsory sterilization of the mentally handicapped for the health of the state. I couldn't believe the language that was used by the supreme court justices when describing these people. They used extremely dehumanizing language. They treated them like subhumans and this is very scary considering that was the Supreme Court of the US.

Monday, April 14, 2008


I had some Internet problems on Sunday, so I'm posting this Monday after my classes.

The article was based on a survey that investigated ethical lapses in the workplace. When I read the article the first thing that I thought about was whether or not I have experienced any ethical lapses in my jobs and how they were handled. One instance came to mind, and like the research showed, I went to my superior for help. I can understand how some people would be worried about how their boss would handle the situation, but I was OK because I have a good relationship with my boss. I think that it is important to judge the situation carefully. If it is a small problem, then you should try to take care of it yourself. However, when the situation is serious or involves your superiors, you must go up the ladder for help. I believe that your supervisor would rather help you than have a situation snowball because he wasn't informed. The ethical lapse that I witnessed did not really distract me from my work. I realized that what I had seen was questionable, but it was also something above my head. The best thing bosses can do is make themselves approachable so that their employees will come to them when they see something they question.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Web Writing

There are a lot of obvious similarities between writing on paper and writing online. For instance, both types of writing have a specific point to get across and a target audience to reach. I think most communication shares in these, so the important thing is the difference between writing on the web and on paper. One of the biggest differences is the formality of the writing. I think that writing online, like we do every Sunday, is much less formal. That is not to say that there are not formal web documents, but there are fewer restrictions on writing online.

Writing online also is impacted by different formats. A typical paper document is on a standard sheet of paper and is black and white with maybe a accent color. The web opens up endless possibilities for creating unique and eye catching documents. In fact, having a plain, black and white document online would be very boring to read! Color and headings are used online to catch and hold people's attention so that the message can get across.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Working Man's Blues

I've got a new job this semester and it's a great job for college students. I work at Litttlejohn for TigerPaw Productions, and it is incredible flexible. I get to choose when I want to work and what type of jobs I want to do. So far I've learned how to take down and set up the baskets and run the lights for events. I've even got to run the giant spotlight, which was very disconcerting because for you it looks like a perfect circle, but every one else sees an oval. Tonight I just got of a shift at work, and I'm not going to lie, it was not pleasant. We had too few people and it took forever. That is on top of the fact that I have already worked 40 hours this week and have two papers due tomorrow. Work usually doesn't stress me out, but at the end of the week when you have other things to do you just want to get it done and get out. I thought I had managed my time well, but I didn't figure on having to work late tonight, so now I've got to run and finish my portfolio for class on Monday and write an Italian paper.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Showing of a Chicken

I can't think of a more original presentation than Lindsey's "How to Show a Chicken". It blew all the other presentations out of the water. We learned about something none of us knew even existed, and we got to see the process in action. I cannot believe she managed to bring a live chicken in class to show, it was the perfect visual aid. The fact that the chicken was not trained to be shown shows how good Lindsey is. I think being able to stay cool when an untrained bird is not cooperating shows a lot of composure. It was a great show and I think it could only be topped with someone showing a pig in class. Then we would have ourselves a country fair going on.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

My interview went about as well as a fake interview can be expected. I tried to remain calm and focus on speaking like a normal human and not a prepared robot. Since this wasn't a real interview, I didn't have to actually know anything about the law school that I was applying to, but I have a feeling that I should get to work on that. There will be some tough questions in future interviews that are not going to go well if I have no clue what the basic facts are. I did have a memorized question that worked pretty well, but I'm trying to stay away from the memorizing because it doesn't tend to go well under pressure. Maybe just knowing some topics I could ask about would be better. I showed that I was doing my research by talking about another law school, and I think that will work as long as I don't spin it as I'm choosing between the two of you and why should I pick you. All in all, I really hate interviews and I hope I can skate through life with only a few more. If not, at least I won't completely bomb those that I'm forced to attend.